Thursday, August 27, 2009

Visiting Heritage Sites @ Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a beautiful country with rich culture and I really enjoy my first visit to Sri Lanka. I only plan a short 6 day 5 night trip where I need to hire a driver and van to see as much places as possible. Here is my beautiful experience and itinerary at Sri Lanka.

Day 1: We reach LCCT at about 4am to catch our flight at 6:15am. The flight took 3.5 hours to reach Sri Lanka and it was 2.5 hours behind Malaysia where we reach Sri Lanka about 7:15am. Once we get out from the arrival hall and then I saw my name display from our driver Mr. Nimal De Silva.

We got a van rental with driver deal for US$55 per day. This included all the substance and there is no hidden cost. We start off the day with driving from the Airport to Dambulla Rock.

Dambulla is at the central of Sri Lanka and the journey took 4 hours to reach even it was just 150km because of the road condition and traffic.

We reach Dambulla Rock Temple at 12pm and it was our first heritage site visit. The Rock temple consists of 5 caves with different historical period. It was raining once we complete the visit at about 1:30pm. Then we proceed to Sigiriya to look for our accommodation and also try a local lunch. Our driver recommended us a forest retreat guesthouse called ‘The Grand’ for a cost of Rs.2700 per room.

Our lunch is delicious too prepared by the guesthouse. It was 4:30pm after we finish our lunch and bath then it was too late to visit the next destination. So we took a early rest at the guesthouse.

Day 2: I am looking forward to the next 2 heritage sites. We had our breakfast at 7am and start our journey at 8am to Sigiriya Rock Fortress. The heritage conservation entrance fee was US$25 for Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa each.

We took about 2 hours from 9am to 11am to visit and climb Sigiriya Rock Fortress.

There are the beautiful fresco painting remain on the wall and also the grand lion paw and also the palace at the hilltop that worth the climb. By 11:30am we proceed to Polonnaruwa and we reach the destination at 12:30pm for the next beautiful and awaiting heritage sites.

This is a beautiful ancient city of Polonnaruwa. I love Vatatage and Hatatage at Quanruple and the beautiful rock Buddha of Gal Vihara. We ended the day with a local lunch at 3pm. We reach back the Grand guesthouse at 5pm after little jam along the way because of accident. This never stops our beautiful journey in Sri Lanka where our lovely Mr. Nimal buy us a bottle of local liquor at night. We enjoy the local arak.

Day 3: The trips come to the third day where we are heading to Kandy city. The journey took 3 hours passing by Matale spice garden and we reach Kandy at about 12pm.

Then we proceed to visit our final heritage site the sacred tooth relic temple at Kandy. There are so many devotees and it was a amazing experience at the temple.

We had a really local lunch after the Kandy temple and also meet our second driver ‘Sri’ for our next 3 days. We proceed to Nuwara Eliya at 3pm and the journey took us 3 hours to reach the English town at 6000 feet.

We stop at Blue Field tea plantation at 5:30pm to taste Sri Lanka Ceylon tea.

It was late and then we proceed to our guesthouse Rising Lion at Nuwara Eliya. We got a family room for 4 for about Rs.5800. It was so cold at night and now I know why it is call little England. The town are cold and there are many British alike building situated at Eliya.

Day 4: Enjoy our chilling morning at Nuwara Eliya with a American breakfast and then we proceed to the little England town of Nuwara Eliya. We proceed our way back at 10am. It was a nice scenery drive from Nuwara Eliya to Kandy. We reach Kandy at 1pm and we had our lunch at a nice restaurant at the hilltop with Kandy view. Most of the meal at this beautiful restaurant cost around Rs.500 to 600 per set. Then we proceed with some shopping at Kandy street. I guess it was a relax day for us with the hill Buddha temple visit and also watch the Kandyan cultural dance show.

We ended our day with a nice dinner at our guesthouse Mcleod Inn. I guess this is the best guesthouse that I love so far at Sri Lanka where the cost are reasonable with Rs.1800 for triple and the food are delicious too prepared by the owner Nirupa and Ashan. Thanks for the delicious food and room.

Day 5: We had our breakfast at 7am and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Kandy from Mcleod Inn. Then we start our final day to Colombo and Negombo at 8am.

We reach Colombo city at 11am and it was not so scary like it sound. The bad experience could be the city hectic life with lots of traffic and also crowded with people. We visited the beautiful hotel of Galle Face and then proceed to Pettah market for our final stop. Then we proceed to Negombo at 2:30pm from Colombo.

It took 1 hour to reach Negombo beach and we had a beautiful hotel at Negombo call Goldie Sand Hotel with reasonable beach view. I heard the southern beaches are more beautiful but it was nice to end our trip at the beach.

It cost us US$60 for a room of 4 and also a expensive seafood for US$40. We willing to spend for the final days as to celebrate our successful Sri Lanka trips.

Day 6: Is time to go back home. We rented a hotel van for Rs.1500 to the airport. We depart the hotel at 6am to catch our flight at 8:15am. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country.