Monday, 4 January 2016

Exploring Scenic Sri Lanka

A trip away from the strict regimentation of Military life was what I really needed. So much has happened within the past 9 months; so much laughter and joy, so many new experiences and of course, some tears along the way. Prior to my trip I did a lot of research and Sri Lanka, the land of the hills caught my eye. I figured it would be a good experience to spend both Christmas and New Years in a foreign place for some self reflection. It turned out to be the best decision I made in 2015.

I started off my trip in the west coast of Sri Lanka. Having arrived right on Christmas Day, I decided to spend Christmas differently this year by going to the local fish markets. While I was there, I engaged in a Long conversation with Jockim, a local dry fish maker who works 6 days a week preserving sun dried fish. His English was really good and after talking a little longer I soon found out that he takes English classes every Sunday. Hoping to make his day a little better, I gave him and a few other locals Santa hats which I bought from Singapore.

Jockim holding a sun-dried barracuda mouth

Celebrating Christmas with Jockim

His smile after giving him a Santa hat

Having heard so much about the nature and wildlife of Sri Lanka, I made the decision to head down South to Udawalawe National park. Despite the time inconveniences it brought me, riding the 4WD Safari Jeep and watching herds of elephants walk by made me not regret my decision. Having been to Zoo's rather than National Parks all my life, my first experience here made me smile so widely. The Wildlife and lush scenery at Udawalawe made the trip so scenic and I would trade so much just to be brought back to that moment.

Riding into the Sunrise

A elephant walking across the road

A herd of elephants feeding on the plants

Ella was definitely the highlight of my trip. Situated in the mountainous area of central Sri Lanka, I'm guessing that this is the reason why people call it the land of the hills. Being up in the mountains, the weather was cooling and slightly foggy due the the humidity. I made several walks and climbs while I was in Ella but the most memorable climb would be the one to Ella rock. I was extremely unprepared for the climb, I had neither hiking shoes nor a wind breaker to fend against the chilly weather and occasional rain. Halfway up the climb, the sole of my sneakers came apart and I was forced to use string and laces to fasten it temporarily; a memorable experience indeed.

Close up shot of the Demodara 9 arch bridge

Enjoying the scenery after a hike up Ella rock

Hiking up little Adam's peak for Sunrise

After spending days immersing myself in the cool climate of Ella, It was finally time to head back to the warm city of Colombo. The decision boiled down between the two modes of transport, bus or train. Eventually I decided with the more scenic route and it was mesmerising beyond words. The 9 hour journey took me through the breathtaking hills and amazing landscapes of Nuwara Eliya. Spread out before me was this incredible sight; it seemed as though every colour was at the right place. It felt as if all my senses were bursting out to the point whereby I thought I could see better, smell better and even hear better! 

Leaning out of the train for a shot

Hilly landscapes seen throughout the ride

Small waterfalls seen along the way

After so much of walking, hiking and moving around it was nice to spend my last couple of days resting and lounging around Sri Lanka's capital, Colombo. Over a spread of 3 days I took my time to explore the old local streets, the beautiful beaches and the local Parks. 

Tuk Tuks by the streets 

Galle face beach

Street stalls inside Viharamahadevi park

Being able to make this trip happen just after 3 months of Military Service has been a dream come true. What started out as an idea became an actual reality. Sri Lanka has been everything I dreamed of but better. 

Any questions for me? Comment and ask about it below! 



  1. Hi Joel, your photos look amazing! Did you take photography lessons? Or are you self taught? If so, where did you learn from?

  2. Hi there! Thank you for your compliments! My photography skills are self taught through many experimentations here and there. Along the way i met some experienced Photographers and they gave me tips and advices to capture better shots.


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