16 day trip in Sri Lanka
Why should you go?
Sri Lanka is a wonderful country to travel through. Mass tourism has not yet completely found ground here, in contrast to most other South Asian countries. The citizens are kindhearted and friendly, the food is delicious and the sunsets on the endless beaches are breathtaking.
When should you go?
Sri Lanka is one of those destinations that you can visit any time of the year, just as long as you know in which month to travel which area. In a nutshell, the best time to visit the west coast, south coast, and hill country is from December to March, while the best weather on the east coast is from April/May to September.
How to get there?
The fastest way to discover the best flights is via Skyscanner.
The best way to move around in Sri Lanka is by Tuk Tuk or Pickme, an Asian equivalent of 'Uber'. Patience is key because traffic on the island can be a real pain in the ass sometimes.
You can skip the country’s capital Colombo. The city is not really an added value to your journey. Rather reserve some time to take the most beautiful train journey ever to Kandy. There are two express trains per day departing from Ella with a fixed schedule. Train tickets can be purchased locally at the Colombo train station and are available for different classes:
✶ 1st class: numbered seats, super comfortable with a lot of privacy, compartments have air conditioning, no open windows to hang out.
✶ 2nd class reserved seats: numbered seats and seats are super comfortable, windows and doors are open.
✶ 2nd class: same as 2nd class reserved seats but not numbered. (no seat guarantee) They can only be bought on the day of travel.
✶ 3rd class: wooden benches, not numbered, most cheap option and great for those who want to sit or stand in between the locals.
Kandy, wich is famous for the Temple of Sacred Tooth is located in the center of the island and has a central lake. Here you come across a slightly cooler climate in comparison to the rest of the island. Pay a visit to the White Buddha, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth and the Royal Botanic Gardens.
From Kandy we traveled to Sigirya, were we stayed at Sigiriya Jungles.
We chose to climb the Pidurangala rock instead of the Lion Rock, as touristic crowds are not really our cup of tea. You can climb the rock for 3 euros, which is much cheaper than the 30 euros you have to pay for the Lion Rock. The climb is not heavy and is also accessible for children. Once on the top you will also have a unique beautiful view on the Lion Rock.
We planned a safari in Kaudulla National Park. My boyfriend had never done a safari before and absolutely wanted to see some wild elephants. We spent three hours in the park for 30 euro per person. Personally, I was not that impressed. There were far too many jeeps in the park which got stuck in the mud all the time. At one point there were about thirty jeeps around a herd of elephants, all their engines kept running and I really felt bad for the elephants breathing in the exhaust gases.
After Sigiriya we headed to Ella. Really looking forward as we could finally start our hikes. Ella is a pleasant but very tourist-oriented village. It is a good base to discover Little Adam's Peak and The Nine Arch Bridge. Believe me, both hikes are breathtaking and highly recommandable. The best coffee in town, you will find in The Barn by Starbeans.
After all the hiking we wanted some well deserved rest and we travelled our way to the beach. On our way down we made a stop among the world famous tea plantages and stayed at The Farm Resorts. We received the warmest welcome and enjoyed the best home made food, with all ingredients coming fresh out of their garden. It is impressive to see woman picking tea leafs all day which clearly is really hard work. One tip out of experience: If you are planning on visiting some fields be aware of the leeches!
Our first stop at the beach was in Tangalle, along the South Coast to limit our travel times. We stayed at Ananya Beach Resort, where we were really spoiled. The cocktails were superb, the food was delicious, the rooms were perfect and the view out of our room was incredible.
Our journey continued to Galle. The city’s, UNESCO protected, old town is definitely worth a visit. There are numerous, nice restaurants but definitely go for a bite to Elita restaurant!. Stroll through the beautiful streets and treat yourself on some souvenirs. We stayed at Villa Amma Erna, one of the most amazing hotels were we ever stayed. The place does not have any windows, so you connect automatically with nature We especially enjoyed our stay thanks to the little monkeys, which were always all around.
We ended our trip on Hikkaduwa beach and swam among the sea turtles. It was an amazing experience.
Planning a trip to the island and still in need of some lovely accomodation in Sri Lanka?
Belgian citizens need a Sri Lanka ETA, for a maximum stay of 30 days. You can apply for the ETA online. Your passport needs to be valid for the period of six months.