Scribbled Scribble

The small things in life in a few paragraphs and snapshots

Sri Lanka Series: Kandy

Hello! 😀
I hope all of you are having a great weekend. Mine is good. I am now trying to live a healthier life and part of it is getting enough fibre, vitamins and minerals into my system. So, I tried making my very own apple carrot ginger smoothie! 😀 I think it was OK, but the person who created the recipe seems to like more bite than I do. So next time, I am cutting down the ginger portion by half.

Anyways, this is the third installment of my Sri Lanka series. So, after spending time in the colonial city, Galle, I went up north again to a city called Kandy. It is part of the “hill country” of Sri Lanka. I took an express train ride from Galle to Colombo, then from there continues the next morning to Kandy. The train ride from Galle to Colombo was in the late afternoon. So, on the way, we were very lucky to watch the sunset on the sea as the train tracks are very near the beach line. The trip to Kandy was a different kind of beauty. Since it is in the hills, the train tracks passed through tea plantations, jungles and hills and tunnels, sometimes we passed by valleys or canyons and we would see beautiful scenery of rice paddies. Kandy is the culture centre of Sri Lanka. I think it had been the capital city in the past. What I found interesting was that despite the hilly and steep roads, the main transportation mode is still the three wheelers or tuk tuk!

So, here are the pictures I took while in Kandy. Have a great week ahead!

1. Royal Botanical Garden

My first stop was the Royal Botanical Garden, as I love parks and enjoy a nice stroll there. I totally love this one! This is located in a town called Peradeniya, about half an hour trip from Kandy. The garden is very well kept and nice and clean.

2. War Cemetery

The War Cemetery has a well kept garden as well. It houses the tombs of those who died in WW II.
3. Kandy Lake

I didn’t have time to enjoy the lake much and only had a brief stop taking a photo.

4. Temple Of The Tooth Relic  

Legend says that when Buddha was cremated, one of his followers managed to take a tooth and brought it to Sri Lanka. The tooth is now kept in this temple.

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Sri Lanka Series: Galle

Hello again! 😀
Trust you are enjoying your weekend. 
I am making good of my promise on more stories from my Sri Lanka trip. This week’s installment is about Galle, a city south of Colombo famous for its colonial heritage. In Galle, the main thing of interest is Galle Fort, where we find old colonial buildings and structures inherited from first the Dutch and then the British. The Fort is…a fort. It is a fortified town basically, with walls all around. We can take a nice walk in the morning on the wall facing the city and find the clock tower. And just before sunset, take a walk on the rampart facing the sea and find the lighthouse. Within the Fort, there are old colonial buildings and the houses are mostly preserved as it was in the old days. Where I stayed, the guest house is a well maintain old dutch house with modern amenities. Galle also has nice shops that sell jewelries, furnitures, batiks and souvenirs.
So, here’s the photo story of Galle. Have a great week ahead!

1. The Old Gate


This is the “Old Gate” to the fort. On top of the gate, there is the Dutch’s VOC coat of arms with the inscription “ANNO : MDCLXIX” – the year 1669.

2. The Clock Tower

Unfortunately, I came at the time of renovation for the Clock Tower. So, it wasn’t at its best appearance. From this wall, you can see towards the city and right across the street is a cricket stadium. As we know, cricket is the most popular sport in Sri Lanka.
3. The Light House

This lighthouse was built by the British in 1938, the height is 26 m. I didn’t get in and I am not sure it is open for public like the lighthouse in Belitung Island, Indonesia. It would’ve been great to get to the top and snap some photos.

4. The Sunset


Ah, but what a beauty this is. The same sun that baked my skin darker, when it sets, you forget how “angry” it can get just before.
5. The Dutch Reformed Church

The church was built in 1755 and to this day still actively hold services for local congregation. 

6. Royal Dutch Cafe

This is a small cafe where I had dinner once. The owner is a nice old man, who asked me where I was from and when I said Indonesia, he asked me about the tsunami. He showed me his photo album of the impact of tsunami in Sri Lanka. I told him that I was fortunate as I lived not on the location of the tsunami. Anyway, the food was good and the tea was great.

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Sri Lanka Series: Colombo

Hello! Hello! 😀 

Since I haven’t written for a while, just in case some of you have forgotten who I am, likely you were my ex-colleague at AIG or Allianz, or you were introduced to me by my ex colleagues there. If you’re still unsure, I am on LinkedIn, look for Grace Claudia, or if you prefer to see pictures, my Instagram is Gracietifully. If you do remember me, thank you! 😀

Btw, I am currently in Galle, Sri Lanka. This is my first ever trip to this part of the world. I arrived in Colombo last Tuesday and although Colombo has no unique landmark, it is still interesting for first timers like me to learn and see the city and people of Sri Lanka. The buses remind me of Indonesia in the 80s, while the trains remind me of the 90s. We don’t have buses and trains like those anymore now. The motor rickshaw or tuk-tuk though is almost identical with what we have in Jakarta. Even how they operate is the same! If they’re parked at certain places, they will charge you more than if you flag one down by the side of the road. They don’t always know the place we want to go to, but will pretend they do. But, so far from my experience, I can conclude that at major tourist sites, the ratio of good honest tuk-tuk drivers versus the not so honest ones are 1 to 3. Outside the tourist areas is the other way around. But, generally people in Sri Lanka are nice and friendly. Although I learnt the hard way that although they are friendly, the good Sri Lanka people will not start a conversation and give help without being asked. The ones that do 99% want money in the end.

As always, children move me everywhere I go. And Sri Lankan children are friendly and will say hello to tourists innocently. They don’t even mind getting their picture taken. Families in Colombo take their children to Galle Face Green in the afternoon, where the boys will play kites as they wait for the sunset.

What impressed me is Colombo is relatively clean and it has parks for people to cool down from the heat. One big park that I visited is Viharamahadevi (used to be called Victoria Park), where courting couples spend time. I hope Jakarta will have more and more public parks too in the near future!

Majority of Sri Lankans are Buddhist, although there are Hindus, Muslims and Christian populations as well. What surprised me was the existence of Indonesian and Malaysian communities in country. I found out about this when visiting the National Museum and saw Keris (Javanese daggers) on display. With Google magic, I learnt the story that when Sri Lanka was a Dutch colony, rebels and convicts from Indonesia were exiled here. Some never returned and their descendants are now a unique cultural group here. 

I took an express train from Colombo to Galle on Good Friday and found many more things to share as it has a UNESCO world heritage site here. I will write more on my next email. 

Here are the photos from my Colombo visit. Happy Easter to my fellow Christians and have a great Sunday and week ahead to all!
 Seema Malaka Temple

Buddha statue at Gangaramaya Temple

Statues at the Sri Kaileswaram Temple, outer side
Viharamahadevi Park

Boys playing kites at Galle Face Green

Isn’t she lovely!!

Swords and daggers on display at the National Museum; Javanese keris on the right, upper side

 Sunset at Galle Face Green



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