There is such a contrast between India and Sri Lanka and on our first time to Sri Lanka we were able to get a real taste of the beauty and so much more that surrounds you when you journey there.
There are always comparisons but some major differences were that the infrastructure was evident in all areas that we traveled in. There are many millions of people less in Sri Lanka than India and whilst the roads are crowded, they are like driving in the country compared to India. The country is predominantly Buddhist compared to the mainly Hindu people of India.
The temples and the beauty of the country are evident as soon as you leave the airport and head into Colombo.
Our trip involved time in Colombo and then up into the hills to head to Kandy and then back to Colombo to catch the train down to Galle. Each place we visited offered something unique and a new experience of the country.
Colombo is in the midst of a major development and building boom but is still steeped in a strong history and some amazing temples and architecture the really get a sense of the country.
Kandy by comparison is in the hills and filled with the most amazing hillside properties, farming, tea plantations, spice farms and the ability to really enjoy the culture in a very different environment.
We were lucky to stay in the most amazing hotel that had panoramic views across the hills and valleys. With an amazing pool and a great location it was the perfect spot to see, explore and visit the surrounds and being able to come back at the end of the day and truly unwind.
The train trip down to Galle from Colombo for the second half of our time in Sri Lanka filled me with trepidation because there were only 2 classes of travel – 2nd class and 3rd class unreserved coaches. With memories of watching documentaries and films of people travelling with live chickens and over crowded trains that you have to stand up in I was pleasantly surprised by our 2nd class unreserved seats that allowed us to experience this unique 2 and 1/2 hour train journey down the coast.
The seats were comfortable and with open windows the breeze kept us cool all the way. With the view of the coast as we sped towards Galle this was just an fabulous way to get to Galle (and the ticket cost $1.20 Aus!).
Galle was another amazing destination – filled with history, newly opened beach resorts, an amazing fishing village and so much more it made the last few days of our visit to Sir Lanka truly memorable.
Of course I took hundreds of photos so instead of waxing lyrical about the beauty I will stop here and share many of those photographs so you can get a real feel for what this stunning country has to offer!
If you get the chance you will not be disappointed!