Where is everyone???

Trip Start Sep 05, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Friday, October 10, 2008

10th October

With only 2 weeks in Sri Lanka we needed to keep moving quickly in order to see as much as possible. 2 days in Anuradhapura had been enough and we needed to move on. Our next port of call was the final point of the cultural triangle, Dambulla.

Well Dambulla doesn't really have much to offer, it's a 1 street dusty town, but there are a couple of sights that I needed to see but most of all Sigiriya. To get to Dambulla we just had to jump on any bus going to Kandy and jump off when it stopped in Dambulla. Jump off turned out to be the correct term.

When we knew we were getting close to Dambulla we started making our way towards the exit. This sounds easy but on a packed bus with luggage it was incredibly difficult. Lars managed to make it through the scramble and fall off the bus, losing a shoe in the process. Half a mile later I managed to get off as well!

Once we had found each other, and I reunited Lars with his lost shoe, we set about trying to find somewhere to stay. The LP map was shocking and we just had to give up trying to follow it and checked into the first random guesthouse we could find. It seemed pretty good and had a decent en-suite and air con so we were sold!

With accommodation sorted we hit the dusty streets of Dambulla in search of a bus to Sigiriya. We spent about 20 minutes looking in the wrong place (thanks to the LP map) before being sweet talked by a tuk-tuk driver who agreed to take us there for a reasonable fee.

Sigiriya was the site I had been most looking forward to seeing whilst in Sri Lanka and it was really quite impressive. We spent 2 hours exploring the area in searing heat but it was worth it. The frescoes were superb, as were the views from the top of the rock. I had expected more from the palace area on top but it was still well worth the entrance fee. We met up with our tuk-tuk driver and headed back to Dambulla and towards the caves.

The paintings in the caves were very impressive but the entrance fee had more than doubled and as a result wasn't that good value for money. Still, it took the number of UNESCO sites seen to 2 for the day and 5 in total in 5 days! Sri Lanka packs a punch for such a small country!

With the sites seen we headed back to the tuk-tuk for a confrontation and ended up paying a complete rip off fee, at least 2x what we should have done, and weren't best pleased. Sure it was only about 5 each but that's still miles too much!

Once back at the hotel it was completely deserted so I headed to the Internet for 30 mins for the first time of the trip. It was obvious that our hotel wasn't too interested in serving food so we went to find somewhere in town. We ended up at some local canteen that had probably never served any foreigners and polished off seconds! The food is so good in Sri Lanka!!! For dessert we found another local place and polished off a hopper (pancake thing) with fried egg and chili sauce. With a long day travelling planned for tomorrow we headed back to the hotel early to make the most of the aircon!!
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uncle_davros on

Meaning, there is nobody there? No tourists? No ???

rbisset on

Re: Empty
I didn't meet a single backpacker for 9 days travelling around the ancient cities. We did see a few tour buses turn up and blitz the sights in an hour but even those were few and far between. I'm at the main beach area now but even here it's dead. Maybe 50 people. Very quiet.

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