This combination of Sri Lanka study trip and Maldives beach holiday is worked out for our Chinese clients in particular. It shall offer a large variety of diverse impressions of our tropical island Sri Lanka. In addition to relaxation in an Maldives island resort this itinerary also includes: Negombo beach, Ayurveda massage, mangrove marsh land boat safari and birdwatching, sacred sites of 4 different religions, fishing port, elephant bathing, spice garden, tea factory, hill capital Kandy, traditional dance show, whitewater rafting, Colombo sgopping opportunity, and a prehistoric site and especially a former abode of the famous Chinese pilgrim Faxian (Fa-Hien) who not only visited India but spent two year on our island, too, for his Buddhist studies, leaving a report that is still a most valuable Chinese source for Sri Lankan historians.
Day 01 - Airport / Negombo:
Upon your arrival at Colombo International Airport our driver or guide will welcome you and transfer you to your seaside 2- or 3-star hotel in Negombo, driving from the airport to the hotel will only take 15 minutes.
Day 02 - Negombo / Muthurajawela / Ayurveda Massage and relaxation:
After breakfast time for leisure at the beach, in order to have a rest from your long flight and nighttime arrival. We start a Negombo city tour after lunchtime, including the fish market area, the Dutch Canal, a Buddhist temple, a Tamil Hindu temple, a Muslim mosque, a typical Negombo church, and afterwards the cenral shopping complex. The late afternoon hours are the best time for your boat safari in the marsh land of Muthurajawela at the southern end of the Negombo lagoon. Here you can watch crocodiles, lots of native species of water birds and, during wintertime, migratory species as well. Dinner and second overnight stay in your hotel in Negombo.
Day 03 - Pinnawela Elephants / Spice Garden / Tea Plantation / Kandy:
After early breakfast leave for Kandy, on the way visit the world-famous Elephant Orphanage in Pinnawela, here you can watch the elephant's feeding and training, participate in their babies' bottle feeding, and enjoy the view of the huge elephant herd's bathing in the nearby river. Afterwards visit a tropical spice garden and a Ceylon tea factory. In the afternoon check in at your hotel in Kandy, our hillcountry's cultural capital, then take part in a Kandy city tour and join a puja ceremony at Sri Lanka's most venerated Buddhist shrine, the Sacred Temple of the Tooth Relic. After dinner enjoy a cultural show featuring various dance types of Sri Lanka. Dinner and overnight stay in a 3-star hotel in Kandy, its location only 1 km outside the town centre offering a lovely view to the Kandy lake and hillforests and temples.
Day 04 - Kandy / Kithulgala river rafting / Pahiyangala cave / Colombo:
After breakfast in your Kandy hotel proceed to Kithulgala, experience the adventure of whitewater river rafting in rubber boats, and see the location where the famous movie "The bridge on the river Kwai" was shot. After lunchtime drive to Pahiyangala, a less frequented place, but of special interest for Chinese travellers, "Pahiyan" is the Sinhalese transcription for "Faxian" or "Fa Hien", who is one of China's most important historical pilgrims to India and a well-known ancient scholar in South East Asia. He is believed to have lived several weeks in this Pahiyangala cave on his way from Anuradhapura to the Buddha's footprint on top of the mountain Adam's Peak. This Pahiyangala cave, by the way the largest rock-shelter ("abri") in South Asia, furthermore is of significance as the find spot of South Asia's oldest fossils of Homo sapiens, belonging to our island's so-called Balangoda culture. After sunset arrival in Colombo and check in at your hotel. Dinner and overnight stay in Colombo, in the evening opportunity to visit a shopping mall or Karaoke bar in Colombo.
Day 05 - Flight to the Maldives:
Morning flight from Colombo International airport to Male, speedboat-transfer to your holiday resort on one island of the southern group of atolls.
Day 06-07 - Beach holiday on an Maldives island:
Spend three nights in a 3-star accommodation on the Maldives. For couples or families without young children we can reserve sea bungalows, for guests accompanied by children younger than 8, according to security advice, we only provide hotel rooms on the same island, but not in its adjoining sea bungalows.
Day 08 - Transfer to the Airport:
After check-out at noon speedboat transfer to Male, check-in at the Maldives International Airport for a flight to Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport, here transit to your connecting flight back to China.
PLEASE NOTE: Arrival time of flights from China to Colombo is usually only a few hours before (or even after) midnight, this is why on the first day of your round trip we only offer transfer to the hotel in the nearby beach resort Negombo. In case you arrive in the morning or early afternoon hours we can arrange some additional itinerary for the first day (visiting Maha Oya river mouth) without extra charge, but costs for an optional boat trip in that area are not included in our price offer, only the scheduled boat trip on the second day (in Muthurajawela) is already included.
PLEASE ALSO NOTE: Most flights back from Colombo to Chinese destinations also start at nighttime. This means: Arrival in China usually is on the following day, so this would be day 9 of the total journey. In case you only like to offer an 8-days-trip, e.g. starting on a Saturday in China and return to China on the next Saturday instead of Sunday, you please inform us to cut one night at the Maldives beach resort (booking only 2 instead of 3 overnight stays on the Maldives) and to offer you a better rate.