It has been a while since I’ve written anything. Life has been busy in Mumbai 🙂
Last year, I was itching to travel. One of the locations I wanted to go was Sri Lanka, but for some reason my husband was so against it!!! He just didn’t think of Sri Lanka as exotic enough 🙂 So even though I had done all the research, I had to let go of my mini vacation dream.
Till one Sunday…
My hubby had gone out for coffee with a friend one Sunday afternoon in November. When he came back, I was shocked when he asked me, should we go to Sri Lanka?! I was speechless and I also felt betrayed. I felt betrayed that after me mentioning it so many times, he only decided he wanted to go when a friend recommended.
Long story short, I think that was the first time we planned a vacation spontaneously. The first thing was visa. For Sri Lanka you can get a visa on arrival but you have to apply online for your ETA, pay and get approval. It took us 15 minutes and the visa approvals were done. You can get yours done here http://bit.ly/16f29xi
Next was our tickets. We had to pay more than what normally is the cost for tickets since we were booking last minute. We used coupons & booked ours through http://www.goibibo.com/ . Our cost was approx Rs.46k for both of us return tickets.
We stayed in Sri Lanka for 6 nights. Our purpose was mainly relaxation.
We booked a car for the duration of the trip. It is a common thing to do in Sri Lanka specially if you want to visit multiple places. Majority of luxury hotels provide room & meals for the chauffeur. So you don’t have to pay extra for that. We landed in Colombo very early am. For the car rental we talked to Azman at “Carsons Rent A Car. In case you want to book from them the number is +94773401410
Our chauffeur picked us up and we drove to Ahungalle to stay in “The Fortress at the Galle Hotel” (http://www.thefortress.lk/).
The hotel is lovely. They had upgraded our room to a pool suit. The rooms are amazing. Our room was walk out to the beach and the view was spectacular. The swimming pool was also nice. However, if you plan to use the beach, it won’t be possible in this hotel. You can always drive 25-30 minutes to different beaches for swimming & water sport.
The other issue with this hotel is that the food is not really that good. Breakfast is included but it gets very repetetive and boring. The staff are very nice and always helpful.
For a nice meal I recommend you visiting the Fort at Galle, there are so many cute boutique cafes and restaurants to eat. I definitely recommend “Peddlers Inn Café” & “Fortaleza” for good fun lunch.
For fine dining in the same area look into a nice dinner at Amangalla Hotel Galle.
In terms of things to do is pretty much a very calm environment. There is Fort which you can walk around and visit boutiques and antic shops. Grab a nice lunch and that’s it pretty much it. We spent one night at the Unawatuna beach listening to music and drinking bear. But there is no night life in the Galle area.
For the next 3 nights we stayed in Nuwara Eliya Region in “Heritance Tea Factory” Hotel. There is pretty much nothing there to do except relax, enjoy the scenery and have tea. Our drive from the Galle to Nuwara Eliya was too long. I had searched on Google map & I expected 3 hrs drive. There was construction going on & it took 8 hrs. So most of our day was pretty much gone and we were getting very frustrated.
In Nuwara Eliya the tempreture is much cooler than the beach which I was not prepared for. The hotel was nice. It used to be an old tea factory renovated into a hotel http://www.heritancehotels.com/teafactory/ .
When we arrived they greeted us with Prayers & served us hot spice tea. It was very tasty & definitely refreshing. We didn’t do much in this hotel either except going for walks and breathing the fresh crisp air. One day we went for a tea plucking experience. We were educated about the process and then got to pluck tea leaves. Next day they sent us a box of tea made from the tea leaves we had plucked.
The food in Heritance tea Factory is amazing if you actually go to the restaurant & order a la cart. We had one of the best lamp chops ever with a bottle of red wine! Don’t ask me how I felt
the next day!
Unfortunately we had not planned on visiting Colombo. Something which I did regret later. On our way to the airport we stopped for lunch in Colombo & had a wonderful meal at the Gallery Cafe.
I have to emphasize that Sri Lanka is a small but diverse. Depending on what you would like to do the recommendation would be different.
When I researched the following was recommended as top things to do in Sri Lanka;
- Climb Sigriya Rock Fortress
- Ancient Kingdom of Polonnaruwa
- Dambulla Cave Temple
- Kandy City & Temple of the tooth relic as well as a cultural show
- Nuwara Eliya & a visit to a tea factory
- A jeep safari at Yala National Park
- Sunny down south beaches
You may ask, will I go back to Sri Lanka? The answer is a definite yes. It is a top destination for me due to its diversity, distance, serene beaches, cheaper booz & Our Rupee is actually stronger!! For me the next time I go to Sri Lanka it will be definitely Colombo & Kandy!
I hope you also start looking into places you didn’t think of exploring before! Feel free to leave your comments & feedbacks!