Explore and admire the land of spirits, gods, temples, elephants, tea plantations, fisheries and friendly local people. Set in the Indian Ocean in South Asia, the tropical island nation of Sri Lanka has a history dating back to the birth of time. It is a place where the original soul of Buddhism still flourishes and where nature’s beauty remains abundant and unspoilt.
Few places in the world can offer photographers such a remarkable combination of stunning landscapes, pristine beaches, tea plantations and waterfalls, not to mention the Buddhist temples and other architectural masterpieces – some of which are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Arne Hodalič is the photo editor of National Geographic Magazine Slovenia. Originally studying biology in Ljubljana, his first trip to India in 1989 changed his professional career when his photos were published in a prestigious Swiss magazine, Animan. Since then he has travelled the world on photo-assignments. He is also a passionate adventurer and cave diver, participating in numerous sailing, mountaineering and caving expeditions. In 2008 he received an honorary doctorate at the University of Ljubljana, becoming a lecturer in photography and photojournalism. His photos and photo stories have appeared in books, exhibitions and many of the world’s most prestigious magazines, among others National Geographic Magazine, Life (USA), Time, Figaro Magazine, GEO, Paris Match, Marie Claire, Die Zeit, Cosmopolitan and Stern.
Upon arrival to Negombo you will be picked up at the airport and taken to our hotel.
After dinner Arne Hodalič will introduce the workshop and present his magnificent and inspiring work from Sri Lanka.
Participants (those who want to) submit seven of their photos for review by Arne.
Early next morning (5:30 AM) we drive to Lellama fish market, followed by breakfast in our hotel.
After checking out, we take our bus towards Anuradhapura and visit this ancient capital of the Singal kings. In the afternoon, we continue our journey towards Sigiriya.
In the 5th century, king Kasapa placed his high court and palace here in Sigiriya. Resting on a secluded, 180 meter high rock (the “Lion rock”), it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Royal gardens at the foot of the rock provide a glimpse into what was once a glamorous life style. Those who wish may climb to the top, where they will be rewarded with breath-taking views.
We continue our exploration of the past by visiting Polonnaruwa, also a UNESCO Heritage Site. The top attractions here include remains of the king’s palace, the 8 meters long and 4,5 meters high Stone Book (Gal Pota), the Vatadage temple of worship, the Gal Vihara temple with its giant statue of the reclining Buddha.
In the evening, we drive back to our hotel in Sigiriya.
After early breakfast, we head towards another UNESCO Heritage Site: Dambulla, a village with 5 Buddhist temples, carved out of a rock and decorated with numerous Buddha statues and pictures. This is a great place to practice our HDR photography skills.
We continue towards Kandy and check in to the hotel where we enjoy a few hours of rest before the busy evening photography session. At around 6 pm, we start our blue light photography at the Temple of the Tooth, followed by daily evening mass (puja).
Away from the temples and into the lush tea plantations and factories – a perfect contrast. We will focus on women working in the tea plantations and factories, which gives us a great opportunity to practice fill-in flash photography as well as panoramas.
After breakfast, we take the bus to Kataragama and check in to the hotel around noon. Enjoy some free time until 4pm, when we visit the local temple, which encloses all major religions in one huge complex. We stay until evening mass (puja) in the temple and have the opportunity to get some good street photography.
For those guests who are early birds, we get up at 3am and head back to the Kataragama temple – which at this hour is completely free of tourists and only the most devoted worshippers pray.
After breakfast, we stop first at a picturesque Weherahena Poorwarama temple. We check in to our hotel in Weligama. At around 4pm, we drive to the city of Galle – another UNESCO Heritage Site – for architectural photography, combined with blue light.
After breakfast, we photograph local stilts fishermen, balancing on poles to make their catch. The bus takes us to Colombo, arriving in the afternoon at the perfect time to photograph the Red Mosque.
Evening dinner will be accompanied by the selection of the best photos from the trip, submitted by the participants.
Transfer to the airport will be provided.
Thanks for choosing Better Moments for your workshop.
Feburary 2 – 10 – 2020
Number of guests: 8-16
Local transport: 4×4 bus is included
Exertion level: Easy
Accommodation: Hotels are included
Meals: All meals are included
Travel to and from the workshop destination: Not included
Visa and taxes: Not included
Alcoholic beverages: Not included
Travel insurance: Not included
€ 4,595 in shared double room.
€ 4,995 in single room.
Groups sign-up a group of 4+ participants and receive a group discount.
All prices are per person.
Better Moments is a member of the Travel Guarantee Fund, your guarantee that traveling with Better Moments is a safe experience.
Bandaranaike International Airport is the main international airport serving Sri Lanka. It is located in a suburb of Negombo, 35 km north of the capital Colombo.
All visitors are required to have a passport valid for at least six months beyond the intended stay. All travellers must have Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) for entering in to Sri Lanka. Visit www.eta.gov.lk for more information. It is the responsibility of each traveller to obtain all valid travel documents and visas before arrival at this destination.
March is the best overall month for optimum weather conditions in Sri Lanka and the last month before the second rainy season begins, with an average temperature of 28°C, high temperature 32°C (day) and low 24°C (night).
Sri Lanka Rupee (LKR). Most hotels, restaurants and shopping centres accept credit cards. Money changers, banks and cash machines are available for withdrawals and exchange.
Sri Lanka has two official languages – Sinhala and Tamil – with English as a link language.
Check with your doctor which vaccinations or medications are recommended for this destination. Remember to plan well ahead with vaccinations. Allow up to six weeks to receive the full course, as some vaccinations require more than one dose, and some should not be given together.
Sri Lanka fascinates with its unique beauty. Few places in the world can offer photographers such a remarkable combination of stunning landscapes, pristine beaches, tea plantations, beautiful lakes and waterfalls, as well as Buddhist temples and other architectural masterpieces – some of which are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. On this trip you will be able to explore and admire this tropical land of spirits, gods, temples, elephants, tea plantations, stilt fishing and friendly local people. It is a place where the original soul of Buddhism still flourishes and where nature’s beauty remains abundant and unspoilt.
Basis of rates:
All prices are quoted in Euro (€). The prices are based on current tariffs and are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances. While we will do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, if it is necessary to levy a surcharge, we reserve the right to do so, and notification will be given at the time of final invoicing.
A deposit of €1,000 is required at the time of booking. The invoice for the balance of payment will be issued 180 days prior to departure, where after final payment is due. For reservations made within 180 days of the departure date, full payment is required when the reservation is accepted. In order to participate on a Better Moments workshop the participant must have made full payment prior to the start of the workshop. The payment terms can be stricter when the workshop includes chartered ships or planes, and any variation will be communicated clearly on the invoice.
Cancellations and refunds:
All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective on the date, which the letter or email is received by Better Moments. There is no cancellation charge until 180 days before departure, however until 24 hours after making the deposit payment it will be refunded in cash, after which a voucher will be issued. The voucher is valid for a booking with Better Moments for up to 1 year from the issue date., and cannot be exchanged for cash. Cancellation charges less than 180 days before departure are expressed as a percentage of the total price, and are as follows: 179 – 150 days before departure 50%, and 149 days or less before departure 100%. This policy also applies to pre- and post-trip extensions. Any airline tickets issued are subject to the carrier’s refund policy. Leaving a workshop in progress, for any reason whatsoever, will not result in a refund, and no refunds will be made for any unused portions of a workshop.
We reserve the right to cancel a workshop because of inadequate enrollment that makes the trip economically infeasible to operate, or because of good-faith concerns with respect to the safety, health, or welfare of the participants. If a workshop is cancelled prior to departure, you will have a choice between a full refund or a credit towards a future Better Moments workshop equivalent to amount paid. If we cancel the trip in progress, you will receive a pro-rata refund based on the number of days. We are not responsible for any refund for airline tickets, hotel accommodation, etc. purchased by the participant. In the event of the specified photo expert being unable to attend due to illness or other circumstances beyond our control, a photo expert of the same standard will be provided. If this is not possible, then the workshop will be cancelled and the provisions above will come into effect.
In order to participate in a workshop you are required to have comprehensive insurance coverage for personal accident and injury, medical and repatriation costs during the workshop. In addition we strongly recommend that you arrange cancellation and travel insurance covering the loss, expenses and damages arising from, including but not limited to, cancellation of the workshop (whether in whole or in part), loss of baggage and personal money and belongings, as well as flight cancellations and delays.
The itineraries and staff presented in this catalogue are subject to modification and change by the Better Moments workshop or its designated tour operator. Every reasonable effort will be made to operate programs as planned, but alterations may still occur after final itineraries are sent.
You must be in good physical and mental health. Any physical condition or treatment requiring special attention must be reported in writing at the time of booking. By registering for a Better Moments workshop, the participant certifies that he/she does not have any mental, physical, or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other participants. Better Moments and its designated tour operator reserve the right in their sole discretion to accept, decline to accept, or remove any participant on a Better Moments workshop and the tour operator reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in their judgment, conditions warrant or if they deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of the participants.
If you have special requests, e.g. dietary, cabin number, bedding type, airline seat or other requests, you should inform us of these at the time of booking. We will advise the relevant supplier of your requirements, but we cannot guarantee that such requests will be met, and will have no liability to you if such requests are not met.
We reserve the right to take photographs or videos during the operation of any workshop or part thereof and to use the resulting photography, videos, or recordings for promotional or commercial use. If the participant prefers that his/her likeness not to be used, he/she must notify us in writing prior to departure.
Better Moments and its designated tour operator and tour administrator shall not be held liable for (a) any damage to, or loss of, property or injury to, or death of, persons occasioned directly or indirectly by an act or omission of any other provider, including but not limited to any defect in any aircraft, watercraft, or vehicle operated or provided by such other provider; and (b) any loss or damage due to delay, cancellation or disruption in any manner caused by the laws, regulations, acts or failures to act, demands, orders, or interpositions of any government or any subdivision or agent thereof, or by acts of God, strikes, fire, flood, war, rebellion, terrorism, insurrection, sickness, quarantine, epidemics, theft, or any other cause(s) beyond their control. The participant waives any claim against Better Moments and/or its designated tour operator and tour administrator for any such loss, damage, injury, or death.
Better Moments and its designated tour operator and tour administrator shall not be liable for any air carrier’s cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a non-refundable ticket to or from the participant’s Better Moments workshop departure city. It is the sole responsibility of the participants to organize their own transportation to and from the meeting point as described in the workshop itinerary, e.g. airport, hotel, and to ensure timely arrival. The participant should not book flights and/or hotel accommodation until Better Moments have issued final confirmation for the workshop. In the event of late arrival it is the responsibility of the participant to join the workshop, and to carry all associated expenses. Better Moments is not liable if the participant misses any portion of, or the entire workshop as a result of the delay. Baggage and personal effects are at all times the responsibility of the participant.
Other terms and conditions may apply to some workshops, and details will always be provided with pre-trip mailings. By making the deposit payment, the participant agrees to the terms and conditions and the responsibility statements herein on behalf of all the individuals included in the booking.