After arriving at Colombo at 4am in the morning, I think we would have slept anywhere, but our first port of call was Villa Green Inn in Negombo, It was a small colonial style guest house, with a real authentic vibe to it. It felt as though it was family run and the staff were so attentive… despite having to check us in at 5am! We stayed here for only one night, and we got the impression it was a whistle stop for those either like us, who had just landed, or for those who had early flights booked, either way did the job perfectly!
We set off bright and early for our 3 day stint in the Cultural Triangle, kick starting the trip with a visit to Damulla Cave Temple. You have to remove your shoes before you enter, which once you forget that you’re not in London anymore and won’t be stepping in glass or general street dirt is actually quite liberating. It was so fascinating to see how this temple was built into caves, all the detail is so intricate and colourful and it offers panoramic views across much of the area, including Sigiriya making it one of the most impressive and famous temple’s in Sri Lanka.
Day 2 in the Cultural Triangle started with a trip to Polonnaruwa, a royal ancient city with Sri Lanka. It has two parts to the old city which are a short distant apart, so our tour included a cycle ride in order to take in as much as possible. The smaller part can easily be walked around by foot, but the larger part featuring more temples and even a historic parliament building is best seen by bike and by foot.
Of course one of the best parts of learning about new cultures is trying the food and the Cultural Triangle offered some of the best cuisines we experienced. We were taken to a small traditional restaurant with pots filled with fresh Sri Lankan food. We tried every single dish and the food was served on a banana leaf, the picture below does not show just how large our portions were, so we were ultimately defeated, but it was so delicious and by far one of the best meals we had in Sri Lanka.
I think one of the first things that springs to mind when you think Sri Lanka has got to be Elephants, so we had already planned for a Safari later on in the trip, but when our guide said we could squeeze in an extra one at Minneriya National Park we could not resist.
It actually poured down with rain during this safari so a lot of the shots didn’t come out as planned but we did get a dry spell right as we spotted a herd. I think it was one of the most peaceful and humbling experiences to see these animals in their own habitat in the wild, it was such a special moment.
So I mentioned earlier about the rain… well it wasn’t just during the safari, but unfortunately was pretty much for the entirety of our time in the Cultural Triangle. Whilst it didn’t prevent us from doing any of the activities we had planned, it did hinder our photo capabilities (plus also looking like drowned rats). On day 3 we planned to climb Sigiriya Rock, an ancient fortress built on the top of a large rock and is one of the most iconic points of interest within Sri Lanka.
The fog was thick on this day so our view from the top and also on the ground was restricted, but it was so worth climbing anyway as like with the Dambulla Cave Temple it is just amazing to see and appreciate the complexity and detail at the top.
During our time in the Cultural Triangle we stayed at the incredible Vil Uyana. It offers complete jungle paradise and was so luxurious. Each villa was spacious and well designed with jungle chic dark wood interiors. Every night we were served 5 course meals and every breakfast we were accompanied by the local resident… the crocodile… we definitely got a shock when it surfaced the water. It was in the most beautiful setting we could have easily spent the whole trip here, if you are wanting to stay in the jungle but with added luxury, this is the place for you!
This photo was taken on the one night it actually stopped raining so we could take a few snaps before dinner, in one of my favourite dresses.
Who else has explored The Cultural Triangle, tell me your favourite part in the comments below!
Top at Dambulla || Chicwish
White Shorts || Levis
Lime Dress || Old For Love & Lemons