Mostly recognized as Lion’s Rock, the town of Sigiriya is about a 3-hour drive from Colombo. Sitting amongst fields of jungle this huge rock protrudes in the distance. I went to hike to the top where Prince Kashyapa had his stately residence and where his many wives also called their home. Honestly the hike is not too easy and a few parts involve holding onto rails as it can be steep and slippery. There are people that will offer to hold your hand and help you up, however don’t think that they don’t expect a tip. Once you reach about half way, you will enter the mouth of the Lion and if you look close, you will see the two paws alongside the stairway. The views will leave you breathless once you reach the top. With a 360 degree view, just be sure to watch your step as you walk around the site as it has not really been restored. Take your time at the site, you will most likely see some young monks making a trip to the site as well. Keep an eye out for small monkeys as well, but please do not touch them; they could bite you. When you are ready to come down, some older locals might ask you if you want some help down and offer you their hand. Take it if you want, but don’t say you weren’t warned that they want you to tip them. They will act like they are doing it just to be nice, but you will be asked for money. Oh, and one last tip, make sure you bring water with you on the hike, I failed to mention that it was like 100 degrees when I made the climb, but still so worth it!
Safari in Minneriya National Park
I have always dreamt of going on a safari and other than the 20 minute bus ride at the San Diego Zoo, this was needless to say a lifelong dream. This is a safari where you will not see the “BIG 5,” however as an elephant lover, seeing the herds of elephants was going to be good enough. You take a jeep ride through the fields and stop to watch the water buffalo, thousands of birds and then of course at 3p.m. at the watering hole, the elephants come to bath and get a drink! I do have some advice, do not get too close to the elephants as they will charge your jeep! Yes, it happened to us! There was a mother and her baby and our driver got too close and she started to chase us. The problem was our driver skipped a gear and we stalled for a second, meaning the elephant actually pushed our car! I just screamed and closed my eyes, but let me tell you it soon became the highlight of the trip because it was so funny! Only funny, because luckily we are all still alive! You won’t have to worry about not seeing elephants here at the park which is nice to guarantee some kind of wildlife on your trip!
Elephant Ride on the Beach
Bentota is probably one of the most tourist cities in Sri Lanka. Located on the Southern Tip of the country, it has some of the most beautiful beaches and beautiful hotels! While swimming in the Indian Ocean is a MUST, imagine riding an elephant along the sand? Be sure to check out my album to see how truly amazing this experience was. Now, I have ridden a lot of animals but I dreamed of riding an elephant along a gorgeous stretch of beach in another land. It was awesome and a once in a lifetime opportunity!