Treehouse Experience in Sri Lanka: Back Of Beyond in Sigiriya and Pidurangala
Have you ever Wanted to Live in a Treehouse? You have to Check This Place Out!!! This is not only out of every kid’s fantasy but also a place where adults can enjoy and relax.
Back Of Beyond, Dehigaha Ela
As I previously wrote we have a habit to research for special places to sleep each time we leave our home, and this is how years ago we discovered Back of Beyond in Dehiha Ela, a village close to Sigiriya and Pidurangala. Since then it has become a must for us during our visits to Sri Lanka. Yes… Since that first adventurous discovery of Back Of Beyond in Dehigaha Ela back in late 2012, we keep going back to this awesome place, each time with a different set of friends with widely different interests, who upon arrival simply fall in love with the place. Probably you have already seen some of our photos on our Facebook page or on Instagram feed but for the ones who have not gotten any idea yet, Back of Beyond in Dehigaha Ela is an eco-resort which has cottages and tree houses in the borderline of the jungle. It is a great place to stay to all those heading to Pidurangala Rock or Sigiriya Rock.
It is absolutely necessary to reach the property as early as possible not only because it could be difficult to geo-locate the place but especially because there can be wild elephants on the road after sunset. Even if there is an electric fence bordering the unpaved roads, when the darkness comes, the drivers do not feel safe at all. Last time we arrived with a bit delay and it was slowly getting dark. As the road to the resort was 4 Km unpaved and without lights, our tuk-tuk driver stopped at the gate of the last house of the village asking for information.
They confirmed what the driver said previously to us. They suggested him to not drive further. He called the resort and asked them to pick us up at the last house. We waited for about half an hour and they arrived with a green jeep. Kassun and Nirosha after a brief welcoming drove us to the cottage. At that time it was completely dark and along the way we were accompanied by fireflies but we did not spot any elephants. I do not know if it was a pity or luck but would have been nice seeing them in their natural environment. We secretly hoped we would have run into a wild elephant, but no such luck. Upon arrival to the resort, we met the manager Makesh and his team; their hospitality was warm as always. Kasun and Makesh were knowledgeable; they informed us about all the activities around.
After finishing the check-in procedures and a welcoming Sri Lankan tea we were taken to our treehouse. It was just amazing: toilet and hall were located at the ground floor meanwhile the bedroom up on the tree. We settled down our things as fast as we could and went to the dining area for dinner. We were served with Sri Lankan typical dishes: hoppers with various vegetables and coconut sambal. Food certainly remains one of their strengths. Absolutely delicious and to be honest it is one of the places where we find a good Sri Lankan cuisine.
Highly recommended. Remember that Back Of Beyond Dehigaha Ela does not sell alcohol but you are free to take your own bought from any of the wine stores in the city. We did not have our own and I do not want to hide that a glass of wine would have been certainly appreciated. According to their green policy, they do not sell any bottled of water but boiled and filtered water was provided free of charge all the times. Since they tried to follow an eco-friendly policy, guests were asked to avoid bringing plastic and aluminium at the property and it seemed highly appreciated if they would take back their non-degradable items since they could not be disposed of as intended.
This was not a very big deal for us because we really liked the focus on sustainability. After dinner we went to rest in our treehouse meanwhile the staff was entertained themselves with some music. Kassun played guitar well, we could hear him from our treehouse and it was a pleasant background while preparing to take rest. We would have liked to join them but we were destroyed by the long journey. After all, relaxing in our treehouse was not a bad idea. It was a pleasure hearing the sounds of the forest. It was so dreamful hearing the animals and seeing the fireflies glowing out of our mosquito net: a unique and magical experience!
Our treehouse in Dehigaha Ela, even if it was in middle of nowhere, was very well built and very well maintained: it was very clean and well looked after. A lot of thought had clearly gone into their design. Being up there really provided a different perspective of the landscape around. It was one of those places that even if it was isolated, seemed to be very committed to the guests’ pleasure beside of simply giving them a place to sleep in a special place. It was comfortable, with lots of attention to details. Electricity was powered by solar panels and there was a hot shower even if it was located in the middle of nowhere.
Because of the chirping birds and the sunlight which was coming straight into our tree hut, the day after we woke up very early. In that moment we realized that going to bed early the night before was indeed an excellent idea. We were never terribly fond of waking up so early and having to open my eyes abruptly gave me a little annoyance. Maybe this was the only weak point of Back Of Beyond in Dehigaha Ela but fortunately, this feeling passed by really fast because as soon as the first waking phase ended we were so excited to get up and snoop around. We got up quickly, we had our breakfast and we went to discover the surroundings. It is true, it was not the first time for us in Back Of Beyond, but each time it still remained a discovery. If you have seen any pictures of Sri Lanka, you may also know how amazing its forest area is! Back Of Beyond was breathtakingly amazing and peaceful. Needless to say, definitely it was a place to unplug.
See More Photos Here: Back Of Beyond Dehigaha Ela Photo Album
There were plenty of things to do inside Back of Beyond. They had 7 acres of forest land within which there were ponds with lotus flowers, stream where guest could have bath or just doing some fish spa, little waterfalls and a few huge boulders that are so big that you can climb them like hills. We could spend an entire day wondering here and there. While hiking around, we saw exotic birds, peacocks, turtles, butterflies, iguanas, squirrels and much more.
Back of Beyond Dehigaha Ela was a hidden paradise for nature lovers and they have gone out of their way to ensure both humans and wildlife co-exist on their property. We then went on quiet walks in the surrounding area just out of the resort borders and saw how the local communities cultivate rice and vegetables. It was really interesting. Remember that if you are lucky enough you can also see the wild elephants. Ideally, one should book for at least 2 nights in order to experience the property properly; you will remember the experience for the rest of your life. We wished we could stay longer but sadly we had to leave after lunch because Pirudangala and Lion’s rock were waiting for us.
Read Also: Agriculture around Dehigaha Ela
That night we stayed in the Pidurangala Property, owned by the same person. (He has 7 properties along Sri Lanka, all with the same concept). It was very close to Pidurangala rock and Sigiriya city. It was great staying there as well but for us, the one in Dehigaha Ela has that something more that cannot be explained. There are so many Eco resorts growing in Sri Lanka now but I highly suggest you to pick the one that has a sincere love and appreciation for nature and habitat. Back of Beyond is absolutely one of them.
Here some helpful tips to best handle your stay at Back Of Beyond in Dehigaha Ela :
1. A torch certainly helps, if you do not have your own one, ask at the property upon arrivals.
2. Avoid keeping food items scattered around the treehouse as it can attract animals like monkeys, rats, ants or insects. A large box is provided to store food and it is absolutely necessary using it.
3. Try to reach the resort before dusk. Because no one will drive you during the dark hours. All the drivers are afraid of the wild elephants. If for any reason you arrive later, ask the management for pick up.
4. As the road leading to the resort is unpaved, it is not suitable for all type of vehicles, especially tuk-tuk. If the elephants are seen, the tuk-tuk will not be able to go fast.
5. Make sure you have everything you need with you because once there it is impossible to think of having to go back to buy something.
6. If you want some alcoholic drinks remember to buy them beforehand somewhere in the city. Back of Beyond does not have a licence to sell alcohol.
7. The night could be surprisingly chilly. Pyjamas are needed.
8. The Wi-Fi connection is very slow at the property so make sure before the arrivals that all your important works that require internet are done previously.
9. Good binoculars also could be helpful, especially for birdwatching.
10. You are in the middle of the jungle, forget about everything, and simply enjoy the moment for what it is.