Posts tagged Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: It’s Tea Time

Hello everyone! How are you today? I sincerely hope that you are good and that you are ready for another adventure. Today I will continue to write about my impressions from Sri Lanka and this will also be the last post from this series of posts from this trip. If you have not read previous posts or you want to read them again please visit, Sri Lanka: The Island Where Dreams Live – LINK and Postcard from Sri Lanka: Signs are everywhere… – LINK.

I would like to use this opportunity to say thank you to all of you for the unselfish support and wonderful messages you send me on social media and via e-mails. THANK YOU guys!

In my previous posts, you had the opportunity to read a lot of interesting things about this beautiful paradise island. You learned something new and why is Sri Lanka recognisable in the world. Did you know that Sri Lanka is on the list of five largest tea exporters in the world? You did not know that fact? I did not even know it until I heard the story of our guide. We had amazing time on tea fields! 🙂

The weather in this part of Sri Lanka is always misty and the temperature is drastically lower than in other parts of the island. Humidity and colder weather are perfect conditions for the tea leaves, but for me who came from warmer and sunny parts of the Sri Lanka was a little shock, but thanks to God so I listened to my mom and brought a jacket with me on Sri Lanka. I’ll just say, “Thank you, Mom!”, The mothers always know best!

I learned a lot about tea. It was fun, they showed us how to properly harvest tea leaves and put them into the baskets that they gave us to carry on our backs.

We learned about all kinds of teas growing on this plantation, we did a little work here on fields (but as you see we were taking the pictures more) and the time flied so fast, so we spent almost 2 hours in the field without feeling it. In the picture above, you see my colleague and friend Rakel, who came from the Philippines to feel these beauties of Sri Lanka.

After a little work in the field, our hosts took us to a factory where they dried and processed tea leaves until the final product which I’m sure most of you love to drink at 5 o’clock. Are you for cup of tea? 🙂

What you see on the tape is my result of 2 hours working in the fields. These are the leaves which I picked up, I’m not bad considering the fact that it was the first time in the field, but this would not be enough to fill a filter bag of tea… (They told me so!)

The tea-making factory at first sight looks pretty old and my first thought was that they all do it manually. I was wrong! The factory is equipped with new technology that helps workers increase their productivity. 

The wages in Sri Lanka are not great, sometimes people are not satisfied. They are happy to have a job because it’s hard to find a job there when you are an elderly person, as well as everywhere in the world. The chances of getting a job are less when you are an elderly person. Employers are fair to older people who have certain benefits in the work of shorter working hours and longer breaks. The elderly prefer to work and in most cases they are better workers and for a short period of time during working hours they perform significantly more work than the younger workers.

The smell that has caught us in the tea factory is amazing, natural fragrance like some of the most beautiful perfumes. The only slightly problems are connected with humidity and additional heating. That is because the factory is almost 40 degrees due to certain processes that need to be done when processing and drying tea leaves. Like every business, this one has some of its advantages and disadvantages.

This lady works in the tea processing sector – fermentation the third and last tea processing process. What is tea fermentation? This is the process of processing tea leaves where the chemical process of converting insoluble molecules from tea leaves into soluble and digestible is carried out. If by any chance we “skip” this process, the tea would be very saturated and not tasty at all.

After we had completed a visit to the plantation and tea factory, the blogging crew continued adventure. The landscape we had occasion to see during the trip was incredible. We just had to stop and capture this amazing moment. The guides understood our fascination so they took us to lunch at a nearby restaurant. They changed the plan for us, and because of that we are very grateful to them.

Since the trip was quite long, we arrived at Kandy late at night. I had a good rest and got up before just to have the opportunity to enjoy the view. Good morning, Kandy!

The hosts at the hotel started preparing a special breakfast as soon as they saw me sneaking around and I was taking some photos, so I used my chance to take a photo of them secretly, and this picture was not bad at all. This is the true picture of Sri Lanka, a true exotic tropical paradise with a incredible spirit.

 

 

Breakfast, part one! This was the first dish of my breakfast, the first thing that caught my eye was an interesting decoration and richness of colours. I would like to thank my hosts from Mahaweli Reach Hotel for wonderful experience and warm welcome. Thank you for having me in your wonderful hotel! 

Nice and warm weather, sun, swimming pool, delicious food, what you can expect more from the life! On this trip I had a feeling like some small child in the candy store. Thank God I didn’t gain some extra weight and again I enjoyed the various exotic salty and sweet dishes in this paradise! Finally, I would like to say big thank you to the Sri Lanka Tourism Board for this wonderful experience. 

My dear ones, we have come to the end of this third and also the last post from this series of posts about my adventures from Sri Lanka. At the end of this post I decided to leave you to admire the beauty of the nature of this beautiful hotel. I sincerely hope you enjoyed and I would love to hear your opinion. Have you been in Sri Lanka? Are you planning to visit this tropical paradise?

If you have any questions, comment, suggestion or message for me you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as of now, you can always contact me via mail or social media, and you can find it on the CONTACT page.

Best,

Mr.M

This post is sponsored by Sri Lanka Tourism Board and Mahaweli Reach Hotel. For all these beautiful photos I used Sony Alpha 7r camera and Sony RX 100 Mark V.
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Postcard from Sri Lanka: Signs are everywhere…

Hi everyone, how are you today? I hope you are well and you are spending this sunny Sunday in nature with your family and friends. Sunday is reserved for some good time,  a nice rest with people who you love and for that famous psychic preparation for the next working week. Do you have any special rituals? I’d love to share with me some of your tricks!

Today, I decided to continue with a series of posts from Sri Lanka, so my best therapy right now is the writing of this post. When I’m writing posts I’m so calm down and I feel some peace. Honestly, I’d love to find some new hobby! ?

 

 

In the previous post, you read how I arrived in Sri Lanka and how our first blogging days looked like there. Sri Lanka is an exceptional island. I felt the freedom to give it the nickname – The Island of Dreams, this epithet simply best describes an island like Sri Lanka. On Sri Lanka everything is possible! ?

 

 

These days I got a lot of questions about how I manage to travel and spend time on nice and exotic destinations? I decided, as always, to sincerely discuss with you about this. I’m sure that you have ever heard of Press Trips – Media Trips so far. What are those trips? Traveling for the media is a special type of travel where representatives of various media outlets (printed media or online media) are invited to visit the particular destination.

 

 

This time I received a kind invitation from the Tourism Board of Sri Lanka to visit their country. This was an exceptional honor for me, because since now I only had only the opportunity to hear the wonderful experiences of my friends and acquaintances about this  wonderful island. Without thinking, I accepted the invitation and I started to pack my bags for this journey.

 

 

Press trips are very interesting and educational, when you have chance to meet with some new religion and to learn something new about culture and their customs. On the other hand, press trips can be very hard and literally to kick you off your feet. I admit, I am a person who is not perfect shape, but adrenaline and the desire to discover new things are stronger and I’m just push myself to go further.

 

 

At the end, everything comes around to you again! Just imagine the fact that you are traveling a long distance and that you have to change the hotel almost every day, maybe it’s fun to do it, but think again… 11 days, 10 nights, 8 different hotels. Little Marko needs to unpack, iron the nice things you will wear that day, pack them again. Do not think about those lizards on the wall that you first thought were those are nice toys on the wall.

 

 

My first contact with the Resort type of hotel in Sri Lanka was fun, crazy and unforgettable. At a first sight, I was surprised and delighted by the details, real lizards on the wall, I thought that they are a nice decoration on the wall until they started to move their tails and they were making some strange robotic sounds, which made me really think their batteries were out and my first thought was: “Oh, my God is how I will sleep tonight!”. Believe me sometimes I have a problem when I’m traveling, maybe first two or three days I sometimes don’t sleep at all and you can guess that feeling of tiredness is always uninvited guest on the trip…

 

 

With smile on my face, I get out of my hotel room and I went to see what is waiting for me for the dinner. There was live music, instruments that I haven’t had the opportunity to see before. Instruments that attract attention with their interesting shape, but believe me with the magical sound that I you imagine that you are in heaven… Good mood, nice food and hanging out a little with my colleagues. We had some conversation about some of our experiences from previous press trips.

Everything was just perfect until I just heard a sentence that I did not want to admit that it was true: “Marko, those are geckos, they are not toys, they are real lizards! “. I am a huge animal lover, there is no animal that I didn’t have as a pet, the list is long… I’ll just say that I had a wonderful pair of Canadian squirrels, then you can understand how much I really love animals … It’s all nice, but reptiles and insects are not exactly my favorite animals, I really love when I meet them for a few minutes outdoors and everyone after goes their own way.

 

 

The time has come to go back to the room… Now I knew that my childish statement that in my room are the simple lizard’s toy wasn’t true, so I could only pray to God that they went outside somewhere, it’s night for God sake, they also have some interesting night life. I entered the room and I felt so happy because there were not lizards in the room, you do not know what relief was in that moment. Don’t worry it was not the end, I had a crazy night with lizards, I didn’t sleep that night at all, but I realized the next evening that he was just a passing guest, just like me!

I would like to share today with you the photos that I have made in the hotels. Very interesting landscapes, who would say that a man can do so well photos in a hotel, I learned a lot of wise advices in one of the hotels… Because of that, this post was given the title: Signs are everywhere. So let’s start!

 

 

The first hotel that I’m about to write today is a true paradise for all our senses. Beach, melody of waves, a coconut… I walked almost a mile by the beach and I didn’t have the chance to meet anyone. You can just sit on that perfect beige sand and watch how the Indian Ocean waves showing you their beauty. Hotel Jetwing Surf is the first surf luxury resort hotel of this type in Sri Lanka. It was opened in December 2017, it’s still a pretty new, but because of the staff you would never notice it, you would think that this hotel has been there for a long time.

Why is this hotel special? It is special because of its position and in less than 2 minutes you have the opportunity to enjoy the charms of the Indian Ocean. The hotel consists of 20 charming villas, very interesting design. I saw the first time a squirrel on the coconut tree. It was so funny!

 

 

I was impressed because of special faucets whose was made of special shells, very unusual and original! The bathroom of every villa is located outside and is a very unusual concept, showering under the coconut tree is an unforgettable experience… Don’t worry until then I got used to the lizards and other animals. The hotel is very interesting and anyone who is planning to visit Sri Lanka and you want to explore to the east  coast should visit this amazing hotel.

 

 

 

New morning, new challenges! It was time for little Marko to pack up again, to check all his stuff and just try hard not to forget the chargers for his “toys” (cameras)! We said bye to the wonderful staff from the hotel and continue our journey in our famous white blogger van.

The trip to the next hotel was very long almost 7 hours drive, and if we count on a break for lunch, then it’s a trip of some 8 to 8 and half hours…

 

 

For the first 2 to 3 hours I have to admit that I was a hero, but the tiredness finally defeated me. My colleagues somehow successfully tried to wake me up when we reached this beautiful waterfall. The smell of water, the sound of the water that cross the rocks, and you make sure you do not splash your camera… It was a real adventure! As soon as I returned to the van, I decided to continue with my beauty sleep for the rest of the trip. 😀

 

 

Destiny wanted from me to wake up a few minutes before coming to the next hotel. It was so quiet in the van because youtubers have slept… I managed somehow to catch the Internet because it was possible only in the cities because of the provider network. The phone started to act so crazy, I thought it would explode of vibrations because my mom’s 275 messages: “Where are you ?, Markooo where are you?” And other famous messages that you all know well when your mother is looking for you. I just started to eat that cold lunch because I slept that most important part – LUNCH!

Thanks to my colleagues and drivers who were wonderful so they knew about what I was eating, they ordered for me and saved my lunch, but my mother, as always, knows to catch the right moment, she called me againg… Thanks God I managed through a whisper to explain to my mother that I was not kidnapped, I just slept a little and I’m just trying to eat something right now and just to explain to her that she was interrupting me while I was trying to eat something and I didn’t want to wake someone from the group they slept so tight.

 

On this trip the Sri Lanka Tourism Board managed to fulfill all my expectations, each hotel was better than the previous one. I will not even mention the food, I always had the feeling that I am in paradise when I see all those wonderful cakes! Thank you for this wonderful experience!

 

 

When we arrived at another hotel, we didn’t have the feeling that we are in Sri Lanka. This hotel with it’s elegance and formal looking at first glance there is no exotic note that is expected to be when you are in a place like Sri Lanka. Welcome to Grand Hotel Nuwara Eliya!

This building was originally a  holiday residence of the famous governor Edward Barnes. Today, this beautiful huge villa, called by some in the joke, has nearly 160 rooms. Impressive, isn’t it?! Interestingly, the construction of this residence cost less than 10,000 British pounds. Of course, you must have in mind that the money at that time had a completely different value. ?

 

 

Hotel Nuwara Eliya is well known for its gardens. To remind you, in this post, I wrote about a hotel in which I learned some very wise things which changed my view of life. In gardens of these wonderful hotel you have wooden boards that show a certain periods in the life of one man with a little help of wise sentences. It depends on us which way we will choose in life, but signs along the way can be of great help in life.

 

 

Beautiful flowers, roses, magnolia trees… A true paradise for all our senses! If you are a huge fan of bright colors, this place is perfect for you! If you like nature, this is the right place for you! I had the opportunity to rest a little and enjoy in the beautiful sun rays in this charming garden.

 

The feeling is gorgeous, you just need to close your eyes and to listen the sounds of the birds and you will have some new moment to remember for the rest of your life.

 

 

Sometimes photos are very powerful, the real power of photography is incredible. A month ago, I was in this beautiful place today as I write this post for you, when I’m looking at these photos they reminds on that incredible journey, I even feel the scent of flowers in that garden. These are not hallucinations, they are just nice memories.

 

 

Guys, we have come to the end of this second post from this series of posts about my adventures from Sri Lanka. I sincerely hope that you enjoyed and I would love to hear your opinion. Have you been in Sri Lanka? Are you planning to visit this tropical paradise? We’ll see next week what Sri Lanka has to offer us and we continue this amazing adventure! ?

If you have any questions, comments, suggestion or message for me you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as you know, you can always contact me via mail or social media, and you can find it on the CONTACT page.

Best,

Mr.M

 

 

The post is sponsored by the Tourism Board of Sri Lanka, the hotel chain Jetwing and the Hotel Nuwara Eliya. For all those beautiful photos I used the Sony Alpha 7r camera.
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Sri Lanka: The Island Where Dreams Live…

Hello guys, I hope you’re good and this nice time helps you to get through this working week so easily. There is still a little time left to the weekend, so the countdown can start now slowly! I think this is a perfect time to start a new series of posts and to discover all the beauties of a little paradise island country. Let me introduce you to one of the  most beautiful island – Sri Lanka!

 

 

When I received a mail from Sri Lanka’s tourism board, I couldn’t have read it all because of the excitement which I felt in that moment! The only thing I read was a sentence that I repeated in my head for a few minutes until I have finally come to myself and realized that I have the chance to visit such an exotic country: “Mark, are you ready for an adventure? Sri Lanka is calling you!”.

 

 

For a moment, I thought it was some early brilliant prank for April Fools’ Day, because the start of the trip was planned on April 1st and I just didn’t give up some importance. Of course, as always I just can’t sit like that so I checked with my colleagues bloggers.  I realized that it was time for the little Marko to visit Sri Lanka! My happiness in that moment I just can’t describe with the right words, there were tears of joy, my mom wanted to go with me, and there was a real mini drama in the house for a couple of days… After few days my mother, who as you know is my photographer, she forgave that I wouldn’t take her with me on the Sri Lanka’s trip.

 

 

The days have passed, the time for the journey was getting closer and closer, and I was secretly hoping that it was not a prank and I would really go to one such trip like that…

Three days before the trip I got my flight tickets and of course again you can just imagine me how I’m running through the house and screaming with joy, because that was the sign which I was waiting for…

 

 

The first day of the April, the unusual morning crowd in the downtown of Belgrade I hardly managed to get out and with a couple minutes of delay I checked on my flight and finally I’ve started my new adventure. That day I will remember, that is for sure! I didn’t feel the tiredness of the previous trip or the cry of frightened babies. I just couldn’t have missed reading of “professional travel literature” – Guide: How to survive Sri Lanka and some old issue of Hello magazine…

 

 

Well, landing in Doha it didn’t get to be scary as I was in India recently, so I acted like a true “professional” traveler and I went straight to the boarding gate for the Colombo.

After 11 hours of reading some “interesting” literature, few naps and 2 movies, Little Marko arrived to Colombo. First Impression: “I will die, here it has almost 37 degrees outside and it’s 4 am… God what’s waiting for me all those days!” I must admit they have very interesting airport. You wouldn’t expected to find a nice house technique at the airport itself! My mom still can’t forgive me when I told her how cheap the washing machine is. She has almost a heart attack because of sadness why I didn’t buy her a new Candy washing machine… of course it’s a joke! She was very happy when she saw a new pair of earrings, like any other woman! ?

 

 

The flight from Doha to Colombo was very interesting, although it was early in the morning and there was a lot of light there, so there was no feeling of how much hours you really traveled…

Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, is a real pearl of the Indian Ocean. The next day was interesting, together with my colleagues instagrammers and youtubers  I had the opportunity to enjoy in the magic of the Colombo. Just imagine walk the coast of the Indian Ocean and the temperature 37-degree, believe me it’s a real adventure. I was pretending that I’m hero just for two hours. I must admit that walking was worth because I’ve got a nice tan. 🙂

 

 

Sigiriya… The city of kings, a city that intrigues visitors with its history. Whether you are a lover of history or art, Sigiriya is the perfect place for you. And even if you just want to see more on Sri Lanka, Sigiriya for sure will stay in your memory for a long time.

Sigiriya or “Lion Rock” as a term or word is not widely known to people, but when someone shows the image of Sigiriya everything is changing. Almost everyone knows about the existence of this geological formation that the mighty Kings of Sri Lanka have turned into a fortress. Sigiriya is often called by people an eighth world miracle. Whether or not we will leave it to someone else to decide but it is certain that this natural formation and building is one of the main reasons for traveling to Sri Lanka. I would like to take the opportunity to say big thank you to Sigiriya Hotel for hospitality and kindness.  It’s a warm recommendation from the heart! On the picture below you can see that amazing Lion Rock from the Sigiriya hotel, isn’t it just wonderful?

 

 

The “Lion Rock” is a volcanic origin. It emerged as a hardened magma of long ago active volcano, which in the course of time has gained the shape that we now have the opportunity to see. Due to its position and natural shelters, the Lion Rock was inhabited since the prehistoric times. People who lived on and around, they left their stamp by building many caves and shelters. Since the end of the 20th century Sigiriya (Lion Rock) is on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

 

 

Since Sigiriya has no epithet of a religious building, you do not have to worry about dressing. It is very important that you know that when you visit religious buildings on Sri Lanka, regardless of the temperature for men it is important that they have to wear long trousers, they are allowed to be made of linen or some other light material for summer. Women are allowed to wear skirts or trousers just below the knee.

 

 

Guys, my advice for you is to go as early as possible on an excursion, there is a possibility that you will stay out of the crowd for a long time and the temperatures can be very high. Also the information you should know before you go on a trip is that there are more than 1200 steps on the Lion Stone, so whoever plans to climb to the very top should be in very good condition. I’ve reached the top, I really don’t even know how I did it. I thought of myself as a Rambo with that famous music from the movie, but I think I looked like a fallen mountain hiker who got lucky to get to the top! I’m honest at least! 🙂

 

 

At almost all of our excursions we met a lot of pupils from elementary schools, there were even pre-school children who always greeted me with the smile and with the famous question: “Where are you from?”. Very kind and nice children, they were really cute, even they were in a better shape than me! Whatever I am proud of myself, I have managed to climb this tall rock! 🙂

 

 

 

 

The view from the top was unbelievable, but I was most delighted when we got back to our van! ? The Lion’s rock is a real challenge for alpinists and for people who just love hiking, this was a great success for me and as I’m writing this post now, I just feel the same muscle pain which I had during this adventure. The blogging crew continues their journey and the next destination was the Kaudulla National Park. It’s time for safari guys!

 

 

Safari in Kaudulla National Park is the best activity on Sri Lanka that you shouldn’t miss. This is a unique opportunity to see the wild Asian elephants in live. This is the only place in the world where you can come this close to these wonderful animals. You can see their daily activities like eating, drinking water and swimming. Believe me it’s very interesting place.

 

 

It is very exciting when you have the chance to see elephants in their natural environment and at least feel the wild life of nature for a moment. Elephants move freely, we had a chance to see their mating…

I think they wanted to have a public! I thought for a moment to watch some reality TV show! But here the main actors are animals! ?

 

 

Third day on Sri Lanka’s adventure was slowly approaching to the end, a blogger crew came back to the hotel. Some people from the crew still had more energy to spend so they made a party. But for little Marko this day was too much and he went to sleep a little… I know, sometimes I’m very boring person!

Rise and shine sunshine! New day is up, little Marko has filled the batteries, and he has also prepared the batteries of cameras, so everything is ready for the action! Or maybe not ?! Maybe I’ll just chill a little and take another nap!

 

 

Finally, it was time for the beach! The east coast on Sri Lanka was not explored so much and we were the first group of international online media, which was visited this part of Sri Lanka. That was a great honour for us and this way I would like to thank the Sri Lankan tourism board on this amazing journey.

This was a very exciting trip, very fun when you have a good company everything is different! I was in the crew with the famous youtuber! He is well known in Canada, America and the Philippines, and he has millions of subscribers because he has multiple channels on the You Tube. His name is Mikey Bustos.

He is a very positive person, even I became a fan of vlogging now (Vlog – is making the videos of daily activities that would be interesting to the audience, a lot of bloggers and youtubers are doing that).  You can see me in his vlogs. It was so fun to make videos with him and Raquel and RJ (Romeo). Raquel and I just found out on this trip that we are real soulmates, why? We both have many interesting thing in common and both of us love photography.

Mikey, Raquel and Romeo were my companion with whom I spent most of my time in Sri Lanka. I can’t wait to see them again! Maybe we will catch up on my trip to the Philippines. Beside us, there were also professional photographers from Turkey and I aslo learned a lot of useful tricks! Thanks guys! ?

 

 

The ocean, the sun, but there is no more time to rest. Our break on the beach are interrupted by our guides and they remind us that it’s time to go on tour of the Hindu temple dedicated to the God of Shiva.

 

 

This is also one of the largest Hindu temples in Sri Lanka. It is dedicated to the Shiva, a god whose role is to destroy the Universe at the end of the existence of the world. The symbol of the Shiva is a phallus, which is an indicator of the male role in fertility and birth. Shiva is also a god of good and evil at the same time. It is easy to calm him down and at the same time it is very dangerous and very easily reveals its wrath…

 

The temple is very interesting and on the walls of the temple you can see God Siva in various situations. It was not allowed to take the photos in the temple, but you have the opportunity to see the diversity of colors on the photo above. I hope I have shown you this beauty and the vividness that this temple has.

 

 

After visiting the temple, we had the free time to explore the area and after that we were tired, but very happy and we returned to the hotel to charge our batteries for the new day.

Guys, we have come to the end of this first post from this series of posts about my adventures from Sri Lanka. I sincerely hope that you enjoyed and I would love to hear your opinion. Have you been in Sri Lanka? Are you planning to visit this tropical paradise? We’ll see next week what Sri Lanka has to offer us and we continue this amazing adventure! ?

If you have any questions, comments, suggestion or message for me you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as you know, you can always contact me via mail or social media, and you can find it on the CONTACT page.

Best,

Mr.M

I would like to thank Sri Lanka Tourism Board for this amazing adventure, as well I would like to say big thank you to hotels: Movenpick, Sigiriya Hotel and Nilaveli Beach Hotel.

 

 

This post is sponsored by Sri Lanka Tourism Board and Sony. This photos are made with the little help of Sony Alpha 7r and Sony RX100 Mark V.

 

 


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