A Decade of Love: Our Amazing Sri Lankan Honeymoon (Part 2b): Induruwa, Galle, Colombo

Day 5

After Lunuganga, we headed for Galle Fort, which was about an hour away. But first, we had to have lunch because we were FAMISHED.

CHOGM 2013, Galle, Sri Lanka

On our way to Galle Fort we passed through a street lined with schoolchildren welcoming officials for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2013. They gamely posed for us!

For some reason we got really excited at the prospect of having pizza when we saw a Pizza Hut outlet. I don’t remember if it was because we were hungry and Pizza Hut was the first restaurant we saw, or if it was because we were subconsciously craving simple food, after having had gourmet meals for the past week.

We were tickled when we saw they had a localised item on the menu called “Birizza” — which is essentially a fusion of biryani and pizza. It sounded quite interesting, so we ordered one to try.

"Birizza" turned out to be a piece of pizza crust (which I found quite redundant and didn't eat in the end) on top of a bowl of biryani. Lucky thing the biryani was good!

“Birizza” turned out to be a piece of pizza crust (which we found quite redundant and didn’t eat in the end) atop of a bowl of biryani. I got excited thinking it was baked cheese at first, but fortunately the biryani itself was quite good.

And so with our tanks refuelled, we explored Galle Fort. Here’s a bit of its history:

Sri Lanka is an island that has changed hands several times in history. They were once ruled by the Portuguese, then the Dutch, and then the British, before achieving independence in 1948. Everyone wanted a piece of the tear-shaped island because of its strategic location for trade. It had the business of Persians, Arabs, Greeks, Romans, Malays, Indians and Chinese in its seaports back in the day.

Galle Fort was originally built by the Portuguese 426 years ago, and the Dutch and British subsequently added their own fortifications. These centuries-old fortifications later stood the test of nature, when the devastating 2004 tsunami hit Sri Lanka. There was little damage within the fort walls, but tragically the tsunami claimed many lives outside of those walls and in other coastal perimeters.

Tsunami Honganji Vihara Memorial, Galle, Sri Lanka

The Tsunami Honganji Vihara in Hikkaduwa — a giant statue of Buddha gifted by Japan as a memorial for the 40,000 who lost their lives to the tsunami.

Today, within the well-preserved Dutch architecture of Galle Fort, you’ll find residences, a functioning High Court and Magistrate Court, religious sites like a mosque, Buddhist temple and churches, cool cafes, hip boutiques, jewellery shops, book stores, hotels and other businesses. Galle Fort very much reminded me of our Haji Lane/Arab Street in Singapore.

Galle Fort, Sri Lanka

The sea-facing Galle Fort.

Indian Ocean, Galle Fort, Sri Lanka

The Indian Ocean looked stunning but at the same time the vastness of the ocean and its fierce waves were quite intimidating — I felt so small.

Galle Fort, Sri Lanka

A group of Sri Lankan school boys thought I was a celebrity and wanted my autograph. (JUST KIDDING. They were seeking donations for their school. A group of charming boys they were — we said we were on our honeymoon and they complimented us by saying we look good together. Good on you boys — charm gets you very far in life!)

Galle Fort, Sri Lanka

It was sweltering hot and you probably can’t see it but we were actually sweating like pigs in this photo.

Meera Mosque, Galle Fort, Sri Lanka

Meera Mosque, built in 1909.

Lane

Weaving through the lanes of Galle Fort. This was on Church Street. The building on the left of the photo is an Arabic College established in 1892. I wish we would’ve had more time to wander further!

Galle Fort, Sri Lanka

What I got out of our visit to Galle Fort — a pair of pearl earrings and matching ring! I had completely forgotten to bring any earrings on our trip, so my ever so sweet husband offered to buy me a pair. There couldn’t be a better memento of our Sri Lankan honeymoon. :)

 

Colombo

Day 6

We had our last breakfast in Temple Tree Resort & Spa before heading for our last stop in Sri Lanka — Colombo.

Temple Tree Resort & Spa Induruwa, Sri Lanka

Breakfast was meh.

All in all a good-ish stay in Temple Tree. Service definitely has room for improvement, but nothing to kick up a fuss about. We really enjoyed our room — the decor, and the view and sounds of the Indian Ocean were spectacular.

The hotel only has 9 rooms — coupled with the fact that some of the rooms were undergoing maintenance, we literally felt like were the only guests there. Once we did see another Caucasian lady, but that was it. I suppose the lack of people around could make the hotel seem a little lifeless, but we personally had no problems with it because we were a honeymooning couple — we needed exclusivity and privacy!

In Colombo we spent our last night at a business-cum-leisure hotel called Renuka Hotel.

Renuka Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Renuka was nothing fancy compared to the other hotels we stayed at, but it was what you would expect out of a hotel that touts itself as a business-cum-leisure hotel.

Renuka Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka

The view from the room.

Renuka Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Not too shabby — the hotel has a gym and pool on the roof. We didn’t have time to take a dip, but boy did the pool look damn inviting!

We didn’t see the need to get a fancy hotel in Colombo because the main agenda here was to shop for souvenirs and get a taste of the Colombo city while we were at it. Pressed for time, after settling ourselves in we had lunch and went straight to it — we didn’t even stop to take pictures of the city (which I kinda regret now).

Colombo, Sri Lanka

Lunch was Indian food at a nearby restaurant. There is definitely some difference in terms of taste between Sri Lankan and Indian cuisine, though I can’t put my finger on what it is. Anyhow, I don’t remember the Indian cuisine in Singapore to have so many accompanying dishes. Needless to say, we couldn’t finish everything!

Laksala, Colombo, Sri Lanka

We shopped at Laksala, a government-run enterprise selling Sri Lankan souvenirs like tea, handicrafts and textiles.

Odel, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Most of our shopping was done at this departmental store called Odel. That’s me caught in the act, absolutely focused on accessory-buying. I didn’t need any more accessories, but heck — they were cheap!

The accessories I bought. I can't remember how much the necklaces were, but the earrings were like SGD4.50 each?

Managed to exercise some self-restraint and only bought these few accessories. I can’t remember how much the necklaces were, but the earrings were like SGD4.50 each?

Our loot. We didn’t actually spend that much on shopping because we found that the stuff in Sri Lanka weren’t that much cheaper than in Singapore  — well, except for the food, tea, gems, and perhaps locally-manufactured clothing.

Day 7

The next morning we had a couple of hours before our flight back to Singapore in the afternoon, so after having the hotel’s South Indian breakfast, we snuck in yet another trip to Odel, and then to Paradise Road:

Paradise Road, Colombo, Sri Lanka

After having read about Paradise Road prior, I knew I had to come here. Paradise Road is a designer (designed by Shanth Fernando, the same Sri Lankan designer who refurbished The Villa Bentota, to be exact) homeware and furnishing boutique. I foresee myself buying things for my house here!

Sri Lanka

….aaaand it’s back to Singapore. Till we meet again, Sri Lanka!

Sri Lanka sounded great from research, and it definitely lived up to my expectations! In fact, I’m thinking of taking a trip back next year to do all the things we didn’t get to do while we were on our honeymoon.

On our next trip, we will:

  • Conquer Adam’s Peak. Adam’s Peak is a 2,243-metre tall mountain, which is a shared religious site for Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians alike. There is a footprint at the peak, which is believed by the Buddhists to be Buddha’s footprint, by the Hindus to be Lord Shiva’s, and by the Muslims and Christians to be Adam’s when he was exiled from Eden. Adam’s Peak has been on my bucket list ever since I saw the most magnificent sunrise from the peak on the Sri Lanka episode of “Departures”.
  • Go dolphin- and whale-watching in Mirissa. Boats will take you out to sea from the Mirissa Harbour. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see out in the wild a school of dolphins upclose or witness a grand display of whale tail flips!
  • Go on a safari in one of Sri Lanka’s many national parks.
  •  Visit the ancient cityof Sigiriya in Dambulla, another UNESCO world heritage site which contains a 180m-tall rock fortress, and a palace complex. You get another panoramic view of the surroundings from the top.
  • Visit the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage to get upclose and personal with elephants.

Oh what an adventure it’ll be! But before that, we’ll be going for a second honeymoon to Turkey this May! Mega excited!


5 Comments on “A Decade of Love: Our Amazing Sri Lankan Honeymoon (Part 2b): Induruwa, Galle, Colombo”

  1. elunario says:

    Beautiful! Very nice photos babe. And yay to Turkey in May! You’ll love it. :))

    • aida says:

      Thanks babe! I’m really looking forward to Turkey! Which areas did you visit while you were there?

      • elunario says:

        We went to Ankara, Pamukkale, Cappadocia, Kusadasi, Konya, Canakkale and of course Istanbul! Heh. I so want to go back esp to Cappadocia. So super beautiful and serene! Ull love it babe. Take lots of pics! :))

  2. eleventhoctober says:

    WHY ARE YOU SO GORGEOUS WHYYYY


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