Sri Lanka and Where to Go
On my travels in 2014, I went to Sri Lanka for my best friend´s birthday party. I also went to travel with my other best friend in Sri Lanka. I had one of my best travel experiences so far. I really loved Sri Lanka. The country is in my heart, I had no expectations when entering the country, but I ended up falling in love with the people and the place. My new Sri Lankan friends asked me to tell my friends back home in Norway this. I am going to tell the world and share the amazing memories I gained here.
I recommend you to check out some of these places:
Colombo, Galle Fort, Talalla Secret Bay, Arugam Bay, Hikkaduwa, Ella, Kandy, Mirrisa Beach, Adam´s peak, Marokollyia Beach and Yala National Park
I love this country, it contains so much love and care. The people are happy and friendly. There´s finally peace after the war and tsunami that made a big mark in Sri Lankan history. Now the people are looking to the future with hope 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.
Super Quick Guide on Sri Lanka
Moat people are likely to start their adventure in the city. I recommend staying for one day before you go further on in the country. You want to plan and get moving. At the end of the journey you have to go back to Colombo anyway and then you can spend some more days in the city eating continental food and shopping like a rock star, before leaving the country. Of course go to the most famous place Crown hair and Beauty and get your hair, nails and eyebrows done – this is the best place with outstanding service in Colombo (My friend lost her wallet in the parking line, and the security did some detective wok, we found the wallet in the other shop, she got it back with money and everything in it).
We looked like million dollars when we left the place, it was expensive for being in Sri Lanka, but very cheap for a Norwegian and Swedish girl. For places to eat take a look in the Lonely planet, they did have great recommendation.
Galle Fort is a must. It´s a colonial-era fort that has to be walked in and you have to have a curry on one of the roof Cafe´s like: Mama´s Galle fort, where you can overlook the lighthouse and the monkeys in the trees while you are having a delicious curry. If it is your first time with the curry, you will also have a big bottle of the local beer lion. So good and so needed. The spices were having a party in my mouth. Recommend it! Here you can do some nice, but expensive shopping.
Talalla Secret Bay
It is in the word. It is a hidden secret. Not many people know about it. So it´s you and some Sri Lankan people taking a swim in the ocean. If you want the beach almost for yourself and you like to body surf with waves, this is the place to be. Talalla and Mirissa were the two most luxurious places we stayed in Sri Lanka. It was for a special occasion, celebrating a 30th Birthday Party.
Awesome beaches and everything is very chilled out. There is not a thing in the world to rush for. Here you can relax or rent a scooter and get lost somewhere. We did that and ended up at this really beautiful beach, with a whole military base watching two crazy foreigners swimming in the ocean. We also helped some local fishers with pulling the boat back into the beach and we got to see some Sri Lankan fish, which is really good to eat. Seafood in Sri Lanka is highly recommended.
You like to surf? You like to party on the beach? Oh right and welcome to Hikkaduwa Bay the place to have fun and maybe meet some other foreigners as well. Here you can go for a swim or a surf – the choice is yours. It´s a nice place if you want a bit more action. Yes, Sri Lankan boys and foreigners come all together to help the local fishers with their boats. What a community. We had a crazy beach party there, it was super fun. A lot of dancing, Coconut Arrack drink and lion beer.
You like to hike in the mountains? You like massages? Welcome to the mountains of Sri Lanka. It is a beautiful place to walk around and see the stunning nature of Sri Lanka. We walked the Little Adam´s peak since we were going to the big Adam´s peak two days later. It was a beautiful trip with a great view over Ella and the Tea plantation. We enjoyed it. We also went to a tea factory and got an introduction to the whole process. Of course a lot of tea tasting, so much good tea. I´m a big coffee person but in Sri Lanka there was always room for tea. In Ella there were some really good massages for after long days hiking. We didn’t hike so much but there is always a need for a massage. We had dinner at some street restaurants with rice and curry ( 3 vegetarian dishes and 2 fish dishes). Pumpkin Curry is a must try! And also we got an introduction on how to drive a tuk tuk.
I got food poison, so I really can’t say much about the place. I will go back. I got food poison in a really nice restaurant in a hotel, I’m just saying. we didn’t stay at the hotel, but we were desperate for some food so we stopped there and had an expensive meal with food poisoning.
You like the beach? You like drinking coconuts and watch whales? Then this is the place for you. Maybe one of the best stops in Sri Lanka. Here you can really relax and have a vacation feeling for some days. The ocean is nice and the waves are gentle but still there is an option for surfing. If you´re not in to that then you can do some serious good yoga there. Or just read a book. Or eat a lot of seafood and local curry. Then when you are tired of being at the beach go and watch some whales out in the big ocean. And if you get tired of the beach walk in the street and shop for some jewelry, like a nice ring or something. Or maybe you can save it for Colombia. Paradise in Sri Lanka.
The best experience in Sri Lanka. I recommend that everybody does this trip. You have to be able to climb 5831 steps one way and back. Then you will reach 2,243 metres and realise that you are above the sky. This is an important pilgrimage place, especially for Buddhists. We had company with two Sri Lankan friends that followed us because they wanted to do it for their Buddhist believes. It took us 3 hours to get up. When we arrived at the top, we had to take our shoes of because we were walking on holy ground. Then we walked through the temple and rang the bell – one time for each of us. One of our friends rang the bell three times, since this was his third time to climb the Adam´s peak. We made the goal, which is to be at the top of the mountain at sunrise. We had a beautiful experience listing to the prayers when the sun was rising, giving us a new day in life. See more pictures.
Another place to totally relax. Maybe not my favorite. It wasn’t recommend to swim there. If you want to live on the beach and watch big turtles laying eggs, then this is the place.
Yala – Bundala National Park
Here you can watch the wildlife of Sri Lanka. It was fun. We watched a lot of animals that morning. Yala has the highest leopard concentration in the world. My friends did see one but I was too slow to catch it as it was running away very fast. We also watched wild elephants. As Wikipedia says; “Tourism generates noise and air pollution in the park, but also generates money and therefore helps to justify the National Park.” They did respect the animals and nature, which is really nice for the animals and their future.
If you want a bit of everything you should definitely go to Sri Lanka, it has it all. If you want to eat international food and drink Starbucks coffee do not go. You will be miserable. Prepare yourself for something new and beautiful. Have curiosity, smiles and no rush. You will have a really good time in Sri Lanka. It is a beautiful country.
If you only have 14 days. This is how I would do it:
Get directly to Galle from the airport: Spend one/two nights here. Mirissa Beach for 5 days for beach time. Then get a private car to Ella (Private driver doesn´t cost that much) two days of mountain and tea factory. Go to Adams Peak for one night. Maybe you can go to Kandy for one or two days and then take the train from Kandy to Colombo which is a beautiful trip. Spend the rest of the two days in Colombo for shopping and eating some international food if you have some cravings for that.
Welcome to Sri Lanka!
As my friends discovered from the back of a tuk tuk:
Love is honey and life is Jolly
If you want to read more about Sri Lanka and what it has to offer, I recommend the Sunshinestories blog, they live in Sri Lanka.