We left our hotel in Trincomalee around 11:30 am and after visiting some temples we headed for Dambula. This 109 km is on a easy wel maintained road and is almost flat the entire way. If going by Tuktuk, we would recommend filling up at Trincomalee, as we have not seen a lot of filling station during this road. After three hours driving with the tuktuk we arrived in Dambulla, from were a bumpy rocky road led us to our guesthouse.
You don’t go to Mango Mango for the nice atmosphere. But the food is pretty good! They have quite a large menu and they make a mean milkshake.
We stayed at Sayare Inn and loved this place. It is basic but has all you need. The room is spacious, really clean and the fan is good enough to keep you cool. The owner is really friendly and even though his English isn’t really good yet, he does his best to communicate with his guests and tries to make them feel at home. And he probably has the best wifi in Sri Lanka! The breakfast is good and we heard from the other guests that the curries he makes for diner are really tasteful as wel!
** You can find them on booking.com
A visit to the Golden Temple is certainly worth your time. You have to conquer some steps but the caves with all the buddhas are really impressive to see. Some even have an Egyptian style but the most special thing about these caves, is that it has statues of Buddha but also from the Hindu gods Vishnu and Ganesha. The entrance is free starting from 2016. You do have to pay to store your footwear, 25 Rupees per set.
We drove to Sigirya to climb the Pidurangala rock. This is the rock next to the Lion Rock, but is much cheaper and probably has a better view because you can see the Lion Rock as well. We decided to climb this one because of the entrance fee. To get up to the Lion Rock, you pay about 30 USD (!) while this one only costs 500 Rupees (which is about 3,50 USD). The climb up here is really fun and takes about 15-30 minutes, depending on your fitness. The first part is easy, you just have to climb the steps. The last part gets a bit harder because you have to climb and maneuver yourself up some rocks. But it is totally worth it! We came up here to see the sunset, which wasn’t perfect, but the view is!
If you are interested in seeing wild elephants, you can go on a day trip to one of the nearby Wildlife Parks.