Sri Lanka Off The Beaten Path
idyllic beach in Tangalla
the man and the sea
idyllic beach in Tangalla
idyllic beach in Tangalla
Reviews from VirtualTourist Members
Before you or your driver race over those bridges along the way – slow down and look over the edge! In the water you may find people washing their elephants. They aren’t just pets or modes of transportation; they can be a family’s sole source of income. They are used for working as well as tourists attractions. They are gentle animals and are very well looked after by their owners. And they sure love a good soak.
ARMY INFANTRY SCHOOL
At Minneriya is the home of the Infantry School for the Sri Lankan Army. Here, soldiers are trained in the basics of the infantry. Both courses in basic and advanced techniques are given here. The Army has been fighting on behalf of the government in Colombo against the Tamil guerrillas of the LTTE for over twenty years. Many have come through this school and it looks like many more will come before the peace is restored.Note: to get inside you might need to travel with someone involved with the Army or enlist:-\
Kothmale: Middle of no where
When one travel from Kandy towards Nuwaraeliya, few Kms (less than 12) after Gampola Bridge you will find a road to right that leads towards Kothamale ReservoirFew Kms on that road the Kothmale Rest House is placed. The rest house is the senior offices housing facility used during the Dam construction time. Now it’s turned to a Rest House. It’s in middle of nowhere. Not many people come and stay there because its not convenient to travel from that place. For a person who wants to go away from busy city life and spend few lazy days watching birds, Reading the favourite novel this is a lovely place.When I went to this place there was ware enough rooms. But booking in advance will be always good.Since I don't have a picture of the place I copied this from there web site.
Millenium Elephant Foundation
is just slightly off the beaten path, as its on the road to Pinnewela. It turned out we knew the guy who runs the paper factory next to MEF, Maximus (pvt) Ltd, which uses the elephant dung in his recycled paper. We never quite made it to Pinnewela. I've read complaints about MEF - the elephants here are all retired, rescue elephants. There are no young ones. But they're still pretty cool.They also have some information about elephants in Sri Lanka on display in a little museum room.
The highest railway station in Sri Lanka
Take train from Kandy to Nanu Oya. Nearby is Pattipola , the next train station north of Ohiya. This station is at 6204 feet. At NanuO we "visited" the stationmasters office where one can request a reserved seat in the observation car to Kandy/ Colombo. This is a timewarp of 1930's british rail. Graet photos!!!
Pimbura Hill Temple
The Hill Temple at Pimbura is not a particularly impressive structure, more a ramshackle collection of shrines and associated outbuildings spread out on the top of a ridge, in fact the nearer you get to the temple, the more you feel like you are in Nepal rather than Sri Lanka, but the setting, the atmosphere and the fact that you are almost certainly the only visitor makes up for any shortfall in the architecture. You need to explore this place and just when you think you have seen it all there is yet another path to something else. The views from the top are magnificent, which means it is quite a climb (but I am fat and 40 and I made it ok) you will need good shoes and plenty of water and do not go too late in the day, the track is steep, rocky and unlit. For the naturalists amongst you there are the usual birds, bats and monkeys. There is only one Monk in residence, he will be...
Don't blink or you'll miss out
It's just the most wonderful meal that you could have, out of the blue, off the beaten path. After a couple of hours at Pinnawela watching the elephants at play and an impromptu elephant shower a few miles down the road we found the Pineapple Garden. Our tour guide had phoned ahead so the meal was ready for us after we had looked around the pineapple field. The dishes just kept on coming. (Not just curry) I would like to be able to give you a point on the map but it was on a side road south of Pinnawela 1/2 way to Avissawella. I will try to contact my friend in Sri Lanka to help me get a better idea.The sign might or might not be in place!
Eating (off the beaten track)
Every village you pass through on your travels will have at least one small restaurant selling Sri Lankan food at very reasonable prices, they are sometimes known as hotels or cool spots. You can get hoppers, eggs and bread for breakfast, coffee usually comes black so ask for kiri kopi (milk coffee) and unless you like it impossibly sweet ask for it without sugar.For lunch and dinner there is of course rice and curry, this often comes with fish or chicken. Throughout the day you can get a variety of rolls and patties called ‘short eats’ you may be given a plate full of these but you only pay for what you eat.In Muslim owned places you will get meat but it's pretty ropey stuff - where ever you are remember that the curry is made for locals and is very, very hot.There is a range of soft drinks called Elephant (ask for it cool) the ginger beer is particularly excellent. Local soft drinks...
Haputale and Beyond: Hill Walkers Paradise
For me, the largely Tamil village of Thotulagala (3Km out from Haputale) is maybe as good as it gets in Sri Lanka. It’s a peaceful place, the locals are friendly, the climate is excellent and the views are quite staggering, you really need to go there to know what I mean.It is easy to get to nearby Haputale by road or rail and there are some spot on places to stay (see Dias Rest and Amarasinghe in my Hotels and Accommodations tips).
A friendly miner (or one with an eye on a tip) may invite you down a gem mine for a look at how it’s done. My advice is don’t go down unless you are in the peak of physical condition. Getting down is easy but getting out again involves a long hard vertical climb in hot and wet conditions with very little air. All that’s down there is a dark flooded passage, it really isn't worth the risk.
Top 3 Hotels in Sri Lanka
Mount Lavina Hotel Colombo
5 Reviews and 702 Opinions This is the closest hotel you can experience the Beach as you come to Colombo. Good food, good rooms...
Hotels in Colombo
Reviews and photos of Sri Lanka off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Sri Lanka sightseeing.