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 indeed 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 into 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 Considerable 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, most 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 for things to do in Sri Lanka, 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 Hikkaduwa with more tourists and party, Marakollya not so easy to go swimming, but beautiful
2. Keep Calm & 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 creamy in flavor that you need a beer to it or maybe two. Very often you have to pre-book it earlier on the day; if you want the today´s curry by night in the guest house you are staying (the 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 I have to choice.
If you want international food to 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 working. If you are ordering a pizza, try to imagine something completely different then a pizza, then you will not disapointed if it is simuliar. If you go to Colombo and eat there – then you can order international food and the standard will be good.
The fresh fruit juices, is the best you can drink! Pineapple will never be the same at home, after having it in Sri Lanka. Of course drink the tea, it is Sri Lanka´s national drink, do not drink the coffee it taste like dirt.
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. Yala National park was great fun, so many cool animals to see and admire. 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 the 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 a comfortable evening and by this hike to Little Adams Peak, that do not take more than two hours.
The Little Adams Peak was a perfect hike due to we used the day at the tea plantation and Dova temple. Claiming Little Adam´s peak was a fun experience with the street dogs of Ella and our new Sri Lankan friend that was guiding us to the top. On the top of Littel Adams Peak we were reverded with a Panorama view and it was outstanding: We could see all the way back to the beach, almost.
5. Visit a 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 are coming from 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 in Sri Lanka, and you get diseant standards on a small budget. The guesthouse gives you most of the time comfortable beds, private bathrooms and sometimes even breakfast. As long as you keep eating the local food the budget can stay 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 our way to give some cash-flow to the local family in Sri Lanka. We had the Best Driver ever! Stopped everywhere to show us local things, that we as a tourist wouldn’t find. The buses, and train are a must try and it is almost free. Of course, you have to do Tuk-tuk car because it´s easy to catch and they are everywhere.
I don’t recommend many hours drive with a Tuk-Tuk car, because you can get a bit exhausted up al the bumping up and down in the seat. Even so 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 to check out the Super Quick Guide on Where to go in Sri Lanka to get more inspiration, please feel free!
The bumps when it comes to Backpacking in Sri Lanka
What can I say, some of the places where we stayed was not so much backpacking people. We sometimes meet a lot of vacation couples or on honeymoon. Sometimes we were getting the feeling of being the young backpackers. Most of the time we just had an excellent time.
Sometimes it was not so easy to just be on your world exploring, because they all wants to have a piece of you; where do you come from, do you have a boyfriend, why don’t you have children, you take a picture of me, send it to me? We follow you. We also had some cool Sri Lankan friends that just wanted to hang out with other young people and have a wicked 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 its 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 becomes the Sri Lankan way. Bring Sunscreen with you from Colombo or home. It´s not so easy to find, and it´s expansive.
Backpacking in Sri Lank
Sounds like a plan? Have you ever been?