Last year I traveled to Sri Lanka, and it was one of my best trips ever. I was so amazed at how beautiful the country was. For those who may not know where Sri Lanka is, it’s the tear shaped island just below India. I went when I was 8 and 14, but those vacations consisted of staying in the same province and visiting endless amount of family (I was born in Sri Lanka and came to Canada when I was 6 months old). My take away from those vacations was that Sri Lanka was a hot and humid country, with beautiful temples, snakes, many stray dogs, and a lot of mosquitoes. Oh, and can’t forget the squatting toilets.
I still loved the country, which is why I always go back again, but this time, I was determined to see what else Sri Lanka has to offer. It turned out, my parents haven’t explored all of Sri Lanka themselves, so this was going to be a great experience for all of us.
My family had an advantage to this trip because we already had relatives in the country who were able to do all the planning. My role was to send them the list of places that I wanted to visit. Lucky me 😛 We hired an amazing driver, Krishna, who was very kind, patient, and knowledgeable. He showed us places that we didn’t even know about. For example, we parked the van and walked down to the bottom of one of the hills that only the villagers knew of, where fresh water was bubbling from the ground. I was hesitant to drink the water at first, but he wasn’t kidding. The water tasted so good!
There were so many beautiful temples/churches that we visited. These temples would be in the most random-est locations. I remember worrying we were going to fall off the side of the hill and tumble down to our deaths as we were riding along a narrow pathway to the top, where one the temples were located.
We went to the top of Sigiriya, which involved us climbing about 1250 steps. The view from the top was worth the long climb. As if we didn’t climb enough, we did another long climb soon after to visit the beautiful Dambulla Cave temple. We also went to Nuwara Eliya, and the drive to the top had such breathtaking views. I think it was at this point when I was taken away by how beautiful Sri Lanka was. I was even at one point considering about retirement in Sri Lanka (lol).
I highly recommend others to visit Sri Lanka if they can. Compared to previous years, I have noticed that the number of tourists to the country has increased. I do suggest you take some gravol, tylenol, and immodium just in case. My only disappointment from the trip was when we went to visit Yala National Park. We went with hopes of encountering leopards, as this area was known to have a high leopard density, but we saw none. I’ve heard good things about the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, so maybe I’d look into that when I decide to visit Sri Lanka again.
Oh and as for the squatting toilets, they’re still there in some areas, but now many places have the regular toilets as well. Is it odd of me to say that I don’t actually mind the squatting toilets? Besides, the squatting position is actually the best position to be in because it improves your ability to eliminate than the sitting position. In fact, I recently learned that there is actually a product called the Squatty Potty to help people sit in the squatting position while taking a dump! Okay that’s enough poop talk for the day…
Check out my pictures! I hope they inspire you to go!