Polonnaruwa, a city of overgrown ruins in the jungle would be our next and last destination in Sri Lanka. Polonnaruwa, once an ancient capital city of Sri Lanka sits in the sweltering hot lowlands and offers many archeological sites to explore and museums to visit. Anyone interested in the history of Sri Lanka, or who just likes seeing jungle covered ruins should consider checking out the city of Polonnaruwa.
After spending some time in Sri Lanka's central highlands checking out the tea country, we descended back down to the sweltering hot lowlands to visit the countries most famous ruins. Sigiriya rock, like Ayers Rock in Australia, is a large rock seemingly sitting out of place on the surrounding level plains. It is also the sight of a large complex of ancient ruins, built on and around the large stone.
After climbing Adam's peak we took the train east to the small city of Haputale and the great tea plantation which belonged to Sir Lipton himself. One of the most common teas available anywhere in the world, Lipton tea, is grown primarily here around Haputale, Sri Lanka.
The tiny town of Dalhousie, Sri Lanka, doesn't have much to do, the food is not that great and the guest houses are pretty much the worst we've seen in Sri Lanka. So why hop on a train, then take a long bus ride up in to the mountains just to stay for a single night? For the same reason everyone goes there, for the chance to climb Adam's Peak. One of Sri Lanka's tallest and most beautiful peaks. Adam's Peak is a near perfect conical mountain rising up above the surrounding landscape and is famous for climbing to the top in the dark early morning hours before sunrise to catch a glimpse of the suns first rays from the top.
After taking in the sunny beaches of Sri Lanka's southern coast, we headed inland to central Sri Lanka's mountainous tea country. Packing in the swimsuits we headed to the bus station and soon found ourselves surrounded by jungle covered mountains, waterfalls and tea plantations which cover much of central Sri Lanka.
We continued our tour of Sri Lanka's southern beaches by hopping on a bus for a forty minute ride to Mirissa. Along the way we passed dozens of long stretches of pristine empty beaches and clear blue water. The abundance of beaches and lack of tourists is clear. It seems a vast stretch of perfect beach can be found just a few minutes by bus from just about anywhere along the southern coast.
After India we decided to journey a bit further south and check out Sri Lanka. Not originally on our country hit list, we had heard so many good things from other travelers that we decided to add it on to the list. After all Sri Lanka is only a short flight from India, and who knows when we will ever be in the area again, so we bought a plane ticket about a week in advance and were off.