Mike & Barbie

Scotland, February/March 2020

What did you like most about Sri Lanka?

Beautiful scenery, wonderful wildlife, fascinating historical sites, charming people and a great variety of things to do – I think we probably liked Sigiriya the most.

What did you like least about Sri Lanka?

We were disappointed that we couldn’t swim in the sea or walk very far on the beach from our hotel in Tangalle [Turtle Bay]. We found the heat, particularly on the coast, hard to take but then we’re used to Scottish weather.

What is your opinion of your accommodation in Sri Lanka?

Lake Lodge [Kandalama, Dambulla] – very nice, Heinz delightful, everything well thought-out.

Ellerton [Kandy] – our absolute favourite, loved our room and view, Luca [owner] very welcoming, gorgeous garden and EXCELLENT food.

98 Acres [Resort, Ella] – fabulous view, more impersonal, rather uninspired food.

Fireback [Flameback Eco Lodge, Weerawila] – very nice – best storage space, real glamping.

Turtle Bay [Tangalle] – fine.

[The] Fort Printers [Galle] – lots of character, v. nice staff.

The Notary’s House [Makandura] – exceptional design and décor, lovely pool.

What is your opinion of your chauffeur guide in Sri Lanka?

Mahesh was a very competent driver and always punctual. He was very well-informed about the historical sites and the flora and fauna of the island. We particularly enjoyed his recommendations for the village lunch and Ayurvedic massage. Also he was extremely helpful when Mike was ill. (Now, thankfully, out of hospital after a week on oxygen for double pneumonia.)

What is your opinion of your flights to and from Sri Lanka?

We enjoyed flying with Emirates and appreciated the fact that we set out first thing in the morning on both journeys.  [Economy Class – Glasgow]

Any other comments?

It was unfortunate that Mike became ill after only four days but in spite of that we were able to enjoy parts of the holiday. We thought Sri Lanka was an amazing country. We found the itinerary well-planned and varied.

In Kandy we felt a bit embarrassed and uncomfortable that we pushed in front of devout Buddhists to get a glimpse of the casket of the tooth [Puja ceremony at the Temple of the Tooth]. It would have been fine to view it from afar (or even not at all) and just experience the general feel of the ceremony. Or even to go on a quieter day if that were possible.  

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