the ancient city of polonnaruwa


we drove north from kandy and our destination was the ancient city of polonnaruwa. this unesco world heritage site is quite amazing – the ruins nestled into the jungle are really impressive. polonnaruwa was the second captial of the kingdom of sri lanka, a fabulous garden city created in the 12th century.

there’s a lot of ground to cover and things to see in polonnaruwa, and we didn’t have a ton of time because we were planning on doing a sunset jeep safari at minneriya national park that evening (our incredible experience with one hundred elephants is coming in the next post!). our driver, koshala, was awesome and make sure we saw all the highlights quickly but well. he drove us to a half a dozen different spots … we got out, explored for a little while, and then carried on. since we tend to prefer a pretty fast pace at places like this, it was perfect!

all of the ruins were really cool to see (some of the carvings are so remarkably well preserved!), but my two favourite bits of polonnaruwa were: (one) the huuuuge reclining buddha cut right out of the rock, and (two) the monkeys everywhere!

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^^ in buddhist temples, it is customary to take off your shoes. ^^
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^^ how’s that for a doormat?! ^^
^^ there are lots of monkeys all over the ancient city, but i was so excited to see a brand new baby! i watched these guys for a solid twenty minutes and took about fifty pictures, haha! ^^
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^^ visitors at polonnaruwa (and most buddhist temples in sri lanka) are asked to not take photos with backs turned to statues, as that would be considered disrespectful. ^^
^^ i was blown away by this reclining buddha, carved out of the stone nearly one thousand years ago! astonishing. ^^
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i love marveling at and learning from different sacred places.


  1. Yes charity Ian is a millionaire earning 350,00 per year at one the most highest paying financial companies in the entire world. Dr. Ian Wright works at
    Goldman Sachs Financial Services. I think you should check if Ian in the past has any gay lovers to be aware of.Ian is a millionaire is why you are able to finance all those trips at your age. You are the 2 per cent elite American that are able to afford your extremicant lifestyle at the age of 30.

    1. Wow this comment is so rude! I doubt Ian's salary is public information, and if it is, well he's a well educated guy in a well paid field! Good for him!
      As for the more offensive rude! Charity and Ian are clearly very in love. It's really a cheap shot to speculate about a blogger's husband's sexuality. Especially when said blogger and her husband are adorable together! Obviously you're a troll, but still, really uncalled for comment!

    2. Anon's comment may be my new most favorite "anonymous" comment I've ever seen on a blog. Only because it's the most hilariously ludacris thing I've ever read. I actually laughed out loud.

      Charity- I hope you let anon's comment roll off your back, and enjoy a small chuckle at how ridiculous some trolls can be when they feel like they can say whatever drops through their brain.

    3. it made me laugh out loud too :)

      just fyi, ian does not make that much in a year, even if he did we wouldn't be millionaires, and it really truly doesn't cost that much to travel like we do. and also, nope, no gay lovers :)

    4. Goldman Sachs Associates are very well paid, I'm sure. That said, charity has been pretty clear that saving money and shopping smartly is very important to Ian. As a finance professional he clearly puts a lot of thought into money as well as his career. seems to work for them. Charity puts in long, hard, sometimes lonely hours taking care of an infant etc. (remember how he studied through their baby moon?) While he spends his time making money. I'd be more concerned about his conservative (Hoover Inst) background and world view if he had a job affecting public policy or something.

  2. Okay that baby monkey is the best thing ever! His hair!!! Haha this trip looks fantastic!

  3. I love that you explained the custom of not taking pictures with your backs to the statues. That makes a lot of sense and it's really great to see you're family making extra sure to respect their culture. And even better that you then explain those cultural difference to us readers! Learn something new every day :) Sri Lanka looks amazing!

  4. OMG that baby monkey is so cute! Do they tell you or have signs stating the "rules" like taking off shoes or not taking photos with your back to the statues? Just curious because I've never been to that part of the world (yet) so had no idea.

    1. they have signs. and, in some places, guards to remind you :)


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