From the highlands of Sri Lanka we continued our journey to Dambulla, which is also in the inland.
It is only a few hours away but it feels like a different country. The area is a flat, dry and hot jungly area. We arrived at the hotel in a typical tropical rain (the only rain we had in Dambulla by the way). The whole place feels surreal – continuing the movie references, it felt like the sci-fi playing field of the hunger games.
The hotel was designed by the ingenious designer Geoffrey Bawa and is built into a rock.
The construction is a perfect marriage between modern design and the scenery that it is built into. I have never seen something like that before and the whole experience is very hard to describe. Have you ever taken a shower while watching a gang of apes play? You can at Heritance Kandalama! I could not stop laughing, those apes are so funny you could watch them for hours.
We had the most relaxing time there, and spend whole days at the infinity pool where you can look over a lake, the jungle and can even see up to the Sigiriya Rock. Speaking of which – if you had enough relaxation there is a lot to do in the area. Dambulla is the home of two UNESCO world heritage sites – Sigiriya rock and the Dambulla temple cave, which are both only a few minutes away.
When you crossed off cultural activities from the holiday list you can have some more fun by making an elephant ride. It was great to see how easy the giant animal could mount 4 of us and give us a nice tour through the jungle and the lake. The elephant Monica and her mahut were a perfect team and the ride was an unforgettable experience. If I had to choose and visit only one spot in Sri Lanka – this would be it, it is seriously ineffable!
One more tip: You should eat as much hoppers as you can while you’re in Sri Lanka – at this hotel, they prepared the best egg hoppers of our trip :)