When planning a vacation or a trip, everyone wants to choose the golden mean that will satisfy all their urgent needs: on the one hand, they want to get a lot of new impressions and emotions, and on the other hand, stay within a reasonable budget and not suffer a financial fiasco after the trip) ).
The island-state of Sri Lanka, which is located at the northern tip of the Hindustan peninsula, fits perfectly into the specified selection criteria: bright and beautiful tropical nature all year round, gorgeous beaches of the Indian Ocean, many architectural monuments and ancient temples. And all this at very reasonable prices! This article contains the brightest and most interesting moments of my independent trip to Sri Lanka in November 2017. It began at Kazan International Airport, from where the plane flew first to Turkish Istanbul, and then, after a long docking, to the capital of Sri Lanka, the city of Colombo. Before you fly, you should take care of visa formalities: Russians need a visa to visit Sri Lanka. However, it can be issued without any problems either in advance via the Internet, or directly at the check-in desk at Colombo Airport. On the road, I advise you to take either cash dollars or have funds on the card. There are enough ATMs on the island to withdraw the required amount. In decent cafes or restaurants, you can pay by card. But I took cash Sri Lankan rupees with me – they are accepted always and everywhere. The exchange rate for today is as follows: for 1 dollar they give about 150 rupees, it is most profitable to change at the airport. Colombo meets with urban bustle and unique Asian flavor: people are hurrying somewhere, street vendors are everywhere, small shops, the smells of food with hot spices, noisy conversation is heard. Here for the first time I get acquainted with local transport – tuk-tuk:
A striking contrast with small Sri Lankan towns, where such a peaceful picture can be observed at rush hour:
After spending the night in a hotel (of which there are a great many, both inexpensive hostels and 5-star luxury hotels), I move on to the local bus station. Bus trips around the country are very inexpensive, and the island itself is not very large in size – 250 x 400 km. However, there are often traffic jams, so you should take this circumstance into account when moving.
British traffic, left hand. Buses drive like crazy, constantly honking to everyone around for the slightest reason! But what could be better than sitting by the window, exposing your face to the warm headwind from the open window, rushing towards adventure! By the way, in buses and trains, not only windows, but also doors are open – a feature of national transport)). Most buses resemble our PAZ-iki:
Sri Lanka attractions
A few hours of travel – and the first attraction. Sigiriya Rock, towering 170 meters above the surrounding area!
Once upon a time, one of the Sri Lankan kings built a fortress on its top, and around the rock he planted a garden with many pools and fruit trees. Now it’s a national park. Rock Sigiriya in the photo:
Walking along the top of the cliff, one never ceases to be amazed at the art of ancient architects, whose creations through the centuries have survived to this day.
And from the top of the cliff, a simply amazing view of the surrounding landscape opens up.
Traveling around Sri Lanka, you can see amazing animals living here – monitor lizards. These large lizards are even amenable to some semblance of training.
The next stop is in the city of Polonnaruwa. Not far from it is the Kaudulla National Park.
The total area of the park is about 6900 hectares, the main inhabitants are wild elephants. Entrance to Kaudulla Park.
Wild elephants are beautiful but dangerous. An angry elephant is easily able to catch up with a person in an open area and trample him without the slightest remorse … An elephant can turn a jeep with tourists like a tin can. In the park, on a safari, I had to experience a real extreme: a jeep stuck in muddy clay refused to go forward or backward. And the elephants, meanwhile, were coming closer… However, everything worked out! An additional sea of emotions was provided by pieces of mud and clay, merrily flying from under the wheels of a skidding jeep right in the face)). Nevertheless, only positive emotions remained from the safari!
The next day in Sri Lanka was devoted to washing dirty clothes and drying them)).
Temples of Polonnaruwa
Therefore, there was plenty of time available to explore the ancient temples of Polonnaruwa. The seven-story tower of Satmahal Prasada, which is a 7-step pyramid:
The remains of the palace of the Sri Lankan king Nissankamalla. Once upon a time, advisers and ministers gathered here to make fateful decisions:
Walking through the ancient temple complex and admiring the remains of buildings and structures, do not forget about the local inhabitants – monkeys, of which there are a huge number! The arrogance of some individuals simply rolls over, especially you should not show them the presence of any food – they can easily try to take it away! Watadage, house of relics. A building with a round shape. Relief images at the entrance are well preserved.
After seeing the sights of Polonnaruwa and the temple complex, it’s not a sin to have a bite to eat, appreciating Sri Lankan cuisine. Dinner Meals are usually offered both in the hotels themselves, and you can take the opportunity to have a bite to eat in various restaurants and cafes, of which there are a great many in Sri Lanka. This is what the 250-ruble lunch offered by the hostess of my guest house consists of: a large bowl of rice, mashed peas, fish stewed in curry sauce, scrambled eggs and fried potatoes, fried chicken in a spicy sauce. Even without bread (it is almost not eaten here and is very rare) I got a little out of the table)) Yummy.
Yes, I forgot to add – for dessert they gave pieces of chopped fruit on a platter: mango, papaya, bananas. And a whole dish of coconut flakes with sugar)) All this is included in the total cost of lunch! So you definitely won’t be able to die of hunger in Sri Lanka. I will list a few more dishes that I had to try on this amazing island. Fried shrimp with potatoes and cucumbers:
Fried calamari with salad and potatoes:
Amazing fruit that I have never tasted before)). Passion fruit is a round, thick-skinned fruit that contains a fragrant but very acidic pulp with seeds. The seeds are soft and also edible. It is most convenient to eat with a teaspoon, cut in half and sprinkle with sugar on top.
Thus, Sri Lanka is also perfect for gastronomic tourism. The only thing to remember is that the gastronomic journey does not turn into a gastric one: Asian food is very spicy and rich in spices, so it’s not for everyone. Here are just such fans, I think, there are very many)).