The flight from Chicago to Hong Kong was about 16 hours; way too long. It was a 'good idea' to do a face mask. Why not?
I didn't notice her until I was going to the toilet and she was standing with her face mask at that area. After I came back to my seat, I found her again. Seriously!
Sometimes people have long hours before their connecting flight, and the waiting time is bed time also. Please forgive them, someone found a good spot.
We transferred flights in Singapore.
Steve found good airline food - spinach roti with chicken masala and dhal curry, on our way to Sri Lanka.
I contacted and hired a driver with a private car for our 9 days trip. He picked us up at the airport.
We arrived at the hotel around 7 a.m. and dropped our luggage in the lobby as they wouldn't let us check in yet.
The first day in Colombo, we visited Gangaramaya Buddhist temple.
The little statues in the temple.
Viharamahadevi park, across from the National Museum.
Independence Memorial museum, the stone carvings tell religious stories.
Nearby, an old building became a shopping complex.
Jami Ul-Alfar mosque.
Or they just call it the Red Mosque. Islam is the third major population in Sri Lanka, the driver told us.
Buddhist is the first and Christian is the second, Hindu is the fourth.
Day 2, we arrived in Sigiriya in the afternoon. We were advised to wait until the next morning to go up Lion Rock.
So we went to a wood carving factory, where we were the only visitors and we didn't even buy anything.
Day 3, we went to the Lion Rock. We were glad to see a wedding couple, wearing their traditional costumes.
Sigiriya/Lion Rock is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
A group of monks were coming up.
It feels peaceful in this ancient city at the summit of the granite peak.
What would this palace look like back when it was an ancient capital?
Built in the 5th century, the stairs going up to the palace are flanked by giant lion's paws. With the modern metal stairs, tourists have the climb much easier nowadays. From ground level to the palace at the top are about 1200 stairs.
In the afternoon, we went to another UNESCO World Heritage site, Polonnaruwa,
An ancient royal city in the 11th century.
Day 4, in Dambulla we headed to the Golden Temple, climbing up the stairs on the side of it.
To the cave monastery, with its five sanctuaries.
It is yet another UNESCO World Heritage site.
I found a road-side hawker selling durian on the way to Kandy.
味道不是很濃，還可以，比不上檳城的名種。Sri Lanka 人民好像不是很熱愛榴槤，因為司機說没有人專種榴槤園，他也不喜歡榴槤的味道。
We watched a cultural show in Kandy, then walked to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic.
It seemed that those are part of the package tour groups. Both places are packed.
Day 5, Ramboda waterfall on the way. Besides us, no tourists.
Then we stopped a tea factory for a tour; a remnant of the British colonial times. Naturally, they have a tea house and shop.
A beautiful old post office in Nuwara Eliya. The weather is chilly as the town at high attitude.
Day 6, at the parking lot of Horton Plains National Park. What is this?
The trail is about 8km, we had some fun with the panorama mode on the camera.
After that, the driver dropped us at the nearest train station to take a scenic train ride to Ella.
Buduruwagala, a historic rock temple in Wellawaya.
Day 7, a bear looking for food while we had a safari tour by jeep in Yala National Park. Those jeeps drove as close as possible to him, so the guests could see him. Seemed he wasn't afraid and was accustomed to those noisy jeeps around him.
That was an expensive tour and not many special wild animals we could see. My advice is avoid it as I think that kind of safari tour with too many individual jeeps driving around, definitely would annoy the animals and affect their life.
Mirrisa beach, a little dangerous to climb up the very narrow path near the top of this rock. Anyway, we did it.
So we had a beautiful view from the top.
Day 8, we went on a whale watching tour, but not this kind of boat.
They said this one is a Blue Whale.
After that we went to Weligama beach, where they offered surfing lessons, so we decided this would be a fun activity to try.
Learning to stand on the board was very challenging. I managed to stand up for 2-3 second only, I think.
I lost my goggle and Steve got a bruise on his toe.
(When back home, his doctor said his toe was broken.)
Oh yeah, it's our 10th anniversary trip, 17-25 Jan.
Day 9, on the way to the airport, we stopped at Galle Fort.
Then to a turtle conservation center.
Steve had to head back home to work, and I went back to my hometown for Chinese new year. Bye-bye!