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Stunning Sri Lanka

29/04/2016

Wow what an experience!
 
Sri Lanka is certainly beautiful, vibrant and very interesting.  It really does have everything, golden beaches, vibrant cities and lots of interesting history, plus really amazing wild life, flora and fauna.
 
We flew with Emirates via Dubai arriving in Colombo the capital city. Colombo is a busy port and full of character and history. There is a strong British influence left over from the colonial era which we found particularly interesting. We had a driver/ guide who was extremely helpful and knowledgeable. He recommended places to visit in addition to what we had in the itinerary.

              
 

From Colombo we travelled to Kandy known as the cultural capital of Sri Lanka here we visited the Temple of the Sacred Tooth a must see when in the area. It is reputed that a tooth of Buddha’s is in the temple. It is vast and interesting place but very busy as people come from all over the country to visit in addition to all the international tourists. It was fascinating to see children all dressed in white and obviously on a school trip visiting the temple. We also went to a cultural show whilst in Kandy where traditional dances were performed. One really interesting visit was to the rain forest just above the town we walked along paths through the trees listening to the birds and animals calling. It was surprising it was so close to the town.

                     

      


Then it was on to Dambulla where we saw the Golden Budda at the Royal Rock Temple, the caves at the top of the rock house 150 statues of Buddha and are quite a sight. Part of the ‘cultural triangle’ there are a number of historical sights in the area. We stayed close Sigiriya and visited Lion Rock which is incredible. I was so proud that I climbed to the top up all 1,200 steps and saw not only the magnificent view bur the remains of the palace on the top of this huge rock. Well worth the climb! 

We went back to Kandy & caught the train up to Nuwara Eliya, we had reserved seats in 3rd class which were fine, the windows were open so we had a good view and excellent photo opportunities as we travelled up passed tea plantations & waterfalls. Though it is a 4 hour journey it is well worth it. Just remember to take food and drink, there isn't buffet car on the train. 

Nuwara Eliya has a cooler climate and quite a lot of rain, though it did not rain whilst we were there. It is because of this climate that tea grows so well. A visit to a tea plantation is a must whilst in the area. The hills of the tea plantations look so beautiful and manicured and there are lots of tea plantations open to visitors. 



You cannot visit Sri Lanka without seeing elephants, everywhere you look there are carvings and pictures of elephants and it is amazing to see them in their natural surroundings which we did in Yalla National Park. Unfortunately we did not see any leopards which the park is famous for though the  variety of birds was incredible and it was so easy to photograph them. 

We completed our holiday with a few days at the beach which was a lovely way to wind down after seeing so much. The hotel was beautiful almost on the beach with a beautiful pool

All the hotels we stayed in were  excellent and all 4* the staff  were very attentive and really made our holiday.

Sri Lanka is a beautiful destination whether you are looking for a beach holiday or a mixture of culture, history and wildlife.


      

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