We’ve traveled as a three to Habarana and treated ourselves to a more expensive HOTEL called Heritage Hotel. And beautiful it is to, especially in comparison to what we’ve become accustomed to!
We’re here for some serious tourism. This area is well known for the ‘Cultural Triangle’ that encompasses all the major sites! We are ready to be cultured..
Described as a mini Machu Pichu in Sigiriya I was instantly excited for a warm-up trek up a mountain! This description is not far wrong and the climb to the top is not for the faint hearted or those scared of heights, however there was some OAPS that were shoving past us on their power walk to the top. Embarrassing!
The place was teaming with tourists but that didn’t ruin it for me in the slightest. The attraction is a massive granite rock standing 200 meters tall and it’s surrounding architecture of buildings, pathways, ponds and painting. Created in the 5th century the history is remarkable, you are still able to see hand written poems on the walls of the rock as well as the original carved steps that took them to the peak. At the very top are the remnants of buildings, water pools and gardens that used to house the people of that time. Incredible.
And the views from the top! Wow they take your breath away, or maybe just mine because I was still recovering from the climb. I stood there in awe for a while just turning the full 360degrees looking as far as the eye could see!! We were able to take some really fun photos too with my camera that started some trends with some of the other tourists there. It was funny watching them trying to reenact our moves!!
Golden Temple of Dambulla
We then moved onto the Temples in Dambulla. Traveling here by bus is half the fun, what a cheap thrill. I’m never going to get used to their driving, their insane.
The Temples are 160m above and behind the Golden Temple and to get to them you must climb another set of steep, strenuous steps and slopes. That was seriously hard work especially as my legs are still not recovered from the mighty Lions Rock. Ouch!
Eventually reaching the top, avoiding all the touts and cheeky monkeys we donned our cover up clothes in the nearest changing room – the jungle!!
We were greeted at the entrance by “ticket madam?” What ticket we thought? “No tickets, no entry, tickets are in the ticket office at the bottom of the steps.
“IM SORRY?? KILL ME!”
Annoyed is the understatement of the century as there are no clear signs at the bottom to show where to buy tickets and that they cannot be bought at the entrance!
We angrily said collectively that we will not bother to come back up after all of that.
We went back up, of course we did. We couldn’t of come all the way to Dambulla and not seen the famous caves!
Just please anyone that’s going, when looking at the big gold Buddha on arriving, head right and you will find the ticket office!! Very very hidden!
I tell you what though, I am fighting fit now 😉 It was worth it, the caves are an incredible step back in history. Huge Buddhas sit and lie within the 5 caves carved out of the rock that surrounds them. I’m learning a lot about Buddhism, I’m so cultured these days!
For dinner this evening we used our trusty guide book (Becca) and trip advisor and found a hotel 20 minutes from where we are staying called Acme Hotel and restaurant. The food was amazing and we’ve already decided to go back tomorrow.