Our Guide: Sri Lanka

[Note: Sorry this is so late!]

Where we stayed:

Our visit to Sri Lanka was divided into three distinct parts; Kandy, Ambalongoda and Haputale. In Kandy we stayed at a hotel called Amaya Hills and it was fantastic. It’s a bit more than we would normally pay, but we only stayed there a few nights. Their food was delicious and their location was perfect. From there we ventured down to the small coastal town of Ambalangoda. We used AirBnB to book a villa owned by a man named Wolley. We weren’t sure what to expect, but we were beyond impressed (more on this later). I’d recommend Wolley’s villa to anyone headed to Sri Lanka. After Ambalangoda we headed back up into the mountains to Haputale. Again, we stayed at a nicer-than-usual hotel but weren’t concerned because of the money we saved at Wolley’s.

What we ate:

We stuffed ourselves silly with rice and curry as often as possible. Check out our food pics here, but if you really want to understand the deliciousness of this food, go find a Sri Lankan restaurant near you. I promise you won’t regret it. Lissa particularly enjoys putting pol sambol on everything while I favor the late-night dish of chicken kottu roti. Bonus: you’re expected to eat with your hands – no utensils!

What We Did:

Visited Buddhist temples & monasteries, lounged on the beach, drank with locals while they taught us the rules of Cricket (we still don’t get it), ate even more rice and curry, took a train to Galle, drove dizzying roads into tea plantations and took in as much of the lush landscape as possible. I’m positive I’ve missed a few events, but there’s something for just about everyone in Sri Lanka.

Pro Tips:

* Hire a driver. They’re fairly cheap and will save you an incalculable amount of stress. Plus, they can take you to local restaurants where you eat in the dining room of someone’s actual house. Let us know if you want a recommendation and we can put you into touch with our driver. He was awesome.

* Be careful drinking local liqour. “Arrack” is a sneaky rum, and will knock your socks off if you’re not diligent.

 

Celebrating in Sri Lanka

December was a big month for us! We celebrated our 5 year anniversary two days after Christmas 🙂 Sri Lanka is a direct 5.5-hour flight from Kuwait – the perfect distance for 2 weeks of exploring! It also has a variety of landscapes and is quite cheap.

We started with a few days in Kandy. We did some sight-seeing and convinced our driver that we wanted to eat where the locals eat. Highlights: bottle feeding elephants at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, the botanical gardens, Kandyan dancing, and sipping on drinks while enjoying the view from our hotel.

Then we moved on to Ambalangoda…with Patrick and Ashley! Although it was our first Christmas away from ‘home,’ we still had family with us and loved every minute. Our daily routine: homemade 3-course breakfast, beach, snacks w/ drinks and cards and then a homemade rice and curry dinner. The owner of the house we stayed at was a wonderful cook and we ate like royalty. My mouth is watering just thinking about the food! Highlights: beach, food, relaxing & chillin’ w/ Patrick & Ashley, riding in tuk tuks, river safari, turtle farm/hatchery, riding the train, beach and FOOD (always eating with our hands of course!)!

our Christmas tree!

We ventured to Hikkaduwa by train one day and explored Galle and Unawatuna another.

Hikkaduwa

Galle

After we said bon voyage to Patrick and Ashley, Jeff and I headed to the mountains and tea country (Haputale) for a quiet New Year. We were reunited with Dama (our driver) and found as many hole-in-the-wall Sinhalese restaurants as possible. Pure bliss. Highlights: miles and miles of tea, drinks and learning about cricket with Dama and hiking.

Lipton's Seat

We had the pleasure of eating with Dama’s sister and her family twice. We could have stayed forever drinking tea, hanging with locals and eating homemade Sri Lankan food!

We loved Sri Lanka so much we almost went back for an impromptu visit in February. But we didn’t get any additional days off school and decided to stay in Kuwait (more on that later too).

Hopefully they’ll be a blog post coming soon from Jeff with ‘Our Guide’ to Sri Lanka. Until then, here’s all our pictures!

Kandy
Ambalangoda
Haputale
Sri Lanka iPhone
FOOD!