Sigiriya Rock/Lion‘s Rock — it was for the next day. Actually, we were not sure if we could manage it with our child. Thanks to Ashad — he assured us that there will be no problems to climb up the mount with our child. Climbing up the rock we saw the Mirror Wall, a highly polished rock surface that had weathered the times to shine and reflect even today. In a sheltered pocket there were the some frescoes of beautiful maidens. On the top we had a look at the foundations of the palace and a large water tank. The panoramic views from there down on the surrounding gardens and the landscape were really remarkable. After we came back, we were advised to have a ride through the swamp on an elephant. It was swayed but a superb experience. My husband rode on his neck while me and my daughter rode it in the howda. We recommend it to anyone!

Then we had jeep safari in Minneriya National Park. We saw elephants and some birds in their natural habitat. Amazing! After that-we were advised to have a good massage (we went to Ayurveda center).

The Rock Temple at Dambulla was included in our itinerary, too. We saw 5 caves containing wonderful statues, paintings and frescos depicting Buddha and scenes from the life of Buddha, Kings and other historical figures. It was really interesting. On the way we visited rubber plantation (we drove up the mount with the car). Ashad and Sachitra told us how latex was taken from the trees. We saw the bark was cut in a sloping direction so the Sap could run out. It was then collected and brought to the factory. We went to the local factory and watch all the process-at the end the material became like a strong «rubber». We did not realize collecting latex was still so basic!

We spent a fantastic time in Matale Spice Garden and of course we visited the famous  Temple of The Holy Tooth and the Kandy Dancers at night. After that we were brought to the «peak» of Kandy to take some photos. The day was over.

Next morning we went to Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. There was impressive collection of Orchids. Palm forest, flowers etc. —  it was so beautiful! After that we went to Nuwara Eliya. Driving there from Kandy (it is really mountainous) was very impressive!

These unbelievable green colors, the tea pluckers, the blue sky was a contrast — all this was absolutely breathtaking. We had a short visit to the tea factory. We saw see all the stages of processing and we had a great guide who explained it to us. Very interesting! Moreover, we had a short look at Nuwara Eliya city. It was a typical English Village. The most famous building was the post office — a typical English house. There was also a golf country club here that looks like the one in England. After that we went to Ella. We were almost «dead» that evening and next morning we were expected to wake up at 5.30a.m. to go to Yala national park.


Yala National Park — was absolutely fantastic. We took in a 4 hour safari around a small part of the park and saw Elephants, Crocodiles, Deers, Water Buffalo, Iguanas, Leopard, Peacocks, Eagles etc.

 

We started our way back to our hotel in Beruwela. On our way we stopped at turtles factory. This was an interesting place to visit. We saw some big turtles (5 years old) as well as «newborn» ones. We were assured that the turtles were not kept long here before being released into the wild.

Also, we visited Galle — the town was surrounded by the walls of the old Dutch fort. We had a short walk on these walls with a breathtaking view. We saw some nice old churches houses as well. That was the end of our tour…

We are very satisfied with our tour because of the following:

  1. We had a tour with two superb local guides-who were fluent in English and one of them-good speaking Russian (I did not knew that English — it is «the second language» in Sri Lanka. So, I had some doubts about oral English and we decided to ask for Russian speaking guide);
  2. We felt free to ask about everything that was interesting for us (to find out more about their life, politics, economics, education, traffic etc). We were told historical and cultural features as much as we were interested in;
  3. We were brought to the places that were not agreed before the tour without additional charges (it was a pleasant surprise);
  4. We were advised about the best places to take photo without any request; the most surprising thing — we wanted to take photos of fishermen on the stilts. But it was a day time and nobody was going fishing. It was not a problem for our guide to find two boys and ask them to climb up these stilts to pretend fishing (just for our photos and video);
  5. We had good hotels and tasty meals (few times we tried their local meals. Too spicy, but worth to try);
  6. We were advised on how much tips we should leave (in the case of overpay), to buy local mobile phone card for cheaper international calls, what price could be the «normal» one etc.