Travel Diaries - Sri Lanka Part 1

View of Kandy from the hotel

A fast life has the unique ability to tire you out. The routine of the life ruled by the arms of the clock, and governed by the demands of mood swinging kids, can kick boredom in your face. So much so, that you want to just need to move out of your air conditioned surroundings and plush interiors to be in real city, where fresh air is the norm and not the synthetic one. Where you are not judged by your clothes, but your smile. Rather not judged at all. Aah what a dream!

Yes every few months, we human beings too need to visit the "service centre" to 'recharge' ourselves. And for me this break was oveeeer - due, since the last I heard this sacred word was even before my 2nd pregnancy. And in 10 days, the baby is going to be you can do the calculations!!

Beautiful sunset, viewed from the hotel terrace

Elephant Ride, a must when visiting Sri Lanka

The place we chose was more was because of practical reasons, since it was planned at the last spur and executed the next. Hence Sri Lanka made lot of sense for this short 6 days holiday, where there was no visa requirement (visa on arrival for Indians), was only 4.5 hours flight from Dubai and had lot of wildlife to attract my 5.5 year old son. So yes Sri Lanka it was. 

Choosing the cities in this small island was also not so tough since I love mountains and my husband likes beaches. So it was one of each - Kandy, the hill land  and Bentota, the beach city. 

Never ending greenery at Botanical Garden

Our plan was simple. To land at Colombo in the early hours and to go straight to Kandy, which was around 3-4 hours drive. The best thing we had done, keeping the fact that we had two small kids with us, was to get a taxi for all 6 days. Hence there was no problem of logistic or local guidance at any stage. Right from arrival to departure, we were in local guided support. Let me know if you ever plan to go there, and I would be glad to share the number of my taxi driver.

Kandy, is in the central province of Sri Lanka and is the cultural centre of the country. Its also the base of the places of historical and cultural interest like Sigriya, a world heritage site and Anuradhapura. Keeping in mind the weather, the long distances to be covered by road with two small kids, we chose to keep the visit to cultural triangle for the next time. Hence hill land it was for us. 

 Spice Garden

View of Kandy city from the Buddha Statue

Royal Botanical Gardens

Local pottery

Tempting tropical fruits

Where I went in Kandy

  • Elephant Farm - I went to the private one, where we got to wash and feed the elephants and also an awesome elephant ride. 

  • Spice Garden - Great introduction to exotic herbs and spices in this lush garden

  • Kandy Lady - The city is around it, so you can't miss this one

  • Temple of tooth - Lovely Buddhist temple. Has and entrance fees. Do plan the visit at prayer time. 

  • Peradinya: Royal Botanical Gardens - Must visit is this huge garden carpeted with lush greenery and lovely landscape

  • Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha Statue - Huge and awe inspiring statue at the hill top, gives beautiful view of the city

  • Kandayan Dance - Get a cultural insight with local dance

Travel Tips:

  • Most places have an entrance charge, lesser for SAARC nationals though. So be prepared to shell out money at every tourist spot..even temples. Hence research and choose places that interests you, to limit the expenses.

  • Tipping is huge expectation in this tourism driven sector. Guides, drivers, escorts all expect be kind.

  • I found the place to be very hassle free, with simple people, not driven by interest to cheat or take benefit. So relax you are in good company.

  • Getting a local taxi is the most convenient, when you are covering variety of places.

  • Be prepared of what to expect on food front. You might not get what you are used. So be open to try and experiment. Egg hoppers and Kutthu became our favourite on the trip. 

Hotel we stayed at - Theva Residency , a nice comfortable 4 star resort on the hill top, with simply amazing views.

Though we were sceptical about weather in June, but it turned out just right. Temperatures ranging from 22-26 degree, it was nice, sunny and comfortable. Not at all cold or hot. Light showers in between made the greenery all the more beautiful. So yes it was as refreshing as we needed. A break from the city life, from the routine and from the chaos.

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