The next day we went to a tea plantation and factory.
|Looks quite cooling right|
The British were the ones who started all these tea plantations in Sri Lanka, which was also known as Ceylon. Hence the name Ceylon tea (think Lipton!). Actually, the British first started coffee plantations, which failed terribly because of some bug so they decided to plant tea instead, and the tea industry in Sri Lanka flourished.
|Really how it looked like under the mid-day sun. Glaring +++|
Traditionally, it's the Tamil ladies who would work in the tea plantations, as tea needs to be picked manually, and women have softer finger pulps than men. The men do most of the manual labour like weeding, replanting and irrigation of the tea plantations.
It's really tough work because it's under the scorching sun and they use their bare hands. An experienced tea plucker can pick 30kg of tea leaves in a day.
I don't know why they don't wear those wide brimmed straw hats like in Vietnam/Thailand? It's really very very hot and the sun is so glaring and there's hardly any shade. I used to think that only rice required such labour intensive farming methods but I guess it's mostly mechanized now, but the tea plantations still use manual labour.
They were having a festival at Nurwara Eliya so there was this pasar-malam like stalls
This is our hotel corridor - we stayed in the Grand Hotel, which is really quaint and old and similar to Raffles Hotel.
Visited Hakgala gardens - the flowers were all blooming so it was a riot of colour and there were lots of bees. Thankfully no mosquitoes.
On the last day, we went on a city tour around Colombo. It's really morden and clean, though it's really really hot (again).
Super old Dutch Church.
|Claypot chicken bun! Do we have this in Singpaore??|
We also visited a spice garden (can't remember where this was maybe in Matale?) which was pretty interesting and got a short lecture on their traditional Ayurvedic treatments.
|Nutmeg - used to make camphor (like tiger balm)|
|Saffron - used for hair removal|
|Equivalent to our chili padi|
|Cross section of a coco bean|