I recently cameback from my trip to Sri Lanka, honestly i investigated a lot before going what would be the highlights of the country as there is a lot to see, i had only 3 nights and i wanted to make the best out of it, so i decided to go and see the elephants in Pinnawala, and the Galle fort in the south of Sri Lanka!
Right after arriving in Colombo from Dubai we took a taxi to Pinnawala just out side the airport and we paid around 6000 LKR (39 US dollars) it's about two hours drive on what it is not a very good road, full of traffic, so you just sit and relax, we checked in at Elephant Bay Hotel, which honestly is the one that has the nicest view among the hotels that are on the river, its not crowded with tourists so you will have the best experience when the elephants come at around 10 am, i will leave you the link to the hotel here: https://goo.gl/91Nkqn
Pinnawala is a very small town in the center of Sri Lanka, with the highlight of having an Elephant orphanage, and that is the main reason i decided to go there, around 50 elephants come to the river everyday at around 10 am for few hours to bath in the river, that honestly its an amazing experience, in all the 54 other countries i have visited i have never imagined i would see something like this, it is breathtaking, the only downside is that they have chains around their necks, which made me sad a little bit, but i don't wanna go dip on it because i did not visited the orphanage so i can't talk about it. I would totally recommend Pinnawala as a highlight in Sri Lanka,
To me the highlight of the whole trip was definitely the train ride from Pinnawala to Galle, is literally what you see in the movies, doors are open, people is standing in the train corridors and i think its totally worth it, the train takes about 4 hours in total with a change in Colombo (which we didn't make it and i will talk about it soon), we paid for the train about 300 LKR (less than 2 US dollars) and again i tell you IS TOTALLY WORTH IT!
So we took this train until Colombo but didn't make it to the change, the train was packed so we took a taxi with AC and Taximeter outside the station, that was about 7500 LKR (48 US Dollars) this ride on the Highway took us about 2 hours to get to Galle, a common sense tip for Sri Lanka will be ALWAY BARGIN EVERYTHING.
The hotel i researched was Galle Fort hotel (https://goo.gl/iGKtS5), it was really really worth it, it is a small and elegant boutique hotel in a restructured old House, very nice for a getaway.
Fort Bazaar Hotel
We took a Tuk-tuk outside the fortress walls and started exploring, went over the beach where the Fishermen stand in a stick and fish, but obviously when we got there they all put their set up for us to take pictures and pay them, which i didn't do it, i tend not to go to this cheesy touristic places, i believe i am here to show you different cool stuff to discover, not the mainstream spots. The beach here is gorgeous anyway so it is a really nice place to see.
After that we drove to the Sea turtle hatchery, which honestly is really nice, very small with only few ponds but is in a gorgeous beach, and plus you have the chance to interact with the baby turtles that for me was the payoff of the trip (with the elephants and the Train ride)
I hope i took you thru it, if you go to Sri Lanka and this was helpful to you let me know, you can always email me on email@example.com
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