The Lion Rock of Sigiriya – Keep Calm and Wander

Lion Rock of Sigiriya - Keep Calm and Wander

The Lion Rock of Sigiriya is touted by Sri Lanka’s Tourism Board as the Eight Natural Wonder of the World. In its tourism campaigns, Sigiriya Rock (its other name) is a ubiquitous poster attraction – to the extent it’s almost becoming synonymous to the country itself. Ask anyone who had been to Sri Lanka about what to see – the usual response would be: climb the Sigiriya Rock. Google Sri Lanka – and guess what image pops up first? That’s right – Sigiriya Rock! There’s no doubt that this is the country’s most-visited tourist destination.

A Massive Rock. The Lion Rock of Sigiriya is an enormous rock that sprang out in the middle of a jungle. You would really wonder why and how on earth this happened in a middle of a forested flatland. The other towering natural formation you could find in the area is the Pidurangala Rock that stands less than a kilometre away. These two gigantic rocks are the only “skyscrapers” you could find, surrounded by endless plains shielded in tropical trees and vegetation.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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The Hindu Temple in Matale, Sri Lanka – Keep Calm and Wander

Hindu Temple in Matale - Keep Calm and Wander

This Hindu Temple in Matale is incredible and it has a very long name: Arulmigu Sri Muthumariamman Thevasthanam. Can you read that in 10 seconds? I bet you had to do it by syllables!

After climbing the Pidurangala Rock in Sigiriya, we started driving to Kandy. Along the way, we stopped twice for some fresh coconut juice. Then, at Matale, while we were driving so slow because of the traffic, I saw this imposing temple in a quick glance that I had to tell the driver to stop. It took us 10 minutes to finally find a parking space but we had to walk back for 300 meters.

Arulmigu Sri Muthumariamman Thevasthanam Hindu Temple. The name is too long, right? But the locals, however, call it as Muthumariamman for short. Muthu means pearl; mari means rain; and amman means mother. This temple was built in honour of Mariamman, the Hindu goddess of rain and fertility.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Sri Lanka Gay Travel Resources

Dambulla Cave: The Sistine Chapel of Buddhism – Keep Calm and Wander

Dambulla Cave Temple - Keep Calm and Wander

I haven’t been to many Buddhist temples but I can surely claim that Dambulla Cave Temple is The Sistine Chapel of the Buddhism world. And I’ve been to both. Everything inside this Buddhist temple – from its craggy floors to its painted walls and roof and life-size statues – is incredibly magnificent! It is also called as “The Golden Temple of Dambulla” or / and “The Rock Cave Temple.”

Buddhism and Hinduism. Sri Lanka is a predominantly Buddhist. Thus, visitors will find Buddhist temples on plains, mountains, and rock caves. In fact, in Dambulla area alone, more than 80 rock temples were discovered. Another interesting fact is that, some of the Buddhist temples in the country also include the deities of the Hindus. My mind was blown away at its combination but I think it’s a beautiful testament of two major world religions sharing a place of worship.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Sri Lanka Gay Travel Resources

Sri Lanka Views – Keep Calm and Wander

Tea Plantation Liptons Seat Haputale Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka – on our way up to Lipton’s Seat, the views are breathtakingly stunning. I had to tell the driver a couple of times to stop here and there so I can take some photographs. The emerald views seem endless as hills and mountains roll high and low.

Lipton’s Seat is, of course, the seat where Sir Thomas Lipton, used to sit (or maybe stand :D?) to survey his lush green tea estates.

Where is it? Take the train and get off at Haputale.

Hike. Yes, you can hike to the top. You can start from the paved road at Dambatenne Tea Factory. Remember that it’s an 8-kilometer hike – one way – and make sure you’ve got enough time to walk down.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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Exploring Sri Lanka – Passport Magazine

Sri Lanka - Pixabay

Sri Lanka offers broad sandy beaches, astounding cultural and historic sites, stunning wildlife refuges, and misty hilltop tea plantations, all within relatively short and smooth-paved driving distances from each other.

Just over 30 miles from the southern tip of India, across the narrow Palk Strait, lies the island nation of Sri Lanka. This small country is similar in size to Ireland, but with delightfully dissimilar weather (temperatures generally between 75 and 80 Fahrenheit year round). Formerly known as Ceylon, the island offers broad sandy beaches, astounding cultural and historic sites, stunning wildlife refuges, and misty hilltop tea plantations, all within relatively short and smooth-paved driving distances from each other.

With its winning combination of ease and exoticism, one might assume you’d find Sri Lanka on any avid traveler’s must-go list, but this is a country that for a quarter century (beginning in 1983) suffered the ravages of a civil war between the island’s two largest ethnic groups, the majority Sinhalese and the Tamils, who represent 15% of the population.

Accusing the national government of discrimination and demanding the establishment of an independent country, the Tamils’ tenacious guerilla-style attacks and bombings kept the nation perpetually on edge.

By Jim Gladstone – Full Story at Passport Magazine

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Iranawila Beach House – Gay Friendly Accommodations in Sri Lanka

Iranawila Beach House Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay: Welcome to Iranawila Beach House, we are a Kiwi owned 2bed/2bath exclusive hideaway with private Chef … not too much off the beaten track, in beautiful Sri Lanka. You’ll feel at peace with everything you need in this open plan architecturally designed home. There’s lots of polished concrete, solid teak and a wonderful feeling of space and freedom. Both spacious rooms have Queen beds, fresh linen, towels and ceiling fans. The ensuites are identical and cleverly designed to be semi outdoors

  • open to sky rain showers & hot water
  • fresh Aloe Vera plant for sunburn
  • river pebble floor for a soft foot massage
  • Every room faces and has a direct view of the Indian Ocean; a 52ft saltwater swimming pool fits perfectly in front of the house on a manicured sand terrace, for year round dips.
  • Iranawila beach is swimmable in high season – Oct – April.
We offer Yoga classes for all levels & excellent massage. When you book the Beach House you get exclusive use of the pool bar, terrace and outside kitchen with pizza oven. The terrace is also perfect for chilling out, sunset drinks and fantastic views. With the beach in front, a small local road frames the villa, fully walled and set on 1 acre of coastal gardens, tropical fruit trees and a working vegetable patch, we try to grow as much as we can here. Different colors and varieties of Frangipani feature around the property as do an array of colorful bird life. Breakfast is for up to 4 guests in the nightly rate, other meals, easily by arrangement with our Chef, Gayan. He caters to all of your special requests. Any Sri Lankan delicacies you want to try? A Sri Lankan curry cooking class in the outside kitchen? An all day menu is available too. A unique attraction during high season are the smiling hard working fishermen/women pulling in nets on the beach in front and fishermen in an array of boats and canoes. Both activities have front row seats here. There are no tourists or advertising. Iranawila is a very “Nat Geo”, peaceful village, perfect for photographers of all levels. Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) is 1hr away, perfect for guests arriving and acclimatizing or to end your Island holiday before you say farewell. The “Cultural Triangle, Elephant Orphanage, Wilpatu National Park are all within easy reach from IBH. The nearest local town is easily reached with several attractions as well. We are also popular with cyclists. There are extra beds for children or other guest’s, they can be moved to any place on site and mosquito nets fitted for a real experience. The property is perfect for anyone who needs to escape the crowds and experience a unique peaceful environment, something you don’t find very often. We rate our service style and fresh cuisine highly as we do our sunsets. I’m certain you will have an unforgettable time with us.

See the Iranawila Beach House Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Sri Lanka


Sri Lanka Travel: How Much Does it Cost? – Globetrotter Girls

Sri LankaI spent five weeks traveling around Sri Lanka just before the main tourist season started, still enjoying the bargain deals of the low season and seeing prices go up in the high season – this applies mainly to accommodation, however. I am breaking down all of my expenses in the country to give you an idea of what costs to expect when you budget for a trip to Sri Lanka. Overall, it has been one of the cheapest countries I’ve been to and it is possible to travel the country on $20 – $30 per person a day (on a shoestring), or around $50 per person per day in nicer accommodations. Read on for the full breakdown of food, transportation, sightseeing, accommodation and other costs.


A visa is required to enter Sri Lanka. Luckily it is easy to apply for a Sri Lankan visa online. The cost of a visa for Europeans, North Americans and Australians is US$35. The visa is valid for 30 days, if you’re planning to stay longer, you’ll have to get an extension in Colombo, which is LKR3,600 /US$25 (make sure to have a passport photo on you for that).

By Dani – Full Story at Globetrotter Girls

Sri Lanka Gay Travel Resources