Climbing Adam’s Peak

Climbing Adam’s Peak

Climbing Adam’s Peak Adam’s Peak, or “Sri Pada” in Sinhalese, is a holy pilgrimage spot for Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, and Christians.  There is a “sacred footprint” aka a rock, which is believed to be of Buddha, Shiva, or Adam, depending on which religion one practices.  Standing 2,243 meters tall, Adam’s Peak is an imposing mountain.  All Sri Lankan Buddhists are supposed to make at least one pilgrimage to the summit during their lifetime.  As such, climbing during weekends or holidays is strongly discouraged, as Adam’s Peak is known to draw…

Kandy – The Cultural Capital of Sri Lanka

Kandy – The Cultural Capital of Sri Lanka

Kandy – The Cultural Capital of Sri Lanka Kandy was my first impression of a Sri Lankan city.  Compared to Colombo, Kandy is a quaint little city that is a very popular tourist attraction both for foreigners and Sri Lankans.  This is mainly due to the “Temple of the Tooth”, another UNESCO World Heritage site where “supposedly” a tooth from Buddha is housed.  I say “supposedly”, as I remain a bit skeptical after witnessing it all haha.  Kandy also has a man-made lake near the center of the town which…

Stunning Sigiriya Rock

Stunning Sigiriya Rock

Stunning Sigiriya Rock I was next slated to visit my third UNESCO site in as many days, Sigiriya Rock.  This rock is so imposing that I could see it from the road of my homestay.  Measuring over 200 meters high, it towers above the surrounding area.  The fact that it is a giant plateau versus a mountain makes it that much more alluring and different. I had read a few travel blogs that recommended getting there early to beat the crowds and the heat.  As it is a giant plateau,…

The Ancient Ruins of Polonnaruwa

The Ancient Ruins of Polonnaruwa

The Ancient Ruins of Polonnaruwa I awoke at the crack of dawn, feeling well rested after getting to sleep in a bed for the first time in almost 36 hours.  I had a delicious breakfast at my homestay, although I wasn’t exactly sure what everything was that I ate haha.  To get to Polonnaruwa, I had to take a bus back to Dambulla and another bus up north to Polonnaruwa.  On the bus to Dambulla, there were plenty of Sinhalese children on their way to school.  All of the children…

The Dambulla Cave Temples

The Dambulla Cave Temples

As I had mentioned in my previous post, due to time restraints, I did not plan to spend any time in Colombo, the capital city.  My first planned destination was the Cultural Triangle.  I planned to base myself in the small town of Sigiriya, so I would be close to the UNESCO heritage site, Sigiriya Rock, as well as have some peace and quiet.  Dambulla isn’t a large city by any means, but what I’ve learned thus far travelling in Asia is that I much prefer the smaller towns over…

Stunning Sri Lanka

Stunning Sri Lanka

Stunning Sri Lanka Now that I’m currently employed again and living in Chicago, my international trips are a little less frequent as compared to my nine months hopping around the world the previous year.  However, my employer offers four weeks of vacation a year, which I plan to always use.  Since I didn’t want to use more than two weeks at once, I began to mull my options.  I preferred to go to a smaller country so I could see and enjoy a large part of it and hopefully not…

Masaya Volcano and Laguna de Apoyo

Masaya Volcano and Laguna de Apoyo

Masaya Volcano and Laguna de Apoyo I spent my last day and a half in Nicaragua in Granada, a quaint colonial town not too far from the capital of Managua.  The town itself was filled with brightly colored buildings and cobblestone streets.  Of course, there were also plenty of tourists wandering about as well.  There were two things I wanted to see here-Masaya volcano and Apoyo lagoon, both located outside of the city. Masaya Volcano I had only heard of the Masaya volcano through word of mouth of other travelers…

The Magical Island of Ometepe

The Magical Island of Ometepe

The Magical Island of Ometepe Formed by two volcanoes that rise up in the middle of Lake Nicaragua and are connected by a small strip of, Ometepe is both a mystical and magical place.  I was excited to have the opportunity to experience its volcanoes, nature, lakes, and its wild terrain.  Ometepe is accessible by ferry or plane.  The most popular way to get there is from the ferry from the town of Rivas.  There are also occasional ferries to/from Granada and San Carlos, but last time I checked those…

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua Being away from the coast in Leon and the surrounding area for a few days, had me having beach withdrawals.  Luckily, the next stop on my list was San Juan del Sur, known for being a surfing and party hotspot!  One of the positives of Nicaragua being so small is that the distances are (usually manageable).  My route from Leon to San Juan del Sur, however, was anything but.  After a bicycle rickshaw, minibus, taxi, and two chicken buses later, I finally arrived in SJDS…

Volcano Trekking in Nicaragua

Volcano Trekking in Nicaragua

Volcano Trekking in Nicaragua This post is a continuation of my previous post about Volcano boarding.  I had participated in a two day trek with Quetzaltrekkers, which started with volcano boarding-definitely a must-do for any adrenaline junkie who finds themselves in Nicaragua.  When I heard it was possible to climb and camp on a volcano, I knew it was something I couldn’t pass up. Volcano boarding finished up around late morning.  Only myself and two others would continue onto the trek, as well as our two guides, Rich and Ben,…