Visiting the ancient Sigiriya Rock Fortress requires you to ascend 1,200 steps before finally reaching the breathtaking summit. Sure, it's well worth the high entrance fees (for tourists at least), but I found a view of the magnificent rock from a hotel pool in Sri Lanka!
The ancient citadel in the sky was built by King Kasyapa between 477 – 495 C. It has been marked as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a great example of sophisticated ancient urban planning. From gigantic, stone lion paws at the foot of the fortress to walls adorned with beautiful ancient paintings of apsaras and complex water gardens, there is much to be discovered in Sigiriya.
The long-ish, swimming pool at Hotel Sigiriya offers an unhindered, close up of the ancient rock fortress. Imagine sipping a refreshing king coconut or a pina colada while with a view like that!