sri lanka: haputale & ella
Back from a beachy, sunny and sandy week, we started this episode by a tuk tuk ride to the Sri Lanka Hills. After a few technical issues (more on the subject in our latest newsletter), we arrived safely in Haputale, among the tea plantations. The village is known for its main sight: the Lipton Seat, Sir Thomas Lipton favourite lookout-point. From there you can see the Uva, Southern, Sabaragamuwa, Central and Eastern provinces… When there is no mist!
After the very fine strolls among the tea plants, we drove to Ella. Ella is another hill station and is way more touristic than Haputale. Here, you can find plenty of bars, burger joints and live music. (mainly playing the Beatles and Bob Marley). Outside of the busy town, a few hikes are available on the nearby rocks: Little Adam’s Peak and Ella Rock.
we did specifically enjoy
- Haputale: the Lipton Seat. Even though it was misty, seeing these hills covered by tea plants and the ladies plucking the tea leaves was a delight.
- Ella: drinking a tea at the 98 acres resort. This hotel is built in one of the plantations with a stunning view on Little Adam’s Peak. If you can afford to stay there, we guess it is totally worth it (although the night costs a few hundreds dollars). Nevertheless, you can just stop there after a hike to the Peak and enjoy a tea from their terrace built with old wooden sleepers from the nearby railway tracks.
- Ella: hiking along the railway track was also quite nice and a little bit thrilling… you never know when the train will pass. Fortunately, they are really slow and you have plenty of time to jump on the side, get your camera out of your bag and take pictures of it.
- Haputale: the Dias rest, white monkey has been our favourite place in Sri Lanka. Here you will feel like part of the family that runs this cottages guesthouse in the middle of the tea plantations. The dinners we took were fabulous (especially the Jackfruit curry, ask for it!). And every morning, at around 6:30, there is a bunch of little monkeys who jump everywhere (especially they like it when it makes some noise e.g. on the roofs of the cottages!) and raid the nearby avocado trees. They will bother you in the first place, but then you quickly notice the beautiful sunrise on the valley and you will thank them.
- Ella: the 59B Rest Inn, a small guesthouse (two rooms) in the centre of the town. The rooms were beautiful and the owner was making sure that we got the most out of our short stay (3 nights).
- Ella: the Cafe Chill is the main place in Ella. Incredible service, delicious food (you can safely escape from the traditional curries or rotis).
Best Kept Secret Tip
We stayed two nights in Haputale and three in Ella. Haputale is way more authentic than Ella who looks sometimes like Disneyland. If you are planning a trip there, we strongly advise you to stay in Haputale and take day trips to Ella. You can easily take a train and enjoy the scenery view! Trains are running in the morning and late afternoon. It won’t be a problem if you plan to hike to Little Adam’s Peak or the Ella Rock.