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Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka + Photostory

 

Because of his great national parks Sri Lanka is a real paradise for nature lovers. Unfortunately, the Tsunami in 2004 destroyed a lot. Nevertheless, the people in Sri Lanka stayed always positive and they are trying to extend the tourism as fast as possible by building a lot of new hotels. As we visited Sri Lanka we couldn’t see any of the aftereffects from the Tsunami 2004. They build monuments, which remind the people of the Tsunami.

If you want to travel through Sri Lanka it is much easier and safer to do with a local guide because of the streets and how people drive are maybe a little bit different than you are used to e.g. in Germany. It is also possible to rent a Tuk-Tuk for only a couple of dollars, but it is maybe something for younger people or for those of us who like the real adventure.

In comparison to other countries Sri Lanka is quite cheap and the country is also not too big. We booked only a five-day tour. Our guide Gihan is around 30 years old and has his own small company.

 

   The first impressions

We were very surprised as Gihan was telling us that a lot of tourists are interested in visiting a funeral or visiting a hospital to see a birth. He told us that is quite normal, because every funeral is different and depends on the culture and the religion.

Along the streets we could see a lot of small shops like banana shops or shops where you can buy coconuts and shops for a lot of other different fruits. Gihan was stopping for us and we had some great fresh coconut juice.

 

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The traffic is a little bit chaotic, the buses are so full of people and you see many people sitting in the back of the trucks. But anyway, after a couple of hours we reached the first temple „The golden Cave” and we had to climb up of course. By the way the temple belongs to the World Heritage. Before we started our way up we put on sun blocker everywhere and made sure we brought plenty of water. Gihan was waiting at the parking place on the bottom. After about a thousand of stairs we finally reached the temple on the mountain. We just had to pay a small entrance fee.

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The Pinnawala orphanage for elephants

After we visited the temple we were heading to see the Pinnawala orphanage for elephants. Here they raise elephants and nurse them back to health. That is what we thought, but the reality is of course different. They never return the elephants back to the wild. The elephants, which are older than 4 years are chained and they are isolating them for month. If you pay money you can feed the baby elephants. This orphanage is absolutely the opposite of what we thought and it made us a little bit sad. We also saw how they wash the elephants in the river. You couldn’t really enjoy this experience, knowing the background.

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Minneriya National Park

The national park for elephants in Minneriya is totally different. The elephants there live in their own nature park where they can find huge waterholes nearly everywhere.

A driver picked us up at the Melrose Villa where we stayed overnight. It was a really great day with so many elephant families and they are living in freedom for sure. Sometimes we had to stop, because groups of elephants were crossing the street. Of course we took the chance to take great pictures of the elephant babies. They came so close to us. It was really a great feeling.

Despite all that there are of course also quite dangerous elephants. Luckily they were wearing a collar, so that you could easily recognize them. The driver has to watch out as well, because the female elephants are sometimes quite aggressive and can easily attack the car and even overturn it. If this happens it can be life threatening for the people inside of the car.

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Sri Lanka    

Sigirya Rock

„The steps to the sky“ – The Lion Rock of Sri Lanka

The rock has approximately 1200 steps and you need to be in a good condition for sure to climb all the way up. The nicest time to go up is before sunrise. During the day it is too hot to climb up the rock. If you are scared of heights we wouldn’t recommend at all to climb up the steps to the sky, because some of the steps are really narrow and unstable. When you reached the top you have a great view over Sigirya and the whole area. It was really worth the effort, but it is not so cheap, the entrance fee is 30 US-Dollars per person and if you want a guided tour you have to pay extra. If you want to do it, there are a lot of local guides waiting and you should negotiate about the price.

 

Sigiriya Felsen

Sigiriya Rock

„Lucky Land”

The spice center

On the way to Kandy we also reached the „Lucky Land” one of the famous spice gardens in the region between Kandy and Dambulla. Like in most gardens they offer spices and medicinal herbs and also ayurveda. A local guide was showing us the garden and he was telling a lot interesting facts about the spices, the cocoa beans and as well about the usage of ayurveda. It was really interesting to learn all that stuff.

Afterwards there was a presentation of how this product works. Of course it’s just to inspire you to buy some of those products. The prices were ridiculously high; it was nearly a rip off. You can also buy a lot of those ayurveda products in the supermarket or in the pharmacy and they are exactly the same.

The royal city and the Dalada Maligala temple

Kandy is the second largest city in Sri Lanka and of course famous for the tooth temple of the Dalada Maligawa. The temple is taking care of one of the greatest secrets, the eyetooth of the Buddha. They keep the tooth in seven nest able boxes, so that it’s like a “Matrjoschka”. They say that the tooth is approximately 4-5 cm long.

Kandy Sri Lanka

 

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In another room of the temple, decorated with elephant tusks, there are different sculptures of Buddhas from other countries where they believe in the Buddhism as well.

Once a year the people are celebrating the Esala-Pehara Party for eleven days. The streets are colorful, the elephants are decorated with lights and the streets are full of people in honor of the holy tooth of the Buddha.

In the tooth temple you can also find an elephant museum of the holy “Elephant Raja”. The elephant was famous in the whole country and was the holder of the holy tooth relict for 37 years. Raja died in 1988 and all the citizens were very sad. Today you can see the prepared “Raja” behind glass and pictures of the her life all around it.

Nuwara Eliya

Approximately 2000 meters above the sea level is Nuwara Eliya with 30.000 inhabitants. You can still feel the influence of the former British Colony. Here you can find a huge water reservoir surrounded by a beautiful park and beautiful gardens. You can visit horse races or make nice trips by boat.

 

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“Teafactory Mackwoods”

On the way to the tea factory we could see hilly tea plantations everywhere and a lot of tea pickers with huge baskets full of tea on their back. It is really hard work to fill the baskets.

A nice lady from the tea factory was showing us the production halls and was explaining the different types of tea to us and how they produce them. Whether the tea is mild or strong always depends on the bloom and how long they dry them. Every 5-8 days they are harvesting the tealeaves. Most of the people who are working there are women, because they work more accurate compared to men.

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After the guided tour through the tea factory we were invited to a homemade tea in the own “Tea Kitchen”. They also brought us fresh chocolate cake, which was really delicious. From the terrace of the visitor center we had an awesome view over all the tea plantations with huge letters „MACKWOODS”.

Train ride from Nuwara Eliya -> Ella

The train ride from Nuwara Eliya to Ella takes approximately 3 hours. Here starts the typical route through the tea plantations. We booked a first class ticket for about 5 euros. This route is the most famous and beautiful route in Sri Lanka. The train is driving quite slowly, so you can easily look out of the window and enjoy the beautiful view of the bright green tea plantations. It is also possible to sit directly at the open door, so you can feel the wind, enjoy the nature in a special way and take the best pictures.

During the way to Ella you can get drinks and snacks on the train. It really is an adventure and for sure a “must have” in Sri Lanka!

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Yala Nationalpark

The Yala national park is one of the nicest national parks in Sri Lanka and it is located on the south – east coast. With a little luck you can even see a leopard there. We started our safari tour early in the morning, a couple of minutes before sunrise. The staff of the hotel was preparing a nice lunch box for us.

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Our driver, who looked a little bit like “Bob Marley”, was already waiting for us. He was a very nice easygoing (stoned) 😀 person. We were able to hop on and off of the jeep all the time, always with our full camera equipment. On the way to the park it was still dark. It took us 30 minutes to get to the national park. Unfortunately, we were not the only ones there, a lot of other cars were waiting at the entrance as well, but luckily the line was going fast.

We picked up another guide at the entrance, he was a special guide for animal watching and was telling us a lot about the animals and the national park. But our “Bob Marley” driver also had a huge knowledge. All drivers were connected by a telephone so we could see every wild animal possible.

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SELFI TIME

Conclusion

We have been to Sri Lanka for the second time and it is always worth to travel around this beautiful country.

 

Sunset Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka with a beautiful Sunset

 


Infobox

Sri Lanka

Hotel:

Sigirya:

Melrose Villa

Kandy:

Kandy Mount Villa

Ella:

View Pint Villa Ella

Tissamaharama:

Gaga Bees Yala

 

 

Visum:

An e-visa for tourists can now be requested electronically from home and costs about 30 US dollars.
Don´t forget your pass photo

Sri Lanka ETA Visum

 

Currency:

Sri Lanka Rupie LKR

The current course you can look up at  OandaLanguages:

Language:

Singhalese

English

Local Time:

Dies könnt ihr hier die Zeitverschiebungen nachlesen

High Season:

The best time for the Sri Lanka here

Health:

The vaccination passport should be checked by a doctor and refresher courses such as tetanus, yellow fever and hepatitis A, B, C may be performed.

You can read more about this here.

Embassies:

For US Embassy: link

For UK Embassy: link

For AUS Embassy: link


Information about the guide

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Name:

Gihan Shameera

Language:

Englisch

Contakt:

gigagihan1@gmail.com

+ 94 773 764 179

Website:

http://www.gihantourssrilanka.com

About Gihan

Our five day trip through Sri Lanka was really perfect. Meanwhile we have already visited him two times. He is a really nice, funny and professional guide and for him a dream came true by starting his own business. He already has a couple of other drivers in his company.

All accommodations that the picked, were very clean and located very well.

Thank you soo much for the great days in Sri Lanka.

Saskia and Basti

 

 

Saskia

Saskia

We are Saskia and Bastian (25 and 30), and we are the founder of Madlovelyworld. 3 years ago, the traveling have watched us and since this time, we travel a lot around the globe, to get know the different cultures and to met lot of funny nice and funny people. Now we have so much to tell about the different places in world, that we decided to start blogging. We are very happy that you are visiting our blog and joining on our journeys. Most of the time we travel with local guides and would love to recommend to you, we think it is a very good way to travel with local people and support them.

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