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Customer Reviews

Average Rating: Red-stars

Total number of reviews: 1,843

Buddha's Island SL

Visiting: Sri Lanka
Tour Duration 15 Days
  • Lions Rock
  • Incredible scenes
  • Beautiful countryside
  • Sri Lankan leopard
  • Temple of the Tooth, Kandy
  • Tour Style: Classic
  • Tour Type: Small Groups
  • Tour Pace: Moderate
  • Tour Comfort: Standard
 

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18 reviews for this tour

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Tour notes

Each departure date has it's own dedicated tour note, detailing all you need to know about that tour. Whether you've already booked, or weighing up your options, please choose carefully the relevant itinerary for you.

We have the following different versions of the Buddha's Island tour available at present.

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10 Michael Sugars, 10/04/14

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Too hard to pin point, as the forte of the trip was the shear variety ; viz ,culture, scenery, history, wildlife, even beaches & the islands way of life.

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9 Heather Cox, 13/03/14

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

The amazing shadow of Adam's Peak, Whale snd dolphin watching, Sirigya, Wilpatu (even though we didn't see a leopard) Group meal of many Sri Lankan specialities cooked by a local family.

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10 Michael Ratcliffe, 04/03/14

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Puffing and panting to the top of Lion Rock and looking down as the morning mist gradually parted to reveal green fields and darker green patches of jungle and the straight-as-an-arrow path from the car park through the temple ruins a thousand feet below. It's a vertical trek through manicured lawns, up steep stone stairways and an iron spiral stair to the Sigiriya Damsels painted on the rock fifteen centuries ago and then between the lion's paws up the final staircase.

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8 Mel Ling, 22/02/14

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

So many highlights, Elephants, Whale Watching and the hundreds of dolphins that surrounded us on the way back to shore. Kandy and the highlands had beautiful scenery and going to a tea plantation and spice garden was interesting. The food is also excellent if you love curry!

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9 , 06/12/13

Name

Peter Deeley

Tour Name

Buddha's Island

Tour Code

SL

What Was The Highlight Or Most Memorable Moment Of Your Tour

Getting to the top of Adam's Peak in time for the sunrise, when we weren't sure if we would be there in time, closely followed by two days in the old colonial city of Kandy where the Hotel Suisse is one of the best I've stayed in.

Tour Leader Name

Tikiri

How Was Your Explore Tour Leader

Tikiri was first class. He worked so hard at making everything look easy, unfailingly good humoured and enthusiastic about Sri Lanka, he even understands the British sense of humour.

What Tips Would You Give To Someone Else Booking This Tour

This is an excellent introduction to a rather neglected country, a good mixture of culture, history, sight-seeing and adventure (elephant safari and climbing Sigiriya and Adams Peak). The -optional- walks are gradually increased so the toughest is the last, but well worth doing. Expect to meet really friendly people and the hotels are much better than expected. Food is excellent( apart from beetroot toffee..) It's a busy schedule without being too rushed and there a couple of relaxing days at the end.

Do You Have Anything Else To Add

Sri Lanka is a lovely country, go now before the tourists rediscover it.

 
10 , 30/08/13

Name

John and Angela

Tour Code

SL

What Was The Highlight Or Most Memorable Moment Of Your Tour

"There were two great moments for us. One was riding an elephant in the Habarana park. Watching kingfishers, sea eagles and orioles from the back of one of these wonderful giants was a beautiful if slightly unnerving experience. The other was the breathtaking ascent of Sigiriya. Not as tough a climb as we expected, the views were spectacular and the mountain-top fortress with its cave paintings astonishing."

How Was Your Explore Tour Leader

Tikiri is the Kandy Man (sorry, had to say that). An excellent guide, knowledgeable about all aspects of Sri Lanka, superb Engish, great commentary, huge sense of humour, and infinite patience. A lovely bloke.

What Tips Would You Give To Someone Else Booking This Tour

"Try to travel light. There is a lot of packing and unpacking when staying in so many different places. Take less clothes and buy stuff out there. Prices of clothes and souvenirs are very reasonable. We found that we scarcely needed any of our mosquito armoury, but I guess that we were lucky. But take a good camera and a pair of binoculars. The wildlife is beautiful. Also, if you can, try and get to one of the Kandy festivals, especially the Esala Perahera, which we missed by just one day, but can be seen on Youtube. Looks stunning if you love elephants (and why wouldn't you?)"

Do You Have Anything Else To Add

"1. The tour guide's tendency was to ""play it safe"", which with a large group was inevitable. But it would have been nice to be let off the leash with a little more free time earlier on, and try a little more local cuisine rather than eating at tourist hotels and restaurants all the time. 2. We would have preferred more time in the hill country and less in Unawatuna beach resort. 3. When phoning Explore before travelling, we were unable to talk to anyone who had been on this holiday or even Sri Lanka. This was a bit disappointing as we have always experienced in-house expertise on other holidays."

 
10 Sarah King (staff), 04/04/13

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

"The animals, Sperm whale,blue whales, land and water monitor lizards, kingfishers, kites, elephants, giant squirrels, turtles, monkeys, water buffalo, and lots more.

The highland town of Kandy was also a personal highlight, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site it's scenic and is also home to the Temple of the Tooth Relic. Walking around the lake in the evening is really beautiful and the botanical gardens are a must see, well-kept and immensely colourful, there are also thousands of bats that you can get some great pictures of in some of the trees.

The variety of historical sites at Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa keep the temple visits interesting and it's great to see so many of the temples are still in use today."

 

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10 Katja, 22/03/13

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Climbing Adam's Peak - even though it was physically hard work, the atmosphere on this night-time climb was unforgettable, as was the beauty of the changing dawn light on the descent. Seeing local people as well as monks and tourists from all over, children, elderly people and families making the climb was humbling. And so many chatted to us, encouraged us or simply smiled and said hello - we felt uplifted every time.

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8 David Mowbray, 11/03/13

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

"Our walking tour of Sigiriya and climbing to the summit."

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Our Response

Thank you for your comments; we’re especially grateful for your praise for Jude.  We don’t have any record of complaints about the hotel at Adam’s Peak, but we take your point that it’s a long way if you have to go back to your room on occasions during the day; we will ask if rooms as near as possible to the public area can be requested.

 
10 Karen Elliot, 25/02/13

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Climbing up to the Sigiriya Fortress and the amazing view from the top.  The tour was so packed with memorable moments it's hard to single one out.  I absolutely loved the Sri Lankan spicy curries.

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10 Hannah Methven (Explore Staff), 01/02/13

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

We had lunch with a local family one day. They were so welcoming and happy for us to explore the kitchen before sharing a feast of delicious food. We met three generations of the family and it was a great chance to see how a traditional farming family live.

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8 Karen Maguire, 17/01/13

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Optional boat trip, turtle sanctuary and a mini guide to the Tsunami affected areas (provided a real appreciation of the devastation)

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10 Anon, 07/01/13

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

The reward of reaching the sumit of Adams Peak and seeing sun rise.

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6 Anthony Walsh, 23/07/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Seeing a herd of about about 20 elephants with two very young ones. we were told one was about 1 day old. they were only about 40 yards away and in full view for at least 30minutes. these were wild elephants in a national park.

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Our Response

However, we also see it as part of a tour leader’s role to explain the local cuisine, and maybe encourage customers to give it a try.

 
10 Clare, 18/07/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

At Kandy the evening ceremony at temple of the tooth. Drums, Horns, Smoke and lots of monks. Magical.

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0 AM , 02/04/12
Wonderful holiday - very well organised and with a good pace. Though the early mornings were a shock to begin with we soon realised how much better it was to be sight seeing before the sun became too hot - and we could fit much more in! Our tour leader, Pryantha was outstanding and really made the holiday even more special by keeping us to schedule, giving helpful advice as well local and cultural information. The driver also was brilliant and the coach was clean, air conditioned and comfortable. The only advice would be to take cool cotton tops (that cover shoulders for the temples) and lots of mosquito repellant and possibly a plugin model for the night time.
 
0 PJN, 15/08/11
Pack mosquito repellent and be prepared for lots of Buddhism. Highlights were anything involving elephants or tea! ( SL - 23rd July 2011)
 
0 Louise Meek, 28/02/11
Ayubowan. Broken Orange Pekoe Fannings. Cocktails in Bandarawela. Damsels of Sigiriya. Elephants everywhere. Four thousand eight hundred steps to Adam's Peak. Galle tropical storm. Hats off, shoes off. Itchy bites. Jungle jeeps. Kandyan drummers. Langur monkeys. Munchee Lemon Puffs. New friends. Observing life through the bus window. Polonnaruwa Buddhas. Quiz in the Spice Garden. Relaxing afternoons at Maskeli Oya. Stupendous stupas. Toddy tapping. Unawatuna traffic. Views of picturesque hill country. Waterfalls and weddings. Xceptional guiding by Tikiri. Yogurt, pineapple and baby bananas. ZZZs on the plane. (SL - 15th January 2011)
 
 
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