sri lanka pt.I

i’ve had 2 flights to colombo in sri lanka. From Dubai to Colombo, we do a transit stop to Malé in the Maldives, so you can imagine how many honeymooners there would be on board. Which is both lovely and disgusting as the same time when i’m trying to give them food yet they insist on displaying their affections in public. If gobbling up each other fills you up, don’t come back to me complaining you’re hungry.

Someone once told me to request a seat in the flight deck if we were ever flying over the maldives, so naturally when i had the opportunity to; i did. and it was mind-blowingly beautiful. i refrained from taking any photos (the flight crew aren’t supposed to allow me in in the first place) just so the pilots don’t get into trouble, but imagine seeing little islands dotted around clear blue sea with little brown chalets and a variety of white yachts.

maldives air photo credited to justpasteit

sunny all year round, unspoiled beaches and incredibly touristic; i can understand why newly wed couples would come here for their honeymoon to do nothing and make sweet lovin’ on the beach (there really is nothing else to do anyway).

on my airline we always strive to make someone’s day a little more special. hence on occasions when travel agencies actually informs us that they have honeymooners on board, we surprise them with a free cake with a big ‘congrats’ written on it and 2 glasses of champagne.

maldives honeymoon

most of the time passengers turn up delighted from the little extra attention. however we had this one japanese couple that looked at us quietly unimpressed and said “but we’re not married”. then there was the few seconds of awkward silence between the couple and the crew.

before i replied; “you can have the cake anyway!”

okay so we landed in colombo airport which is actually almost an hour away from colombo city. we the crew get put into this lovely hotel in the tropics which is 5 minutes away from the airport. there’s nothing near the hotel but a main street, a couple of mini markets and fruit stalls, and the jungle…

welcome srilanka

yes it was naturally really beautiful tho. after putting up with so much of sand in dubai, i never realised how much i missed the greens until we touched down to be greeted with the lush green jungle. oh yea and the mozzies as well.

we landed during dinner time, and most of the crew decided to stay in for the night, wake up early (like 5am) to take a 2 hour bus ride to visit the elephant sanctuary and ride on elephants. Imagining waking up at 5am for a 4 hour return bus ride made me think twice if i really wanted to join them as i’ve already done some elephant riding in bangkok. So this male purser managed to convince me instead; “don’t bother with some stupid elephant ride, by the time you get back you’d be so tired and you have to do the flight. come with me and i’ll bring you somewhere fun and cheap”

so guess where he brings me to; a casino. now before you judge my senior for his destination of choice for my very first colombo layover, i have to admit, i did have a lot of fun. absolutely random but eye opening at the same time.

ballys colombo ballys casino

“ballys” and “balenciaga” were part of the same group of casinos in colombo. it wasn’t a huge one compared to the ones i’m accustomed to in melbourne or singapore, but they still had the normal tables of poker, roulette, pontoon, baccarat and more. however as long as you were a patron of the casino and you spend a little money on the tables, there’s a buffet table ready for you and unlimited drinks to be ordered. alcoholic or non. oh my how happy i was. there was a live band, free food, free drinks on the price of whatever you lost in the casino (or win as a matter of fact)

ballys casino still early, the crowd has yet to arrive.

so we ate drank and won some money which paid for our taxi ride there. i was sooo glad to sleep in the next day, instead of waking up at some ungodly hour. i thought the hotel was pretty cute; as they had a yoga channel and a yoga mat in the wardrobe. so i woke up at midday, did an hour of good stretching and yoga before heading down for the breakfast buffet.

 breakfast terracehotel breakfast

breakfast hotel chef

it seems like that’s what i’m living off right now; hotel breakfast buffets. anyways i did skip this one in colombo and ordered a lamprais/lampreys/lumprice from the alacarte menu instead.

hotel lamprice hotel lamprice

so what is a lamprais? you may ask. i asked the same question after my new found hotel chef friends recommended me the dish. Its a very traditional sri lanakan meal where spiced rice is wrapped in a roasted banana leaf with sides of curries, vegetable masala and chutney. it had a boiled egg and fried mashed potato in a little ramekin on the side, but to my knowledge, some places don’t. the banana leaf-wrapped-meal is then baked in the oven allowing all the flavours and spices meld together. it was certainly very yummy and flavourful but its not something i would eat everyday as it can get a little dry. well worth a try though, if ever you’re in sri lanka or come across a sri lankan restaurant.

sri lanka coconut trees

after lunch was just enjoying the green green jungle and some cheap grocery shopping; but that’s part two =)


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