.. there were a few fishes that he caught, using a wooden stick as his fishing rod. we never uttered a single word to each other as i sat beside him – patiently, we waited for a fish to catch the bait; i shuddered as the cold wind swept over my skin.
it has been a year since my last solo trip in india and i’ve been longing to satisfy the travel bug in me. i had the curiosity to visit sri lanka as suggested by my indian co-workers who has told me about the place. the likelihood to travel to this country was possible on my part for the visa will not be a problem for as a filipino citizen, it is easy to process an e-visa done online.
so for my scheduled days off from work, i asked our company travel agent to change my flight ticket from manila into colombo. i purchased a separate ticket to go back home to manila and got a good deal from thai airways for my colombo – bangkok – manila flights (fyi, there is no direct flight for colombo – manila so a stop over is needed wherein i chose bangkok. one can also have a stop over in kuala lumpur and hongkong but the prices will vary).
i took a flight from dammam to colombo through srilankan air. service was excellent, food was fine and the staff were very courteous. my seatmate, who was a tipsy indian national was insisting an odd mix of gin and whiskey for his drink but the pretty flight attendant handled the situation patiently as she explained that she cannot give him such. i was already imagining the guy ruining my flight if he suddenly pukes out his gastric contents in my lap, lol!
after about six hours from dammam, the plane arrived at bandaranaike international airport. i passed by the immigration counter without a fuss and as i approached the arrival area i had to look for a money changer to exchange my dollar into rupees. i chose thomas cook and they had a good exchange rate. the driver of the cab that i have pre-booked was holding a placard with my name on it but i still missed to see him at first for i went straight to the main entrance. he was actually just in the arrival area waiting for me.
it was a first time for me to book a room from airbnb. airbnb is an online service that provides a platform for individuals referred to as “hosts”, generally private parties, to rent unoccupied living space and other short-term lodging to guests. my hosts were an interracial couple who also loves travelling. their apartment was located walking distance to the museum and i took this opportunity to visit. after i dropped my bag and had a nap, i went out and walked to the museum.
the national museum of natural history in colombo is the largest in sri lanka established in 1877. there is a small fee to enter and have to pay for your camera to be allowed to take pictures of the inside.
at the entrance of the museum is a limestone image of buddha from 800AD. its composure denotes its perfect mental state.
an ancient chair made of ivory.
urinals of monks that comes elaborately designed to simply plain with a footstep and a carved hole.
i cannot help myself but to touch the carvings of the inscriptions. there was this mortar and pestle and i just thought of what are the stuff being crushed and ground on this artifact that is hundreds of year old. i tried to lift the pestle and it was heavy!
snake stone carving and buddha heads.
upstairs are some paintings. there are copies of frescoes that are found in the lion rock, in sigiriya.
stone cist burial and a large pot that was found with human ash and offerings.
oba ingreesi kathaa karanavadha? is a sinhala phrase that means do you speak english?
everytime i travel to another country i try to learn or write into a piece of paper some important phrases that can be handy – say if i got lost on my way to my accommodation or which transport to take. by experience, i have been lost in kuala lumpur and spent walking around for almost an hour trying to locate the hotel i was supposed to stay and have asked like six people who had directed me into the wrong way, haha! or when i was in hanoi where i can no longer remember which street my hotel was for it became confusing and considering the dizzying motorbikes running around.
my last solo travel was in india and though my lust for travelling never ceased, changes of my work schedule and some health issues prevented me from accomplishing my travel plans. I wanted a trip to cambodia and had flight tickets to laos which i wasn’t able to use. i told myself that year 2013 will not pass without me going somewhere. this mid-october i will visit the wonder of asia – sri lanka.
my itinerary includes visit to key cities of colombo, kandy and galle. it is worth mentioning that one of my main goal is to see the sigiriya rock fortress. i will be using airbnb on some of my accommodations and it will be a first for me to use their service. airbnb is an online service that provides a platform for individuals referred to as “hosts”, generally private parties, to rent unoccupied living space and other short-term lodging to guests.
i will be taking a flight from my workplace here in the mideast to colombo and train rides to kandy and galle. so i think that sounds like – a plan. hehe. goodluck to me!