“Where the heck are we heading?!” I asked C as we rumbled through a dense jungle at the back of a 4x4 truck. After what seemed like a very long time of twisting and turning along a dirt path, the driver pausing once to chop a hanging branch blocking our path, the monster of a vehicle finally came to a stop. On a ravine, what looks like a makeshift cable car waited for us and our backpacks. We obediently boarded and were soon creaking and careening down to the plains below.
|INTO THE JUNGLE OF ELLA|
Apparently, we were heading to our home for three days in Ella, a mountain town at the Uva Province of Sri Lanka. It wasn’t easy getting there from the east coast of the country. It took us a total of three correct bus transfers, one incorrect drop-off (which added another trishaw ride), the better part of the morning, and a lot of patience to get from Arugam Bay to Monoragala (LKR249.00), then to Welawaya (LKR49.00), and finally to Ella in Badulla (LKR69.00).
And we weren’t about finished just yet.
|A REAL HANGING BRIDGE INSIDE THE ELLA JUNGLE RESORT|
From the main road, where a sign announced Ella Jungle Resort’s property, we were fetched by a 4x4 truck which promptly dove down a winding dirtroad into the jungle below. Then finally, a cable car. At long freakin’ last, we arrived at our lodging. And the first thing that was running through my mind was, how the heck are we gonna go out again to get some beer?!
Luckily, they do have Lion Beer at the resort. They’re branded as a vegetarian resort, but malt is a vegetable, isn’t it?
|ONE OF THE MANY HALLS INSIDE THE COMPLEX|
Ella Jungle Resort is just what it is. A resort two and a half kilometers deep within the jungles of Ella. It sprawls over an area 150-acre wide and inside it, there are gushing waterfalls, abundant mountain streams, hills to trek on and rice paddies to admire. And along all these is a complex of dwellings and spaces for guests to sleep and relax in.
|OUR CHALET FOR THREE DAYS|
|THE CHALET EXTENDS TO THE RIVER|
The place is indeed immense, but despite that, the resort has only a total of fourteen river-facing chalets with 28 rooms that guests can rent out [CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY]. We were booked on one of these, and our jaws dropped to floor as we opened its wooden door.
|OUR LOVELY GLASS-WALLED ROOM|
|ELEVATED LOUNGE AREA|
Elevated a few meters from the river below, the room’s walls are made of glass, looking out directly on the river and the forest beyond. The wide wooden floor planks, the wood furniture and the four-poster bed complete with a romantic mosquito net made us exclaim in delight! “We could stay here for a week!” we told our host, momentarily forgetting about going out for a beer at night (we didn’t know then that they have beer, lol).
|THE BALCONY OVER THE RIVER, OUR FAVORITE SPOT|
We immediately went out to the balcony, which floats right above the river and saw that even if the cottage is made of glass, privacy wouldn’t be an issue since it faces a thick wall of forest on the other side of the stream. Well, there are always the curtains, if ever we wanted a more private feels.
|BEAUTIFUL TOILET AND BATH|
The toilet and bath is set right outside the room, for sharing with guests on the second floor of the chalet. It was all our own though since there was almost no guests at the time. It has a separate toilet stall and a shower hall where you can actually bare all to the forest beyond.
|THE LOUNGE AREA AT THE COMMON HALL|
It was expected that there was no Internet wi-fi in the room, but lo and behold, as we went to the lobby and the common area, we found ourselves connected to the outside world! Granted, the connection is wonky at times, but hey, we’re in the jungle!
|THE COMMON HALL FROM THE RICE PADDIES|
The common area is an open hut overlooking a row of rice paddies and an open field with a central fire pit where they hold dinner when it isn’t raining. To get there, we had to cross a wooden bridge over the paddies. And since it was always raining at the time, that’s where we usually have our meals; breakfast, lunch and dinner. Although everything was vegetarian (they serve eggs, by the way), I was actually surprised to find their food really good and quite varied, considering I like my meat really well.
|CURRY RICE FOR DINNER|
|YOU’D NEVER REALIZE YOU’RE EATING A VEGETARIAN MEAL|
|OUR DINNER ACCOMPANIED BY SRI LANKAN MUSIC FROM OUR HOST|
It was only unfortunate that it was raining the whole time we were in Ella so were really weren’t able to explore the town, nor even do the mild hike through the forest within the resort grounds. The good side was, we were booked at the Ella Jungle Resort. It was like a staycation of sorts for us, a respite from all the past weeks touring Malaysia, Thailand and Sri Lanka.
~ OUR GRATITUDE TO ELLA JUNGLE RESORT FOR SPONSORING OUR STAY IN ELLA. VIEWS & OPINIONS ALL MINE.
Ella Jungle Resort
Address: Karandagolla, Ella, Badulla, Sri Lanka
Contact Number: +94 112761101 | +94 777352352
Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
GPS Coordinates Map: 6.825916, 81.078699