To experience the culture and beauty of Sri Lanka, you have to see it for yourself.
We flew in from Dulles airport into Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. Nearly twenty hours later we arrived quite exhausted yet excited to have finally arrived. Our lovely driver Kasun was waiting for us at the baggage claim with a big welcoming smile on his face which made me smile in return. We were only in Sri Lanka for five days and had many places in mind we wanted to visit. Our first night we stayed in Pinnawala, a small village in the Kegalle District of Sri Lanka, well known for its elephant orphanage.
Our first night we stayed in Pinnawala, a small village in the Kegalle District of Sri Lanka, well known for its elephant orphanage.
We stayed at the Elephant hotel lodge in a room with a view so that we could get a good look at the elephants as they bathed in the river by the hotel. That night we got a good rest, so when morning came, we were well rested and energized for our planned adventures. As we ate breakfast on our balcony, we watched in excitement as a herd of elephants marched in sync down into a small river to bathe. I was beside myself with glee. I love elephants! These gentle giants are so beautiful, and being so close to them in their natural habitat made my heart smile as I sat there while sipping my green tea.
After a few hours with the elephants, we departed Pinnawala and headed to the Heritance Tea Factory in Nuwara Eliya. The Heritance Tea Factory is one of Sri Lanka’s largest industries and has a long, exciting heritage. The cultivation and processing of tea are labor intensive with much of the work being done by hand using techniques and machinery unchanged for hundreds of years. The best way to learn about this fascinating industry, and the people who work within it, is to visit one of the many beautiful tea plantations for a guided tour and experience first-hand the process from start to finish as well as meet some of the hard-working individuals who make it all possible. I had the honor of meeting some of these very hard working women and picked tea leaves with them as we communicated through smiles, laughter, and sign language. One of the sweetest women named Rashmi was kind enough to share her story with me, one I will never forget. People like Rashmi is why I love to travel. I admire her humility, her strength, and her wisdom. Meeting her was a fantastic experience and one of the highlights of my trip.
The Heritance Tea Factory is one of Sri Lanka’s largest industries and has a long, exciting heritage.
After leaving the tea plantation in Eliya, we began our drive to the Tri Hotel, our home for the next four days. The Tri Hotel located on the beautiful Koggala Lake on the southern coast of Sri Lanka is an award-winning retreat. This gorgeous boutique eco-retreat combined with wellness and luxury creates an exceptional experience which has earned its reputation as one of Sri Lanka’s premier destinations. The architecture was inspired by the ancient Greek mathematical theory of the golden ratio and philosophy of sustainability. I knew my first few days in Sri Lanka would be busy and full of adventure, but it was more than necessary to still find time to relax, unwind and be pampered while I was there. Jungle living, infinity pool and a bountiful supply of coconuts were like music to my ears.
When we entered the gates of our retreat, the manager and staff greeted us. I was impressed with their exceptional service from the moment we arrived. Our suite was marvelous, and the grounds of the estate was stunning. I felt like I was in architectural heaven. It was picturesque and very pleasing to the eye. We had a relaxing day taking in all the beautiful views while sipping on unique cocktails, mingling with new friends and listening to sweet melodies. We spent our time at the Tri Hotel luxuriating by the infinity pool, eating gourmet breakfast and drinking the most delicious tea I’ve ever drunk. Our daily routine consisted of morning meditations, massages, yoga sessions and quiet boat rides on Koggala Lake that enabled us to experience the lush jungle that surrounded this incredible property. Last but not least, the fantastic six-course traditional curry dishes which were the most exquisite culinary delights I had ever experienced.
We made plenty of time to visit the local markets in Galle which was only a taxi ride away from our hotel. I will highly recommend taking a Tuk Tuk taxi to get to the markets and beaches. It gives you the opportunity to stop easily in the mist of the busy crowds while going to your destinations to eat yummy organic fruits on the roadside, or to say hi to the stilt fishermen on Dalawella beach. When you arrive to Dalawella beach make sure to take a swing from a coconut tree and try stilt fishing, I promise you will never forget the experience.
My trip to Sri Lanka was one that I will never forget. The food, culture, and energy of the people was magnificent. I had a fabulous time seeing buffaloes and endless rice fields on the sides of the road as I made my way to the market to shop for souvenirs. Swimming in an ocean filled with turtles and drinking Arrack, which is regarded as the national drink. Sri Lanka holds a special place in my heart and indeed a place I will definitely visit again. Please visit my IG and Facebook page by clicking on the icon at the bottom of this page for more pictures and videos I’ve created for your viewing pleasure. Thanks so much for stopping by darlings and please comment below with any questions you may have.