Ashna’s Letter to Friends – March 2016

Last time I wrote to you, we were in India. Since then we have been to Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Cambodia. This e-mail is about Sri Lanka and Thailand.

In Sri Lanka we went to many different cities and towns. The first city we visited was Colombo.

Buddha statue at Gangaramaya temple

In Colombo we saw a Buddhist temple called Gangaramaya. At this temple, we saw many Buddha statues. After Colombo we drove to Unawatuna. On the drive to Unawatuna we stopped at a Turtle Hatchery. At the turtle hatchery we saw green sea turtles, olive-ridley turtles, hawksbill turtles, and a loggerhead turtle. The turtle hatchery watches over turtle eggs until they hatch. Once the turtles are born, the hatchery takes care of them for three days and then releases them into the wild. We heard that when the turtles are born in the wild 2% of them survive. When the turtle hatchery takes care of them for three days 50% of them survive. But later we did some research and realized this may not be true. Turtles are probably better off if they are left alone in the wild.
The next place we went to was Udawalawe. In Udawalawe we went on a safari and saw many animals including Asian elephants, buffaloes, crocodiles, peacocks, and deer.

Top to bottom, left to right: Safari traffic jam, tea plantation, in Safari vehicle, turtle hatchery, Asian elephant, sunset

After that we visited Nuwara Eliya where we went to a tea plantation. At the tea plantation they grow tea leaves, then pluck them and send them to the factory. We visited the factory and saw some of the steps of making tea. Then we went to Kandy where we saw a cultural show. I thought it was really cool because there were people walking on fire and even people sticking flaming torches into their mouths. How did they do that?

Man walking on fire

We stopped at an elephant orphanage called Pinnawala. At Pinnawala they rescue orphan and injured elephants. They take care of the orphaned elephants until they are full grown, and then supposedly release them back into the wild. Next we went to Negombo where we visited the beach and swam in the ocean.

Me feeding an elephant

When we left Sri Lanka we flew to Bangkok, Thailand. In Bangkok we went to Chatuchak market. This market is one of the largest weekend markets in the world! Another place we visited was Wat Pho temple. We saw a 46 meter long gilded resting Buddha statue!
From Cambodia we plan to go to Indonesia, Japan, California, and then back to COLORADO? I miss all of you and plan to come back around early April.

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