Dear my travelers and lovers of unusual journeys, welcome to the new adventure on the Mr.M blog! Thank you for the many letters and messages you have sent me and I must admit that it is a great honor and pleasure that my travelogues from Sri Lanka have fulfilled your time during winter and spring season. I am glad that you enjoyed my exotic adventure together with me and I believe that this year will be exciting for all my readers because I am preparing unusual travelogues from Europe and the world, so we will all truly enjoy it!
To my great regret, we have reached the end of this unusual and exotic adventure, so this letter will be the last in a series of posts related to Sri Lanka, but who knows, maybe I will return to this unusual island and continue our unusual adventure! Before I start today’s post I would like to thank the Sri Lankan Tourism Board for this amazing experience and for having the opportunity to continue my adventure on my favorite dream island!
If by any chance you missed any of my previous posts, take the opportunity to visit some of the previous stories at the following links:
- The Story about Colombo (Travelogue): LINK
- Unforgettable Fashion Safari in Sri Lanka: LINK
- My Safari Experience in Sri Lanka (Travelogue): LINK
- Sigiriya: The Magic of the Lost Kingdom (Travelogue): LINK
- The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic (Travelogue): LINK
- Kandyan Dance, a Unique Example of Sinhalese Culture: LINK
I will start today’s post with one exciting early morning cruise – a whale and dolphin watching expedition. Mirissa is an ideal place for whale and dolphin watching, the season suitable for this type of activity lasts from November to April, the period when this part of Sri Lanka becomes one “big playground” for countless species of whales and dolphins.
Some of the most commonly seen whale species in the area include: Sperm whales, killer whales, Bryde whales, short finned Whales, of course next to them you will be able to see playful flocks of dolphins and striped dolphins having fun around your boat! However, the main type of whale that needs special attention is the Blue Whale – which is considered to be the largest animal in the world! Whale and dolphin watching in the Mirissa is ideal for all true nature lovers as they set sail into the ocean.
For all the adventurers who are headed to Mirissa, here is some basic information. Mirissa is a small town on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, located in Matara County, in the Southern Province. It is located approximately 150 kilometers south of Colombo and is located at an altitude of 4 meters above sea level. Beach and nightlife of Mirissa make this coastal city a popular tourist destination in Sri Lanka. This city is also a fishing port and one of the main locations on the island for whale and dolphin watching.
After Mirissa, I headed to Bentota, a coastal town in Sri Lanka, located in Galle County in the Southern Province. Bentota is located on the southern bank of the mouth of the river Bentota, at an altitude of 3 meters above sea level. The name of the city comes from a mythical story which claims that a demon named “Ben” ruled the “tota” – the river bank.
Bentota is a tourist attraction, with a local airport and many hotels of different categories for each budget, from affordable hotels range up to the most luxurious hotel resorts. This is a destination for all water sports fans. Bentota also provides an ancient art of healing called Ayurveda.
Ayurveda is a science that describes all the favorable and unfavorable, including happy and unhappy states of life, together with what is good and bad for life, measures for achieving them as well as life itself. The written texts of this complete system of natural health are about 5,000 years old. For centuries, sages and physicians have discovered this ancient wisdom. Ayurveda is the oldest, most comprehensive health care system in use today.
Bentota is known for the production of Toddy, an alcoholic beverage made from coconut nectar. There is also a turtle hatchery here, located on Induruwa Beach. Bentota is a historical site described in ancient messengers’ songs (Sandeśa-Kāvya). Galapatha Rajamaha Viharaya is one of the five ancient temples in the region.
In the 17th century, the Portuguese built a small fortress at the mouth of the Bentota River (Benata Ganga), which in Sinhala was called Parangi Kotuva, which means fortress of the Portuguese. The river marked the southern end of Portuguese territory in Sri Lanka. The Dutch later allowed the fortress to collapse, turning one of the large buildings inside the fortress into a colonial resting place for Dutch officers traveling between Colombo and Galle.
The British then turned the holiday home into a seaside sanatorium. Sir James Emerson Tennent, the colonial secretary of Ceylon in his book, said the Bentota holiday home, set in a small park, deep in the shade of lofty tamarind trees on the part of the beach where the river meets the sea, is one of the coldest and most pleasant Ceylon. The British introduced railways in the early 19th century, mainly to transport coconut products from the deep south to the capital, building a permanent bridge – Bentota Palam to cross the river.
What can you visit in Bentota? Local sights you should visit:
- Bentota Beach
- Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery – a community turtle hatchery and turtle watching project established by the Turtle Conservation Project in cooperation with the Sri Lankan Wildlife Department.
- Brief Garden – home and garden of renowned Sri Lankan landscape architect Bevis Bava, older brother of architect Jeffrey Bava. Located on the territory of a former rubber plantation, Bava continued to develop the estate until his death in 1992.
- The Buddhist temple of Galapatha Rajamaha Viharaya, located in Bentota, contains stone inscriptions, stone carvings, pillars, ponds and troughs from the medieval period.
- Helipad Richi Skilark. This heliport operates a helicopter ride in Bentota near the mouth operated by Skilark Aviation Helicopters.
- River Boat Safari through the Mangrove Lagoon.
One activity I would advise you to embark on is a River Boat Safari through the Mangrove Lagoon. You can combine a river cruise with a visit to the Mangrove Lagoon, where you can see crocodiles that are now rare, but there are plenty of water monitors and river birds. This is a wonderful and relaxing experience where you can enjoy the majesty and beauty of the river landscape.
This safari is unusual because you have the opportunity to enjoy the exotic beauty of the flora and fauna that inhabit this part of Sri Lanka. In addition to the amazing scenery, you have the opportunity to get to know the locals and briefly get an impression of what life in Bentota looks like. During this one-day excursion, I visited a family that makes natural cinnamon products.
An unforgettable experience for me was to see the jellyfish live, when our guide suddenly dipped his hands in the water, I was expecting something preparing the engine, but suddenly he pulled the jellyfish out of the water, I was honestly amazed, but also delighted with the sight! I think this cruise is something you have to experience if you are coming to Bentota.
A few moments ago, I mentioned a visit to a family that produces natural cinnamon products, which was educational and unusual. I even had the opportunity to try cinnamon tea, which is effective and relaxes a person. Cinnamon can be used to make various creams, teas, cakes and products, even from the leaves of the plant, locals in Sri Lanka make roofs for their houses.
Another interesting thing that impressed me was that there are shops and fast food restaurants on the water, which I have not had the opportunity to see so far. There are also sacred places – temples on the water and on the shores that you can see during the cruise.
My stay in Bentota was unforgettable thanks to the team of the Sri Lankan Tourism Board and the friendly staff of the Taj Bentota Resort & Spa hotel who made my stay in this coastal city make me feel at home.
This luxury hotel complex, formerly known as Taj Exotica, this 160-room resort was built by Maga Engineering in 1997. Located in an exotic and beautiful town on Bentota Beach, the resort features distinctive colonial architecture marked by beautiful red tiled roofs.
This 5-star hotel resort offers an extremely rich range of services, including fine restaurants, modern rooms, a spa, a terraced infinity pool and a beautiful lobby with a high solid wood ceiling. The resort opened in 1997. Enjoy the view of the incredible beauty of the Indian Ocean.
Accept the modest greetings ‘Aiubovan’ with a smile, followed by sips of ‘Nelli’ (fruit wine), passion fruit or Ceylon iced tea. This is just a small part of everything that Taj Bentota Resort & Spa has to offer! Immerse yourself in a space that reflects the spirit of Sri Lanka.
Dear travelers, we have come to the end of this last post about the Sri Lankan adventure. It was my greates pleasure to present you all the beauties of Mirissa and Bentota, which would not be possible without the selfless help of the Sri Lankan Tourism Board in cooperation with local partners like Taj Bentota Resort & Spa. to feel the spirit and beauty of the Indian Ocean and Sri Lankan culture and tradition. Of course, as always, I tried to share my impressions of this unusual experience in Sri Lanka.
Time always flies when a person has a good time! A man is rich at heart if he has managed to explore the world and I am glad to always be able to find partners for my projects that help me discover new and unusual destinations in a completely different way during this global health crisis COVID-19.
I am honoured to have the opportunity to work with companies that are at the top of the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this amazing adventure and for allowing me to experience the beauty of this unusual island country in South Asia in a completely different way.
How did you like this story of mine about my experience in Mirissa and Bentota? Have you maybe had the opportunity to visit Sri Lanka before? Share with me your experiences, I would be glad to hear!
If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me you can write to me below in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via email or social networks, all addresses can be found on the CONTACT page. See you in the same place in a couple of days, with a new story!
Warm greetings from Sri Lanka,
This post is sponsored by the Sri Lankan Tourism Board and Taj Bentota Resort & Spa. This post presents my personal and honest review of the destination experience.