Sri Lanka
North Central Province

Here you’ll find travel reports about North Central Province. Discover travel destinations in Sri Lanka of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

106 travelers at this place:

  • Day6

    Safari, so good

    February 25 in Sri Lanka ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    The earliest alarm yet at 5.30 am - we need to be waiting at the park's gates for them to open at 6.00! We have our own jeep and driver but all the guides were booked unfortunately so we will just have to keep.our eyes peeled!

    It's wonderful to see and, mainly, hear the animals and birds waking up to a new day. The jungle is huge and very wooded with many lakes and is packed with birds. It smells lovely too! By the end we stopped taking pictures of peacocks as we saw soo many!

    The best thing was to see an elephant! He was knee deep in a lake eating weeds and we stayed to watch for a long while. Elephants are special - each time a jeep came round the corner and people saw him, their faces broke into childlike smiles, regardless of age.

    We also saw water buffalo, a crocodile, many spotted deer, wild boar, mongoose, monitor lizards, frogs and monkeys but the only leopard we spotted was on the gate!
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  • Day4


    January 18 in Sri Lanka ⋅ ☁️ 27 °C

    Early start for the trip down to Polonnaruwa, which started with a tuktuk ride to the bus station. There was a bus already there and waiting so we grabbed some snacks and hopped on. Fairly ancient model of bus, but the inside wasn't too bad - at least the seats had padding! Plenty of space at first as the bus wasn't too crowded, but by about 90 minutes in it was mostly full and we were very squished together on a three-seater with another man. Definitely designed for Sri Lankan sized people, not westerners!

    Eventually it emptied out a bit, and by around midday we got off the bus in Polonnaruwa. Walked a few blocks to our hotel, dropped off the bags, picked up some bikes and headed off. First stop was lunch, where I had a vegetable kottu - a sort of stir fry dish that used diced up roti bread instead of noodles or rice. Very tasty.

    Our destination was just outside of town, the Ancient City of Polonnaruwa. This was the capital of Sri Lanka after Anuradhapura, roughly around the 10th-13th centuries. The site here was quite a bit more compact, and also better preserved than Anuradhapura. Less cycling, which was good since we were both still sore from the previous day! But it's also not an active Buddhist pilgrimage site, so most of the people we encountered were tourists (largely French and other Europeans).

    Quite a few sites to see, including a royal palace, several large stupas, ruins of lotus ponds, and various temples as well. Interesting stuff, and a lot of it was in quite good condition too though one never really knows how enthusiastically things have been "restored".

    Since we'd started late it was nearly sunset by the time we finished and had to ride back through the entire length of the park. Thankfully it was almost entirely downhill, which had escaped me on the way out but I was most thankful for!

    Had a bit of confusion with the people running our hotel since they expected us to be having dinner there (they'd asked and we hadn't said anything committal), so when we went out for dinner they seemed slightly perturbed. It seems like the done thing that everyone eats in at the guest house, and the room is probably also a loss leader for them as the dinners can get quite expensive. In any event, we went to a restaurant nearby and had a vegetarian curry buffet which was quite nice.
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  • Day3

    Exploring Anuradhapura

    January 17 in Sri Lanka ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    Up early, had our hotel breakfast of Sri Lankan food and then headed out on our borrowed bicycles, heading for the nearby ruins of Anuradhapura. This was the ancient capital of Sri Lanka, originally starting around 500 BC, through to around 900 AD.

    Quite a bit to see, though it was spread out over quite a large area and cycling around proved to be tough work in the sunshine and heat. Lots of large stupas to see, including several that are still active Buddhist shrines, attracting pilgrims from across the world. Not many western tourists about, surprisingly, mostly Sri Lankan and Indian tourists.

    Biggest mistake for the day was that we hadn't realised we needed to pay our entry tickets (a very steep USD $25 each) in cash, and once we'd paid that we had basically no money left. This meant we couldn't have lunch until we made it back to town, a 20 minute ride away. Thankfully we had enough for an extra bottle of water which was definitely needed!

    Rode around checking out various things until about 3pm when we'd seen most things and were extremely hungry and thirsty! Back to town we went, stopping by the ATM and then getting some much needed food and drink.

    Such a late lunch meant we weren't particularly hungry for our hotel dinner, which was a shame because there was a large spread on with lots of great curries and other foods. Managed to get through about half of it!
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  • Day2

    North to Anuradhapura

    January 16 in Sri Lanka ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    Reasonable night's sleep since we were both very tired by the time we arrived, though we did both wake up a couple of times. Our train wasn't until 11:50am, so we headed out into the city in search of breakfast and a few sights. Colombo isn't a major highlight city, and it was still quite early (around 7:30am) so there wasn't a whole lot open.

    Eventually over near the train station we found a bakery and had a couple of omelette rolls (literally just a bread roll with an omelette in it), along with some tea. From here we headed across into the Fort district to check out the old Colonial buildings and the government office buildings which were still kinda impressive.

    But eventually we wandered back to the hotel, grabbed our stuff and headed to the station. Picked up our tickets with no issues (again it had been a bit of a worry since they were bought by a third party), and then had an hour or so to wait. Had another cup of tea and bought some samosa-type snacks to munch on during the journey.

    The train arrived right on time. Our second-class tickets meant that we had a padded seat and plenty of luggage space, though it wasn't air-conditioned (at least the windows opened and the doors stayed open the whole time too). Not at all modern, but comfortable enough. Spent about 20 minutes rolling through Colombo before getting out into the fields - green rice paddies as far as the eye can see. Very fertile, and very pretty.

    Second class unreserved and third class didn't look like much fun - standing room only! Wouldn't have been a great way to spend four hours. Arrived in Anuradhapura at around 4pm, got a tuk-tuk over to our hotel which was much nicer than the previous night's. Decided to have dinner here as we were both tired. Food was great though huge portion sizes - too much! Lots of Sri Lankan curries and other dishes which were all very tasty.
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  • Day173


    March 23 in Sri Lanka ⋅ ☀️ 34 °C

    Wir gönnen uns ein überteuertes, aber westliches Frühstück im Hotel direkt am Bahnhof von Jaffna. Dann geht es mit dem Zug 4,5 Stunden für 1 € nach Anuradhapura.
    Anuradhapura zählt zu den UNESCO- Welterbestätte und durch seine Tempel, heilige Plätze und Ruinen zu den eindrucksvollsten Stätten Südasiens.
    Wir mieten uns ein Fahrrad und fahren zum Sri Maha Bodhi - heiliger Bodhibaum und zur Ruvanvelisaya Dagoba - buddhistische Stupa.
    Wir haben Glück und es ist gerade eine Art Festival, bei dem fast alle Menschen weiß gekleidet sind und Blumen als Opfergabe am Baum und an der Stupa niederlegen.
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  • Day32

    Tuk Tuk Tour: Polonnaruva

    January 5, 2018 in Sri Lanka ⋅ 🌙 9 °C

    Der Besitzer unser Unterkunft hat uns heute von 8 Uhr bis 18 Uhr mit seinem Tuk Tuk durch die Gegend gefahren. Erster Stop war die Ausgrabungsstätte Polonnaruva. Hier sind wir bestimmt 3 Stunden durch die Gegend gelaufen.

You might also know this place by the following names:

North Central Province, Província Centro-Norte, උතුරු මැද පළාත, வட மத்திய மாகாணம்

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