- 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
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）
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:
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!
Can’t sleep without air-conditioning or some kind of digital lullaby;
Visualise verruca viruses lurking in the soil when walking barefooted;
Suffer from depressive social isolation if cut off from, inter alia, TV and Facebook;
Have open-eyed nightmares if there’s a nest of hornets nearby;
Need hot showers indoors regardless of ambient temperature;
Are offended by the ecstatic wails of fornicating monkeys right outside, five in the morning;
Are freaked by bug bites;
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;
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.