Friday, November 30, 2018

Galle and Unawatuna | Sri Lanka - The Coast

Sunset over the Indian Ocean
One of the nicest areas of Sri Lanka near the coast is the beach of Unawatuna and the nearby former Dutch settlement of Galle. After a Sri Lanka tour covering all the highlights of Anuradhapura, Kandy, Dambulla, Sigriya etc it makes sense to stop for two or three nights here before returning home.

We stayed at the astonishing Hotel Sun n Sea at the far end of Unawatuna beach with rooms perched right on top of the sea!

Some photographs from this area:

View from the balcony of Sun n Sea Hotel Unawatuna

Fishing on Unawatuna beach

The fish market, Galle

Bananas of all types at the Galle market

Restored Dutch mansions near Galle fort

The ramparts of Galle fort

An antique car in front of a cafe at Galle

The Clock Tower - Galle Fort

Interior of the Dutch Church, Galle

From the deck of the Sun n Sea Hotel Unawatuna

For more photographs do visit

Friday, November 23, 2018

Udawalawe National Park | Sri Lanka

We recently spent two days in the Udawalawe National Park in southern Sri Lanka. While lacking the so called glamour of Yala - the signature park of Sri Lanka - this shrub land park offers a host of wildlife including possibly the best views of elephants at close quarters including many birds and other smaller mammals.

From Wikipedia
Udawalawe National Park lies on the boundary of Sabaragamuwa and Uva Provinces, in Sri Lanka. The national park was created to provide a sanctuary for wild animals displaced by the construction of the Udawalawe Reservoir on the Walawe River, as well as to protect the catchment of the reservoir. The reserve covers 30,821 hectares (119.00 sq mi) of land area and was established on 30 June 1972. Before the designation of the national park, the area was used for shifting cultivation (chena farming). The farmers were gradually removed once the national park was declared. The park is 165 kilometres (103 mi) from Colombo. Udawalawe is an important habitat for water birds and Sri Lankan elephants. It is a popular tourist destination and the third most visited park in the country.

The cost of a jeep for a single half day safari will vary between LKR (Sri Lanka Rupees)  3500 to 5000 depending on the pick up and drop points. The jeep can take around 6 persons. The cost of the entry to the park per visit is given in this photo below:

Some photographs from our visit to the Park

The land monitor

The best park to see elephants in Sri Lanka

A peacock greets the morning sunshine

A storm brews over the reservoir
Elephants in a jeep jam trying to cross the road

The elephants are not afraid of the safari vehicles

An elephant crosses a river with painted storks on the bank

A toque macaque

A red wattled lapwing

A peacock waits for the rain

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Elephant Trail Lodge | Udawalawe Sri Lanka

One of the nicest forest lodges where  we have stayed in recently is the Elephant Trail Lodge in Sri Lanka five minutes drive from the gates of Udawalawe National Park. Udawalawe is the third popular park in Sri Lanka after Yala and Wilpattu but it's well worth a visit and Elephant Trail is the ideal place to stay.

The lodge has around fifteen rooms with high ceilings, a well appointed large bathroom and a sit out overlooking the swimming pool. The best rooms are on the second floor with plenty of light and air.

For more information on the lodge please do visit

Some photographs are given below:

The park is famous for elephants

The swimming pool and sit out area seen from the rooms
Gallery image of this property
Relaxing by the swimming pool
A room at the lodge

Each room has an independent sit out area overlooking the swimming pool  

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Everest Base Camp Trek | New Permits

There has been some confusion regarding the permits needed for the Everest Base Camp Trek.

Currently, the TIMS permit which is required in other trekking areas of Nepal is not needed for the Everest trek and Gokyo.

Instead a local permit called the Pasang Lhamu Municipality permit costing NPR 2000/- is needed and is available on arrival at both Lukla and Namche checkposts.

Other than this the Sagarmatha National Park permit is needed which is available at the Monjo checkpost for Rs 3000 plus 13% tax for Foreign passports and Rs 1500 plus 13% tax for SAARC countries.

No photographs are needed for either of these permits.

For more information on our treks in the Himalaya do visit


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