I visited Sri Lanka for about three weeks in December 2017. It had been a tough year domestically, and I looked forward to running away from it all (I basically went radio silence on news and social media sites) and learning about an island that has had a long and tumultuous history of its own. I had such a great experience with Intrepid in Vietnam that I found another 15-day Intrepid tour in Sri Lanka, and then added a few extra days onto the end of my trip for relaxation at a swanky eco-resort called Tri. Once again, I will sing the praises of Intrepid (and my tour group leader, Ajith) for creating an immersive and fascinating journey through the country, from the sandy beaches at the coasts to the tea plantations in central hill country. Another wonderful trip in the books. Here are some bits and pieces, which can in no way convey the magic of the place- you’ll just have to go there and experience it yourself. 🙂
Of Monks and Kings – historic ruins and temples
One Cup of Tea – the tea industry of central Sri Lanka
Rice and Curry Forever – my favorite foods and drinks
The Southern Coast – beachy getaways and Colombo, the commercial capital
Tri – four days in paradise
And of course, a smattering of photos I like that didn’t really fit into the categories above.
All the public buses were decorated on the inside. It seemed like a contest.
Public bus entertainment included these tuk tuk drivers sideshowing and stunting. Just like Oakland!
Not a bad spot to take a break from the road and have a cup of tea
The view from one of our hotel rooms- sadly we were only there one night
A rooftop restaurant in Kandy, where we had the best view and the worst service. Oh well!
The nightly scramble of figuring out the bill, and occasionally figuring out that they had “accidentally” charged us for NINE extra cocktails…
Note the solar panel
These feet are ready to see some whales
This monkey looks bored and annoyed. Or like she’s about to steal my backpack.
Thor’s tuk tuk
the lake in central Kandy at sunset
Greenery at a hotel
The door of our bus
Beer and note-scribbling, right before the sky opened up and poured rain
Lovely hotel in Dambulla
Our trusty bus, which took us nearly 1,500 km around the country
I had cell service turned off, but my phone knew where I was, and even thought maybe I picked up some Tamil or Sinhalese
Fuzzy little thieves know how to open the balcony doors
Got any snacks? Looks like you might have snacks. I want snacks.
Bags out in the morning mean we are moving on
Mark and me at the Dambulla cave temple
Public bus steering wheel. Seems legit.
terraced farms and tea fields in the hill country
A bit of friendly international pickup cricket while we waited for other group members
Dutch fort in Galle
apples and jack fruit, and Ajiths crocs in the background
Still a majority of farmers and agriculture workers here
Taking the train, finally! The train strike lasted almost a week but we managed to get our last train leg in after a labor agreement was reached.
Sara and Ajith
Hannah, a financial analyst from Vietnam
Sun-dappled living room? Yes please.
Narrow outriggers like this are still used by fishermen
Well hello there.
Elephant safari, saw several hundred out and about. Really amazing.
That’s a funny looking cow.
Dancers in Kandy
Photogs at work
Bamboo Christmas tree at Koggala Lake
The Tri lake view cottages, as seen from the water
Super munchee! A bit like hard tack, but lighter.
Our first hotel
Our group photo at our goodbye dinner- an amazingly fun and interesting group of people
Not a bad spot to have your breakfast