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4.34 

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Scenic Srilanka
Jun 15, 2006 04:45 PM 4157 Views

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We heard a lot about Srilanka, so thought why not visit our neighbouring country and discover what its all about.


We went on a 7-8 days trip from Bangalore. The places we covered in our itinerary were colombo, kandy, nuawara eliya, bentota and galle. It was good mix of places from a hill station, to beach resort to a former portugese town. As we were visiting so many places, we were constantly on the road.


We could experience the beauty of the different landscapes as we travelled. We got to stay at some of the most luxurious hotels. The Grand hotel at nuawara eliya, Citadel hotel at Kandy, Hotel Serendib at Bentota to name a few.


Places we saw were the elephant orphange at Pinewala, the tooth temple and peradeniya botanical garden at Kandy, ramboda waterfalls on the way to Nuwara eliya, the port town of Galle and buddhist temples at Colombo.


The places of tourist interest that we visited were nice but not something extraordinary that we haven't seen anywhere else. What I liked about the trip was the experience of driving through the beautiful landscapes and staying in these luxurious hotels. The towns and villages reminded you of kerala and people looked so much like south indians. Of course they had the srilankan touch.


The drive along the western coast from bentota-galle-bentota-colomba was very beautiful. The road runs along the coast line, so you keep seeing the beach and the sea in between the towns. It was about 10 months after tsunami had struck the island country, you could still see washed out house, damaged railtracks, broken boats as you drive by. People are just slowly building their lost livelihoods and we could see it happening in front of us. We had stopped for lunch at the refresh hotel, Wewala (while driving from galle to bentota) and on the wall there was a marking which said the time and date the tsunami had struck the hotel.


One thing I found strange was paying exhorbitant fees for entry to visit the tourist places. For a native, an entry to the Botanical garden was Rs 25 and for foreigners (including us Indians) it was Rs 300 (in srilankan rupees that is about Rs 150 in indian currency). But I guess that's how it is in India also, where we locals would be paying Rs 20 and the foreigners would be paying Rs 500.


At these times, we were made to reliase we are foreigners from a different country, because otherwise we used to forget that.


Food was expensive not just at the hotels we stayed, but even at the small joints we used to stop for a meal. A simple meal of noodles, fried rice and a chicken dry item costed us around Rs 900- 1000 (srilankan rupees of course) . I guess the guide didn't take us to real local joints but more the touristy places where people are used to paying this kind of money. Whatever it was my conclusion was that food is not really cheap there. Cost aside, I must say we saw and ate a lot of variety of foods espcially at the buffet dinners at the hotels. They were great !


On the whole it was not a low cost holiday, but I guess since we go once in while, we don't mind spending. So if you want to tick it off your list of places to see, plan a trip to srilanka.


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