Category: Sri Lanka

SRI LANKA – POL ROTI

Asia Sri Lanka Sri Lanka

SRI LANKA – POL ROTI

It was in Sigiriya that we experienced a typical breakfast for the first time. We stayed in a guesthouse which allowed us to discover the local cuisine of a multitude of flavours, somewhat spicy but delicious.

The national dish is the famous rice and curry, which will be different in each restaurant. However, although extremely good, it was the roti that was my favourite taste of the island.

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Ella, a haven of peace and greenery amid (many) tourists

Asia Sri Lanka

Ella, a haven of peace and greenery amid (many) tourists

Ella, a haven of peace and greenery, was my favourite destination in Sri Lanka. After a night’s rest in Nuwara Eliya, we said goodbye to our driver and took the train to Ella. I have already told you in the article on the itinerary that this train ride was not as beautiful as I had expected, although it is still a route that I recommend to soak up Sri Lanka. And if you’re lucky, if the weather is nice and if there are not too many people in the train (that’s a lot of ifs though), it’s the most beautiful track on the island!

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Discovering southern Sri Lanka

Asia Sri Lanka

Discovering southern Sri Lanka

When I prepare a trip, I will always “stalk” photos of the country or place in question on social networks and mainly on Instagram, in the hope of discovering places off the beaten track. There are so many places in the world that have gone from singular activities to viral places to visit during your trip. A few popular Instagrammers or Bloggers expose a simple location and then, little by little, it becomes a must-see when visiting the country!

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Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage: Is it a suitable environment for elephants?

Asia Reflections Sri Lanka

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage: Is it a suitable environment for elephants?

*This article has been first published in April 2019 in French. Since that date, many things might have happened which is not mentioned there.

This is the question that has been debated for some time about this place, which is well known from the tourist circuits and which I also visited during my stay. By doing a little research before our trip, this orphanage seemed interesting and reliable, mainly because it is under the aegis of the government. Hotels in the area are also well rated on various sites (I always rely on Booking.com) and we had found just the right accommodation, the Elephant Bay Hotel, from where we could see the elephants bathing in the river.

The orphanage was created in 1975 by the Sri Lankan government to collect, care for and protect the elephants, the sacred animal of the island, which are victims of malicious owners, hunting, poaching and deforestation, and which have been thrown out of their natural habitat. Located in a national park, when it opened, it had only five baby elephants. Nowadays, the orphanage, located in the village of Pinnawala, is home to nearly 90 elephants, males, females and young elephants combined.

So, at first glance, it seemed like a fantastic place where we could make a positive contribution to the well-being of these animals and then when we hear “elephant orphanage”, it seems like it should be legitimate, shouldn’t it be?

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The ascent of Adam’s Peak, a stairway to heaven?

Asia Sri Lanka

The ascent of Adam’s Peak, a stairway to heaven?

When we were preparing our itinerary, this stage was very welcome, in particular knowing that we would have the opportunity to witness a magnificent sunrise. And then we also learned that it meant a lot to many cultures. Indeed, the idea of joining a stream of pilgrims of all religions for a night-time ascent seemed interesting to us, although we have no particular beliefs. Moreover, as we liked to walk in our Swiss mountains, it seemed within our reach… However, indeed, we did not expect what we discovered in terms of effort.

This summit is revered by Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians, at the crossroads of religions, since the giant footprint at the summit is variously claimed to be either that of Buddha, Shiva, Adam or St. Thomas. Several legends mention this trace. It is said to be one of the oldest and most sacred footprints ever made (this footprint was even cited in the writings of Marco Polo)!

Aerial view, image taken on the official website

Adam’s Peak in English is the most important peak on the island of Sri Lanka, but by no means the highest, an honour that goes to Mount Pidurutalagala, also located in the part of the country known as the “Central Highlands”. At 2,243 metres, the peak is located 7 kilometres from the village of Dalhousie, commonly known as Nallathanniya. The ascent consists simply (what we thought at the beginning!) of climbing steps, more than 5’500 (yes, this is where it gets complicated) to reach the summit. To give you an idea, the Eiffel Tower has 1665 steps, and the Empire State Building has 1860. As a result, in just a few hours, we climbed up and down the famous New York landmark almost three times.

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“Ayu Bowan”: Itinerary and transportation in Sri Lanka

Asia Sri Lanka

“Ayu Bowan”: Itinerary and transportation in Sri Lanka

Although not fading away immediately, the tears of the 2004 tsunami and particularly of the civil war which will have caused thousands of deaths until 2009 have calmed down and dried up so that Sri Lanka can start smiling again and above all open up to tourism. Nearly 10 years after the declaration of the end of the war, this small country has become a fashionable destination that travellers love since Sri Lanka was crowned “major destination” for Asia and “best adventure destination” in 2017 by the World Travel Awards in the Asia & Australasia category.

So it was not innocently that I ventured into these faraway lands. Firstly, with the accounts of several of my friends who had spent holidays there, this island, formerly called Ceylon, seemed to have a lot to offer, and in particular, would allow me to spend a stay filled with adventure and relaxation. Besides, I had never set foot in Asia.

Asia is a continent that at first sight does not really attract me. In fact, you evoke with me South America or Europe and I am already looking at the flights, my bank account and my availability to fly to these destinations that amaze me, whereas when you mention Asia, my heart doesn’t make as much excitement. It is true that the Asian culture and its landscapes, although so rich, have always attracted me the least. So, I also had hope when planning to go to Sri Lanka, to discover and why not fall in love with this part of the world.

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