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davetherav Colombo - A travel report by David
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Colombo,  Sri Lanka - flag Sri Lanka -  Western
3994 readers

davetherav's travel reports

Sri Lanka holiday

  9 votes
Me and my wife flew out in feb 04. Long flight, why is this the worst bit of any holiday? Landed v. early in the morning, got through immigration, collected baggage, and went to look for travel rep.

The elephant rock, Yala National Park
The elephant rock, Yala National Park
Rep turned out to be a local chap, holding a placard with my wife's name on! We were the only people on the tour. He went to get the car and drove us through the busy bustling city, yes even as early as this. After about an hour we arrived at the Galle Face Hotel. Very old Colonial, facing the Indian Ocean, palm trees swaying in the breeze, lovely. We crashed out for a few hours, then after some food, we were whisked off in our chauffer driven car for a tour of the city. What a busy place, people all over, 3 wheeled tuk-tuks nipping in and out of the traffic, buses honking their air horns, forcing their way to the next stop before their rivals picked up the fares! We returned to the hotel and swam in the sea water pool, which was lovely and warm. I noticed an armed guard on top a tower, I don't know whether this is reassuring or what! We had dinner in the Sea Spray restaurant at the hotel. It was very good, the sevice excellent.

Favourite spots:
Pinnawela, elephant orphanage
Pinnawela, elephant orphanage
Elephant orphanage. Great to see all these magnificent animals. We saw the really young ones being fed bottled milk. then went to see all the adults, some of whom were working, lifting tree trunks and keeping the site tidy. We then saw them being led to the river, they trundle right down the main shopping street! We spent some time down by the river watching the bathing. Great stuff! We spent the next night at the Lodge, Habarana. This was a good hotel too. The rooms were very cosy and comfortable. The food was very good too. The Rock Fortress at Sigiriya was the next visit. We had a local guide to take us up. What a fantastic place this is, the ancient architect must have been a genius! He had a system of water fountains which still work today. The water is recycled by a system of archimedes screws. We managed to get to the summit, some of the climb was very scary! My wife really didn't like the spiral staicase. The view from the top was worth the effort.

What's really great:
Elephant ride,
Elephant ride, "off road!"
We had a trip to Yala National Park, we left our beach hotel (Eden Resort & Spa, 1st class hotel, really classy) at 8am, our driver stopped at a turtle hatchery, which was excellent, saw locals pulling in a 1KM net, when landed it had a massive male turtle in it, which was returned to the ocean. Had a walk on the sea wall at Galle. Got to The lodge at Yala at sunset, what a long journey! Room was poor, but we are here 1 night only, so no big deal. Up at 5:30 next morning, drove into the park at 6:45. Saw, elephant, bee eater birds, waders,eagle,crocs,water buffalo,spotted deer,Bear with cub(v rare to see this) Fantastic experience, well worth the long drive there and back!

View from the Citadel Hotel, Kandy
View from the Citadel Hotel, Kandy
The accomodation we stayed in were all hotels, all were very good quality, rooms were kept in very clean condition, the staff in all of them were very friendly, helpful. The best one was the Eden Resort & Spa, our beach hotel, at Beruwela. We were lucky here to get upgrade to deluxe room with butler service. All restaurants were excellent, but especially the a la carte on the 1st floor, if you want luxury have a meal here! The gym was a let down though, very basic and I only used it once, I score it 1 out of 10. We joined in with the daytime games, crazy golf, darts, water volleyball. A couple of evenings everybody ate out alfresco, which was a nice change. Evening entertainment was okay, local dancers, local musicians etc.
Beware the spice/herb gardens! after you have had your guided walk around, and your free neck/head massage and cup of tea. Then the big sell happens, very annoying, as the more you buy the more they expect you to buy! I will never again be going to one.

Other recommendations:
On top of the rock fortress, Sigiriya
On top of the rock fortress, Sigiriya
We went to a tea factory, and were shown around by a very knowlegable lady. All the machinery was very old, but still in good working order. Kandy was a nice place, we visited the relic of the tooth temple, we found this really interesting, but our guide seemed to be in a hurry, so we left sooner than we wanted really. The Botanical Gardens in Kandy are well worth a visit. The orchid house was wonderful, so many varieties to see. The gardens are massive, one could get lost in here! We really enjoyed walking around here. We bought some cashew nuts from lady sellers on the side of the road, they were delicious. We also tried King Coconuts, supposed to do your insides good! We had daily full body massages on the beach they cost a fraction of what they charge in the hotel, and I bet we got the better massage. A good spot for lunch on the beach was the Blue Lagoon, they do fantastic pizzas, just right after our massages. I found that Lion beer is the best.

Published on Saturday May 8th, 2004

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Fri, Sep 10 2004 - 07:34 AM rating by gabiforever

HI I'm a Sri Lankan and was very pleased to read about your experiences! anytime you want any more information about lanka, just let me know. Cheers!

Sun, May 09 2004 - 11:00 AM rating by travelalain

A bit of a short report, try to tell a bit more about your experience, you started good, but try to add more.

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