Chaaya Blu Trincomalee, Sri Lanka.

When planning my trip, I was recommended to head to Trincomalee for a beautiful stay Chaaya Blu. True enough, it was amazing boasting a pool leading right up to the beach. Apart from the fact year-end travel isn’t exactly the best of time for good waters, Chaaya Blu is definitely worth staying a night or two at.

Trincomalee isn’t like the busier areas of Sri Lanka i.e. Sigiriya/Kandy and instead is a beach town. One of those places to wind down, spend some time just chilling by the waters or catch up with the folks.

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The inviting pool to laze and enjoy the sea breeze. 

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.

Rest of Sigiriya, explored.

I blogged quite some time back on Lion’s Rock, Sigiriya, so let me pick up from where I left off to continue my tales.

I stayed at Hotel Sigiriya which boasts the Lion’s Rock as an excellent backdrop against the swimming pool of the hotel. It was a lovely stay and the buffet spread (both for breakfast and dinner) was excellent. I highly recommend this hotel, except, please remember to close the windows when the sun sets, otherwise you will be greeted with an insect-fest when you return from dinner.

Kottu Roti (chopped up Roti Prata)

Apart from scaling the Lion’s Rock, I enjoyed our Village Safari visit very much. It comprised of home-cooked lunch (in literally a hut), boat ride, visit to a local’s home, bullock cart ride and ended of our experience with either a jeep safari ride/tuk-tuk ride.

Lunch in preparation.

 Probably one of the best meals ever. I still remember how fresh the Dhal tasted. 

 Water dispenser, i.e. tap

My entire boat ride clan. 

I had to give it a try. (just for photo-sake)

Spotted a traveller, who looked rather amusing, along our boat ride.

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SAMSUNG CSCHands on with coconut grating in a local’s home.

Ready, set, chug?

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We then, ended off the evening with a short trip to Polonnaruwa (Ancient City). Polonnaruwa was the second capital of Sri Lanka after the destruction of Anuradhapura. Was a pity we only had slightly over an hour to explore the ruins before the sun set. I recommend at least half a day to explore this marvel thoroughly.

 Sometimes, there is beauty even in destruction. 

Keep on walking with me, as I unravel my other adventures in Sri Lanka.

Till then, Ayubowan.

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.

Lion’s Rock, conquered.

The only way to get by the first weekend of 2014 is by reliving moments from my December travel to Sri Lanka with the family. I’m glad Sigiriya was my planned early in my 10 day trip as it set the tone right for the rest of my travel.

The highlight of Sigiriya for me was climbing the Lion’s Rock. Despite, the rain that dampened our spirits as we started our ascend up on the 1200 steps, it was a memorable and tiring 2 hour climb.  The entrance fee for this 200m rock fortress is about USD 30.

SAMSUNG CSCView of Lion’s Rock from the hotel – Hotel Sigiriya

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1/3 way up, there are images of ladies covering the western face of the rock over an area about 140m length. These frescoes have been dated back to the Anuradhapura period, given the unique painting style. The true identity of the ladies in these frescoes still have not been confirmed. There are various ideas about their identity. Some believe that they are the wives of the king, while some think that they are women taking part in religious observances.

DSC_0381DSC_0384DSC_0391DSC_0395The_Mirror_Wall_&_Spiral_Stairs_leading_to_the_Frescoesvia

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This point from the foot of the lion’s paw, marks the remaining 300 steps left for you to reach the summit. The nature of ascend also varies from this point from gravel to metal which might be relatively easier to climb. But, do note, it might be slippery if it has just rained.

DSC_0413Ancient palace pool

As the rain had cleared not too long ago when we reached the summit, the sky was still pretty foggy and misty which explains the poor background in the photos.

DSC_0405The entire group on the 1200th step

Tired feet, aching calves, bad weather but happy smiles for accomplishing this feat together.

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Being a World Heritage Site listed by UNESCO it is no wonder that Sigiriya is one of the most visited historic site in Sri Lanka. As such, no matter which period of the year you visit, it is going to be crowded with people from all over the globe.

Things to note when climbing:

1. Always have an umbrella or poncho with you as the weather can be unpredictable. You don’t want to be caught unprepared do you?

2. Be prepared for the wildlife – monkeys and/or hornets.

3. There are helpers to assist your climb. But, be sure to tip them about USD 20 for their help.

4. It might get slightly chilly when the winds blow as you are closer to the summit. So, you might want to bring along a sweater just in case.

5. Wear comfortable shoes. Trust me, slippers are a no-go.

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With that, you are ready for your ascend. Good luck and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Highly recommend doing this climb.

My other adventures in Sigiriya coming up soon. Keep watching this space.

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.