Yes it’s possible! Come to Sigiriya and have a great time without doing the big rock – we’ll explain how.
Marna and I aren’t big fans of tourist attractions, and especially not when you have to pay loads of money for them. We decided to stop over and see Sigiriya for a night after Kandy, and are very glad that we did – there’s plenty to keep you entertained for a day 🙂
On arrival we went to our guesthouse, the Sigiri Lake Paradise – it’s a bit out of town so you’ll need to grab a Tuk tuk if you don’t have your own transport. With that said, it’s 110% worth the effort, being one of the best places we’ve stayed so far, and the home cooked food was to die for….
From here we headed back into the village – there are 2 sections of the village, about 3km apart – the local shops at Kibissa selling Tuk tuk parts and plastic buckets, and the more touristy shops and cafés close to the rock monument.
We went to the tourist village first for lunch, and discovered a cute café, literally called café cute, which does a wonderful iced tea just the way we like it 🙂 happiness.
After lunch a stroll through the local village was what we needed, and along the way we discovered the ruins of an ancient stupa, with lovely paths leading through the surrounding forest – Ramakale stupa, on the left side of the road driving west from sigiriya village, free entrance.
The fun doesn’t stop there though, by now it was getting to mid afternoon, and we needed to head up to Pidurangala! Turns out there’s another rock just behind the main one, with the best views of sigiriya short of renting a hot air balloon – entrance is only Rs500 (very cheap by sri lankan standards) and its a lovely place to go for sundowners.
The entrance also gets you into a temple with a few paintings, and a semi-restored large Buddha near the top. Bit of a scramble to the top of the rock, don’t attempt if your BMI > 30.
After drinking brown cow (coke light mixed with vanilla flavoured milk) for sundowners, it was time for dinner at our guest house – little did we know that our host was an incredible cook! I got a great recipe for eggplant, which we’ll adapt a bit to Western kitchens and post when it’s perfect 🙂
We got up early the next morning and had a walk around our lake, watching birds, looking at farm life starting, and enjoying the peace and tranquility. Came back to a fantastic breakfast, and then packed the Tuk Tuk and left for Batticaloa!