The Temples of Anuradhapura ~ Sri Lanka

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Ok, we’ve got to start this post by being completely honest.  Until landing in Sri Lanka, we had never even heard of Anuradhapura.  Our ignorance at its highest, it wasn’t until we talked to a “travel agent” at the New York Beach Club Guesthouse in Negombo that we discovered this place was a must see for any foreigner to Sri Lanka wanting to do more than just sit on a beach.  Not having done much prior research on Sri Lanka, nor having much of an agenda, we figured we’d give Anuradhapura a try, hoping to get some decent photos out of it.

Situated in North-Central Sri Lanka, we took the 3 hour-ish public bus from Dambulla to Anuradhapura after visiting the rock at Sigiriya (Read: #68 Complete – Dodge The Hornets While Climbing Sigiriya Rock).  It become quickly apparent after arriving into town that there wasn’t going to be much to do here other than visit the temples, so we were eager to hire a tuk-tuk and get on with it.

Not surprisingly, the boys at our guesthouse were able to arrange a driver for us within the hour!  Now, we usually don’t jump on the first offer we find, and we certainly don’t book things often from our hotel/guesthouse, but this offer…..this was different.  Apparently, the guy at the guesthouse knew a guy who knew a guy who could take us to all the temples via backroads.  We’d be able to hit all of the temples we wanted, within the timeframe we wanted, all for a fraction of the price, because, get this….the backroads the driver knew would detour around the admission gates into this World Heritage Site!  If someone asked us for our tickets, all we were to do was tell them that our driver had them.  Simple.

We’re not usually the type to try to get out of paying fees for National Parks and World Heritage Sites.  We like to believe that the money spent to visit such places actually goes towards preservation and conservation, however, our wallets were really starting to feel the Sri Lanka tourist tax.  The cost to visit anything from temples to parks was really adding up, so we decided to take advantage of the backroad deal.

We wish we had some exciting stories to tell, like being arrested for sneaking through the back, or having to bribe some ticket men at some of the temples.  Sadly, everything went according to “plan”.  We saw all the temples we had wanted to see, got some gorgeous photos out of the trip, and paid far less than most other tourists.  It’s not often we feel that we get a deal in Asia.  But this, this was certainly a deal that left us quite satisfied.  :)

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Tags: , , , , ,

Categories: Destination Guides, Sri Lanka, Worth Sharing

Author:Thomas & Katherine

A love for travel, adventure, and photography. We just can't help but write about it!

8 Comments on “The Temples of Anuradhapura ~ Sri Lanka”

  1. December 10, 2012 at 7:22 pm #

    great post and i just love the photos :) so serene


    • December 10, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

      Thank-you so much for the kind words and checking out our blog!!! :)


      • December 10, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

        welcome and I say, I am impressed. I followed your blog too. Great way to connect to both of us, travel bloggers all


      • December 10, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

        Absolutely! And we’ve followed yours. Looking forward to some more posts!


      • December 10, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

        thanks too :) me too, looking forward to your posts. Cheers guys and happy travels


  2. July 20, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    Any chance I could get the name of that guesthouse? I too would luuurve to skip having to pay those admin costs on my upcoming trip to the temples… you can email it to me if you like!




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