The airplane to Sri Lanka was near or at capacity and full of tour groups. Our seat numbers were changed as a result of the aircraft being different from the one which we made a booking for. There is an unusual time difference of three and a half hours between Japan and Sri Lanka. Our plane arrived at Bandaranaike International Airport at 7:20 in the evening as scheduled. It rained hard with thunder and lightning. From this January, ETA is necessary to enter Sri Lanka even for stays of shorter than 30 days. The ETA costs US$ 20 but we got ETA through the Internet last December while a trial period was being implemented so luckily it was free. Many tourists still didn't know that ETA was necessary and although there was a VISA on Arrival counter near immigration, they gave little heed to it and went straight to the immigration counter and were rejected.
A guide who had lived in Japan for 13 years and a driver were waiting for us. Automobiles drive on the left side of the road, the same as Japan because Sri Lanka used to be a British colony. But we never want to drive in Sri Lanka after seeing their way of driving which includes frequent overtaking on narrow roads. Because of this driving manner and the bumpy roads, Keiko felt sick.
We had tea break and everyone other than Keiko had tea and hoppers, a thin cup-shaped pancake.
Later we ate hoppers in Anuradhpura again. A hopper is made of a batter of rice flower and coconut milk and is baked in a small pan. It is sweet and although crisp on the outside, it is soft and spongy in the center.
Two pieces of hopper and milk tea were a good amount as a snack and costed 55 rupee(less than 40 yen).
As is the same in many Asian countries milk tea was served with milk and sugar. It is the person preparing the tea not the customer who decides how much milk and sugar should be added.
After four hours drive including a break we got to Kandy, the central city of Sri Lanka.
Kandy is located in a hilly area and we drove up a narrow winding road and arrived at Hotel Tropicana. The manager asked us repeatedly if we really did not need an air-conditioned room. As the hotel was at an altitude higher than 500m, the breeze was cool enough.
Tea was served in a pot with warm milk and it was good. This is Sri Lanka, a coutry famous for it's tea.
Go back to the index of Sri Lanka trip
Go back to the index of watching bats around the world