Sri Lanka : Charming paradise
January 1, 1970
SRI LANKA – country filled with with romantic landscapes, lush forests, golden beaches and beautiful ocean, is considered as paradise.
All of this started when me, my mum and my sister (living in Shanghai) decided to meet up „somewhere“ in Asia. I came up with an idea to visit Bali, my dream destination. What can be better then to rent out a small house on the beach, practising joga at the sunrise and exploring that beautiful place. Unfortunately we didnt have enough days to fly to Bali (which is very far from Mid Europe). We all agreet to visit Sri Lanka. For me it sounded very exotic and i knew it is still an upcoming touristing (luxury tourism i mean) destination.
We were counting the days until our trip! We took an Emirates flight with a transit in Dubai. During our 8 hours transit i decided to meet up with my friends for a coffee and visit Dubai ( Dubai is my second home and i never miss an opportunity to spend even a second there). After my luxurious experience in Dubai – cruising in Bentley, eating in fancy restaurant having a coffee in nice cafe we were headed to the airport direction Sri Lanka.
Now you can guess the cultural shock i had when we arrived to the airport in the Middle of the fields. My sister which flew from Shanghai was already waiting us at the airport. After a nice welcome we took a taxi and headed to Hikkaduwa ( located South-west from Colombo). I need to mention that i am not a really advanturous traveller (definitely not backpacking and wandering around countries). I like my standard and i definitely like good hotels. My only condition was to book a nice hotel with good breakfast, i am such a breakfast person.
First impression .. Welcome to a tropical paradise.
After 3 hours of drive we finally arrived to Hikkaduwa. I was a bit afraid whats gonna happen in these days and how i am gonna survive this holidays. The hotel looked amazing, through the glass door you could see the infinity pool, it was a great first impression. Very cute and smiling girls ( dressed up in beautifl Sari) we welcoming us at the reception. Our room was perfectly located with the terrace which was just one step from the beach and ocean. Amazing view with breathtaking sunset. I was satisfield for that moment and wanted to sleep so much (jettleg hit me very strong).
Every morning we had a very nice breakfast at the hotel restaurant. Fresh frutis, juices, pastries and coffee with an amazing view alongside the pool. Paradise. We were ready to discover this Island. My sister which is a great planner for the holidays, booked for us a „tuk tuk driver“, a very kind Sri Lankan man called Ajith. He drove us around most interesting spots in the neighbourhood and close towns. Very quickly we became friends (you can book him on tripadvisor). We visited town called Galle. Beautiful old port and the fifth largest city in Sri Lanka. Galle was built by Portugese and its a spectacular mix of Portugese and native culture. Small tiny streets with nice small shops, cafes and restaurants. There are some great spots to visit such as he National Maritime Museum, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Shiva temples etc. We really felt great there and spent a beautiful day. Definitely worth to visit.
After a long day out discovering the island we decided to chill in our hotel and have a nice meal in one of the local restaurants on the beach. I need to mention that Hikkaduwa is full of tourists, full of small and nice guest houses for very good prices, nice small restaurants serving huge variety of dishes, local or not local. Many places to try and choose from. We decided to try some curry and rice. I literally didnt eat anything else during this trip just rice, curry and the local Rotty! So yummy. Surprisingly no stomach problems. Food was delicious in every place we visited.
If you like surfing, snorkeling, nice beaches, big waves, great night life this is definitely place for you.
Elephant safari experience.. Definitely not to be missed !
One beautiful hot morning (the weather was crazy hot and humid, dont even wanna know how my hair looked like) we decided to visit the Elephant safari. Well, we were super scared and super curious. We were intruduced to Lilly a baby elephant. I was not very happy by the conditons how the local guys treated her. We had a ride and had so much fun. She was very cute and very friendly. I fed her with bananas and the local guys obviously asked for some extra money. I didnt have the heart to not give them anything. I guess all the tourists give them a lot of money, they might even have more money then me, lol. After our tourist guide and driver took us to the buddhist temple called Gangarama Maha Viahra. Very nice and quiet experience. We met a local monk and i guess he felt in love with me because he didnt move from me and always tried to hold my hand and look into my eyes. But the temple was very beautiful. The monk was very sad after we were saying bye but finally we got to leave. Our guide Ajith made a surprise for us and he took us to his home. At the very simple wooden gate we saw a smiling face of his lovely mother and his younger brother. They welcomed us in their house and prepared for us a very nice ceylon tea, fresh fruits and the famous ginger buisqits. He showed us around his simple house, told about his life story and all what he did to help his mother and brother after the death of his father. They definitely didnt have a simple life but you could feel how happy they were, how they loved each other and still had nothing. But they had everything. Everything what is the most important. It cought our hearts and made us thing about life and our priorities in our life. Reconsider the way we lived and thought. It was such an influential visit. We felt so good like at home. They made us feel like at home and special.
Our last days in Sri Lanka we spent chilling next to the pool, catching some tan, having drings by the pool and discovering new places in Hikkaduwa. I really liked the hotel and the hotel staff. The highlight of the trip was me shooting a video for the hotel promotion for the very famous programme called My wedding. My last day i spent shooting with a team from TV. What a great experience to become a star in Sri Lanka. I was very pleased to help the hotel for promotion. They really appreciated me to help them and they prepared a delicous dinner for me and my family. Very friendly people. Honestly, what i liked about Sri Lanka was people! Yes the island is beautifl, the ocean is beautiful but the people were unbelievable. They are so poor, walking around with no shoes, no theeth but all of them were always smiling and you could catch their positivity, amazing vibe and good energy. They literally have no money but they were very happy. They would give you the last food, last money they have. This really changed completely the way i look to the world. I found out what the real priorities are and what how does it feel to be really happy even if you have nothing!
My overall experience was more than amazing! It was a life changing experience and i can definitely say i will come back one day but for a longer time. Me and Ajith our driver are still keeping in touch. And i promised i will come back to visit him and i am sure i will!