7 Sparkling Highlights for Backpacking in Sri Lanka
If you love the following things: Gorgeous beaches, incredible hiking, great massage, world heritage sites, welcoming people, surfing, diving, budget friendly, pineapple juice, tea, pumpkin curry. Them you should go Backpacking in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka is truly a country to be discovered because of its richness in diversity. I left from New Zealand with no expectations just my curiosity when I arrived. I was impressed, despite the long civil war and the tsunami in 2004, people are happy and friendly they are optimistic about the future. It´s finally peace. Now the people are looking in to the future with hopes and smiles. It’s time for Sri Lanka to grow and show its beauty to the world. It has so much to give if you just want to receive it.
Backpacking in Sri Lanka deliver great amount of variety
Sri Lanka is an Island paradise that gives a bit of everything in a short distance.
What an adventure we had, love is honey and life is jolly.
1. Gorgeous beaches
There are so many beautiful beaches in Sri Lanka. Mostly of the time it will only be you and the local fisherman or a Sri Lankan family. If you are lucky there will be some turtles, if not have a coconut and enjoy life. Or go scuba diving or surfing. There are so many options. We mostly went swimming and watched the surfers catching the waves. Our favorite beach was Mirissa and that includes Whale Watching, Talalla Beach and Arugam Bay. Other beaches are Hikaduwa with more tourists and party, Marakollya not so easy to go swimming, but beautiful
2. Keep Calm and Eat the Local Curry
The best food you get is when you keep eating the local curry and it´s always the best price. They are so good at making curry, the spaces are so tasty and rich on flavor that you need a beer to it or maybe two. Very often you have to pre-booke it earlier on the day, if you want the today´s curry by night in the guest house you are staying (Old school the use hours to prepare and cook it). You will get five different curries with it, one chicken, one fish, and tree vegetable curries and it all comes with a big load of rice and some poppadoms. The dahl is so good but my favorite was the pumpkin curry.
If you want international food prepare yourself for most of the time to get disappointed, they are trying to learn how to make it, but most of the times it´s not really working. If you are ordering a pizza try imagine something complete different then a pizza. If you go to Colombo and eat there – then you can order international food and the standard will be good.
The juices, drink everything it´s so good. Pineapple will never be the same at home, after having it in Sri Lanka. Of course dink the tea, it is Sri Lanka´s national drink.
3. Wildlife and the National Parks
There is so much to see! Yala National Park or many other obtains. Elephants, water buffalos and even leopards if you are lucky. It was so much fun, so many cool animals to look at. In Mirissa we went whale & dolphin watching, that was the most amazing wildlife experience for me. Whales are so majestic when they go up with their tails and then disappear again back to deep ocean. The big turtle laying egg one night in Marakollya was also very special.
4. Ella in Sri Lanka’s Hill country
When backpacking in Sri Lanka, I do recommend to do some hiking up in the Hill country at Ella. There are many good hiking options, we decided to have an easy evening hike to Little Adams Peak there since we used or day at the tea plantation and Dova temple. Claiming Little Adam´s peak was an experience with the dogs of Ella and a new Sri Lankan friends. Panorama view on the top was stunning, we could see all the way back to the beach.
5. Visit at Tea Plantation
Sri Lanka’s gift to the world is tea. Sri Lanka is number 4 in the world when it comes to producing tea and the tea industry employs over 1 million people in the country.
6. Adams Peak Hike with 5 381 steps
The most breathtaking hike was Adams Peak with 5 381 steps, an incredible atmosphere and a unique travel moment. Truly a great experience that I will never forget.
7. Backpacking in Sri Lanka is Budget Friendly
If you have you just been to Australia or New Zealand and fucked up your budget. Then Sri Lanka can help you to get back on track. It sure helped me. The prices are good, and you get good standards on a small budget. The guesthouse gives you nice beds, private bathrooms and sometimes even breakfast. As long as you keep eating local the food budget is cheap.
Transportation is almost not a coast. We even “flash packed” a bit and had a private driver, because it was so cheap, that was are way to give some cash-flow to the local family in Sri Lanka. Best driver ever! Stopped everywhere to show us local things, that we as a tourist wouldn’t find. The buses and train is a must try and it is almost free. Of course you have to do Tuk tuk, because it´s easy to catch and they are everywhere.
I don’t recommend many hours drive with Tuk-Tuk you get a bit exhausted. Even do our trip from Ella to Adams Peak was an adventure, it was a bit exhausting doing it for six hours in a Tuk tuk. If you want check out the Super Quick Guide on Where to go in Sri Lanka to get more inspiration.
The bumps when it comes to Backpacking in Sri Lanka
What can I say, some of the places were we stayed was not so much backpacking people. We sometimes meet a lot of vacation couples or on honeymoon. Sometime we were getting the feeling of being the young backpackers. Most of the time we just had an awesome time.
Sometimes it was not so easy to just be on your own world exploring, because they all wanna have a piece of you; where do you come from, do you have a boyfriend, why don’t you have children, you take the picture of me, send it to me? We follow you. We also had some cool Sri Lankan friends that just wanted to hangout with other young people and have a cool time. We even showed them Facebook.
Sometimes they just expect money because you’re a tourist. Because they maybe pointed you in the right direction. Come on it´s politeness not a business. Most of the time people are friendly and just help because they can and want you to see their country.
You have to get used to the coffee, in the end you will like it. It become the Sri Lankan way. Bring Sunscreen with you from Colombo or from home. It´s not so easy to find and it´s expansive.
Backpacking in Sri Lank
Sounds like a plan? Have you ever been?