• James Tam 谭炳昌

Ulpotha — An Enchanting Retreat 斯里兰卡迷人的瑜伽静修村


Ulpotha has been named the “Best Yoga Retreat in Sri Lanka” for good reasons. It’s a truly unforgettable experience for anyone seeking a retreat from urban life, rather than a resort to indulge in alternative excesses and over-packaged pampering. I don’t have much to add to Ulpotha’s beautiful website (http://www.ulpotha.com). Magical Ulpotha leaves little room for exaggeration or false advertising.

However, I do think there are at least ten reasons why one shouldn’t go anywhere near Ulpotha. Before my analysis, first a few supplementary photos:

斯里兰卡的 Ulpotha 瑜伽静修村被称全国之冠,是名符其实。对真心希望暂时摆脱烦嚣,尝试返璞归真的都市人来说,是难得的乐土。Ulpotha 的网站(http://www.ulpotha.com)上的漂亮相片,丝毫没有夸张,我也就不重复了。

Ulpotha 的魅力虽然一点不假,我却认为由于种种原因,很多人应该敬而远之。在我分析 Ulpotha 的敝处之前,先看几张补充图片:

Main Street Ulpotha 主要街景

Sleeping Corner 房间一角

Closet, Refuse Urn, Mini-Bar and Spiritual Counter 衣柜,废纸瓮,迷你水吧,和香台

Neighbourhood thieves loitering outside my "room" 来自花果山的小偷在我的房外鬼鬼祟祟,看来准备作案

Refreshing Cold Shower 清凉的井水淋浴

Where Hobbits Live 哈比人居住的地方

Chilling Out 休憩

Solitary Confinement at the Marsh-Hut was super addictive 在沼泽茅房闭关,很容易上瘾

Marsh-Hut: The frogs were deafening at night 沼泽茅房晚上的蛙鸣,震耳欲聋

Marsh 沼泽一角

Neighbour seeking breakfast 邻居在等候早餐

Afternoon tea companion 下午茶伴

Yogi (1) 练瑜伽之(一)

Yogi (2) 练瑜伽之(二)

Meditation 冥想

Charming as it might appear in photos, Ulpotha's not for everyone. Occasionally, guests stomp out after having stayed just one night. In my opinion, this is a retreat that should be avoided by people who:

  1. Can’t stomach local water from a low GDP country, stored in clay urns, and drank out of communal cups made of coconut shells, without ice cubes!

  2. Can’t sleep without air-conditioning or some kind of digital lullaby;

  3. Visualise verruca viruses lurking in the soil when walking barefooted;

  4. Suffer from depressive social isolation if cut off from, inter alia, TV and Facebook;

  5. Have open-eyed nightmares if there’s a nest of hornets nearby;

  6. Need hot showers indoors regardless of ambient temperature;

  7. Are offended by the ecstatic wails of fornicating monkeys right outside, five in the morning;

  8. Are freaked by bug bites;

  9. Shriek hysterically if the concierge refuses to be alarmed by the presence of a snake in the closet, or evidence of monkeys having raided the suitcase for junk food;

  10. Have a crystal clear notion of how the world should operate, or are victims of Princess Syndrome etc etc.

Furthermore, even those who enjoy Ulpotha must face the risk of unpleasant withdrawal. Vacations are short-lived by nature. Having returned to the viscous atmosphere of Hong Kong for three days now, I'm still experiencing breathing reluctance. I've also lost appetite for imported off-season produce harvested from super-markets, and hallucinated people on the street smiling at each other.

看相片是如此的迷人,为何间中有些客人会住不上半天便荒落而逃呢?依我看,有下列生活习惯或心理状态的人士会觉得Ulpotha十分难捱:

  1. 不放心饮用未经人工处理的天然水的人,在Ulpotha会因脱水而导致生命危险;

  2. 没有空调或电子游戏陪伴不能入睡的人;

  3. 担心赤脚走路会患廯生疣的特异敏感人士;

  4. 没有电视或群组闲聊会变得心神不宁甚至苦闷忧郁的人;

  5. 知道房内有窝黄蜂便苦难成眠,睁眼做恶梦的人;

  6. 不顾热带高温,也非要在室内用热水冲凉的先进人士;

  7. 对猴儿们大清早干那事时的呻吟怪叫觉得尴尬反感的人;

  8. 被虫蚁咬一两口便痛痒不欲生的矜贵人士;

  9. 认为房间衣柜有蛇或行李被猴儿们搜掠过是由于管理水平低劣,须向有关部门投诉的住客;

  10. 对人生一切事物都有见解,黑白鲜明,满脑袋具体要求的中高产阶级,与公主病患者等等。

再者,假期永远是短促的。回家后重新适应的过程也挺不好受。回港三天了,我仍然觉得空气的味道太浓,呼吸勉强。对于从超市买来,不顾时令的进口食物,更是无法开胃。我甚至产生幻觉,看见街上匆忙的路人放下野心,停下来相视而笑。这些大概也是Ulpotha的弊病吧。

#Photos #摄影 #SriLanka #斯里兰卡

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