‘Snookyville’ and Koh Rong Sanloem

‘Snookyville’ and Koh Rong Sanloem

Whilst we’ve been travelling, accommodation and food are probably our single largest bills. Finding cheap accommodation big enough for two adults and two young children isn’t always easy. The less we spend the longer we can extend our travels. We easily spend $5-1000 per month in most places.

‘Great!’, we have a house-sit for 2 months in Sihanoukville, saving us $500 USD per month (by Cambodian standards). How wrong could we be!

It was essentially a disaster. From the end of June to end of September is the rainy season in southern Cambodia and it’s not unusual for the rain to pour down for four to five days on end. It also doesn’t help that the property we were in had no A/C and flooded three times including the ceiling collapsing in two of the rooms we didn’t use. Yes, it was that bad!

While spending 2 months there we were constantly on the search for child-friendly places, such as ‘King Fried Chicken’ and ‘Café Awaken’.

I honestly don’t know why people live in such a place, other than to escape civilization because of some secret they have. Many of the people we met had some very interesting story to tell :‑X

We became experts in many different cafes & would recommend the following:

Starfish bakery – they even do free Khmer lessons every Saturday afternoon.

Enocafe – Best coffee & pizza in Sihanoukville

The Bavarian – Best German food in Sihanoukville.

Hugo – I loved this place, run by a couple of Czech gents – the beer & food is cheap & wholesome!

You and Me restaurant – great local food & expat hangout

The Sandan – part of a non-profit charity chain. Expensive but nice for a special occasion

Waterhouse café (Otres)

There are some Vegan options, but I really don’t do cardboard food so can’t recommend them. I’m sure others have a better opinion than I. These were:

The Dao of Life

Yellow breakfast

As a treat get to Sokha beach resort, where you will be spoilt, but at $20 each for a day pass it is expensive. You can sit in and use the restaurant for afternoon tea and dinner for free though.

Otres beach is the main attraction, but the build-up of rubbish, which isn’t helped by the fact that the refuse company stopped removing waste whilst we were there, is making it worse. I believe it has been rectified, but it’s easy to throw rubbish over a wall, hoping n-one will notice.

Living in a basic hut with a fan can be great fun, as you can see from our Koh Rong trip, but some of the places on Otres are far too small.

Otres 1 is plagued by the poor road surface, which means you can’t even get a scooter to many of the places.

Koh Rong & Koh Rong Sanloem

The main attraction for Sihanoukville must be the islands of Koh Rong and its baby sister, Koh Rong Sanloem.

We only stayed on Sanloem for four days & it more than made up for the remainder of the time spent in ‘Snooky’.

I managed to get a couple of dives in Koh Rong Sanloem, but it’s not recommended as the visibility is so poor you can hardly see anything. Even when visibility is good, there’s not much to see as it’s been overfished, like so many places in Asia.

It’s definitely worth staying there for longer to explore the island and the many bars.

One of the highlights is the bio-luminescent algae in the water. As you swim, the trails of your arms and legs light up. One of those rare activities that a photo is almost impossible to capture.

Housesitting:

We will still look for housesits but be more careful about the conditions we are prepared to accept.

Next stop – Kuala Lumpur

Phnom Penh – The troubled capital of Cambodia.

Phnom Penh – The troubled capital of Cambodia.

After Siem Reap, we stupidly decided to transfer to Phnom Penh and extend our visas there which takes a week. In hindsight, we wished we would have extended our stay in Siem Reap and extended our Visas there. (we didn’t do our research very well here for the visa options!, but the not so friendly customs officer in Hanoi, Vietnam didn’t help either)

There isn’t really that much to do in Phnom Penh apart from the Royal Palace, National Museum ( where there are a few original relics from Angkor) and the killing fields. It’s a worthwhile trip, but only for a maximum 3-4 days. As we travel as a family, I would n’t recommend SL21 and the killing fields for the faint-hearted and very young children.

Wat Phnom – Birthplace of Phnom Penh
King Ponhea Yat – the last Khmer King

Royal Palace

The Royal Palace is a sight to behold. The buildings and mausoleums dedicated to the Royal family are tremendous. The monarchy is still held in high regard in Cambodia.

National Museum

When in the Angkor Museum, Siem Reap, there is reference many times to the original artefact being at the National Museum in PP. This is a slight exaggeration, as the museum is very small and many of the artefacts are in overseas Museums, such as Paris.

You can easily get around the museum within a half day.  It’s a worthwhile visit including one of the many not-for-profit cafes or restaurants nearby.

One of the torture rooms – you can make out a picture on the wall of one of the remaining victims left behind after the Khmer Rouge evacuated quickly.

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum – SL21

If you’re interested in modern history, a highlight (or lowlight depending on your viewpoint), was the visit to the ex-School-turned-prison for the Khmer Rouge in the late 70’s. The history of the Khmer Rouge and a chronicle of the Cambodian Genocide as part of Pol Pot’s ‘experiment’ into collectivist farms and forced labour. He was responsible for the deaths of approximately 25% of the Cambodian population, an estimated 1 to 3 million people.

Bear in mind the Khmer Rouge was in alliance with the Vietnamese Government against US-backed forces so the whole area is linked to the Vietnam War & so-called ‘Communist’ threat raging across Asia at the time.

Of 20,000 inmates of Tuol Sleng, there were only seven survivors, of which two were in attendance, Chum Mey being one of them. It is an uncomfortable experience meeting the survivors of such a camp. What do you say? I was lost for words when Chum Mey smiled and nodded to me. All I could think to do was return his smile, with my hand across my heart and lightly bow to him (as is common across Asia).

Kaung Kek Leu (also known as ‘Comrade Duch’) the prison commandant was sentenced only in 2010 to life imprisonment by a UN war crimes tribunal in Cambodia.

It is a harrowing, unforgettable visit which certainly tests your emotions.

Tuol Sleng Memorial within the gardens

Ghosts of Tuol Sleng

As everyone who has visited Tuol Sleng – I too have been stunned by the photos of the victims staring at me from the past.

“Ghosts of Tuol Sleng” is an attempt to shed new light on the victims of the Khmer Rouge genocide, by presenting them in a different way than the usual mug shot, that everyone who visits Tuol Sleng will be familiar with.

By photographing the individual pictures in different light conditions, and with visitors to the museum interacting, my aim is to revitalize the victims, show them as human beings – who like you and I – just wanted to live, but never got the chance, dehumanized by a gruesome regime.

None of the pictures are manipulated, but are reflections of the light cast by the images on the glass that protects the photos.

Photographing the reflection of the image instead of the image itself, a ghostlike feeling passes through the pictures.

According to popular Khmer belief, a person who hasn’t been given a proper burial will have to live on as a ghost, unable to find peace. While shooting the pictures this was unknown to me.

When a person dies in Cambodia, the body is usually taken to the local monastery, where it’s cremated. At the funeral, Buddhist monks will chant prayers, to comfort the family and give the mortal’s soul a safe passage to the afterlife.

The gact that none of Tuol Slengs inmates were given a proper burial after being executed in the Killing fields at Choeung Ek 15km. outside Phnom Penh – is a continuing source of suffering for surviving family members.

Of Tuol Slengs 20,000 inmates only 7 survived.

Contrary to popular belief – we can only hope that the victims of Tuol Sleng have been able to find peace, and won’t have to live like ghosts in the afterlife. It’s hard to imagine that their suffering should continue after what they endured. I prefer to believe that it didn’t.

Yours sincerely,

Stefan V. Jensen

It is worth going to Phnom Penh but for only a long weekend, as then you will have covered most of the sights.

We stayed at the NKS hotel also known as Ny Ka Smy Hotel, which was one of the cleanest hotels we have stayed in. It is in an upcoming area of PP, a short walk away from the Russian market, with many bars. Unfortunately, the open sewer runs beside the hotel and we all fell ill. I assume when it rains the lack of a hygienic drain system means you walk the dirt into your room, even though it is common practice to take your shoes off at the door. Young kids with a severe bout of projectile vomiting is not fun.

It’s not really a place we enjoyed (possibly due to falling ill), but also due the lack of interesting activities.

Why troubled as I state in the title? While we were there the current ruling party declared they could dissolve any other party they wished. It doesn’t sound good for any form of simple democracy that exists at present.

 

Next Stop – Sihanoukville

Nha Trang – Little Russia

Nha Trang – Little Russia

Nha Trang (pron. Na Chan) on the south central coast is a popular stopover for many backpackers and tourists. Like most towns it has it’s specific tourist area, but unlike the remainder of Vietnam, is dominated by Cyrillic language signs above the restaurants and shops – illustrating how popular it is with Russian tourists.

Due to the largest Soviet port outside Russia being based a few kilometres south at Cam Ranh from 1979 until 2002, when it was converted into a civil base, Russians have enjoyed the delights of one of the World’s most attractive bays, with its islands and resorts. Vinpearl Island (or Mon Tre), reached by a series of 8 Eiffel tower copies suspending the longest cable car system in Asia.

There are in excess of 700 flights plus cruise ships catering for the Russian market with a monopoly held by the travel firm, Pegas, indicating the tourism investment catering to Russian visitors.

Viet-Russ roundabout
Oceanographic Institute

The working Institute of Oceanography is a must see for visitors to the port area. We spent a half day looking around which the children loved and I also found interesting.

I’m always surprised at the number of complaints on the review sites against going here, when I’ve seen many more poorly kept animals in European zoos than here. I’m not suggesting Vietnam or Asia has a better record and personally I don’t like to see animals caged, especially birds and sea animals, but in the interests of scientific research the collaborations by this institute with its counterparts elsewhere have been invaluable especially with their research in areas such as the Spratley islands.

Oceanographic Inst
Oceanographic Inst
Long Son Pagoda entrance
Long Son Pagoda

Long Son Pagoda, about 1/2 kilometre from the Train station is an impressive sight with its Gautama Buddha (the traditional figure of Buddha) 152 steps up overlooking the town and guarding the cemetery at it’s feet.

It was originally built in 1886 but had to be rebuilt first due to typhoon damage, where it was relocated to its present spot. It was heavily damaged in 1968, as a result of the Vietnam war when it was rebuilt.

As the headquarters of the Buddhist Association in Khanh Hoa district since 1936 it was rebuilt although suspended due to the fall of Saigon in 1975.

 

Po Nagar Cham towers
Po Nagar Cham Towers

The Cham towers at Po Nagar are a particularly good example of Cham architecture. Built between the 7th and 12th centuries they are still used today for worship.

The site is well appointed with a small garden and museum, explaining a little more about the Champa race, when the towers were re-discovered, excavated and restored over the last one hundred years.

If you’ve been reading my previous posts you may know that the Cham peoples ruled the Vietnamese peninsula, including parts of present day Laos and Cambodia from approximately the 2nd to the rule of the Nguyen dynasty in 1832 when they were absorbed into present day Vietnam.

Po Nagar
Po Nagar Cham towers
Po Nagar Cham towers
Tran Quoc Tuan Monument
Tran Quoc Tuan monument

Prince Tran Quoc Tuan (Chan Kwok Twan) commanded the Dai Viet (one of the old names for Viet Nam) and repelled three major Mongol invasions under Kublai Khan in the 13th Century.

This is what travelling is about when you see figures like this and research them as I was always taught the Mongols defeated everyone in their path – obviously not the case and possibly unknown outside of Vietnam. He is also known as General Tran Hung Dao (Chan Hun Daw).

Due to his popularity there are a number of major streets named after him & statues dotted across the country.

Tran Quoc Tuan Monument
The sights and accommodation

It is tempting to want to cram everything into a tour of a country we might not visit again for a long time, but we’re now taking it slower with trying to connect to the locals, learn some of the language and culture, which isn’t always easy in a tourist resort.

Although there are many more things to do in Nha Trang, we only did a handful, although I did take in five days of scuba diving (Another post due soon on diving in Vietnam).

As we’re budget travellers by choice, hoping we can bootstrap a number of business opportunities whilst travelling, we’re always looking for cheap, but CLEAN, accommodation. When we initially arrived we stayed at Queen 7 hotel, which was adequate, although too small and with no disrespect to the thousands of Russian holidaymakers we decided to find something out of the centre.

This is where our habits are starting to change as we need some space to clean, cook, eat etc. to be comfortable. We stayed here for 2 nights and then looked around locally after searching the map. We found a 2 bed apartment, managed by two Ukrainian women, Homestay ‘Margo’, complete with kitchenette & free use of the sunroof balcony (although it’s too hot) which was $25 per night on the north of the bay at Hon Chong beach, where we stayed for the remainder of our time in Nha Trang.

 

Viet-Russ monument
Next stop: The UNESCO site of the ancient village of Hoi An. Only a 12 hour overnight bus ride!
Hoi An panorama

Saigon…The crazy city that is Ho Chi Minh

Saigon…The crazy city that is Ho Chi Minh

Saigon collage

Saigon. Sounds exotic but as a city it’s one of the craziest we’ve been to. It’s now officially called Ho Chi Minh (or HCMC) after the US left after the Vietnam war. We arrived on the 28th March after three flights and 2 layovers via Finnair from Berlin-Helsinki-Hong Kong and finally at Tan Son Nhat International (SGN) airport approx 30 minutes drive north of the central district.

Where to stay

Saigon is split into Districts, appearing to emanate out from the main centre. We stayed in District 1, in a budget hotel called Phan Lan 2 in the backpackers area just off what is known as ‘Backpacker street’, or Pham Ngu Lau. Although basic it met all our needs and I would recommend for the prices. However if we were staying longer we might have stayed further outside the central district, which would probably be cheaper still.

If you’re on a short stay and reasonable budget there are some tremendous hotels around the Opera house and Saigon square.

We used Agoda so far for all our bookings, which seems to have worked for short term rentals. The link at the bottom of the page can be used to book with Agoda.

Phan_Lan_2 hotel_Saigon
Phan_Lan_2 hotel_room_Saigon
Crocodile at Saturday market
Pho Ga (Chicken Pho)
Pasteur St brewery

Food and Drink

The food is fantastic and so cheap and we’re staying in the tourist area of town where I’d expect it to be more expensive. Pho (pronounced ‘Fu’) is surprisingly tasty if you know what to do with the leaves left on the side of your table, by breaking them up and adding them to your soup, it adds so many different flavours. My favourite is Pho Ga (Chicken), but it comes in many varieties such as Pho Bo (Pork), Pho Hai San (Seafood) etc.
The beer is also cheap at an average 25,000 Dong (VND) or 1 Euro for a bottle of Tiger beer or the local brew, Saigon Green, red and special. If you look at some of the cheaper bars then you can get Saigon beer for as little as 15,000 VND or Euro 0.60.
There are some new microbreweries opening up generally with expat assistance, such as Phat Rooster and Pasteur street brewery, but these are generally more expensive(65,000 VND or 3 Euro for a small 1/2 pint/230ml) but taste like artisan beers.
Like in all asian countries they have their fair share of questionable foods, such as boiled fertilised duck eggs (where the embryo has started to grow), Snakehead soup, Phá lấu (Intestine stew: Pig & cow intestines boiled down into salty broth), Snails and Frog (in any form you can imagine). You can see the very french influence with their equivalent to Escargot, Grenouille and Tête de veau taken to another level, but maybe the english black and white pudding has a similar effect on many!
Considering our site is dedicated to Tea, we haven’t found a decent tea shop as coffee is generally drunk everywhere, with the favourite being Vietnamese iced coffee made with condensed milk with coffee dripped over it then added ice (Cà phê sữa đá). The budget hotels don’t have kettles either so have had Tea withdrawal symptoms whilst in Saigon.

Saturday market

Things to do

The ten days we stayed we were limited to what we could see considering a population of approximately 10 million (and the many events for catering their needs). Staying around district 1 meant we got to see most of the sights within walking distance and feel the ‘grittier’ side of the area. With a baby and a toddler there are a few things we can’t do yet but didn’t feel particularly limited.

These included the War Remnants museum, which I didn’t feel the need to be reminded of the horrors inflicted on the Vietnamese (especially after speaking with someone who had nightmares after visiting) or driving hours to walk along the remnants of the Cu Chi tunnels, the labyrinth of underground tunnels built by the Viet Cong.

However we’d recommend, considering we have 2 young children travelling with us:

  • Saigon Square
  • Notre Dame cathedral & the surrounding area.
  • Bitexco skytower
  • Jade Emperor Pagoda (73 Ð Mai Thi Luu) built 1909
  • There are a few public parks where you can grab a coffee and let the kids run themselves tired.
  • The Opera house is worth going to if there are any child-friendly shows on.
  • Water puppet show
  • Take a Cyclo / Trike tour around the city.

As with any new city, it’s worth walking around just to take in the culture, flavours, sights, sounds and smells of the area.

Notre Dame Cathedral
Hainam stylish hotel
Water puppet show
Mopeds in Saigon

Getting around

Buggies (or Strollers) are not catered for as the pavement has been adopted as parking space for the millions of mopeds. Unfortunately this means walking in the road most of the time which although doesn’t sound safe, we never felt in any danger from the generally slow moving mopeds. However the more sensitive might not agree.
A joke seems to be green light means go, whilst red light means, still can go!

The down side of this is the fact that both Amelie and Soraya are both walking & being pushed around by buggy at exhaust level & I wouldn’t imagine an extended stay in Saigon for health reasons.
(There are in excess of 8.5 million mopeds/scooters, almost a ratio of 1 to 1 with the population.)

If you need to go further taxis are everywhere and relatively cheap. The 30 minute cab ride from the airport to District 1 is approx $10 USD

Too many mopeds in Saigon
TEP Wireless
Keeping in touch

We didn’t rush getting a SIM as after 20 hours of travelling, we just wanted to get to the hotel. For the first day we used our TEP wireless device for access until we had found the best SIM card & rate. The TEP is not cheap but serves its purpose when in transit or just arriving in country, giving us time to search for the best rate between competing mobile phone providers. I did a lot of research on the various options before opting on this so get in touch if you want more info.
We opted to go with Viettel from a local Viettel store, after hearing the street vendors aren’t licensed and people getting cut off. It cost approx 10 Euro for 2 x 10GB monthly data SIM cards, which we found was half the price of the same deal at the airport.

Keep following us as we search for the best places in Asia for a family with young children. Next stop Mui Ne, approximately 5 hours drive by coach from Saigon.

Post office map

Sri Lanka – Island of Smiles

Sri Lanka – Island of Smiles

Many times we’ve been asked where we went on holiday & after stating, ‘Sri Lanka’, quite often receive some look of concern & the inevitable questions, ‘Is it safe?’. When I explain some of the history, climate, religion & landmarks, it becomes quite an adventurous, but safe tale.

Ceylon critters

Sri Lanka Flora and Fauna

 Sri Lanka, ‘Ceylon’ & it’s rich history

 There are many people who remember ‘Ceylon’ & its reputation as a premier supplier of tea (Ceylon tea is not only Black, which you can find more about within our resources pages on our website). However, it’s darker side uncovers the strife caused by the 30-year civil war between the North (predominantly native Indian Hindu ’Tamil Tigers’) & South (Native Sinhalese Buddhists). Following on from independence (from Britain) in 1948 the majority Sinhalese speaking Sri Lankans, attempted to make Sinhalese the sole official speaking language, disenfranchising & depriving many Tamil speakers of citizenship & forced migration to India. The subsequent revolts by the Tamil militia groups & Government forces led up to 100,000 people being killed from the early 70’s until it ended in May 2009.

Only in recent years has the far north opened to foreign visitors, also leading to a general increase in tourism to this verdant, green, island nation.

We lived in the UAE, so exploring countries east of the Arabian Peninsula was a great opportunity rather than travelling to the traditional European holiday spots, surrounding the Mediterranean.

Travelling to Sri Lanka.

 We’ve taken numerous trips to Sri Lanka & love the place, hence the title, ‘Island of smiles’. I always state to interested visitors, Sri Lanka is like a safe, clean version of India (not wanting to dismiss India, but I still believe if a visitor enjoys Sri Lanka, it’s a good introduction to what’s on offer in India). I have friends, especially female, who will not visit India due to incidences of molestation and reported cases of sexual assaults. This is especially the case during major festivals such as Holi. Again, we have to recognise these isolated incidents always tarnish a countries reputation & in no way suggesting you shouldn’t consider India, as it is vast in culture, size & languages.

Dambulla, Central Sri Lanka

Thilanka

Thilanka Resort and Spa, Dambulla

 One particular trip was for a week to ‘Thilanka Resort & Spa’, in Dambulla, in the centre of Sri Lanka near the ancient UNESCO World heritage sites of the city of Sigiriya, where a palace was built on the top of a 200m rock, and the Golden Temple of Dambulla.

Golden Rock Temple of Dambulla

 The Golden Rock Temple, Cave Temple, also known officially as the Rajamah Temple of Rangiri Dambulla, is the largest Buddhist cave monastery in Sri Lanka, dating back 22 centuries. Built into a rock face it holds 157 statues of the Buddha and some magnificent images painted on the rock cave faces. Incidentally, it was also from here where the Buddhist monks led the nationalist uprising against the British in 1948.

However, the real fun is in the journey.

At the time, we only had our eldest daughter, Amelie, who was 10 months old, so I had the unenviable task of walking up the 100’s of steps to get to the temple, passing a few street sellers, with unique wooden puzzle boxes & other knick-knacks for sale. It’s amazing how a 5Kg(11lb) weight can feel like 50kg (110lb) Note to self: ‘walking uphill is far easier on your knees than downhill’. We always come away with some trinket or other of interest, but hopefully a unique memento to the region. (It’s no surprise when a few visitors to our last home stated it reminds them of a museum!). Sri Lanka is home to one of the World’s richest deposits of Gemstones, such as Sapphire, Ruby, Topaz, Amethyst and high purity Gold, such as 22K, which is sold as much to the local population as it is to the rapidly increasing tourist market.

 

Schoolgirls

 My wife & I, both being of a fair complexion & our daughter the same with blue eyes & fair hair, attracted the local girls school party (as well as the monkeys). I’ve never quite been mobbed by so many school girls wishing to touch a baby. It can get a little overbearing except for the beautiful toothy smiles from all the girls, as they attempt to stroke, pat & generally touch Amelie, almost as though they have never seen a blonde, blue-eyed baby before.

The monkeys, forever little thieves, always on the lookout for some extra food or another plaything they can run into a tree with.

 We went to the cave temple, which as is standard practice in many temples, can be entered only barefoot. Shoes are left at a station with a short 20-30 metre walk to the main entrance & then across a courtyard, which is hilarious at the height of the day, with the gasps of, ‘ooh, ah, ee!’ & imitations from Monty Python’s ‘Ministry of Silly Walks’ sketch, with people running across the sun-baked courtyards barefoot, before getting back to some shade.

A great day out for what was a beautiful relaxing holiday. We would recommend if you’re going to Sri Lanka & can manage to take it slow, it’s worth staying inland for a few days otherwise it’s a trek, with a 4-5 hour drive from Colombo and the West coast. Get to know the local Tuk-tuk drivers, who will act as tourist guides in return for the price of a fare. The chances are the level of service & comfort will be higher than the coastal resorts, which are priced at a premium. Our 1 week stay cost approximately 500 Euro. We ended our holiday just North of Galle for 3 days, which was at least double what we paid in Dambulla.

Research your destination 

 As with every location, it’s worth knowing a little bit of history and culture before being an ‘idiot abroad’. For example, if I was travelling to the North, it’s worth checking the route, as there have been some continuous mine-clearing operations, so it wouldn’t be wise to explore off the beaten track without a guide. However, most of the major tourist attractions and hotels are in the South, as the North slowly re-opens in areas, such as Jaffna & Trincomalee.

There are still ongoing problems within Sri Lanka, as the government in 2015 had initially refused entry to the UN to investigate alleged war crimes during the civil war. In late 2015, the government temporarily refused entry to foreigners wishing to travel to the North. However, the latest news is that Sri Lanka is expected to become a fully demilitarised country from 2018, which is encouraging. The whole country is now free to visit.

Regardless of its recent history, Sri Lanka makes a great vacation spot. The food is tremendous, being a relatively small island, with fish a staple in many recipe combinations.

Fish for dinner

Weather

 The weather is constant more or less all year round. It does experience a monsoon season, but all this does is provide an opportunity to take advantage of cheaper accommodation.

The best ‘recommended’ time to go is from November to April, but even if it does rain, it will be a short, sharp burst probably lasting an hour or so.

Temperatures range around 25–30C (75-90F) all year round, with humidity increasing during the Summer months.

Sri Lanka attractions

There are many jewels to explore, such as Galle, the Portuguese fortified village in the South; Kandy, the ancient capital with the Temple of the Tooth, the sacred resting place for one of the Buddha’s teeth; Colombo, the capital; the many tea plantations; elephant watching in the wild & a must is taking a train journey with all the locals. Shopping for precious and semi-precious gems and Gold Jewellery, where you can have something simple custom made in days is a must, considering the good value in getting it from the source. I would n’t recommend getting a hire car as the island is well served by both the train, which is an experience, as well as local taxis & Tuk-tuks. I gave up my seat once for an elderly woman & was met with bewildered stares & many giggles by most on the train!

Wadduwa

Stuart, Jacqueline & Amelie went to Sri Lanka in March 2015.