Sri Lanka. Notes and Tips
The land strip is rapidly approaching – here you can see houses and palm trees, waves break on the shore, and the sun is still high. A few minutes – and we sit down at the airport of Colombo. Behind the 4.5 hours of flight from Doha, where we watched the winter dawn over the Persian Gulf.
We are met by a local boy who studied at RUDN at the medical faculty and therefore spoke excellent Russian. Soon it quickly got dark and a tropical night came. The sickle of the moon, in contrast to our latitudes, lay with the horns pointing upwards. Along the way, there were often statues of Buddha of different sizes, and suddenly, for no reason at all – a huge inscription Jesus Christ will come soon.
Traffic jams are not only in Moscow, but also in Sri Lanka, from the airport to the hotel through Colombo we drove for almost 4 hours, only about 100 kilometers. And in general, the movement is not fast. The road is one-lane, one lane in one direction, the other in the other. But the villages never cease, and hence the constant fuss on the road – dogs, people, bicycles, knock-tuki, cars, buses, trucks. That is why the speed of movement is limited.
Sri LankaThis I could not have foreseen before the trip, and this was my mistake. I thought that the speed was the same as in India and that the main attractions could be reached and returned in one day. Alas, it is not. After reading two guidebooks, I would recommend first spending 2-3 days on excursions and visiting Sigiriya, the cave temple in Dambulla (not far from Sigiriya), the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura and Pollaruwa, the last stronghold of Ceylon independence Kandi, where the temple that houses the tooth Buddha, and Naurelia – a tea plantation and a colonial-style city, and then spend time on the beach. Unfortunately, we have not visited these cities for the reason indicated above. Also, they did not visit the peak of Adam, which is climbed at night and meet the dawn; The season starts in January. In general, the holiday season, according to locals, begins in January: the ocean becomes quieter, there is no rain at all, hotels are full. For 10 days of our stay twice in the afternoon, it rained tropical rain, the clouds were not uncommon. Due to the proximity to the equator, the temperature throughout the year, as well as day and night, is quite stable – 27-30 degrees.
They organized the trip themselves – I bought the tickets in the office, and asked for a hotel to pick up at Kailash. The guys sent me a list of 10 hotels, we sat down one evening, studied, looked at the photos and chose Ahungalla Heritage, 5 stars, located respectively in the village of Akhungall. Moreover, this hotel belonged to their partners. As it turned out on arrival, this is one of the best hotels on the coast. One Russian couple changed the hotel Taj Exotic, suite, to a regular room in this hotel. There were very few Russians in it, only towards the end came 6 people. But it was surprisingly a lot of Poles. A lot of Arabs also come for the weekend, but they are nowhere to be seen, most probably sitting by numbers. 😉
Russians usually lodge in Bentota, these are hotels Club Bentota, Bentota Beach, Taj Exotic. This is a small town, where there are more shops, people, and entertainment than, for example, in the village where our hotel was located, but for many, the large number of compatriots is a disadvantage. Once again, we were glad that there were few of them in our hotel, and who were – they turned out to be pleasant people, on the way back to Doha, and then to Moscow. Apparently, the people were from Ukraine, although, perhaps, from Russia, but they behaved terribly.
In the first years in many years, it turned out that the rest was more beach, and, to be honest, I really liked it, although it was difficult for me to imagine such a thing before the trip. 😉 The head is resting, the body is resting. In the Himalayas, the head rests completely differently, and sometimes in Moscow somewhere inside there is not enough of a cool morning with the smell of juniper, Buddhist statues, long mantras of monks, but this beach holiday also has its advantages.
Sri Lanka Compared with India, Sri Lanka is very clean, although it is clear that people live in poverty. Apparently, religion does matter. Most of the population – Sinhalese, Buddhists. In Buddhism, all are equal, but in Hinduism, on the contrary, all are not equal, there is a caste that will come and clean up after you. Nevertheless, I would still recommend to use only thermally processed food outside the hotel area.
The local population is open and very friendly. They sincerely want you to like Sri Lanka. The territory of the hotel and the beach are separated by a certain path, for which the locals do not enter, but in every possible way try to attract your attention in order to offer and sell something. At first, this behavior is shocking, but then you get used to it, because for many it is the only way to make money. Friends, be more open and friendly, come, talk to them, not necessarily something to buy or go with them.
Sri LankaIn the first day we met with the local guide Patmi, he offered us a number of excursions.