Travel Bites: North Western & North Central, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka a land like no other

I visited this wonderful place expecting nothing. I believe that is the best attitude when travelling.

I stayed in Kalpitiya, the last Village in Puttalam, South Western part of the country. A village that is very famous with its kitesurfing activities specially during its wind season which is between May and September.

I’m very happy that I stayed in this place called “Ruuk Village,” a very rustic and traditional Sri Lankan resort. A eco-friendly small resort. I was the only guest for 5 days and they treated me like a family or, should I say, like a King.

This lovely resort is situated near Kalpitiya lagoon and the very powerful Indian Ocean. A place that is run by amazing people with beautiful cabanas and yummylicious food!

Here are some of the foods that I had in the village.

Fresh from the oven!

I miss eating these fruits every morning.

My first dinner! It was a huge serving indeed.

This is my favourite dinner! I love tomatoes.

Traditional South Asian dinner

This island nation is my 25th country that I visited. For the first time I felt like a real traveler because of one thing – transportation.

Train tracks along Palavi Junction

Asia’s pride Tuk-tuk!

Like in any other Asian countries, motorcycle is popular in Sri Lanka specially for tourists.

If you are staying near the Indian Ocean and Lagoons, for sure, boats are also available as transportation!

Like in any other South Asian and South East Asian country Sri Lanka’s public transportation is still climbing up towards its peak.

I travelled 120.3 KM from Kalpitiya to the ancient city of Anuradhapura for a total 230 Sri Lakan Rupees (1.93 SGD)

Kalpitiya to Putallam (0.67 SGD) / Putallam to Anuradhapura (1.26 SGD)

If I will use a private car, the best travel time would probably 2 hours and 20 minutes which will cost me 100 SGD plus. Instead, I was on the road for less than 5 hours because of the very classic Bus No. 4.

The classic Bus No. 4

Bus Drivers are very kind specially during Sundays which has lesser buses on the road. They will squeeze all travellers inside until you can smell each other’s scent. I told my friends that I went off the bus like a warrior after all the unexpected breaks, stops and moving people moving next to me. If you like extra adventure, try it!

Here are some of the places and attractions that I visited in the North Western Province

 

The huge windmills in Kapitilya

Salt ‘factories’

Trivia: Kapitilya is the producer of salt in Sri Lanka. Before the arrival of vehicles in the province, Donkeys are the main ‘salt transportation’. Finally, when vehicles arrived, the government announced to the entire province to free all the donkeys. That is why you will see Donkeys everywhere in the village!

Indian Ocean

I find old railways / tracks beautiful!

Anamaduwa Paramakanda Cave Temple

Outside one of the prayer rooms of the temple

Stairs to the top of the hill where monks mediate!

At the top of the hill! That’s my personal tour guide / driver / resort manage.

A catholic church that I visited on Good Friday. I watched their performance about ‘Passion of Christ”.

Here are the Buddhist temples that I visited in the UNESCO heritage site of the Ancient city Anuradaphura:

Trivia: Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is a sacred fig tree in the Mahamewna Gardens, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It is said to be the right-wing branch (southern branch) from the historical Sri Maha Bodhi at Buddha Gaya in India under which Lord Buddha attained Enlightenment. It was planted in 288 BC, and is the oldest living tree (wikipedia)

Ruwanwelisaya Stupa was built in 140 B.C

Mirisawetiya stupa built by King Dutugamunu (161 BC to 137 BC)

Thuparamaya one of the recognised archaeological sites. Built by King Devanampiya Tissa (247-207 BC)

Ruins outside the temple

The very popular Isurumuniya temple, it was built by King Devanampiya Tissa (307 BC to 267 BC)

One thing I really appreciate about this country is it’s people. I never felt like a ‘celebrity’ in the other 24 countries that I visited. Sri Lankan smile is very contiguous. I was riding a motorcycle with helmet most of the time to visit places; people are so kind to share a beautiful smile and in return I smile back and wave my hand as if I will run for political position.

My ‘Sri Lankan’ grandmothers cooking my food in a very traditional way!

I never regretted any of my travels because I know if we set aside differences and stereotypes and just focus on the beauty of a country and it’s people everything will be a wonderful journey.

Watch my Sri Lankan video!

Thank you so much Sri Lanka!

May all beings be happy and free. Namaste’

Mark Louie Maycong