Sri Lanka Heritage area questions

Old Feb 25th, 2014, 07:51 AM
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Hi

My humble opinions....

Galkadawala FL is not suitable for a 6 year old.

If you can stay with friends in Ginigathena it will be most rewarding.
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Old Feb 25th, 2014, 01:01 PM
  #22  
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Thanks all -

Mohammed, thanks for the further input on Galkadawala. I certainly understand not every place is set up for a 3rd person. It looks like such an intriguing place... perhaps on a future visit when she's older and we could take 2 rooms.

ann, I think we've got the driver lined up via the agency doing the itinerary. "English speaking driver" and "air conditioned car". Didn't realize when I first posted that same friend who has family there has niece who works for an agency. Fingers crossed but they've been very responsive. Just trying to figure out specifically how to guide them as their first instinct seems to be lux and private enclaves. I'm not normally so unsure myself what I want but SL wasn't my choice (not a complaint, just how things came about) and I've gotten so busy lately... but I'm *usually* the obsessed travel researcher in the family. Glad you mentioned Nuwara Eliya. The agency has suggested a train from Kandy to NE for the scenery. NE could be a good place to stretch the legs for awhile afterwards without feeling like we're missing some attraction we're meant to be at. Is NE wall to wall tourism industry? Sometimes, when I read about Kandy and the Galle fortess, it seems that they've each become one of those places. (though I could well be wrong) Sort of like Essaouira in Morocco. Not that I don't enjoy having everything catered around me, sometimes it's just nice to walk around and be someplace that is "normal" in the traditional sense. Not an exotic version of "twee". (did I get that right? My first test drive of the word "twee")
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Old Feb 25th, 2014, 01:03 PM
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Kathie, oh yes - I was a big fan of dogster's writing! He had such a great way with visuals. I have long been a reader on the Asia forum, having been on Fodors long before actually traveling to Asia. You all are such a close knit group over here and so knowledgeable, it just made more sense to observe. But now since having moved to Australia, Asia seems to be where we're heading *most* of the time (yay for airfare sales to exotic places)... so I read even more so here now.

I think you'll love Cuzco and the SV. It's not like Asia at all... people can be quite reserved, but still friendly. Locals, in our experience, even a bit shy (other than Lima, where they're in the typical big-city hurry). Still lots of touting in Cuzco though. But the views, the history... pretty spectacular. You may not have issues with the altitude. We didn't, except for exertion issues. Mine was something else, pretty grim with fever and losing some vision and stuff. But not really due to it being Peru or high up or anything. Just bad luck, bad timing and a rough few days. Well, then we had a mess with a motion sick 2 year old on an overnight bus through the Andes from Arequipa to Peru... (yeah, I know, I know... live and learn. It was a nice bus though). But nothing inherently problematic in Peru that I saw other than the usual not drinking the water concerns.
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 12:51 PM
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Sometimes, when I read about Kandy and the Galle fortess, it seems that they've each become one of those places. (though I could well be wrong) Sort of like Essaouira in Morocco.>>

I don't know Essaouira, but IMO NE, Kandy and Galle have not [yet] been overwhelmed by tourism. Yes there are tourists around, but they are all commercial centres in their own right, with markets, shops and businesses aimed at locals as well as visitors. Kandy also attracts local pilgrims to the Temple of the Tooth. Nor would I describe any of them as "twee"!

I dont know Ginigathena but any recommendation of Mohammed's can be relied upon.
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 01:22 PM
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No place in Sri Lanka is as overrun as Essaouira was in 1995.
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 10:55 PM
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Hi Ann,

Ginigathena is basically also a small town and a junction of Hatton, Nawalapitiya and Avisawella roads. It is an important location serving the needs of the surrounding farming and plantation communities in the mid elevation hill country and around Ginigathena you can find may picturesque tea and spice plantations. It is very close to Kithulgala which is where all the white water rafting action happens, also the site of the old film Bridge on the River Kwai.
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Old Feb 27th, 2014, 02:36 AM
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Thanks, Mohammed.

As ever you are a mine of information about Sri Lanka.

It sounds like just the sort of place we should head for if [hopefully when] we visit Sri Lanka again.
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Old Feb 28th, 2014, 04:52 AM
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<i>No place in Sri Lanka is as overrun as Essaouira was in 1995.</i>

Kathie - Good! I'm sure that it didn't get less so by the time we visited 10 years later. Not that we dislike Essaouira, mind you. I'd even go back... but it would be to relax, eat, check out historical buildings... not to "see Morocco". But it really is nice to be able to get an idea about how a place works without all eyes on the tourism side of things (and whatever people think we tourists want).

Mohammed, thanks for elaborating a bit on Ginigathena. I agree with Ann, it sounds a lot like the sort of places we've gravitated to. Maybe not specifically for the tea or activities, but as you said - serving the needs of surrounding communities (as opposed to primarily serving... well, me). I had no idea Bridge on the River Kwai had been filmed in Sri Lanka. Bonus... one of my favourite movies.
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Old Feb 28th, 2014, 06:17 AM
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When we were there, the guy who played the little boy was still alive (he thought he was the last person still alive from the movie) and he had parlayed that part into life-long fame. We met him and he talked about the filming a bit. I don't know if he is still alive, but you might let your driver know it is your favorite movie, and I'll bet he can find the guy.
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