A Tour of Sri Lanka (Part 2)

Tour Operator – Connaissance de Ceylan
Hotel – Maalu Maalu Resort & Spa
Transport – Bus from Sigiriya to Passikudah
Currency – Sri Lankan Rupee 

If you read part one of this series, you’ll know that after an action packed few days exploring Sigiriya, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, we were definitely in need of some down time.

DAY ONE

[I have labelled this ‘Day One’ for clarity, but this really follows on from ‘Day Four’ of the last post.]

As we had already spent the day exploring Polonnaruwa (which is almost halfway between Sigiriya and Passikudah), the drive to the Maalu Maalu resort only took around 2 hours.

We did have a little stop en route at a traditional Sri Lankan wood carving shop. I had been gagging to buy some Sri Lankan masks ever since I had landed in Colombo and, not only did this shop have an amazing range of masks, wooden fisherman and other carvings, they also explained the different types of wood they used and how they made their natural paints.

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Upon arrival in Maalu Maalu, we had the most amazing welcome from the staff at the resort. We were draped in beautifully scented flower garlands, marked with the tilaka  and fed some kind of delicious mango sorbet, while our rooms were prepared.

Unlike the last hotel, the rooms were much more rustic and themed on beach huts. Each room was spacious, had a huge bathroom with an ‘outdoor’ style shower and came with a platter of tropical fruits to snack on. When you left your room, you walked straight on to the beach and it was just a hop, skip and a jump to the pool, spa and dining area.

The only negatives I can point out are that the wifi was terrible and the water in the bathrooms was temperamental at best. However, the staff were very quick to address any issues we had, which is obviously a big plus point. The hotel is also kind of secluded (as most resorts are), so there are no shops or restaurants within walking distance.

After we had settled into our rooms, we made our way straight for the beach. It was approaching evening; however, the sea was still the temperature of a warm bath and the water was incredibly clear. There were also little holes in the sand, home to tiny, translucent crabs which scuttled around your feet (but never nipped at your toes)!

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Dinner was a buffet but, unlike the last hotel, there was also an amazing range of seafood to choose from and the freshest juices you could possibly imagine.

DAY TWO 

As some of you may have gathered from my previous posts, I am not actually much of a beach person and the thought of staying at a beach resort actually stresses me out more than anything. I’m already brown, so I don’t need to lie out and tan and I don’t really like the sea because I’m scared of fish. However, I was in Passikudah and needed to occupy myself so I decided that I was going to pack my day full of as many beach related activities as possible.

At 5.30 am, I got up to watch the sunrise over the sea. The vibrations from my footsteps caused the tiny crabs to scuttle back into their sand caves – I don’t think they were expecting anyone to crash their party so early in the day.

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Once the sun was up, I made my way over to the other end of the resort for a 7am beach yoga lesson (in my pyjamas). This was a fairly easy going lesson but it was super relaxing, between the smoky incense, the sounds of crashing waves and the soft chanting of the yoga instructor. The lesson lasted for 1 hour and was free for those staying at the resort.

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The woman stretching and looking ready to go is not me. I was sat on the floor feeling sleepy.

After breakfast, we booked a trip out to sea in a glass-bottomed boat (Rs. 4,300 for 45 mins). I had horrible flashbacks to my rampant nausea in Thailand  but the sea in Passikudah was very calm in comparison. The boat stopped periodically so that some of us (not me) could go snorkelling and the driver attracted fish towards us with pieces of bread.

Once we returned to the shore, we spent the afternoon walking on the beach, having lunch, reading and having some mocktails at the cute little beach bar.

When 4pm rolled around, Patch and I headed to the spa for facials  (Usually Rs.5,500 but discounted to Rs. 4,250). In 26 years of womanhood, I have actually never been to a spa or had a facial (it’s starting to look like I just hate relaxation), so this was another new experience for me!

However, in classic Patch and Plane Emoji style, this turned into more of an experience than it should have done. We were expecting to be led into private rooms for our facials but the beauticians instead told us to put on towels (as shirts) and follow them out towards the beach. The facials took place in the same area as yoga had been that morning and, while we were initially hugely uncomfortable, there weren’t actually any people around to see us. This is something to bear in mind if you are of the ‘modest’ persuasion.

The facial lasted an hour and included a herbal oil massage, steam, face mask and exfoliation. As a first facial experience, I did find the steam and the cucumbers over my eyes slightly panic inducing; however, overall, it was relaxing and I think I actually fell asleep a couple of times.

By 5pm I had run out of planned activities, so I found the rest of the day a little boring and essentially just hung around waiting for dinner time. All in all, I enjoyed my beach day but, while I hate to sound ungrateful, anything more than a day would have been seriously mind-numbing for me. However, if beaches and relaxation are your thing, I would highly recommend the resort (and Passikudah in general), which was absolutely beautiful.

Thanks for reading,

~ Plane Emoji

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