Our bungalow is very comfortable with wooden floors, a fridge and satellite TV – though the only English station we have is BBC World. The bathroom is enclosed (some here are open air) which I prefer to keep out any bugs. Speaking of which, we have some furry friends that scurry around outside from time to time. I love the view which looks East so we don’t have the afternoon sun in our windows. We do look straight out at the Pimalai resort though which reminds us everyday of its 5-star-ness with US$500 – 2000 per night rates. When the power goes out, as it does everyday, Pimalai always comes back on within a few minutes with their generators. We wait with the rest of the island for the power to return. On those nights, I remember they get a full dose of the hot afternoon sun each day <evil grin>.
Our resort has bungalows sprawling up the hillside and reserves some of the bay frontage for their restaurant and bar called Bay View. It really should be called Bay Terrace View. They’ve built cozy sitting areas for 3-4 people each on terraced level so it feels like you have the view all to yourself. Half the restaurant has tables and chairs while the other half entices us loungers with cushions on the floor on a perch overlooking the restaurant and the bay. We find that the staff love to sit/sleep/drink/play guitar here too- this is Nong, who runs the "shroom bar".
The food here is wonderful, except for the pizzas. Lee loves the cheeseburgers, I love the Thai food, but the crust somehow wasn’t right on the pizza pie.
In the area are a few outings advertised everywhere like elephant treks, a hike to the waterfall, and an elephant trek to the waterfall. It’s been dry though, and the mountains are not very high so right now there is no water at the waterfall. There’s also an old fishing town, a set of caves to explore and many little islands for diving and snorkeling trips. If you go, you CANNOT miss the sunset from the resort up the hill called Top View- best on the island.
One staff member said this morning with a big smile, “Last night – late. I sleep today. Sleeping, working, relaxing…all the same.” I think it sums up the gravity-stricken staff here, as Lee mentioned. Everyone seems to take things so lightly and easily- it is a wonderfully relaxing vibe. Sometimes in the afternoon heat, they wake up as we walk by and greet us, “Good morning Lee and Sachi! Everything good? Enjoy nice day!”
We’re paying 1150 baht US$30 per night and the restaurants around are all about 150 to 300 baht US$4-7 for a dinner for two. To us, it seems like a steal.
Oh, and here is one last photo for our friend Up, with his standard issue black rock and roll shirt...
Our trip to Sri Lanka would not have been so special had it not been for two people. These two people helped us understand Sri Lanka and travel around it. They are both reliable, honest, trustworthy and nice people. I can't say enough about their service.
First is Nimal De Silva of DSL Tours. I found him from this discussion on the Lonely Planet web site and emailed him directly at nimal(at)mother.earth-srilanka.com. He picked us up from the airport and reserved our room for the first night, along with treating us very well. Though he could not be our driver (schedule conflict) he worked hard to find an honest driver for our trip and designed the perfect itinerary for us. Nimal is highly recommended if you're going to Sri Lanka - he knows his stuff and will be honest. This is he and Sachi:
The reviews below are provided as a favor to our friend Nimal - they are *not* paid advertising of any sort.
A traveler's review of Nimal's services: Nimal De Silva - A Guide to Remember
The second person is Mervyn Perera, who Nimal set us up with as our driver.We had no idea what to expect from Mervyn, but he turned out to be one of real highlights of our trip. He is a safe, courteous, reliable and very friendly driver, but more than that, Mervyn is a great person who knows a lot about Sri Lanka. We came away considering Mervyn one of our friends and someone we want our friends to meet.
Read a review of Mervyn's services here. Mervyn can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. This is Mervyn and me:
If you are going to Sri Lanka, talk to these guys- they will treat you right. You might also check out Sachi's post on the experience of having a driver.