Sacred Temples and Trees

Buddhism is central to the Sri Lankan way of life, and with so many important Buddhist sites around the island, much of Southeast Asia regards Sri Lanka as a spiritual leader.

Two of the most frequented pilgrimage sites are the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy, and, further up north, the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi tree in Anuradhapura.

From the second floor veranda of our colonial hotel, the Olde Empire, we had a perfect view of the heavily guarded entrance to the tooth temple. You might wonder how Buddha came to loose his tooth. Continue…

Memories of the Tsunami

Wherever we go along the coast, Sri Lankans tell tales of their survival in the world’s worst natural disaster in living memory – the tsunami. Over 30,000 Sri Lankans were killed in the disaster. Here, the disaster lives on.

Even years after the giant wave struck the eastern and southern coasts of the country, visible signs of the destruction can be found on virtually every beach. Abandoned houses, huge boulders, missing vegetation, odd sand banks, the list goes on. The tsunami did an incredible amount of damage. But it’s the locals’ accounts of the tragedy Continue…

Jurassic Creatures

Sri Lanka is crawling with monitor lizards! Imagine our surprise when we first came across a 2-meter (6 ft) Jurassic beast on our way to Mirissa’s secret beach. This was the biggest and fattest lizard we had ever stumbled upon and, lucky for us, the grand opening for more lizards to come. From that point on, we’ve seen them everywhere.

Huge water monitors hide under fallen palm fronds along the beaches, swim across the mangrove lagoons or bask in the sun along rivers and lakes. Their smaller land monitor cousins often waddle through town foraging through people’s back yards and fighting dogs, cows, egrets, monkeys and cats for anything edible. Seeing these fascinating creatures move so effortlessly through any terrain always makes me stop in my tracks and gawk at them in awe.

A Taste of Sri Lanka

OK, so maybe we’re not suffering here in our beautiful bright orange beach bungalow as much as our last posting might have suggested. Yes, the palm-backed beaches are beautiful. But what’s paradise without some fantastic food.

So what is food like in Sri Lanka? An exotic adventure – and, unexpectedly, quite different from Indian food.

We wake up to a brunch of cinnamon-garlic-ginger Continue…