Travel Diary: Sri Lanka

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Touch down in Sri Lanka after an incredible 5 day stay in the Maldives! We arrived in the early evening so we booked a night at the Galle Face Hotel in Columbo before making our way down the coast line.

In the morning we booked a taxi to take us to Unawatuna which felt a lot like the Koh Samui / Koh Phangan strip full of restaurants, hotels and clubs. We stayed for 2 nights and did some exploring around the area and found so many little nicnac shops stocked with tons of wooden products like bowls, elephant souvenirs, salad spoons and puppets. We were tempted to get a mask but the more we saw of them the more we felt like they were just novelty items and rare antique or vintages ones were long gone.
We were told it wasn’t peak season which is usually June to December so we got to enjoy a quieter strip (at night that is) Unawatuna has such a chill vibe about it and there are so many activities during the day that you can do like snorkelling, surfing, whale and dolphin watching and so much more. There are so many restaurants in the area it’s kind of overwhelming and a total tourist spot with some hotels signs blatantly stating that locals were not allow to stay in their hotel… Hmm…

The next day we headed to Galle Fort  which was initially built in 1588 by the Portuguese, then extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onwards. The buildings were beautiful and were started to inhabit shops and hotels in the original structures, although about 50% of them were open or in use. We walked to the end where the famous Galle Lighthouse was (and most of the tourists) took a couple of photos and then went to fins shelter in a shop because the heat was almost unbearable. We didn’t buy too much, just some lovely wooden handcrafted salad spoons and a small ivory elephant that reminded me of the one in the movie The Secret Garden. This was to be added to my ever growing elephants from around the world collection which just happened to be because people started getting me elephants as souvenirs, now I’m making it a thing!

After 2 nights in Unawatuna we headed down to one of the surf spots Weligama where we had booked and paid to stay at a hip surf school, we ended up getting there pretty early so we had to wait a couple of hours till our room was ready but while we waited we noticed that it was more hipster than hip and didn’t look like the photos on tripadvisor at all. We waited about 2 hours on the hotel beach front while we watched the hotel guests surf and come back for a bathe. The owner a hippy Russian who had obviously decided to stay and set up shop for good in Sri Lanka after a visit (like many tourists) told us that the entire beach was out of electricity and would be back soon. Time went buy and as honeymooners we felt like we were crashing a hippy high school graduation trip. We decided to talk a walk and the area was still up and coming with a lot of new growth and hotel chain- Marriott on the way. The area was untouched, there were a lot of locals going about their day with no sign of anything to do there. We dragged our feet back to the hotel and as the room still wasn’t ready and reality sinking in about how we felt like adults crashing a school trip we decided to walk around the other side of the hotel and voila, we couldn’t believe our eyes it was like seeing a lagoon after a long walk in the desert. We both walked in separate directions so excited about the minimalistic luxe looking hotel that was right next door the whole time. We sat down for lunch and decided we had to switch hotels. So for 3 nights we stayed at Weligama’s 2nd best hotel where I got food poisoning which was terribly upsetting. I had only had one day of surfing which I absolutely fell in love with and the next 2 days had me bed ridden and unable to explore and surf more with my new husband.

On the day we left to our next destination I figured that I needed to see a doctor but he was unavailable and that I could go to a hospital 40 minutes away which i politely declined. We drove to our next spot which my knight in shining armour set up doctor to come visit me at our next hotel I got some medicine and rested a little more. We were in Kosgoda, famous for its turtle hatcheries and during the early afternoon I felt like i needed to talk a walk otherwise Sri Lanka would have been a total bummer. We walked along the coast and stumbled across a netted fence and it was man made turtle farm! I couldn’t believe that we had stumbled across one thinking that my luck had ended and we were going home in a few days. We ended up taking a tour and saw lots of baby turtles and deformed and albino turtles that sadly wouldn’t have survived in the wild so they were cared for by the volunteers.
So our last few nights we not so eventful but I was feeling better and we got to see the capital a bit more because I had left my wallet at the Galle Face Hotel which they so kindly notified me and held on to it till our last day.

Sri Lanka is beautiful and the people are so friendly and the surfing was so much fun, I can’t wait to go back.

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Love, P x

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Sandbank Wedding

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Wow It already feels like such a long time ago but here are the photos from our incredible idyllic sandbank wedding in the Maldives!

The morning of our wedding we were treated to massages by the wonderful spa team at Six Senses but we were about 30 minutes late due to the ocean just off our bungalow calling our names to have a morning snorkel, which we did about 3-4 times every day.
We were to be picked up by the photographer and our Guest Experience Manager, Sato at 4pm for some photographs around the scenic resort before the simple ceremony on the sandbank about 4 minutes by speedboat from the resort. I started getting ready after our massage and another snorkel sesh (it was right there and we made most of it) which took under 2 hours to do my own hair and make up and our GEM and photographer arrived almost exactly as I had finished. I put on my dress and was ready to pose for the cheesiest most memorable photos I will ever take.  It was excruciatingly hot even in the afternoon and my hair was started to get flat from the heat and wind but poor Adam was in a suit but wore it like a champ and still managed to look super handsome : )
We took a couple of photos around the resort, first at our bungalow then to the island’s most scenic restaurant then to the famous up-cycled landmarks sign then straight to the speed boat.

The day we arrived at Six Senses we were told that they would upgrade our wedding location from the simple beach location to the sandbank location so we were ecstatic from the day we arrived and the next few days leading up to our wedding we could see the simple marquee being set up from our bungalow.

When we arrived we were greeted by our “minister” haha and quartet of drummers who walked us down the sandy aisle where we would give our vows. The view was spectacular, a 360degree view of different shades of blue and white, It was hot and windy and we had the little island to ourselves. The actual “ceremony” didn’t take very long so we said our vows and signed our names on a certificate that said we had celebrated our wedding together at Six Senses to make it all seem official. As a Muslim Country and having legally been married in Hong Kong a few days earlier our sandbank wedding was not legally binding.

After we had be made “honest” we popped champagne and cut our wedding cake then took a few more photographs then headed back to the resort. We spend just under an hour on the sandbank and looking back I can’t quite believe we got married on a patch on sand in the middle of the Indian Ocean, so thankful and still can’t believe it was real.

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Our photographers photos..

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Love, P x

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Travel Diary: Six Senses -The Maldives

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It was a long journey to the Maldives with a 14 hour layover in Dubai, that we thought would be great because we could do some extra unexpected exploring. It turned out to be a bad idea and the 14 hours really ended up dragging and waiting at the airport involved severe cases of delirium and an uncomfortable Bedouin tent encounter.  But after a 30 something hour journey we had arrived in the capital- Male with another domestic flight to go and a 20 minute speed boat to our resort.

We arrived at Six Senses in the late afternoon and was greeted by the General Manager and some of the GEM’s (Guest Experience Manager- one was assigned to every party). We were shown around the island via golf buggy by our GEM, Sato who also told us that the resort had a no shoe policy so for the 5 days that we were there we were barefoot – amazing.  After our 15 minute tour we were driven to our bungalow and at the door were 2 bikes with our initials lasered into some wood that hung from each bike. Because of the size of the island, these bikes were ours to get around the island- to the spa, restaurants or various snorkelling spots around the island.
The bungalow was perfect, all wood interior with a beautiful view of the reef. The bungalow had an outdoor shower and bath tub that was see-through with a window plane from under so you could see all the marine life having a peek at your bottom.

The staff were so lovely, inviting and helpful. The 7 restaurants all in different areas of the island, were excellent each with their own design to suit the cuisine and grow all their own herbs and as much of their food as possible,
The snorkelling was better than we could imagine, the reef was so close to our bungalow and the coral was so colourful and it just went on and on. We were very lucky on our first dip as we saw a little green turtle!
The spa was unreal, it had a stunning tranquil view with a team of expert therapists that made us feel so looked after. The island also boasted a FREE ICE CREAM shack on the island, 40 flavours- all free, all the time- oh my god.
The sunsets were beautiful every single night, although we did have 3 storms that only hit after sunset, lucky for us. It was actually quite scary being on an island in the middle of nowhere and also being 200 metres off shore. The wind actually blew one of our windows open and it was a huge struggle to close it. Room service was still operating which we opted for because the wind had almost knocked me off my bike  when storm number one started rolling in on the first night. Bless the staff, they were soaking wet but still in good spirits.

The day after our wedding we were scheduled to tour the area in a traditional Maldivian sailing boat called a Dhoni which was used up until the 70s as a multi purpose vessel but is now just for tours. The sunset was so beautiful and we managed to just see some dolphins leaping out of the water in the distance.

I can’t really say anything else to big up the resort, it was incredible and I’m almost 100% certain that this will always be the best holiday and resort I’ll ever had been on/to.
As we left some of the staff and GM gathered at the pier as our suit cases were being loaded onto the speed boat to send us off. “Come back again soon, next time with your babies” The GM says hahah.
Six Senses, wow, you are amazing, we had absolutely no complaints, the ultimate holiday, slow paced with sun, sand, snorkelling, excellent food and the beautiful staff. Thank you to the staff, It was unforgettable, thank you for your kindness and your hospitality, you are truly a 5☆ resort through and through.

Thank you to my hubby for the best holiday and wedding I could ever ask for. You are the best company and most genuine, funny, intelligent, caring person in the whole wide world, you have given me so much and taught me so much. You are perfect and I will always treasure you. LOVE YOU MR WRIGHT!

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Love, P x

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Barcelona, Spain

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Spain was our 2nd and final stop in Europe before coming back to Hong Kong. We had an entire week in Barcelona and had a few days to kick back and do some sightseeing and touristy stuff before the Off Sonar events started.
Barcelona was beautiful, personally I thought it was very quintessentially European. Quaint stone pavements and old architecture here and there.
My favourite stops were our morning visits to La Boqueria a local market off La Rambla where you can literally buy any type of food, cooked, raw, combination fruit smoothies and juices to spices with little bar/restaurant in the back serving tapas and paella.
My other faves were the Gaudí Church, Sagrada Família, absolutely stunning and crazy to think that it’s still being built (unfortunately we didn’t get to go to the park because it was at capacity- book ahead!)
Then of course was the Off Sonar events at Poble Espanyol a lovely little afternoon/early evening spot to chill, listen to some tunes (although the disco kept popping up which caught me off guard, maybe its a European thing?) Out of all the music gigs, venues, tunes, vibe- Club Bloc was banging. The club had this grimy, minimal, industrial look with huge concrete pillars- and literally no decor, which was perfect.
Can’t wait to go away again!

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Brighton, UK

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Brighton was a blast as usual, fabulous local food, wicked shopping and a really chill vibe. London was pretty busy for us as we wanted to get loads done (which we did, bosh). So Brighton was our chill out stop before the hectic adventures we were about to embark on in Barcelona. Last year we missed Gentlemen’s Dub Club at Outlook in Croatia and during cheeky walk through the lanes we spotted a flyer that said they were playing that night at Concorde2! Result! We went and it was brilliant, sound was great and the energy was even better.
The laid back attitude and the funky antique and clothing shops and Chippy’s right on the beach make it my favourite place in the UK. I was so stoked to see family while I was in the UK, I was sooo good to be back.

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London, UK

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UGH, It was SO GOOD to go back to London! I missed it loads and the weather was beautiful while we were there, warm in the day and slightly colder at night , I say slightly but for a Hong Konger, it was freezing and we certainly weren’t really prepared for that as we pretty much packed for 35c weather so I had to buy jeans and a sweater; not a bad excuse at all!

I hadn’t been back in almost 10 years so it was so nice to have a wonder and do touristy things and be able to stay with my family who I haven’t seen in years so it was like going back home.

We went to the National History Museum, The Hunterian Museum, did the Jack the Ripper Tour, went to Camden Town, Berwick, Shoreditch and loads more. The one place that I wanted to go to was a museum of artefacts of serial killers and murders which included weapons and possessions but unfortunately it was only open for police for research-ha.
Ah, London, I’ve really missed you.
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