We made a trip to Kandy, which is located in the Central Province of Sri Lanka, one of the major cities, besides Colombo. Also the last city where the ancient king of Ceylon resided, which I will share more in the later entries.
After the trips to Temple of the Tooth Relic (Buddha’s tooth) and Botanic Garden, we decided to head to the lodge which we have booked to stay for a night. We reached the bottom of Madukelle Eco & Lodge hill about 6pm, and arrived at the lodge closer to 8:30pm. The distance was only 19.5km. Amazing right? There is basically very narrow drive way for normal size car. Our driver was having hard time on the direction, as he has not been there before. Also, not many uses Google Maps in Sri Lanka (except one three wheeler or Tuk-Tuk driver used it to get us to a location).
Once arrived, we went ahead for dinner at the restaurant, since there is absolutely no other option available at that point of time. We could opt for a la cart or dinner set, which we went with dinner set, at USD25 per pax, excludes the beverage.
The beverage such as drinking water is charged at 200LKR (RM5) per 500ml. We had 2 bottles, thinking it is regular water, without realising no beverage is free in Sri Lanka (in general). I had the Sri Lankan rice (which was obviously a bad choice, as the rice was ok, but the dhal and rest tasted slightly cold). Overall the place is dark, very dark. Maybe to maintain the ambient.
After the dinner, the reception done the check-in, informed us the team will take us to the lodge, which is about 200meters away. When we reached the tent (will just called it tent, instead of lodge from now), I think we walked for more than 500meters, under really dark walk way, without any torch light, we turned on our phone LED, in case we step onto something, or fell inside a pot hole etc.
The tent is about 450 square feet, like a tiny studio apartment, with a separate washroom and bath area. The queen size bed sits right in the middle of the tent, with a writing desk at the side. There is also a small table to make tea, and the tent comes with 2 power supply, with both using to power up the tent lights. So, to charge our phones or camera, we need to sacrifice 1 light source.
The washroom is really dark, and in fact inside the tent is really dark, we were able to open the windows for light, as the windows with net, mostly broken, seems to have been bitten by the wild animals. However, when we tried to open one of them, we had a rat like creature decided to stay in with us, took some time to chase him or her out, with the help from the operator.
The temperature is between 20 degrees to 22 degrees in the morning, and probably getting slightly warmer towards the afternoon.
The view is spectacular, as we spent some time walking about the area to enjoy the beautiful views.
While we were only here for a night, I actually do not think I would want to stay any longer.
The tent bath area has no place to put the shampoo or anything at all. So kind of inconvenience to bath, and opening the door to get the shampoo etc.
The bath area has a large print on sign “Save Water”, so do not take a 5 minutes shower here.
Tent also comes with a portable fan, in case one needs it, for us no.
There is no TV, nor WiFi inside the tent, so, enjoy the peaceful quiet surrounding.
However, 1 tent next to us, about 200 meters away, blasted some loud Hindi music in the morning, which was a major down for everyone staying here, wanting some nature noise.
There is a nice lodge or house up on the hill, which I enquired, then found out is the chairman’s lodge. So not for rent.
The staff is really friendly and nice.
If you are in to nature, and willing to take the long drive up the hill, and willing to spend (really pricey for tent stay, I have a 4-men tent still at home, which I think I should use it), then you would enjoy Madukelle.
One last note, I noticed this place is not suitable for kids and teens. I observed how parents have to pass their phones or tablets to the younger kids to keep them occupied while the parents enjoying the stay. Teens, just spending time on the phones.