SERENDIPITY IN SRI LANKA
My two friends surprised me with a flight tickets to Colombo, Sri Lanka for my birthday treat recently. They were decided opting for Sri Lanka because they wanted to find something difference from previous travel we had in our bucket list. Travelling to Sri Lanka was exactly the perfect choice we had ever made since the itinerary full of thrill and fun treasures.
We overnight at Tune Hotel in KLIA before we departed for Colombo early in the morning at 6.15 am. The flight from Kuala Lumpur took us almost 4 hours to reach Colombo. We touched down Bandaranayake International Airport, Colombo at 7.15 am local time. We took a taxi from the airport direct to the hotel for only Rs 4500 per taxi. It took longer time to reach the hotel due to heavy traffic.
The hotel wrapped in blue waters and abundant greenery which located 10km south of Colombo, in the city of Mount Lavinia. The tropical richness offers non-stop fun activities for all, creating lasting memories in Mount Lavinia. The hotel is just located next to the railway station and of course this making us easier to travel to town and elsewhere at our convenience.
Our early arrival has saving us more times to visit the city of Colombo. We can’t even wait to go to the city and end up we went straight to the city right after we checked in the hotel. We traveled to the city by train via the comprehensive rail network just to avoid the heavy traffic on the road. The rail network links Colombo to most of the major centers of the country via nine rail lines. The city is filled with shopping malls, bazaars and interesting tourist attractions such as National Museum, Galle Face Green, Beira Lake, Cargills & Millers building, Independence Square, Viharamahadevi Park, Colombo Fort, Pettah bazaar, Beach Waadiya, Churches, Mosques and Temples and railway museum. The city is blend with old, new, Eastern and Western buildings and attractions which makes the city more beautiful.
When I explored Colombo on foot with my friends, we deliberately checked out the Jami Ul Alfar Mosque, one of the most striking buildings in Colombo. Jami-Ul-Alfar Mosque is striped red and white like a layer cake, a design that is reminiscent of another mosque which was built is 1909. We were graciously admitted into the mosque to admire the structure, which I photograph to share with the readers here.
The second day was the most adventurous treasure to Sigiriya where the spectacular ‘Lion rock’ fortress located. Sigiriya is a unique landscape city, created in the 5th century by King Kashyapa embracing a 200 meter rock out crop and it’s surrounding with nature driven architecture composed of building, pathways, terraces, ponds, fountains, paintings and sculpture. There are more than 1000 hand written poems on the mirror wall written by visitors to Sigiriya from 7th to 14th century.
We went by taxi since we got a good deal with the first taxi driver who brought us to the hotel. We were feasting mouth with fresh coconut juice from the tree at one of the village heading to Sigiriya. I was also bought dried chilis for my mum at the village and surprisingly they are very cheap! After a long nap in the car with some short breaks in between, we finally arrived at Sigiriya. It was already 1pm when the ray of the sun was at its highest peak .We were ready to be grilled under the scorching sun. Without wasting much time, we proceeded to the ticket counter. The admission fee costs us at Rs 5750 per person. We treasure the water gardens, Frescoes – The Sigiriya Damsels, The Mirror Wall with Graffiti and Lion Platform and The Summit.
The third day we went to Kandy by train and stayed for one night. Kandy is the ancient royal capital of Sri Lanka which is full of arts, crafts, music and dance. I love the cold weather in Kandy which hit 21 degrees Celsius, cooler than Colombo. The center of Kandy is pleasant, a neatly laid out town of colonial buildings, shops and delicious restaurants. We visited one of Kandy’s biggest draws for both local Sri Lankan’s and foreigners named as Temple of the Tooth. We did also some shopping in Kandy. I purchased a few bags of spices and a bunch of tasty wood apples (a very popular and stinky fruit in Sri Lanka) In the afternoon when the sun dies down, we did great little physical work out climbed to the top of the Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha statue situated on top of the hill to have a look around and enjoy the gorgeous panoramic view of Kandy. One of the coolest things about the statue is that you can actually climb the staircase going up the Buddha’s back for an even better view of the city!
We finally geared up for leaving on the next day. We pushed off to the airport early in the morning since our flight departed in the morning to Kuala Lumpur. Travelling in Sri Lanka is an incredible experience. Kandy and Sirigiya is a lovely place to visit as well as a great central jumping off point to travel to other destinations around the island. I would consider this is the ‘precious birthday gift’ from my lovely friends. I will never forget this moment especially for having good friend around me, amazing places of god’s creation with great hospitality rendered by friendly crew on board! Everything is AWESOME!