ගිය පෙබරවාරි අන්තිම අපේ ඉස්කෝලෙ යාළුවෙක් කසාද බැන්ඳා. වෙඩිම තිබ්බෙ වැලිගම මැරියට් හෝටලේ, ඒක ඉවර වෙලා පොඩි රෝන්දෙකටත් එක්ක ඊට අල්ලපු ගමේ, මිරිස්සේ, සීක්රට් බීච් එක හොයන් යන්න මායි, දුලිතුයි කල්පනා කලා. ටිකක් හොයන් යන්නෝන, මං ලොකේෂන් එක මේකෙ දාන්නම්, රූමස්සල ජංජල් බීච් වගේ තමා ටිකක්. වැඩි කාලයක් යන්න කලින් ඒ ලෙවල් එකට ඒවී. ඒ කිව්වේ සෙනඟ පිරේවි.
Friday, August 30, 2019
Friday, August 23, 2019
අර ෆේස්බුක් එකේ ශාමිනී සේරසිංහ ඇන්ටි මට මේ දවස් වල විවේකයක් අරන් දීලා තියෙන නිසා...........😂, අතපසු උන පරණ කතා ටික ලියන්නත්, සිංහල ලිපි ටික එක තැනකට ගන්නත් මට දැන් නොසෑ.........හෙන්න වෙලාවක් ලැබිලා තියෙනවා 😅. මේක අවුරුදු 3ක් විතර පරණ ගමනක් ඒත් ඒ විස්තර මට සිංහලෙන් ලියාගන්න වෙලාවක් තිබුණෙ නෑ.
Monday, August 19, 2019
පහුගිය ඔක්තෝබරයේ මට Africa රටවල් දෙකක සංචාරය කරන්න ලැබුනා. එකක් සැම්බියාව. අනික කෙන්යාව. සැම්බියාවට යන්න හේතුව උනේ මීට අවුරුදු කීපයකට කලින් මම යූටියුබ් වීඩියෝ එකක වික්ටෝරියා දිය ඇල්ල(Victoria Falls) අග මිනිස්සු පීනන වීඩියෝ එකක් දැක්කා, ඉතින් මටත් හිතුනා ගිහින් බලන්න. වික්ටෝරියා දිය ඇල්ල තමා ලෝකෙ ලොකුම දිය ඇල්ල. තව ලෝකෙ ස්වභාවික ලෝක පුදුම හතෙනුත් එකක් වෙනවා. සැම්බේසි(Zambezi river) ගඟ ලොකු පැලුමකින් වැටිලා තමා මේ දිය ඇල්ල හැදෙන්නේ. මේක මුලින්ම හොයාගත්තා කියන්නේ ඩේවිඩ් ලිවින්ග්ස්ටෝන් (David Livingstone) කියන ස්කොට් ජාතිකයා. එයා මේක වික්ටෝරියා රැජිණ නමින් නම් කරනව. ඒත් ස්වදේශික ජනතාව කියන්නේ "Mosi-oa-Tunya" එහෙම නැත්නම් 'ගිගුරුම් දෙන දුමාරය' (The Smoke That Thunders) කියල. මේ දිය ඇල්ල, එහෙමත් නැත්නම් පැලුම තමා සැම්බියාවයි සිම්බාබ්වේ දේශයයි වෙන් කරන්නේ. මම වාඩි වෙලා ඉන්න තැනට එහා පැත්තෙ පේන්නෙ සිම්බාබ්වේ දේශය. මේ Devil's Pool එහෙම නැත්නම් 'යකාගේ තටාකය' කියන එක ගඟේ මේ කොටස අයිති හෝටලෙන් තමා කරන්නේ. මේක කරන්න පුලුවන් අවුරුද්දේ එක කාලෙකදි විතරයි. අගෝස්තු අග ඉඳන් ජනවාරි මුල වගේ වෙනකන් පුලුවන් වතුර අඩු කාලේ මේක කරන්න.
මේ ගැන තවත් තොරතුරු කියවන්න>>>
Saturday, August 17, 2019
Batad is one of the 5 UNESCO world heritage sites in Banaue, Ifugao province, Philippines. The Ifugao Rice Terraces illustrate the remarkable ability of human culture to adapt to new social and climate pressures as well as to implement and develop new ideas and technologies. Although listed by the UNESCO as a World Heritage site believed to be older than 2,000 years. Ifugaoes used to be head hunters. And this is the same tribe that carved out terraces on the sides of mountains 2000 years ago, just mind-boggling.
Monday, October 8, 2018
The main reason why I went Africa was this Devil's Pool tour in Victoria Falls, Livingstone, Zambia. I saw it on YouTube like 3 or 4 years ago and ever since that I was planning to visit it.
What got it late my visit to Africa was the bribery cases in Africa. I've heard the stories like a policeman randomly check your passport and don’t give it back without you giving him some money. I was not brought up that way by my parents so by all means bribing someone is something I don’t like. I was collecting information about this issue for years like how to get rid of such situations in Africa solely because of visiting Victoria falls. Anyway, there was this point came where I need to visit Africa negating these bribery cases. So I went Africa. I was in 2 African countries within 1 week, I did NOT encounter a single situation such that. I'm glad I made this tour.
Victoria Falls is the world's largest waterfall. Victoria Falls is one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. It is around 2 times wider then the Horseshoe Falls and 3 times higher than the Niagara. This was first discovered by David Livingstone. He was a Scottish citizen and He name the waterfall after The Queen Victoria. Locals in Zambia call it "Mosi-oa-Tunya" which means 'The Smoke That Thunders'. And Victoria falls separates Zambia and Zimbabwe. The waterfall is in Zambia and the other side is Zimbabwe. Zambezi is the name of the river which creates this marvelous natural wonder. Devil's pool is only accessible from Zambian side, so you need Zambian Visa if you're coming from Zimbabwe side. There's special visa call 'Kaza visa' for tourists who visit both Zambia and Zimbabwe. Visa fee is $50 and they add up a service charge too.
Devil's pool tour is operated by the Hotel(Tongabezi Lodge) who owns that part of the river. And I must say it is well organized, properly managed and conducted under careful eyes of guides. So far no casualty has been recorded attempting to dip in the Devil's Pool. This is only possible during low water seasons, mid August to mid January. You can see the available time stots from this site and book the tour using the same site. This is the site allocated for information related with Devil's pool http://www.devilspool.net/. This is Tongabezi main site https://tongabezi.com/. But when I was trying to book via online, the devilspool.net site had some issues. So what I did was, I asked my accommodation people to book a slot for me. When I came to my accommodation they gave me a receipt and I paid the amount at the Tongabezi hotel.
You need to get to the Tongabezi hotel to start the tour. Taxis are available and that's how you can get to the hotel. On the way you can discuss with the driver about the pickup time and ask him to come back and pick you up. Since it's a luxury hotel and if you get a hotel cab it would be too expensive. Devil's pool tour Guides pick you up at the hotel's deck. And then you've 5 minutes boat ride towards the edge of the waterfall. You stop your boat at the Livingstone island and then it's a 5 min walk and 5 min swim to the Devil's pool.
Devil's pool was first discovered by the local fishermen. They were used to catch fish here and later tourists came and took photos and then the word went out. They carry 5 tours per day. I specifically went for the morning tour as I learned on internet during morning sessions there could be a chance that I would see a rainbow. And I wasn't disappointed. The tour is like 1 1/2 hours. After that you can enjoy a lovely breakfast.(Or lunch or evening tea depending on the time you select the tour)
I faced no issues related with Zambia except for their eVisa. I applied using their official website https://evisa.zambiaimmigration.gov.zm. I had a nightmarish time close to a period of month trying to get the Visa. I wrote to their immigration, I wrote to their other embassies, I called their consulate here in Sri Lanka dozens of times, I applied again for visa through an agent but nothing worked. 2 days prior to my departure, I still did not get visa, I was at my flight booking agents to change the flight tickets. I was like just about to confirm the new flights, I just checked my phone email inbox and saw a new email notification. That was Zambian visa. Fairy tale end. Getting Zambian Visa was mentally torturous but still worth it comparing the experience.
Zambian immigration responded me on my last day in Africa. I was in Kenya at that moment. They were very slow to respond. What worked for me was, Like 6 days prior to my departure, I was desperate, I humbly asked my Zambian accommodation people whether they can give a call to Zambian immigration and check the status of my application. They went a further step ahead, they contacted someone at their tourism board and he/she contacted Zambian immigration. He/She was the influence who got me visa as I believe. Pure luck! My accommodation was Fawlty Towers Backpackers and unless for them I would not have made it. It was a good joint in the town to spend some quality relaxed time. From Fawlty Towers Backpackers to Tongabazi hotel taxi fee is 60 Kawacha(Like 5 or 6 dollars). But make sure you negotiate with your driver before you get in the car. And cars are available right in front of Fawlty Towers Backpackers.
Friday, April 20, 2018
Malacca (Or Melaka) is the historic city of Malaysia. This historical city has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 7 July 2008. Malacca was a fishing village first, like in 1300. Then Malay sultanates controlled it till the Portuguese conquered it in 1511. Malacca was important to them as it was accessible in all seasons and on the strategically located narrowest point of the Malacca Straits. In 1641, the Dutch defeated the Portuguese in an effort to capture Malacca. Malacca was ceded to the British in the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 in exchange for Bencoolen on Sumatra. From 1826 to 1946, Malacca was under the rule of the British. Malacca went briefly under the rule of Empire of Japan in 1942–1945 during World War II.
Since Malacca straights plays a vital role in sea trade, and Old city of Malacca situated at the narrowest part of the straights, You can probably understand the amount of sailors from different parts of the world hovering around the old city back then.
How to get to Malacca
I travelled from KL, by Bus, which was the easiest. You can book buses online. There are several bus services operating to Malacca(Or Melaka Sentral Terminal). I took KKKL bus liner to go Malacca(RM 14.50) and Transnational service to get out of Malacca.(To KLIA2 RM 24.50). out of the 2 bus services I used, I could safely say KKKL is much better, more leg space and comfortable.
I booked my tickets from here: http://www.busonlineticket.com/bus-from-kl-to-melaka
Journey is like 2.5 hours. In fact you cover 95% of your journey in 2 hours on highway and rest 30 mins traveling main streets of Melacca facing obvious traffic. Traffic is much less though.
Once you get to Melaka Sentral Terminal, You can book a Grab to reach your hotel.
Booking a hotel
I used Agoda. 2 most important things.
1. Book accommodation anywhere within 10 min reach from Jonker street
2. Night market operates on Friday, Saturday and Sunday
All most all the Historical sites are within the reach from Jonker street. So you can cover all that by walking. Or else you can rent a fancy trishaw, which I haven’t tried.
Another accommodation booking tip is, try to go for an A/C room if possible. Heat is unbearable sometimes. Especially if you’re an European.
Same way, by bus is the easiest and cheapest. There are buses operating to KLIA and KLIA2 as well. My ticket to KLIA2 was RM24.50 and it was a 2 hours journey.
St. Paul’s Church
The ruins of St. Paul’s Church are at the summit of St. Paul's Hill. It has been in ruins for more than 150 years. To this little mountain top, you can clearly see the Malacca straights.
St. Paul’s Church was enlarged to two stories in 1556 (after the Archbishop of Goa in India handed over the church to the Jesuits in 1548); between 1567 and 1596 the Portuguese added gun turrets to the chapel and it became a fortress. In 1590 a belfry tower was added to the front of the church and it was renamed the Igreja de Madre de Deus (Church of the Mother of God). When the Dutch invaded Malacca in 1641 it was badly damaged (the belfry tower was destroyed) but the complex was later repaired and renamed St. Paul’s Church, it was primarily used as a Protestant church for about 112 years until Christ Church was completed in 1753. After that, St. Paul’s Church fell into disuse. Under the British administration, a lighthouse was built and it eventually ended up as a storehouse for gunpowder.
A’Famosa was built in 1511, the settlement used to sprawl across a whole hillside but now only a lone gate (Porta de Santiago) remains. One of the oldest surviving European architectural remains in Asia. Originally constructed by Alfonso de Albuquerque (who led the Portuguese invasion on the Malacca Sultanate), the remains of the fort is now a crumbling whitewashed gatehouse and is located downhill from St. Paul’s Church
Jonker Walk/ Jonker street
Probably the most remarkable place to visit in Malacca. The road starts from across Melaka River near the Stadthuys. The road is filled with historical houses along its left and right sides dating back to 17th century. It also has shops selling antiques, textiles, foods, handicrafts and souvenirs.
Flor do Mar dutch ship
Not the original ship, but a replica of the original ship. This is a Naval Museum in Malacca now. For a foreigner entrance fee is RM 10. It absolutely worth to pay the price and see the museum. I never thought I’d get inside a Dutch ship one day. Probably the part I enjoyed most in my time in Malacca.
Queen Victoria’s Fountain
The Queen Victoria Fountain was built in 1901 by the British. This fountain is still functioning well and is probably the only functioning colonial water fountains in Malaysia. The fountain is a famous backdrop for visitors who come to Malacca. On the tip of the fountain says 'Victoria Regina 1837-1901, erected by the people of Malacca in memory of a great Queen.
The Queen Victoria Fountain is probably one of the last traces of the British colonial era in Malaysia and it symbolizes the glorious days of the British colonization in Malaysia.
Saturday, January 21, 2017
Link to zipline video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvPptZBz1aA
First time I saw this zipline video on a Youtube video and ever since I wanted to do this. And my main purpose of visiting Philippines was the Zipline. If you’re planning this trip, this is how I planned it.
You’ll have to get a flight to General Santos airport. Air fare is not that costly. Internally I took 4 flights in Philippines with Cebu pacific airline. Nothing to complain with the service.
Once you arrive at GenSan airport there will be people holding boards for taxi. You can go to one of them and ask to drop you at General Santos City bus terminal. The people who are holding boards have 100 pesos as the fare, but the driver took 300 pesos from me. He said it’s a fixed price, and to be fair it’s like a 20km, 30 minutes, ride.
At General Santos city bus terminal(Or GenSan City bus terminal or Bulaong terminal) take the bus(Yellow bus) to Koronadal( Or Marbel). It’s displayed in the bus windscreen and it shows how many stops (1 stop, 2 stops) as well. Take the direct bus to Marbel. Bus fare is 85 pesos. It took like 1 hour to Marbel bus terminal.
From there you have 2 options.
Take another bus(Yellow bus) to Surrallah Integrated bus terminal, and then take a van or Jeepany to Surrallah bus terminal(Or Lake Sebu). Bus fare is around 30 pesos. Surrallah Integrated bus terminal to Surrallah bus terminal(Lake Sebu) Habaal-habaal ride will be like 100 pesos.
Once you get off at Marbel terminal, take a van straightly goes to Lake Sebu. Do don’t have to bother finding a van, there are people shouting at you saying different destinations’ names and you just need to pick the one who’s shouting “Lake Sebu sirrr, Lake Sebu maam”.
I took the Option 2, as it was one less headache to bother. Van fare is 80 pesos. On your way you’ll pass Surrallah Integrated bus terminal. Then you’ll arrive at Surrallah bus terminal(Lake Sebu).
Here something interesting happens. It’s good for the tourists. At the Lake sebu bus terminal, they collect your information and they give you a motor bike driver and whole throughout the tour he’ll be with you. The drivers know each and everywhere and tours are listed and priced. For the 7 falls it’s like 40 pesos, half day 300 pesos and likewise. Those are very fair prices. Other thing is, if something bad happens they would know how to trace you, as they know with whom you went with. Get the mobile number of the driver and whole your tour can be done with him. Once they get your details and they will give you the driver, and he’ll take you to your hotel.
Why motor bike rider?
Roads in Lake Sebu are terrible as it can be. Not even bikes can make it sometimes, a tractor would be the ideal. The motor bike drivers know every place there. I stayed in Sun rise garden lake resort, just it is the closest to the zip line and I thought I would make it alone. But I’d recommend Lake Sebu Mountain Log Resort. They do email replying as well.
Simple fact I recommend Mountain Log Resort is, From my GenSan airport to Lake Sebu ride wasn’t pleasing as much as I thought. I was travelling solo, felt so isolated once I got there. All I wanted was getting off from that place as soon as I could once I’m done with Zip line. So I asked a cab from Sun rise garden lake resort people and they told me fare is 3500 pesos. Considering the mental stage I was in, I’d have agreed to 5000 even. But the thing is, before my tour, during the days I booked my accommodation; I sent few emails to several other places as well. Mountain Log Resort is such place and they offered airport pickup for 2500 pesos. So the normal price should be like that. Another thing to suspect the fare was, we normally pay the driver after the tour. But next day morning when I went to the reception, they asked me to pay it at the reception itself. I felt they cheated. So that’s why I don’t recommending them.
So, zip line.
On weekdays Zip line fare is 250 pesos and weekends and holidays its 300 pesos.
There are 2 zip lines, 740m and 420m, for a one ticket you can ride both the zip lines. And there are photo booths as well. For 200 pesos you can get a softcopy of your both the zip lines’ rides. There are 2 more photo packages as well.
Once you get to the other side of the zip line, there’s another zip line to come back again. But bit lower to where you’ve originally started. By the time you reach there, your motor bike driver will be there to pick you. He’ll pick you from there and take you to your hotel or maybe other places you want to visit in lake Sebu.
I’m not sure I’d recommend this for a Solo traveler, but I had no harm there, and definitely worth the amount I paid for the zip line considering the adrenaline rush goes through your veins.
I arrived at the Zip line starting point like 11 am, and I saw the reception has “CLOSED” board. I was so daunted. But the motor bike driver asked me to wait and brought the news they are having lunch and once they finish they’ll open the counter. I was little surprised to hear 11am lunch but it was just my 2nd day in Philippines so I thought these people must be having early lunch. Later 3,4 days I figured the reason. There was a small boutique there, and an old TV. Rather than having the lunch, most of them were around the TV watching a boxing match, even my motor bike driver. That day I thought as they don’t have anything to do till others finish their lunch so they watch it, but after 3,4 days in Philippines I figured what a fad they have for Mani Pacciquo. They worship him. That was a Mani Pacco’s match and all were watching it. To worsen the things, Mani Pacciqo’s born city is GenSan. Then same-city-fit as well. So I had to stay till 1.30pm till Mani Pacciqo finishes his match. Anyway, I’m glad that ever after such long awaiting, I got to do the zip line ride. Though it says 7 falls zip line, you can clearly see 2 waterfalls only. But there are 7 waterfalls. Ever since I mentioned to a Filippino that I went GenSan, the reply comes as “ aaah Mani city, you went Mani Pacciqo’s city”