Surf & Yoga Mirissa and Ahimsa Vegan Cafe

We discovered the amazing Surf & Yoga Mirissa during our second visit to Sri Lanka when we were looking for a place on the south coast to chill, get some work done, and live close to nature.  Surf & Yoga Mirissa’s property is right in the jungle just 1km down the road from Mirissa’s main beach.  The retreat features clean spacious rooms with super-comfy beds, hammocks to lounge around in all over the property, a surf shop and yoga studio, all the activities you could possibly want to do in south Sri Lanka, and the amazing Ahimsa Vegan Cafe!

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Huge room with a jungle view

There’s also breakfast and dinner available (vegan and non-vegan options) for guests, three yoga classes per day, and surf lessons available for all levels with awesome, experienced instructors.

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Surf’s up!

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The yoga instruction is also top-notch, with a variety of styles being taught and teachers who can cater to all levels!  Honestly, it’s the perfect place to jump headfirst into the yoga+surf life!

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Ahimsa Vegan Cafe, the super-cool shipping container restaurant on site, has amazing healthy plant-based offerings!  It’s open every day except Sunday from 11-3:30!  Be sure to try the signature Ahimsa Bowl – a mix of roasted veggies, salad, veggie protein, and delicious homemade peanut sauce!

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Delicious, seasonal, Ahimsa Bowl
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Tofu chickpea scramble with homemade hummus and toast!

Mirissa Surf & Yoga also strives to be as eco-friendly as possible, with composting, recycling, and regular “karma yoga” beach cleanups!  The owner, Priyal, and staff of Surf & Yoga Mirissa can guide you to all the best sites and activities in the area!  They’re a super-friendly crew of surfers who will be sure to make you feel at home in Sri Lanka!  There’s also no less than FOUR cute, friendly doggies who call this place home.  So there are lots of furry friends for those of you who miss your pets so much, like us!

 

Check out their awesome video for more of a taste of this amazing place!

Services Included:

All meals available

Fast WiFi

Air conditioning in select rooms

Fans

Book library and games

Hammocks and a slack line

Surf lessons and tours available

Yoga classes available

Laundry available

Tours available

Surf shop on-site

Massages available

 

Address: Ulugedara Villa, Galle road, Bandaramulla,, Mirissa 81740

Website: www.surfnyogamirissa.com/

Prices:  Various packages available depending on the time of year and what services you want to include.  See the packages here.

 

 

 

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Grasshopper Adventures Chiang Mai Night Bike Tour – Into The Old City

While in Chiang Mai we were fortunate enough to go on our second tour by Grasshopper Adventures – Chiang Mai Night Bike Tour.  This was again a night time biking tour which took us though the old city highlighting some incredible temples and history.  Our guide was absolutely fantastic and his knowledge of the city was scholarly.  Here is a video showcasing our experience!!!

After meeting up at the Grasshopper Adventures Chiang Mai headquarters, we mounted our bicycles and headed off into the city.  Again, we were very impressed with the quality of the bikes offered by Grasshopper — so comfortable and with front and back lights!

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Our first stop was at Chiang Mai Pae Gate.  It was built as the main entrance to the walled city, easily accessible to traders coming though on the nearby river.  We learned that the city had several ways in, each for specific types of people, historically.  One exit was reserved only for the dead on their funeral marches.

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There were tons of Chinese tourists taking selfies with pigeons here for some reason?
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The Three Kings Monument

Next we rode to several amazing temples, each with Buddha relics and lots of good energy.  We used a kind of rope and pulley at Wat Lok Molee to send holy water which automatically dropped over the temple.  Apparently doing this together would guide our spirits back to each other in the next life.  “I don’t know, one life with you might be enough…” said Carrie, maybe joking but probably serious.  I am a piece of work sometimes.

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Near the end of the tour we walked through the grounds of Wat Chedi Luang, located right in the middle of Chiang Mai Old City.  The temple is partially collapsed on top and reminded us a lot of places we visited in Cambodia.

Our final stop was at the Chiang Mai Gate Night Food Market  We were treated to some amazing coconut pancakes, mango sticky rice, and some smoothies.  Food always makes me quite happy, and even though we had taken a feast of a cooking class earlier in the day, I was happy to eat again.

Grasshopper Adventures Chiang Mai Night Bike Tour was a great look into the history of the northern Thailand city.  We learned much about the Lanna empire which existed independently before they were absorbed into the Siam empire (Later Thailand) and how the younger generations are trying to bring back their historical culture.

Additional information:

Address: 87, Bumrung Buri Rd, Prasing, Muang, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

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Website:  www.grasshopperadventures.com

Also check out our review of Grasshoppper Adventures Bangkok Night Bike Tour

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Songkran Thai New Year Water Gun Battle in Chiang Mai, Thailand!

We had a very wet, exhilarating blast of a time during our first Songkran Thai New Year celebration!  In Chiang Mai, people converge around the Old City‘s moat with water guns, hoses, buckets, and refill barrels!  Our friends from the USA picked Songkran week to visit us in Thailand so they could join in on the madness!  We had tons of fun acting like kids, dueling with Thai families, dodging water gun fire all around us and sneak-attacking unsuspecting tourists!  Who’s coming to Thailand for Songkran next year?

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Enjoy this post about Songkran Chiang Mai? Check out our archives for other adventures! Also, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @laaventuraproject and subscribe to our Youtube Channel.

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Tuk Tuk Safari – Exploring Galle on the Sri Lanka Coast

The amazing Tuk Tuk Safari offers tours around Colombo, Galle, and Kandy.  The tours are not just in any tuk tuks, these babies have roll-back tops, coolers of beer, custom music playlists, cool drivers, and classic paint jobs!  Our driver, Donald Duck (yes, that was literally what his nametag said), picked us up in downtown Galle and welcomed us to his safari!  He wore a fun colonial safari outfit, and kept a great smile on his face as he showed us our sweet ride.

 

We hadn’t really researched the places Tuk Tuk Safari would take us around Galle, which led us to an afternoon full of surprises.  At first we drove a little ways, ending up in Kabalana where we bounced up a dirt road to a little house in the palms.  By a beautiful outdoor kitchen we were served an incredible spread of curries: jackfruit, dhal, sweet onions, cucumber, potato… plus rice and of course papadam.  The curries were super special, and we both agreed it was one of our top three favorite meals in our two months of traveling Sri Lanka.  For dessert we had some very nice pineapple, jackfruit, and soursop, along with fresh curd and treackle (coconut sap, Sri Lankan maple syrup).  So yum!

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Homemade Sri Lankan curry!

Our second stop was to the famous stilt fishermen of Ahangama.  The Sri Lankans erect sticks into the reef areas where there are many fish.  They climb up the sticks and sit on little shelves for hours at a time.  The spot we stopped was made for tourists so you can go experience it like the locals.  I climbed up there, getting super wet in the process, so Carrie could snap this classic shot!

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Stilt Fishermen of Ahangama

Tukkin’ down the road, we veered off after an airport and headed inland.  Down a few skinny local streets, we came to a sign: “Spice Garden”.  They had a nice garden of all the local things out back, along with boat tours around Koggala Lake.  We took a quick tour around the garden then found ourselves in their showroom where they sell amazing Ayurvedic products along with homegrown spices.  We had a lot of fun learning about everything that could be cured by natural products.  We try to not use any chemical products so we bought a few things to take on our travels.

spice garden koggalaThe next stop on Tuk Tuk Safari was the Turtle Conservation Center in Koggala, Sri Lanka.  They take in sea turtles injured by boats and nets and try to heal them or give them a comfortable place to live their disabled lives.  There is also a turtle hatchery behind the building on the beach.  One of their turtle tanks was packed full of hundreds of baby turtles!!!  Cute little tiny things.  We love turtles and we really appreciated what this place is doing to help.

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Babies!!!

Donald Duck now drove us to our final stop, the Japanese Peace Pagoda in Unawatuna.  Built in 2005 in an effort by a Japanese Buddhist sect to build temples in conflict zones (Sri Lanka was in civil war until 2009), the temple offers incredible views from a hilltop overlooking the bay.  The sunset was turning fantastic and the whole scene was super magical.  When the sun was nearing the horizon, we hurried down the hill and caught the last glimpse of the red ball falling into the ocean.  With a lot of light still, we walked down a path to Jungle Beach, a secluded spot with a nice beach and calm water.

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The view from Jungle Beach

Dark now, we headed home.  Donald dropped us off at our hotel and we said goodbye.  Tuk Tuk Safari far exceeded our expectations, taking us to all new spots even though we’d already been traveling in that area for weeks.  Everything was organized perfectly and Donald Duck was an outstanding tour guide!  We really hope to do their other tours of Colombo and Kandy at some point.  Tuk Tuk Safari just offers such a cool and unique experience!

To book a tour go to the Tuk Tuk Safari Facebook Page.

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Sri Lanka Whitewater Rafting in Kitulgala!

Sri Lanka whitewater rafting was one of our must-do adventures when we got to the island! Kitulgala was the place to do it, the river flowing down from the mountains of Adam’s Peak all the way to Colombo.  We found the company Kitulgala Adventures, who had really good ratings and also a nice place to stay.  After a little windy road, nausea-inducing bus riding from the mountains to the east, we found Kitulgala Adventures’ camp and soon were hiking through the jungle to the room where we would spend the night before our rafting trip.

The room was HUGE, with a nice balcony overlooking the river.  Some white buffalo were grazing in the grass across the water.  We ran around and made a silly video, which you’ll see below.

Everyone at Kitulgala Adventures was extremely friendly and helpful.  They made a special vegetarian dinner for us that was delicious, then we went to bed early among the jungle sounds.  It was a great sleep and we woke super refreshed.

After a yummy breakfast we walked back up to the main road where we boarded a small truck with our raft and our guide.  We were told how Sri Lanka whitewater rafting would soon, unfortunately, be a thing of the past.  A massive hydro-electric plant is being built up the river, and all of the water which forms the rapids will be diverted in 2020 to create power.  All of the rafting companies will be put out of business, the guides willbe forced to find other work, and the river eco-system will be destroyed.  But hey, at least there will be power.

We were to raft the middle section of the river, the upper being declared “too dangerous” by the government.  After hiking down to the river, our guide followed with the boat and gave us a quick lesson.  We had whitewater rafted a few times before, but you know, safety first.

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With our awesome guide!

Finally in the water, we were pumped to be whitewater rafting in Sri Lanka.  The route took us through four small rapids and three big rapids, with a lot of good scenery along the way.  The water was a little lower than our guide would have liked, but a few of the runs were pretty thrilling and we had a great time.

At the end there was a nice peaceful section where we swam for a ways.  We got out when we saw a big monitor lizard in the water near us!  They only eat “garbage and dead bodies” as our guide explained but they are still scary to us.

Enjoy this post about Sri Lanka whitewater rafting in with Ceylon Adventures in Kitulgala? Check out our archives for other adventures! Also, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @laaventuraproject and subscribe to our Youtube Channel.

Also, if you like to travel yourself, follow our brand new adventure retreat company Bigger Life Adventures!  We we will hosting retreats that give back to local nonprofits this year in California, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania!  Hope to see you there!

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Exploring Langkawi and Staying at Tubotel

I recently got to explore some cool parts of Malaysia as a solo female traveler, when Zach had to hurry up to Sri Lanka for work and I had a weird gap between visas.  We think it’s good to travel by ourselves sometimes!  It opens doors for lots of self-discovery and gives us a chance to miss each other.  The highlight of my trip was definitely Langkawi Island, a huge island in the northwest corner of Malaysia.  To get there, you can fly (expensive) or take a ferry from either Koh Lipe, Thailand, or Penang, Malaysia.

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Welcome to Pulau Langkawi!
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Tubotel- the best hostel in Langkawi!

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On Langkawi I got to stay at Tubotel near Cenang Beach which was a joy!  Super friendly, amazing facilities, and the rooms are all inside cool giant recycled construction tubes!  The tubes make for a chilled-out, cozy little nest with a sea view!  Check out my Langkawi vlog below for a tour of Tubotel, Cenang Beach, and some other cool places I checked out!

I had a lot of time to chill out and work from Tubotel’s amazing patio and it was great to take it easy and catch up on some projects!  The best day in Langkawi, though, was the day I conquered my fears of scooter driving and rode all over the island!  Vroom vroom!  I drove like a Grandma and let everyone pass me to avoid accidents but I definitely started feeling cool and confident midway through the day.  Scooters. are. great!  Just be careful!  I checked out the Upsidow House and then rode all across the island through some beautiful jungle and fun hilly roads then stopped for some nachos at Fuel Dock Langkawi.

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Dancing on the ceiling at Upsidow House

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Tasty nachos after a lot of hot scooter driving!

I had a plan to check out the Durian Waterfall on the north side of the island but thanks to being a newbie at scooter riding and navigation I got lost a few times and ran out of time and energy before I made it there.  That’s okay, because I definitely want to come back to Langkawi with Zach next time!  And time spent chilling on the beach is never time wasted!

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Dreamy rice fields with water buffalo grazing

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On Cenang Beach you can find tons of water sports to enjoy

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Enjoying a delicious coconut affogato with banana bread, from one of the little coffee stands right on the beach!
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New friends ending the night at Tubotel!

Tubotel Services Included:

WiFi

Free breakfast – the menu changes every day and always has several options!

Air-conditioning in all tubes and dorms

Pizza oven serving at night!

Movies, games, and books!

Bike rental available

Free maps

Address: Kuala Cenang, 07000 Pantai Cenang, Malaysia

Emailalexsigi@yahoo.com

Website: www.tubotel.com

Phone: +60 14-240 7022

Prices:

Garden View Tube: 188 MYR

Sea View Tube: 268 MYR

4-person dorm: 88 MYR

Female dorm: 45 MYR

Male dorm: 50 MYR

Economy 12-bed dorm: 30 MYR

 

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Ramayana Waterpark in Pattaya, Thailand

Ramayana Waterpark in Pattaya is the top-rated waterpark in Thailand and third place in Asia.  With over 20 slides, you will be thoroughly entertained and exhausted by the end of the day.  We are 30-year-olds and we loved it, but there are a lot of things for kids to do too.  We took a lot of Go-Pro videos and here is a little film that we made!

Our favorite slide was the Aqualoop, which has you climb into a tube like you’re about to be launched.  The timer goes 3-2-1 and then the floor falls out and you plunge down a super tall slide then around a 360 degree loop.  Another favorite of ours was Boomerango, which has an primary slide then you slide up another hill until you are almost vertical then you end up coming down backwards.

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Getting ready to drop down the Aqualoop!

Most of the bigger slide have the option of scanning your wristband before descending.  Once you get to the bottom simply scan your band again to view the pictures and video from the slide.  From there you can email the files to yourself for free!

The restaurant at Ramayana Waterpark has local and western foods.  We got some curries that were pretty tasty with huge portions.

Ramayana Waterpark has a van that brings you the 20km from Pattaya and back.  It does the trip several times per day for 120 Baht.

Hours: 10am – 6pm

Price:

Adult: $36

Kids: $27

Seniors: $18

Website:

www.ramayanawaterpark.com

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