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Asia/Pacific Eating Abroad Sri Lanka

Udawalawe National Park – Elephant Safari Guide

February 1, 2018

We are not what you would call ‘animal people’. We have both never had pets, are mildly allergic to cats, and still think it’s a little weird that you can bring your dog onto the tube in London. Animal-related activities do not usually feature on our travel itineraries which is why we almost didn’t make it to Udawalawe National Park. Driving around in a bumpy jeep for several hours, attempting to spot wild animals didn’t seem like our cup of tea at all but somehow, I managed to convinced myself and a certain someone that it was a good idea, and it ended up being one of the best days of our whole trip! Maybe I do have an inner David Attenborough after all…

Udawalawe National Park is one of Sri Lanka’s most popular safari destinations as it’s less crowded than Yala National Park, and is known as the best place to spot elephants in the wild. For us, it was also the most logical choice due to its location, handily between Ella in the Hill Country and our next destination, Tangalle on the Southern Coast. The safaris are the bread and butter of this town and as such, tours run in the morning and afternoon, and there are definitely no shortage of tour operators and jeep drivers. You can literally turn up at the gates and hire your jeep and driver then and there, but as it was our first ever safari experience we decided to also hire a guide to get the most out of our visit.

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Asia/Pacific Eating Abroad Featured Sri Lanka

Sigiriya – Lion Rock & Pidurangala Rock Guide

January 29, 2018

Climbing rocks is not usually the kind of thing I get excited about. Being encumbered with short limbs and pathetically weak upper body strength, I’m not exactly built for it either. Long walks on the beach I excel at, but long walks up hills, through forests and jungles is something I am still getting to grips with! But here we were, up much earlier than usual so we could climb not one, but two rocks that day and wondering if our bodies had actually been invaded by hike-loving aliens in our sleep. Kidding, sort of. When you find yourself in Sigiriya, the thing to do is to visit the famous Lion Rock but if you are feeling particularly energetic, as we clearly were, you should also head up the less-frequented Pidurangala Rock as the views from there are just as breathtaking! We managed both in one day very easily; if we can do it, so can you…

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Asia/Pacific Eating Abroad Featured Sri Lanka

Spice Spoons Experience at Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle, Sri Lanka

January 25, 2018

When a certain someone and I decided years ago to put Sri Lanka on our travel bucket list, it was because of the beaches. We read somewhere that this teardrop island was blessed with beautiful shores, and that just stuck in our minds. For two people who aren’t particularly skilled at swimming, we have a bizarre soft spot for beach holidays. But what really pushed us into finally booking this trip was years of living in Tooting and eating our way round the myriad of Sri Lankan curry houses in our neighbourhood. Slowly but surely, the flavours of this cuisine began to win us over… the more we became enamoured with the dals, dosas, and mutton rolls, the more we wanted to taste it all in Sri Lanka.

And then we arrived in the country and got a giant dose of reality. Our daydreams of streets lined with food carts selling delectable snacks, and days spent gorging on aromatic curries with piping hot roti breads, did not exactly come true. We did have some excellent meals, but that was more the exception than the norm and we had to dig a little deeper, and at times venture off track to find some of these gems. I came to the conclusion that perhaps the best Sri Lankan food is still found in Sri Lankan homes, and since I didn’t know any locals to impose myself on, the next best thing was to learn to cook like a local.

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Asia/Pacific Eating Abroad Hotel Reviews Sri Lanka

Anantara Peace Haven, Tangalle – A Sri Lankan Paradise

January 22, 2018

By the time we pulled up to the gates of the Anantara Peace Haven in Tangalle, I was more than ready to step into this small slice of paradise. We had been travelling around Sri Lanka for close to a fortnight and had experienced some spectacular highs and very frustrating lows, but regardless of which end of the spectrum they sat, each day was exhausting! We wanted nothing more than to put our travel-weary feet up for some proper rest and relaxation, and we could not have chosen a more luxurious place for it. From the moment we were warmly welcomed through the gates by a traditional Sri Lankan folk song, we felt right at home in this stunning resort where nothing was too much trouble and we were greeted by smiles at every corner!

One of the newest additions to the Anantara family, this haven has been created in what used to be a coconut plantation only a short drive away from Tangalle town. This location on Sri Lanka’s southern coast is quite breathtaking and Anantara Peace Haven have used this to their advantage, ensuring all their 152 rooms and villas face out towards the Indian Ocean. The property also has all the usual facilities you would expect from a luxury resort, but at no point did it feel too big or impersonal. There was a lot to love here, but what really stuck with me was their commitment to ensuring their guests’ comfort while also respecting the natural surroundings. I think they struck the perfect balance so come take a peak inside this luxurious property and see if you would agree…

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Asia/Pacific Eating Abroad Sri Lanka

Eat, Eat, Repeat Colombo Food Tour with Urban Adventures

January 18, 2018

Colombo is not a city which is often described in a favourable light. Before we arrived, I had read that it was far from being a traveller’s haven, was told that it was a tad boring, and generally not the kind of place you find yourself lingering in. Ever the optimist, I bowled on into town with an eagerness to see the best of this city and perhaps prove its critics wrong, but after arriving in the middle of a storm verging on cyclone territory, stepping into far too many puddles in the broken pavements, and seeing nothing but grey skies, I was defeated. At the end of day one, all I wanted was to curl up in the hotel and order room service, but by the end of day two I was starting to see the city in a whole new light thanks to Urban Adventures!

An afternoon spent talking about food and eating it often puts me in a good mood, but our Eat, Eat, Repeat food tour also gave me an insight into life in this frenzied urban sprawl. The city is vast, needs a lot of TLC in some parts, but does have its charms. We do agree with those who have come before us – this is not the most tourist-friendly city, but if you’re visiting Sri Lanka, it is highly likely this will be your first stop so I would suggest you do as we did and explore it through food. It’s definitely more interesting and provides a great introduction to Sri Lankan food which will stand you in good stead for the rest of your trip. Here’s a taste of what you can expect if you too decide to Eat, Eat, Repeat with Urban Adventures in Colombo…

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