Sri Lanka, with its reckless drivers, flower-filled air and smiley people was this year's Christmas destination. There are two ways to see Sri Lanka: clockwise or anticlock wise. We went clock wise. There's also really only one way to get around, and that's with a driver. After seeing two motorbike accidents and a van suspended over a broken wall, I could see why.
Sigiriya - paranoia at new heights
Like much of Asia, there is no shortage of Buddhist temples, palaces or ostentatious water features. But Sigiriya fortress balanced on top of a rock takes the cake. Think: son kills father (who happens to be the king), takes the thrown and then hides out on top of a rock waiting for his brother to come to seek revenge. You couldn't make this up if you tried.
Beautiful Tamil tea pickers. Note the arse in the background is the only man and sitting chatting on his mobile phone while the ladies pick, gather and carry
We then haired it down to the Tea Country where we planted ourselves for Christmas, drank lots of strong tea and lay awake at night with our eyes out on stalks.
There's the fish market and then there are the fish stalls on the beach. Tuna was running
Galle followed in the South. Unfortunately it's as heavy on the colonial architecture as it is on the little tourist shops and mediocre food, so we kept our stay on the shorter and sweeter side.
For those of you mad enough to trust my travel advice, stay at Ulagalla for luxury in the cultural triangle, Madulkelle Tea Lodge for cabins in the midst, The Dutch House for the most romantic hotel of your life in Galle and Colombo Courtyard for the overnight stay in Colombo.
Devour the rotis, curry and mangoes but the food isn't the highlight.
Our best meals were in two Indian restaurants in Colombo: Chutneys and the Mango Tree