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4,165 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let me kick start the thread with some good eco-friendly tourism resorts.


Architect Geoffrey Bawa.

The booming Sri Lankan tourism industry required the construction of Hotels especially near the heritage rock site of Sigiriya in Central Sri Lanka. The company had an option on a site at Sigiriya not far from the foot of the ancient rock where King Kasyapa had made his fortress in the fifth century, and early in 1991 a party of directors travelled with Bawa to inspect it. Bawa rejected the site out of hand but suggested that the directors should look at 'a beautiful tank a short way away to the south-west' that would serve them better. For Bawa the original site lacked any sense of surprise or drama - the Sigiriya Rock was simply there,'in your face'. What he wanted was a site that would offer mystery and suspense: visitors would be forced to make a long trek through the jungle to arrive at the edge of a tank, across which they would finally see Sigiriya in the distance.

The architecture is stark and understated, emphasizing the idea that this is not a building to look at, but a building to look from, like a giant belvedere. If they really try, guests can escape onto terra firma, though neither the architect nor the management ever intended that they should do so. They are marooned in a huge ocean liner with decks above and cabins below that has come to rest like Noah's Ark on some faraway mountain side. The only obvious contact with the ground is at entrance level, where the lounge opens towards the main swimming pool, which seems to hang like a shelf on the edge of the cliff.

Vil Uyana

Right near the doorsteps of Sigiriya in Central Sri Lanka.

The remit for the architect was to construct a privately owned wetland nature reserve, out of bare land. A wild refuge for otters, crocodiles and dragonflies. Perhaps even for a thirsty elephant or monkey, when the seasonal drought follows the monsoons. Oh… and some dwellings for discerning tourists, who would want the ultimate chill out, but without sacrificing creature comforts.

The end result is one of the most spectacular tourism developments in the world. A matrix of wetland and organic paddy studded with luxurious dwellings and an island spa, in the culturally rich north central plains. Plunge pools, butler service, village trails to explore, inspiring companionship from naturalists, the lifestyle decisions are yours to take.

more to come..

4,165 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·

Bentota, south west coast of Sri Lanka

Quite simply, a breathtakingly beautiful place. Its gardens are like a suite of serene outdoor rooms amid the wider wilderness of Sri Lanka, its plantation house ‘a civilised outpost on the edge of the known world’. The late Geoffrey Bawa, renowned architect and designer of Sri Lanka’s Houses of Parliament, spent 40 years transforming this abandoned rubber estate on the island’s west coast into a tropical idyll, with elegant Italianate gardens, courtyards, pools, walkways, pavilions – and inspirational views over the lake and jungle. It was his consummate legacy, the place he dreamed of retiring to.

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Premium Member
18,785 Posts
I posted these before but hey... Here they are again!


Pinnuwela Elephant orphanage

Washing in the river

Bathtime for 80 elephants

Wrestling on the riverbank

Moi. Looking a bit 'off'... malaria tablets, hangovers and long car journeys don't mix

Shperherding the elephants back to the orphanage

Kandy: Botanical gardens

Roosting Fruitbats

Looking across the ancient capital of Kandy... Its a beautiful city set amidst soaring forested mountains and arranged around an artifical lake created by one of the old Kings of Kandy

Cultural show: A selection of dance and song from around the island

All rise for the National Anthem...

Fireating / walking

Temple of the Tooth, kandy... This contains one of Buddha's teeth:

View from the hotel in Kandy (The Citadel)... The men are dredging for building sand

Hindu Temple, Matale

Dambullah... The garish modern entrance to the Golden temple

Saggy-titted monkey en route to the temple

...And a lizard!

The temples; they are about a 100m climb up the hill behind the entrance... created in natural underhangs below the outcrop, hundreds of Buddha statues are crammed into the caves with every available surface of rock intricately painted... Magnificent!

One of the several caverns... giving an idea of the scale

The caverns are enclosed by these buildings; access is gained through them

Itchy face

Family portrait

The big statue at the entrance

Minneriya National Park... Home to herds of hundreds of wild Asiatic elephants

Painted Storks

A new arrival


More storks

Lots of arses

More elephants... Some buffalo in the background

Another baby, and a rare tusked Asian Elephant... Only 6% of Males and no Females are tusked (unlike the African)

Sigirya: One of Sri Lanka's most famous cultural monuments. A 200m granite monolith rising above the plains surrounded by the ruins of an ancient city and crowned with the 1,600 year old King's palace

The water gardens at the base... When it rains the 1,600 year old decorative fountains still work!

The first few of 1,200 steps to the summit

...Further up...

Halfway up, in an underhang on the rock face, are these exquisite paintings 1,600 years old

They depict some of the King's concubines, imported from around the world... Africa:

...And India (left) and Mongolia (right)

Near the summit now... These lion's paws were once part of a whole lion's head and paws, you walked towards the palace on the summit through the mouth!

Even at the top there were monkeys running around oblivious to the 200m drop below

Don't look down!

Polonnaruwa... A complex of numerous ruined temples and stupas in another former capital

Bad posture!

A giant brick stupa

I hope you enjoyed the quick tour... Sri lanka is a beautiful and fascinating country, I'd like to go back and see more of it.
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