As many of my readers will know, a few years ago I bought a property in Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia, where I can get far away from the big cities of Asia and spend my time riding horses in the countryside and having other adventures. However, Iâ€™ve always admired the attitude of migratory bird species, and Mongolia gets seriously cold in the winter â€“ the last February got down to -40.Â As I spend my time commuting across Asia from North to South â€“ essentially from Beijing in North China to Chennai in South India and all points inbetween â€“ it makes sense for me to have a South-East Asia base. Iâ€™ve been looking for some time, and have friends in Sri Lanka also. This last Chinese New Year I found the place Iâ€™ve been looking for â€“ a 1927 old colonial bungalow just five minutes inland from Unawattuna and 15 minutes tuk-tuk journey from Fort Galle, the UNESCO world heritage site in the south. This means fabulous beaches and amazing sea food.
Â I got lucky to some extent as I purchased the property from a Hungarian Princess who has lived there the past nine years and wanted to urgently relocate back to Budapest to be with her Grandchildren â€“ leaving all the contents behind. As the woman is stylish that means I purchased the contents as well and can literally just move in. Thereâ€™s little I need or want to change except upgrade the kitchen. Â Prior to her ownership, a prominent Sri Lankan architect had renovated it from a derelict state and lived there for the previous five years. Itâ€™s been in its current condition for the past 15 years, with some small improvements and repairs.
Anyway, here are some shots to introduce my new Sri Lankan retreat to you â€“ sitting in one acre of coconut plantation with mango, banana, jack fruit, pineapples, ginger and surrounded by Frangipani. Winters here and summers in Mongolia seem a great way for a migratory Chris to spend each year.
The deal has been done, and a few minor repairs and installations are being made â€“ high speed wifi for example, and I shall move in September. Meanwhile, I have inherited a full-time watchman and gardener to keep it shipshape, and I shall have to both invest in a local Tuk-Tuk and get a drivers license for one too pootle around the local roads and do my shopping in Galle.