And here is the Part 2 of our Srilanka holiday. If you have missed Part 1, you can read it here before you move to Part 2.
Part 2 covers day 5, 6 and 7 and was probably my favourite part of the trip.
Our 11 Day itinerary
Day 1: Arrive at Colombo International Airport and drive to Kandy and check in to a hotel in Kandy
Day 2: Explore Kandy (Viewpoint, Botanical Gardens, Hindu Temple and Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic)
Day 3: Day trip to Nuwara Eliya
Day 4: Explore Kandy (Bahirawakanda Viharaya and Gem Factory) followed by a day trip to Pinnawala
Day 5: Check out from the hotel in Kandy and drive to Dambulla Cave Temple and check in to the hotel in Dambulla
Day 6: Nature walks, Pool and Relax at the resort.
Day 7: Day trip to Sigiriya Rock and Minneriya National Park
Day 8: Check out from the hotel and drive to Trincomalee and check in to a hotel in Trincomalee
Day 9: Pool and Beach all day
Day 10: Pool and Beach and check out from the hotel and drive to Negombo and check in to a hotel
Day 11: Pool Day and an evening flight back to Doha.
P.s. If I had to do it again, I would rather stop overnight in Negombo on Day 1, as the drive from the airport to Kandy is about 3 hours. And then drive to Kandy the next day while stopping over at Pinnawala
Where To Stay?
This hotel was recommended by our friends and I cannot recommend it enough! This hotel was probably the reason why I loved our stay in Dambulla the most!
Kalundewa Retreat is a 100 acre land, around the Kalundewa mountain and only has 7 rooms! We were upgraded to the Kumbuk Chalet, which had a private pool and a deck overlooking the lake. It was one of the most beautiful rooms I have ever stayed in! I loved the entire room made of glass (and no lizards inside)
Their service was absolutely amazing… the chef came to our room to take our order, they had club cars to take you around the property if you aren’t willing to walk or cycle around or are just plain scared of the water monitors that you might encounter on the way (although they run away from you cause they are more scared of you, but I can never take that risk and obviously used their club cars to go around)
We all didn’t want to leave the hotel to go anywhere and just wanted to enjoy the peace and tranquillity at the resort. And that’s what we did.
While exploring we also went to have a peek into the Floating Villa.
A true tranquil retreat!
Things to do/see around Dambulla
Golden Temple / Cave Temple
Golden Temple of Dambulla is a World Heritage Site is about 10 minutes away from the hotel.The Golden Buddha statue, Dambulla golden temple is just downhill from the Cave temple. You need to climb a number of stairs to reach the cave temples.We all braved the climb but the boys were too tired so they stayed back and Amna and I continued to the top. But when we reached the top, we realized that my wallet was with Mohsin and we didn’t have money to purchase the tickets. Hence we didn’t get a chance to go inside the cave temple as were not keen to go back and do the climb again! So we just took a photo at the top and came back.
Sigiriya Rock is an ancient rock fortress near Dambulla and is a World Heritage site. There are 1,200 steps before you reach the Lion Rock fortress on top of Sigiriya rock, so we (with 3 whiny kids who didn’t want to come and wanted to just stay at the hotel and play in their private pool) didn’t brave that one at all. Instead, we took a tuk-tuk ride that took us around Sigiriya rock, stopping at picturesque locations from where you get amazing views of the Sigiriya Rock.
And lots of monkeys monkeying around. In fact, we encountered a little monkey attack when the monkeys saw the ice lollies in our hands and came running to snatch them away (so yeah please don’t eat in front of these monkeys!)
Minneriya National Park
If you visit Sri Lanka, you MUST visit one of the national parks there to see the Elephants in the wild. The experience of seeing these giants out in the wild is not at all comparable to the experience you have at Pinnwala Elephant Orphanage. Minneriya National Park is reported to have the largest known wild Asian Elephant gathering at one place in the world. It was definitely one of the most amazing experiences of my life and would highly recommend it.
That’s it for now, but stay tuned for the last part… COMING SOON!