Since my husband Michael visited in 2011 for a photography trip and told me about Sri Lanka, I immediately wanted to come. When I was younger, visiting Sri Lanka was in the plans, although it was with the hope of accompanying my best friend as we traverse her homeland. We were side -tracked by motherhood and I promptly forgotten about our plans. I bet she did too. So when Michael took part in a photography contest organized by Vacay Travel in Singapore and the second prize was a trip to Sri Lanka (first prize Finland), I told him to just win the second prize. The obedient husband that he is, he did. 😃
The prize comprises of a four day stay at The Other Corner Resort in Habarana in Central Sri Lanka, and tours (excluding entrance fees and charges for amenities).
There are nine air-conditioned cottages in the sprawling resort, a restaurant, a small pool and a fish spa. We arrived and had to cross a rickety suspension bridge to enter. I love the novelty of shaky suspension bridges, so this was a good first impression.
The restaurant serves a delicious four-course set meal for dinner, available in either western or local style. We tried both and enjoyed all the meals. Breakfast is served between 7-9am and dinner 7-9pm. We were served by Asela, whose gentle kindness made my stay felt so hospitable.
On the first two nights, we stayed at a tree cottage, a wooden lodge built around trees. I woke up to the rustling of leaves and birds’ singing. I would highly recommend booking the tree cottage if you come. It’s not only bigger but personally, I prefer wooden lodge than mud/concrete ones if I am staying near wildlife.
On the third night, we were moved to a single chalet, built like a local mud house I had visited in a village two days before. While the village mud house, built of mud and dung, is primitive and without electricity or running water, my chalet has a smooth plaster for its interior walls and a jacuzzi in the toilet. (It would take forever to fill up given the low water pressure.)
The Other Corner Resort is a paradise for bird watchers. Stationed in the resort is Dhilip, a naturalist who took to my husband and his super zoom camera like a lonely child deprived of playmates. He wasted no time in whisking Michael away into his bird playground, proudly showing off his knowledge and the residents flocking about.
On a morning walk yesterday, he brought us out to a beautiful lotus pond, ubiquitous in this part of central Sri Lanka, where Michael took many photographs of lifers (first sighting of a bird for birdie.)
As I type this in front of our chalet before we check out, raindrops patters on the ground in staccato rhythm, adding beats to the symphony of bird songs. I feel the cool breeze, with a waft of faint floral scent, from the many fruit trees planted around. Michael is nowhere to be seen, gone with his playmate Dhilip, reluctant to leave his new friends – both human and avian.
Thank you for the fabulous hospitality. The personal touch had made our stay so enjoyable.