I took an early morning bus to Polonnaruwa. The city is known for its ancient ruins, in particular the ruins dating back to when the city was the capital of the kingdom in 1070 C.E. under King Vijayabahu I. The whole city is a World Heritage Site and it is surrounded by gorgeous rice paddies.
I rented a bike on my first afternoon in town, which proved to be a mistake. The area is just too large, but I still managed to take some shots around town:
One of the annoying things about the town is that it costs a bloody fortune to check out the archeological sites. And because the sites are so old, you’re essentially only looking at ruins, pretty as they may be due to the lovely mosses. It costs $35 USD a ticket to check out the sites around town. I would recommend renting a motorbike for the day, not a bike as the sites are spread out over 20 km or so. I met two women who started at the same time as I did, but on bikes and I literally saw the same sights that they did two hours faster, and had time to check out additional places that they did not see. The ruins:
A hotel and restaurant next to the main ruins by the archeological museum:
This is the Gal Potha, a stone book dating back to the 12th century C.E.:
This is apparently one of the loveliest moonstones in all of Sri Lanka:
After checking out the archeological sites, I took my scooter on a gorgeous road right by the lake for a three hour ride. This is seriously one of the most beautiful roads I have ever been on. The roadway is elevated so I got raised views of rice paddies on my left, and views of the lake on the right. And since it’s a tiny road, the traffic was sparse making for an awesome ride. I’ll leave you with shots from the ride: