Sri Lanka Adventure [10 – 18 June 2010]
Part I: Pre-Trip [Singapore, 10 Jun 2010]
Part II: The Long Shuttle [Singapore – Kuala Lumpur, 10 Jun 2010]
Part III: AK255 [KUL – CMB, 11 Jun 2010]
Part IV: A Slice of Cultural Triangle [CMB – Dambulla, 11 June 2010]
Part V: Temples [Dambulla – Kandy, 12 Jun 2010]
Part VI: Into the Hills [Kandy – Haputale, 13 Jun 2010]
Part VII: Trekking to World’s End [Horton’s Plains National Park, 14 Jun 2010]
Part VIII: Retracing the steps of Sir Thomas Lipton [Lipton’s Seat & Tea Factory, 15 Jun 2010]
Part IX: Leopard! Leopard! Leopard! [Haputale – Tissa, 16 Jun 2010]
Part X: Will this journey ever end? [Tissa – Negombo, 17 Jun 2010]
Part XI: Goodbye Serendib [CMB – KUL – Singapore, 18 Jun 2010]
Part XII: Epilogue
We will answer seven questions to share our thoughts on the Sri Lankan trip.
Q1. What is the highlight of the trip for you and why?
Shyh Jie: It’s a tough choice between Horton’s Plains NP, the town of Haputale and Yala NP. I would go for Horton’s Plains for the amazing scenery.
Kendrick: The highlight was Horton Plains and Yala national park. This is the first time that I have been so exposed to nature and is a very different experience.
Chiang: Highlight was actually just living the life of the locals… like taking bus and train… seeing the way they live… and maybe safari.
Kok Wai: Haputale, for its people and their hospitality. And Horton’s Plains for its picturesque landscape.
Lewis: Yala National Park( leopard leopard leopard! ) and the Horton’s Plains(Perfect weather and scenery for trekking)
Feijie: Haputale – I am touched by the people’s friendliness and the views at Lipton’s Seat and Horton’s Plains are superb.
Q2. What is the most surprising aspect of the trip for you and why?
Shyh Jie: The Sri Lankan people definitely. Most people whom we met were friendly and spoke good English. It is definitely nice not having to deal with the same kind of hassles that I experienced in India.
Kendrick: The safety of Sri Lanka. Expected there to be pretty dangerous but felt quite safe for the duration of the trip.
Chiang: The mosquitoes n house flies around… Just too many… and seeing how friendly the people were at Haputale.
Kok Wai: The surprisingly friendly locals we met along the way, which I didn’t come to expect from people that had just went through a civil war.
Lewis: How limited their food variety are despite having so many food sources (seafood etc)
Feijie: The most surprising aspect is the living standard of the people which is much better than I have expected.
Q3. Is there anything about the trip that you are disappointed about? Why?
Shyh Jie: Food is the biggest disappointment. Food aren’t the most inspiring due to the lack of variety and quality (in the case of seafood). Another issue is the high admission cost charged by the attractions. In fact almost 40% of what I spent in Sri Lanka were on admissions.
Kendrick: The food. Not enough variety and local restaurants.
Chiang: Disappointed seeing how cheapskate we were with the tips and stuff.
Kok Wai: Has to be food which is lacking of variety.
Lewis: Food Food Food! Although the highlights (1) made up for the disappointment in my daily meals but the seafood meal on last day was terribly below expectations, especially after traveling more than 12 hrs for them.
Feijie: I am disappointed by the food of course. Because the food choice is very limited and quality is also not good.
Q4. Is there any aspect about the trip that you wish to be done differently? Is there any part that you think can be improved on?
Shyh Jie: Hmm… tough question. I think that it was quite difficult to travel independently in such a big group due to the need for consensus before making decisions (eg accommodation). But the trip might turn out not to be as fun.
Kendrick: The return trip could have been planned better. Should have bought tickets beforehand to avoid the uncertainty experienced.
Chiang: The journey to Sri Lanka and back. Coach then coach then plane.. should have taken a straight flight there even though it will cost more.
Kok Wai: The trip to and fro. Considering the amount of traveling we had to do within Sri Lanka itself, we would be better off spending another hundred or so and booked a direct flight.
Lewis: We should probably include whale watching in the itinerary! and diving! and better seafood! NEXT TIME!
Feijie: Given enough time, I wish that we have visited the Colombo as well.
Q5. Will you recommend Sri Lanka as a travel destination to your friends?
Shyh Jie: YES! Get to Sri Lanka before the horde of tourists. It’s still relatively unspoiled by mass tourism but it may change over the next few years.
Kendrick: Definitely but not for people that wants a comfortable holiday.
Chiang: Definitely. Something different from other normal tours. To see a different way of living and how fortunate we are.
Kok Wai: Definitely. only for the adventurous though.
Lewis: Those who have not been there are definitely missing out ! But not for those who seeks to have a culinary and shopping experience.
Feijie: Yes I will recommend because of the nice sceneries and nice people.
Q6. Out of a scale from 1 to 10, how much do you rate the trip?
Shyh Jie: 7/10. Could be a nine but minus 1 for bad roads and minus 1 for food.
Chiang: 6.5… Not here to enjoy but to experience and that’s what we did…
Kok Wai: 7
Lewis: 8.5 (1 from the food, 0.5 from traveller’s home). It’s definitely a fresh experience as compared to other countries that I have been before.
Q7. Any other comments/interesting observations about the trip that you wish to share?
Shyh Jie: I am amazed how much one can eat. Some of my travel buddies could easily eat twice my portion and probably more.
Chiang: Spending less than $800 was very worth it… though I don’t mind paying more for the direct flight… well planned and organized… should add a couple of gals or something to spice up future trips.
Kok Wai: Kendrick’s ability to sleep anytime, anywhere. Second to none.
Lewis: The company is superb! Let’s go for another one!
Feijie: I am surprised that one of my friends actually eats to live. And he keeps saying we all eat a lot though the rest of us eat about the same amount.