While Southeast Asia can be a laidback adventurer's paradise, it's also home to some pretty chaotic cities (Bangkok, Saigon, Kuala Lumpur). Escape the crazy and be sure to add these six charming towns to your next SE Asia itinerary for a little calm and a whole lotta charm.Read More
Nuwara Eliya is one of the highest towns in Sri Lanka's "hill country," which gives it an enviable status as it's also one of the coldest places in Sri Lanka. And sure enough, when I arrived by train in neighboring Nanu Oya, I needed to grab my lone cardigan out of my bag. And, to my surprise, it wasn't enough. People weren't lying when they described Nuwara Eliya as "cold." It wasn't just a slight temperature drop, like Malaysia's Cameron Highlands, where the temperature was pleasant by day and you needed an extra layer at night. The temperature in Nuwara Eliya sent me pulling every article of warm clothing out of my backpack and cobbling them together in an outfit that might label me as crazy: my ankle-length black skirt, tank top, long-sleeved button down denim shirt, black cardigan, white scarf. I was so covered I looked like I might be a Sister Wife, or Amish. But, I had no choice, so I set off to see what else Nuwara Eliya had to offer, besides a climate that felt like I was at the beach in San Francisco.Read More
In my original itinerary for Sri Lanka, I'd thought I'd have to head north from Kandy and spend a night or two in Dambulla or Sigiriya to see the cultural sites up there. But as soon as I arrived at my hostel in Kandy, the Canadian girl running the place assured me that seeing both could be done in a single day. Since this day trip is not detailed in either the Lonely Planet or online anywhere, I thought I'd spell out how you can make this trip.
1. Wake up early. Crazy early!
OK, so to my parents, this would not be early. But to me and all the other normal people on the planet, you'll have to rouse yourself at the ungodly hour of 6:30 or so as you'll want to be at the bus station between 7 and 7:30 and on a bus by no later than 8 am.