Sri Lanka: Nuwara Eliya in a day

By Cubie - November 21, 2016

A friendly Sri Lankan family who coincidentally also was getting off Nanu Oya helped me get my suitcase off the storage rack. When I caught up with S, she already engaged a driver who assisted her in getting her luggage off the train. It was a van and we paid LKR 800 / ~USD 5.40 / ~AUD 7.40 for the two of us. The van took us from Nanu Oya station to our accommodation, Heidi's Home.

After checking in, the first thing to do was food! We asked for some recommendation on local food and was told to go to De Silva Food Center. We did go there but they had sold out all the rice and curry, and we were told cook-to-order dishes took about an hour to prepare. We didn't want to wait and went next door instead. I don't quite remember the name of the shop but it should be Grashia Restaurant (please don't imagine high end restaurant, it is just a small eatery).

I don't usually order fried rice but that was pretty much the best option and it was pretty good, this was named nasi goreng on the menu. My guess is fried rice are usually Chinese fried rice style, whiter in colour and nasi goreng mostly Indonesian influenced and of course, darker in colour. I don't remember how much it was but total cost for this plus fish fried rice that S ordered cost LKR 630 / ~USD 4.30 / ~AUD 5.80.

After feeding our tummies, we decided to go to a tea plantation. We flagged down a tuk-tuk from Heidi's Home and he took us to town area, waited till we finished lunch and sent us to the tea plantation that we wanted to go, thereafter dropped us back to the town. We paid total cost of LKR 1,200 / ~USD 8 / ~AUD 11. 

We decided to to go Mackwoods Labookellie Tea Centre, entrance is free. Not only there is no fee to enter the Mackwoods Labookellie Estate, they also provides a free guided tour and finished it off with free tea tasting at their cafe. Need to pay for cakes. Grin.

I didn't think I am so bad at recognising people's face but after Sri Lanka, I have doubts on my ability in facial recognition. Not only I have trouble remember our tuk-tuk driver's face, I also realised I don't really recall their names. I remember the colour of the clothes their are wearing or shoes, etc but not the face. Must be old age setting in.

Along the way to the tea estate, we were treated with beautiful greeneries, we were amongst tea plantations anyway.

Our tuk-tuk driver (sorry, can't remember his name either!) decided to join us for the tour. He said that he often bring tourist to the tea estate but had never once walked around the area so he decided to join us. I suspected he probably taken a liking to my friend. Grin.

Tea leaves
Processing floor

Packaged tea to be sent out
It wasn't a long tour and after that, we went to the cafe and try the tea. One could tell them which type of tea you would like to try at the counter.

Our tuk-tuk driver is the one in green jacket, (so obviously I recognised him by the jacket.. umm) waiting for tea collection

After finishing the tea, I wanted to go out for a little walk.

The cafe from outside
I walked over to the viewing deck and told S I want to go down (where I took this photo)

It started drizzling by then and at the end of these steps, there was a sign saying no permission to go further (something like that), so I came back up.

After that the driver dropped us back at the town. Nuwara Eliya town area is like a big bus station and there were so many people because it was a long weekend. So I didn't think Nuwara Eliya is charming, like how other people might have experienced. We went for a quick look at the post office.

After we short walk, we decided to have dosa dinner with recommendation from our tuk-tuk driver and headed to Ambaal's Vegetarian Hotel. I had my first string hoppers and only scooped a little of the curry on my plate. The waitstaff saw me and obviously thought I needed assistance and piled on the variety of curries on my plate. Haha.

My friend then sent me down to grab a dessert, I tried to ask the workers what were the flavours and they were basically telling me all were chocolates = ="

Given the colours of the sweets were a little too vibrant, I decided to err on the cautious side and took the chocolate one. It obviously is chocolate, more like Milo taste actually.

I had 10 string hoppers (they come in set of 10s), S had a plain dosa, we each had a milk tea and shared a piece of sweet. Our dinner came up to a grand total of LKR 200 / ~USD 1.35 / ~AUD 2. Cheapest dinner ever and tasty too!

Side note: Are you in the group that likes chai or are you in the group that doesn't like chai?

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