Sri Lanka Pt 1- Jungle, Culture and Safari

For the last few nights this incredible place has been my home. Living in a #treehouse in the #srilanka #jungle has been truly special experience. Can't wait to share my time there with you all soon #wanderlust #travelblogger #humbled

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Here I go- off on another adventure. Oh no wait, that was the old me. The new me just works all hours under the sun in pursuit of her dreams. Now I am not complaining, I love being an entrepreneur BUT to function at optimum levels one needs balance & that is what I am seeking in my latest series of blogs all about wellness.

 

The flight from Manchester to Sri Lanka isn’t the easiest, it also stops in Dubai. I flew Emirates- fair service but plane was packed to maximum capacity and sleep potential was at an all-time low. The 2 cars, 1 train, 2 planes and 2 buses together adds up to almost 24 hours. When you arrive at Diyabubula Art and Jungle Boutique Hotel, as the name suggests- in the middle of the jungle, it was worth every minute. It is hard to believe places like this really exist. I have travelled the world and this must be unique.

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Diyabubula is made up of only 5 individual accommodations; 3 water villas, a conservatory room and a treehouse. I stayed in Water Villa 02 and I couldn’t have been more in awe. It is like I dreamed my house would be when I was a small child. Sat on water, like a treehouse but with all necessities; balcony, double bed, wifi and hot running water. I am more than aware that the internet wasn’t a thing when I was a child but wifi would have featured in said dream if it existed. It is deliberately rustic to fit in with its jungle surrounding but no TV or ‘chrome everything’ is fine with me.

 

Scattered throughout the property are sculptures made by Laki, the artist who designed and built Diyabubla. Unfortunately, he wasn’t at the property when I was there but a lot of guests will get to meet him. See their websites videos for footage of him, he seems quite a character.

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@MissLaurenRiley Instagram

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One of the best surprises for me was how accessible so much of Sri Lanka is from this location. You are close to the ‘cultural triangle’ here and so much more. I took two full days of sightseeing lead by their amazing local guide. I visited; Sigiriya- (a royal place carved in, under and on top of a huge rock). Locals call it the 8th wonder of the world. You can climb all 1,500 steps to the top and that’s pretty cool. It even has the ruins of a nightclub up there- that king knew how to live. I also lived out a lifelong ambition to see elephants in the wild. I went on a Jeep safari to the local national park- it was bumpy and brilliant in equal measures. You obviously have to hunt around to spot the wildlife so its about 4 hours in total but I saw an Eagle, Peacock, Crocodile and a family of Elephants. Magically! I also visited ancient city of Polonnaruwa where there is a museum and ruins of places and temples galore. I stopped briefly at a herbal garden and sapphire gem store too. I visited Dambulla  Cave Temple which is up a steep hill but worth a visit.  

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@MissLaurenRiley Instagram

This photo proves a few things 1) I did indeed make it to the top 2) views in Sri Lanka are ridiculously beautiful and 3) I've started to make some back gains- more to go #tourist #srilanka #rockpalace #travel #wanderlust

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The resort is run in accordance to their principle of no meat or alcohol but let’s face it a little healthy living never hurt anyone. If you live in the UK chances are you indulge in those after work drinks the same as me. A bad habit I was happy to get a break from. I should confess I was a little nervous about the menu choices, I needn’t have been. The food was delicious. I cant quite tell you how if it is so healthy but it absolutely was. Plentiful portions and tasty every bite.

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@MissLaurenRiley Instagram

My ultimate favourite part of this enchanting place was the swing located on the bottom deck of my villa. I sat on there and instantly felt more at peace than I could imagine feeling anywhere. Overlooked by no-one. Warm but out of direct sunlight, soft breeze as you swing back and forth. Total paradise! I use that word sparingly in all but deserved occasions.

I must say a big shout out to the staff who treated me (and any guest I saw them talking to) like absolute royalty. They are kind and attentive. The size of the place feels almost like you have it to yourself. I wasn’t on a romantic break but if you’re looking for one, every mealtime is like you’ve booked your own luxury restaurant.

@MissLaurenRiley Instagram

@MissLaurenRiley Instagram

Wonderful trip, packed with so much sightseeing, culture but remote relaxation too. I cant think of anyone who wouldn’t benefit from spending a few days here at least. Once in a lifetime experience!!

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p.s don’t forget to head over to my YouTube channel and watch the vlog to this. Big clue- the elephants are even cuter moving about. Click here to watch! (uploading soon, so please subscribe). Thanks for reading!

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