Cruising Sri Lanka and The Maldives with Holland America

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Sri Lanka, named Ceylon in the course of British colonial rule, is an island nation off the southern tip of India. Remarkably, it is the world’s fourth biggest exporter of tea. The Maldives, as opposed to Sri Lanka’ single landmass, is a group of islands in the Indian Ocean. Holland America Cruises is taking me to the Maldives, a single of my bucket list destinations and I’m extremely excited.

This post is the third, in my series of 4 articles about the Maasdam Cruise to Southeast Asia on Holland America. Hyperlinks to the other posts are at the finish of this post if you want to study extra.

Very best of  Sri Lanka and The Maldives with Holland America

Right here is a snapshot of what I saw on my adventure. These ports are not in order, but it provides a taste of the lands I saw and my trip. Please note that time in each and every port is minimal, so excursions, at greatest, supply only a glimpse of the location’s culture.

Colombo, Sri Lanka

Colombo is the capital of Sri Lanka. It is in the Indian Ocean and has a population of about five million people today. It is the biggest city on the cruise. The town gives handful of surprises. We saw people today playing soccer and cricket in the course of our go to and I believed it is serendipitous to see the regional people today playing the games in Viharamadevi Park mainly because soccer and cricket are the national previous time.

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Viharamadevi Park in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Colombo’s biggest park and a excellent spot to beat the heat.

Ship’s Tours

The 3 tours I advise are Pinnawela, an elephant orphanage, Galle, a UNESCO web page, and the Handunugoda Tea Estate. All 3, specially, Pinnawela and Galle, received excellent critiques. The Handunugoda estate is the only producer of Virgin White Tea in Sri Lanka, a single of my favourite teas.

Our group stopped at the Pettah Floating Industry and the Old Parliament developing. On the tour, we also visited quite a few temples which includes the Gangarama Buddhist Temple. The Buddhist Temple’s museum displays religious artifacts from about the planet. Immediately after the trip, at Viharamadevi Park, we took some time to quit and loosen up on the hot day. The ship’s tour buses and excursion also quit right here.

Trincomalee, Sri Lanka

On Sri Lanka’s east coast is Trincomalee. The locals get in touch with it “Trinco.” If you ever locate oneself there, go to Fort Frederick, initially constructed by the Portuguese in 1623. Each the Dutch and British colonized and occupied the fort. Immediately after that, go to Nilaveli beach and watch the locals appreciate swimming in the Indian Ocean. The water is really blue and clean and we enjoyed the beach!

I advise taking the ship’s tour known as “Sun, Sea, and Sand.” It is $129.95 for six hours. The excursion requires the guests to remote beaches. The highlights are sheltered coves and sandy beaches on the east coast of Sri Lanka. A fellow passenger shared with me that the tour stops at a beautiful resort, exactly where guests enjoyed an sophisticated lunch. This tour is an chance to appreciate Sri Lanka’s resort encounter.

Public beach at Trincomalee, Sri Lanka.

Residents are enjoying the beach in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka.

Hambantota, Sri Lanka

Hambantota positioned on the southern coast of Sri Lanka is a thriving port. Throughout the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, the city was devastated. What remains following the tsunami is a lot of salt flats dotting the seascape.

I joined a group of 5 other individuals and paid $60 to take a safari trip to Bundala National Park. On our tour, we spotted a wide variety of wild, native animals, which includes elephants, eagles, monkeys, water buffalo, egrets, turtles, and a lot of bird species. By the way, if you are a bird watcher, Bundala is a bird watcher paradise, mainly because of the wide wide variety of birds right here. The park is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and teems with wildlife. It is a great encounter mainly because the park showcases the eco-technique of Sri Lanka, more than acres of marshes, dry scrub acacia trees, and brushes. The trip ends at the southern edge of the park boundary, facing the Indian Ocean.

Elephants enjoying the day in Sri Lanka.

Elephants at Bundala National Park, Hambantota, Sri Lanka.

Male, Maldives

The Republic of the Maldives, a Muslim nation, tends to make up a group of some 1200 coral islands and is positioned off the southwest tip of India, in the Indian Ocean. It is the world’s lowest nation. Most of the islands are uninhabited. Male’s inner harbor is bustling with water taxis that service the resort islands.

Male is the capital and most populated city in the Republic of the Maldives.  About 133,00 people today reside in an region of about two.two square miles generating Male a really congested spot. Take a quick stroll on the streets of Male and admire the jumble of colorful buildings and narrow streets.

Snorkeling in Male, Maldives

I paid $75.00 to take a 3-hour excursion to two reefs about a mile from Male but, inside sight of the cruise ship. The operator gives masks, snorkels, fins and life jackets. Throughout snorkeling, I spy parrot fish, butterfly fish, surgeon, and a lot of other species swimming the reefs. Hues of Purples, oranges, blues, yellows make the reef sparkle. I saw a handful of black-tipped reef sharks also. The water visibility is remarkably clear. Swim more than the reef’s drop off, and see schools of fish appearing from the depths.

Utheemu, Maldives

Utheemu is a tiny island in the Northern Maldives about 200 miles north of Male. Vacationers can stroll across Utheemu in just a handful of minutes, and circumnavigate, the entire island in about 45 minutes. The warm water is crystal clear, and the beaches have soft, light-colored sand. A single component of the island is a tiny rocky beach.  The swimming and beach combing final about a half day. I couldn’t think I had the fortune of seeing and experiencing this spot in individual.

Utheemu Island in the Maldives.

Utheemu, Maldives. An equatorial paradise.

The cruise departs Utheemu and cruises the Laccadive Sea to Colombo. When sailing this leg, there are a lot of ships transiting the sea lanes as this sea channel is the sea highway for the Laccadive Sea.

Porto Malai, Langkawi, Malaysia

A group of us paid a taxi driver $25 each and every, for a 45-minute drive to Machincang Mountain. The mountain gives impressive views of the surrounding mountain variety and a lot of tiny islands dotting the tropical waters of Malaysia. A cable auto requires vacationers to the top rated of the overlook for about $50 each and every individual. Most importantly, bear in mind to get the “express” ticket to jump to the front of the line.

Scenic views of Langkawi.

Langkawi, Malaysia. From the top rated of the cable auto. It is a single of the steepest cable automobiles runs in the planet.

From the top rated of the cable auto, the views are spectacular. If you are afraid of heights, beware, it is a single of the steepest cable auto rides in the planet.

Port Klang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

An overnight cruise from Porto Malai brings the cruise ship to  Port Klang by morning. Port Klang is the gateway to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital, a city of about two.five million people today. We took a taxi tour at Port Klang. If you have 4 people today, employ a taxi for $25.00 each and every, for a six hour tour about Kuala Lumpur. Batu Caves are component of our guided tour. The caves are limestone outcropping outdoors of Kaula Lumpur. The Batu caves comprise of 3 principal caves and quite a few smaller sized ones. Climb to the top rated by walking along a steep cement stairway with 272 measures.

Tall Buildings and Palaces, Kuala Lumpur

Throughout this section of the trip, go to the Petronas Towers, at a single time the world’s tallest buildings. The buildings look to sparkle like diamonds in the equatorial sun. Outdoors the towers, there’s a stunning park with bamboo and other tropical plants. It is a peaceful spot to take photographs and loosen up.  Also, close by, there is a gigantic mall. Inside the mall, for these who like to shop, there is lots to chose from, and it is air-conditioned.

Immediately after that, quit at the King’s Palace. Malaysia’s ruler is a king and lives on the compound. Vacationers admire the magnificent Islamic architecture and manicured grounds. I cannot visualize what the Palace appears like inside mainly because guests are not permitted inside.

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The King’s Palace outdoors of Kuala Lumpur.

Spicy, Lava-Hot Soup in Chinatown

In Chinatown, I had a great spicy bowl of soup for $four. The hot and savory soup appears to cool me on this hot day. Keep in mind to sample numerous regional ethnic foods. The regional dishes are scrumptious and look greatest when ready by regional chefs. Consuming new foods is the greatest components of travel to me.

The ship departs from Port Klang at five:00 p.m., cruising overnight, arriving in Singapore by morning. Back in Singapore, with lots to see, I saved some time on the trip to do extra sightseeing in right here, prior to I fly residence.

Travel Tip: Travel is about culture and people today, as properly as the stunning planet location and internet sites.

We also travel to Singapore, Thailand, and the Maldives. If you want info about the total Holland America Practical experience or the itinerary for this cruise choose any of these posts. If you will need assist preparing for your trip, we have The Very best Suggestions for Preparing.

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