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Chinese to English: Sri Lanka: A Tour of the Cultural Highlights General field: Other Detailed field: Tourism & Travel
Source text - Chinese Sri Lanka: A Tour of the Cultural Highlights
For centuries, Sri Lanka was known as a uniquely fortunate place. Arab traders from the Persian Gulf called it “Sarandib,” from which the English word “serendipity, meaning a pleasant surprise or a happy accident, was derived.
As a result of central highlands rising to more than 8,000 feet, the island has an unusual but extremely benign climate. While the west coast is watered by a southwest monsoon from May to September, the east coast receives regular rainfall from October to April. This helps to make Sri Lanka extravagantly fertile, with magnificent coconut groves and luxuriant tea plantations. Orchids grow in profusion, as do spices such as cinnamon. Owing to the dominant Buddhist culture and the respect for nature that it promotes, Sri Lanka has 22 national parks in an area less than half the size of New York state. (Yala, in the southeast, contains sizeable populations of leopard, sloth bear and wild elephant.) If all this were not sufficient good fortune, Sri Lanka is one of the world’s two principal sources of high-quality sapphires.
Things began to go wrong in 1983 with the beginning of a civil war between the Buddhist Sinhalese and the Hindu Tamils. The demand for a separate state gave rise to the Tamil Tigers, a merciless terrorist organization. It was not until May 2009 that the rebellion was finally extinguished, and by then, up to 100,000 people were dead. But last year, I began to hear encouraging reports of the country slowly getting back on its feet. I decided it was time to see for myself.
My 10-day Sri Lanka itinerary was designed to include the highlights of the so-called “Cultural Triangle,” the corners of which are the ancient cities of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Kandy, all World Heritage sites. For 1,400 years, the capital of the island was Anuradhapura, a huge Buddhist monastic center whose three principal stupas were among the largest man-made structures on earth, second in size only to the Egyptian pyramids. Anuradhapura was abandoned in A.D. 1093 because of an invasion from southern India, and the capital was shifted to Polonnaruwa, 65 miles to the south. Finally, in the 15th century, the country fractured into competing kingdoms, the most powerful of which was Kandy?in the central highlands.
I met my driver at the Colombo airport, and we set off in a newish Toyota Corolla. The standard of driving in Sri Lanka is considerably better than that in India —?though this isn’t saying much?—?and the roads are generally well-surfaced. However, they are often very crowded, particularly within 25 miles of Colombo.
It took just over four hours to drive the 106 miles from Colombo to Sigiriya. Approximately equidistant from both Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya is itself of archaeological significance, owing to a remarkable fifth-century rock fortress, justly renowned for its exquisite 1,500-year-old murals. My hotel, the Jetwing Vil Uyana, turned out to be set amid wetlands irresistible to birdlife. Wild peacocks strolled along the gravel pathways, herons strode through the shallows, and white-throated kingfishers lent a dazzling splash of turquoise, crimson and bronze to the surrounding curtain of green.
Captivated by the serene rural location, I was also impressed by the hotel’s imaginative architecture. My duplex Forest Dwelling came with a spacious, air-conditioned upstairs bedroom, which extended onto a balcony overlooking a private plunge pool. Downstairs, the enormous bath contained a large sunken tub and a walk-in shower arranged around a rectangular fishpond, open to the sky. My first impression was extremely positive, but it soon became apparent that the pond was a breeding center for mosquitoes. And although the rustic-chic design was atmospheric, the bath was poorly lit. Looking around, I began to notice an apparent lack of maintenance. The concept of my suite was admirable; the reality proved distinctly less impressive.
Vil Uyana is ideally located for visiting all the ancient Buddhist sites of northern and central Sri Lanka, and it could be an outstanding property. For now, it is the best that is available.
Jetwing Vil Uyana 83 Water Dwelling, from $305; Forest Dwelling, from $360. Tel. (94) 66-492-3585.
It takes a little over two hours to drive the 60 miles from Sigiriya to Kandy, and the landscape becomes progressively more hilly and picturesque as you head south. Situated at an elevation of 1,600 feet, Kandy occupies a unique place in Sri Lankan culture because of the Temple of the Tooth, a shrine housing one of the Buddha’s teeth, said to have been rescued from his funeral pyre. As well as being an object of religious veneration, the tooth is a powerful symbol of Sinhalese nationalism.
The Theva Residency is perched on a ridge and offers cloud-draped and romantic views of the town and the surrounding hills. Hidden away at the end of a gravel track, it proved a charming and unexpectedly stylish 10-room boutique hotel. The main dining/lounge/bar area was sun-filled and decorated with a combination of modern furniture and traditional artifacts. And despite the steepness of the terrain, the architect had managed to find room for a small but attractive cobalt-blue horizon pool.
Our air-conditioned Superior Room was also bright and cheerful, and came with a sizeable private terrace appointed with a large concrete soaking tub and an outdoor shower. The indoor bath was small but well-lit and equipped with an effective walk-in shower. Although we found the room to be adequately spacious — chiefly because of the terrace — if you want to really spread out, I suggest you opt for one of the two Suites. These lack terraces, but are much larger and have indoor Jacuzzis.
The hotel’s restaurant serves an unexpectedly sophisticated menu of East-West fusion cuisine, and during our stay, the food was well-prepared, attractively presented and served by efficient and smiling staff. The Theva Residency is not luxurious in the customary sense, but it is a charming small property that provides a comfortable place to stay in a spectacular location.
The 148-mile drive from Kandy to Galle takes around five hours. Galle was originally a Portuguese settlement, but its remarkable walled fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was constructed by the Dutch beginning in 1649. Amangalla occupies a handsome three-story building that was originally constructed in 1684 to house the Dutch governor. In 1865, it was converted into the New Oriental Hotel. After a complete renewal and refurbishment, it opened as an Amanresort in 2005.
Today, the front of Amangalla remains accessible to the public, and the excellent restaurant in the Zaal (Great Hall) and adjoining veranda is integral to the social life of the town. Beyond the reception, an area exclusively for guests contains a well-stocked library, a spa with a hydrotherapy pool, and gardens centered on a 70-foot jade-green swimming pool. The atmospheric accommodations are chiefly colonial in style, with floors of Burmese teak, fine old furniture and four-poster beds. Modern baths provide soaking tubs and large walk-in showers.
I found Amangalla to be an ideal place to relax and would happily have stayed for a week. At times, the service was below par — poolside waits for drinks and snacks were interminable, and my promised extra-large bathrobe failed to materialize — but overall, this is a property of great charm. Those who wish to complete their travels with a spell on the beach have the option of a second Aman resort, Amanwella, two-and-a-half hours by car to the east at Tangalla.
Translation - English 斯里兰卡：文化圣地之旅
开车从科伦坡到Sigiriya这106英里的距离只花费了四个小时的时间。路程大约与到Anuradhapura和到Polonnaruwa的距离相等。Sigiriya本身具有重大的考古意义，它拥有坚固非凡的五世纪石砌堡垒和使它闻名遐迩的已经1500年历史的壁画。我所住的旅馆，Jetwing Vil Uyana，原本是在建在鸟儿最喜欢的湿地上。野孔雀沿着石路悠闲的散着步，苍鹭迈着大步穿过浅水滩，白喉翠鸟弄得水花四溅，仿佛给这个绿色的大自然窗帘染上绿松石色,深红色和铜色。
Jetwing Vil Uyana 83水居房，305美元起；林居房,360美元起。电话：(94)66-492-3585。
2008 I entered my university enjoying my life there and fortunately I had passed the TEM-4 and TEM-8 which means a lot to we English majors. During the 4 years I basically made a foundation of English learning including promoting my speaking, listening, writing, reading and even translation and interpretation abilities. And For more I have spent my spare time learning the computer knowledge getting a certificate; passing the tourist guiding course deepening my love for my own country a lot. Still I am interested in many other aspects such as accounting profession, civil engineering and so on.
Now I am in the course of MTI(Master of Translation and Interpretation).
Besides, I love sports, playing basketball, football(ps I am the goal keeper), though I am a little fat man I am good at Latin Dancing.
Sometimes, I feel like to read many books alone without been disturbed reading for all day long.
During my internship work time , I was praised that I have a good ability of learning things, and I think to learn more is to think more and bear more!