Mirissa’s Secret Beach

Mirissa’s Secret Beach

Mirissa’s Secret Beach While in Ella, Henriko, Emilie, and myself had heard about a “Secret Beach” in Mirissa, away from the crowds and other tourists.  We did some research online and knew that we had to visit it.  The good thing about the Secret Beach is that it’s not too secret that it can’t be found, but also not too accessible for everyone. Since we had spent our first day in Mirissa amongst the main beaches, we wanted to check out the Secret Beach when we returned from whale watching….

Whale Watching in Mirissa

Whale Watching in Mirissa

Whale Watching in Mirissa Whale watching was high on my list for my trip to Sri Lanka.  Mirissa, on the Southern coast, is the launching point for the boats.  There were plenty of different operators peddling whale watching trips, some were even ridiculously cheap!  However, like in most developing countries, wildlife tourism isn’t always done in an ethical manner.  I consulted a few travel blogs and Trip Advisor, and read great reviews about Raja and the Whales.  While a bit more pricey than the other options (~$40 USD/person), they had…

Tangalle’s Windswept Beaches

Tangalle’s Windswept Beaches

Tangalle’s Windswept Beaches After bidding farewell to Henriko and Emilia for the next couple days, I headed to the bus station in Ella.  There were no direct buses to Tangalle, but the journey was fairly easy.  It only involved one bus switch at Welawaya, and I found myself in Tangalle only about 3.5 hours after leaving Ella. Tangalle is a small town located on the eastern part of Sri Lanka’s Southern coastline.  It has yet to catch on with tourism, as most tourists elect to visit the beach towns closer…

Ella, the Eden of Sri Lanka

Ella, the Eden of Sri Lanka

Ella, the Eden of Sri Lanka I was very excited to get to Ella, as I had heard that there were plenty of hiking trails in the area, all of which had boasted stunning views.  After spending some time up in the “expensive” area of the Cultural Triangle with all of the high entrance fees for tourists, I was looking forward to experiencing some of the natural highlights that Sri Lanka had to offer. There were a multitude of accommodation options available in Ella, as it is a popular tourist…

The World’s Most Scenic Train Ride: Kandy to Ella

The World’s Most Scenic Train Ride: Kandy to Ella

The World’s Most Scenic Train Ride: Kandy to Ella When I was planning my trip to Sri Lankan, I read several reviews and blog entries detailing how important it was to take the train from Kandy to Ella or vice versa.  While the train only maxes out at around 40 kilometers per hour, the Kandy to Ella train ride passes through the most beautiful landscape that Sri Lanka has to offer.  In this case, pictures are really worth a 1,000 words, as in lieu of text, I’ll let the pictures…

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…