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Sri Lanka

Oct 8, 2018

Temples, train rides, and stick fishermen

 

Duration: 5 days, 4 nights
Island: Sri Lanka
Language: Sinhala
Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee

Five days is not long enough to appreciate all of what Sri Lanka has to offer, but it is all the time we had so we made the best of it.

We spent our first two and half days in Kandy to tour historic Buddhist sites and temples. Kandy is in the central region of the country and surrounded by mountains. That made for more balmy daytime weather and slightly chilly temps at night.

The second half of our trip was down on the southern coast in Unawatuna, just a few kilometers east of Galle Fort. There, we enjoyed fresh grilled seafood, warm seaside weather, and I got to check off a life goal of mine to see stick fishermen in person. 

  • Sight Seeing 100% 100%
  • Food 80% 80%
  • Transportation 70% 70%
  • Activities 100% 100%

Stick fishermen go out twice a day for as long as four hours each time. They’ll catch anywhere from 500-600 small mackerel in a day to trade in their village. It is a vanishing culture of Sri Lanka. Today the fishermen rely on tips from tourists as much as they rely on their catch to make a living. 

Trip Video

 

Best Food & Drink

1. Fresh grilled seafood – Unawatuna Beach

Pick any of the small restaurants along Welle Devala Rd (the beach road) that serve fresh grilled seafood and you’re in for a treat! We had the freshest Sri Lankan styled grilled tuna at a small thatch roofed 2nd story restaurant that was awesome!

Map

2. World Spice KCC – Kandy

This open-air restaurant is just off the eastern edge of Kandy lake and served a delicious choice of authentic Indian cuisine, and their Watalappam and Sago pudding desserts were fantastic!

Map

3.Natural Coffee – Kandy

Great little cafe just off the square at the entrance to Sri Dalada Maligawa, right at the center of Kandy next to the lake. The 2nd floor window seat offers the best view looking out across the bustling square.

Map

Day 1

Flew into Columbo from Bangkok at 11 am. Went by train Kandy. The 3hr Observation train ride left Columbo at 3:30 pm. We arrived in Kandy at about 9 pm (a little late). Had a room booked at Sandriana Lake View ready for us when we arrived.

Day 2

Began with an amazing sunrise view over Kandy lake. Walked through Kandy, visiting some of the temples. Climbed to see the Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha Statue. Took part in the evening Thevava at Sri Dalada Maligawa (the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic). 

Day 3

Shopped for traditional Sari and Sarong in the morning. Traveled south by car to Unawatuna, near Galle, in the afternoon. Stayed at Hibiscus Villa, just across from Unawatuna beach for the next two nights.

Day 4

Snorkeled right off the beach in the morning. Enjoyed a relaxed mid-day stroll along Unawatuna beach. Traveled down to Mihiripenna beach in late afternoon to see the stick fishermen fishing. Visited Panache Karma Health center for a full body therapeutic massage.

Day 5

Toured Galle and Galle Fort into mid-afternoon. Scheduled a car from Hibiscus Villa to Columbo in the evening to catch our midnight flight back to Bangkok. 

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