A Sri Lankan and Adventure
A very exciting times for our new www.paradisesonline.com website and to celebrate I will take our regular readers and visitors to our site on a Sri Lankan adventure.
It was my first time to Sri Lanka and I knew it was a beautiful country from what I had heard, seen and researched over the years. But in reality, all I really knew about Sri Lanka apart from the internal civil war they had endured for years, that now has been resolved, was their passion for their number one national sport, cricket.
My plan for this trip was to visit the west coast of Sri Lanka, which would incorporate two resorts. First one in Negombo called Club Dolphin, which is approximately a 30- minute drive north of Colombo (capital of Sri Lanka) and the second one in Kulatara called Kani Lanka, which is approx. a 2 -hour drive south of Colombo.
I also arranged a visit to Sigiriya, which is located in central Sri Lanka and is famous for its ‘massive ancient rock fortress’ believed to be the 8th wonder of the world and is located in a Unesco World Cultural Heritage Site. Another reason why I was so looking forward to visiting Sigirya was that I had planned to go on an elephant safari nearby.
From Sigariya, an adventurous 10 hour road trip would see me pass through and spend a short time in Kandy, one of Sri Lanka’s largest and most populated cities and on the way visit some spice markets and an elephant orphanage.
From the orphanage I continued on to Kani Lanka and finished off my Sri Lankan experience with an exploration of the eclectic capital of Colombo, culminating with a stay in one of Colombo’s most famous and historical hotels that calls the Indian Ocean shoreline its home; the world renowned ‘Galle Face Hotel.’
I will in the following weeks do blogs on all these areas, parks,reserves, orphanages, hotels and resorts.
Starting with the Club Hotel Dolphin…….
THE CLUB HOTEL DOLPHIN, NEGOMBO
From what I had read, Sri Lanka was a tropical island of remarkable beauty and soon I was to discover a country full of a diverse mix of culture, people, food, wildlife and beaches.
After a 12- hour flight from Sydney via Singapore I arrived in Bandaranaike Airport. At immigration, a huge sign on the wall greeted me with the words: “Drug smuggling carries the death penalty.” That’s when I realized I was far from home. The airport was quite modern and clean but moments later, stepping off a travelator and in the blink of an eye, the airport suddenly turned from your average airport to a combination of a street bazaar and bustling middle eastern market, where all kind of wares were for sale, in a multitude of small stores. Touts lined up outside every shop attempting to draw you into their Aladdin’s cave in an attempt to sell you an array of eclectic goods such as washing machines, clothes dryers, vacuum cleaners and kitchen appliances. Walking further on, hundreds of people, many dressed in Middle Eastern attire, were gathered around luggage carousels waiting for their baggage to arrive, loudly chatting and proudly displaying they’re newly purchased goods.
From the airport I was transported to my first leg of my Sri Lankan journey that entailed a 30 minute drive north of Colombo’s main airport to a hotel on the west coast of Sri Lanka. The hotel is a rambling resort called the Club Hotel Dolphin set in a 20 acre garden compound that has an 800 metre Indian Ocean beach frontage.
As there is not much else to do in Negombo, once settled I settled in at the Club Dolphin, a multitude of activities were available such as:
* Beach and pool volleyball
* Ping Pong
* Mini golf
* Horse riding
* Seasonal dolphin watching
Or, my favourite activity of choice… Lazing by the pool with a book. Resort staff encourage group activities, the most popular being pool volleyball. I felt like I was at a Sri Lankan version of Club Med!
The beauty of this resort is that it can either be a fun filled family holiday or you can chose to just relax and do absolutely nothing. The Club Dolphin resort is quite dated, but once settled in, it has a wonderful feel and a vibrant energy. I had a great few days of relaxing and catching up on some needed rest here, but my exciting adventure was just beginning and that was a road trip to the centre of Sri Lanka to the historical and cultural town of Sigirya.
Ensure you have a supply of quality sunscreen and insect repellant that contains deet due to the very warm and humid temperatures, ensure correct clothing is packed and don’t forget your swimmers!
WHERE TO STAY
The Club Dolphin Hotel
All resort accommodation is available throughout Asia and the Pacific regions catering for all budgets.
For any information on Sri Lanka and the Maldives email me at:
HOW TO GET THERE
Jetset Travel Rose Bay
(02) 9371 8166
The Hotel Club Dolphin
Sunset In Negombo