Hi Guys, I feel so happy to be back and share with you some great places to visit in Sri Lanka. It has been quite long and difficult to erase like thousands of pictures (I guess I have some Asian blood haha) and select the best pictures I took during our amazing travel but here they are!! First of all I wanted to let you know that at the beginning I was half enthusiastic to go to Sri Lanka because we originally booked our trip to Bali. It was like a DREAM to come back there, since I lived with my parents in Indonesia as a kid and felt very special vibes in Bali. We decided to change our trip due to the volcano Agung that could have entered into eruption at any time and did not want to take the risk of a stress on holiday. So one week before the travel, we just changed of destination (yeah rocknroll), thinking that Sri Lanka was a very interest place to discover and last but not least affordable! Since we traveled there with a very low budget and wanted to see a maximum of places in just 10 days, we discovered the island in a backpacker mode. It has been an intense travel, with an average of 2hours of public transport per day, every day a new place to discover, we sometimes slept in creepy guesthouses with no electricity, no water, no Wi-Fi in the middle of nowhere but we really love Sri Lanka! We loved the kindness of the people, there are so many temples and cultural places, to visit, you can practice hiking in mountains similar to the Alpes, meet wild animals while doing a safari, dive and see the amazing underwater world around the island, walk in the tea-fields, surf, eat delicious tropical fruits, and the famous rice&curry and also just chill on great wild beaches! We could not see everything so I cannot promise you that this is the best trip ever and anyway we all have different interests. Since we only had 10 days, we spend 4 days in the cultural triangle, 2 days in the mountains and 4 days to relax at the end of the travel on the beach. So find below some amazing things to do and places to visit in Sri Lanka! Bisous, Melissa♡
10 amazing things to do and places to visit in Sri Lanka
It is a royal ancient city declared as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. You will travel in the time while walking through this archaeological city and discover an old castle and Buddhist temples. We preferred to visit the ancient city by tuktuk but you can also do it by bike. I recommend you to visit it early the morning or the weather will get too hot and the place is getting crowded. After the visit we ate at Priyamali Gemara Farmer Lunch a really delicious rice&curry in a lotus leaf with a stunning view overtaking a rice field.
It is the greatest wonder of Sri Lanka that dates from the fifth century and was totally forgotten in the jungle! You will cross stunning gardens and climb a rock where was build a palace by a king after killing its own father and kicking out of the kingdom its own brother. You will see beautiful paintings in very good conditions during the climb and the view is really breathtaking! Just a special place that you should definitely discover early in the morning to avoid the crowd and it will makes you feel like your are the kind of the jungle! That day we slept in the guesthouse Kalum Homestay that was fantastic because of its view overtaking Sigiriya and it was affordable. While we took the breakfast outside we got the visit of a monkey family! Kalum was very friendly and helpful. You cannot miss also the kottu roti at Chooti restaurant filled with avocado, or chicken, banana and even chocolate and also try their fresh juice of mango or banana they are excellent!
3. Minneriya National Park
If you love elephants, when you travel to Asia avoid the places proposing to bath, feed and ride an elephant. These elephants are tortured and slaves living an unhappy life… The Minneriya National Park is one of the greatest park of Sri Lanka to watch elephants into the wild while doing a safari There are many great safari parks in Sri Lanka, we chose this one because it was one of the most renown and it was on our road. To pay the cheapest price for a safari you need to be a group of 4 or 6 people in a car so you can share the cost for the rental of the jeep and the guide.
The Golden Temple at Dambulla was really a crush that you should not miss. We climbed a rock under the rain and sweat anyway, crossed many monkeys on the way but the view was worth it! And the best was to discover the 5 caves inside this rock and see thousands of Buddha statues. Really amazing!
Kandy has a special atmosphere, the streets are overcrowded, sari and jewels shops at every corner, it can be judged at first as messy, smelly, noisy. And suddenly we entered in a small hinddu temple by mistake and felt we were in a parallel world, filled by peace. We really liked to take a walk by the big lake that is surrounding the city
until the rain surprised us and buy some fruits at the local market. This city is an interesting stop to connect with the Sri Lanka of nowadays.
6. Nuwara Eliya
We arrived to Nuwara Eliya by train from Kandy and the trip was wonderful. I highly recommend you to get your seat in the mythical Observatory wagon, which is the last wagon of the train that has a panoramic window at the end. We got the change to sit just in from of this window and were totally thrilled by this trip! You will see at first tropical landscapes changing progressively into very green fields of tea. Nuwara Eliya is in the mountains on the highest point of the country. When you are up there it is getting really cold and it rains like in England so get your winter cloths on! (Sweater, rain jacket, hat are super welcome). There you can visit very old Tea Factories such as Mackwoods Labookellie Tea Estate or Bluefield Tea Estate that will propose you a visit with a guide and a tea degustation for free but you should obviously offer a tip. Then you can take a walk and get to the beautiful waterfalls of Ramboda. To finish perfectly the day, we took the dinner in a delicious Indian Restaurant called Grand Indian Restaurant.
We also did the travel between Nuwara Eliya and Ella by train and this time we did not get any seat reserved so we did a part of the travel standing up and the atmosphere was crazyyyyyy! All the people with no sit booked were singing and dancing together, it really comforts! Ella is like a mini boho chic village in the mountain. There you can enjoy hiking on the little Adams Peak and eat a vegan burger with a green juice. Also we had an Ayurveda massage together that was really nice and relaxing. We got the most incredible night there in the Ella Mount Relax Cottage that has cabanas on stilts with crystal walls so you have an amazing view overtaking the mountains from your bed, the shower and even when you are on your throne 🙂
We discovered the beach of our dreams in Tangalle and it was totally desert! We couldn’t belive this wild beach was just going to be our private playground! The water in this area has really big waves and the current is strong so be careful, it is not recommended to swim alone. To have a delicious grilled fish on the beach you can go the beach of Goyambokka or to Cactus Lounge that is on a very cool little beach and the seafood is so deliciously prepared.
By chance we found on the beach of Unawatuna our little Paradise on earth to chill the rest of the holidays. We arrived late at night by bus to Unawatuna, had no idea were to sleep, but finally we discovered Dream Cabana and did not know this place was so famous on Instagram for its rope on a coconut tree! We slept in a little wood cabana on stilts with a very cool terrace that offers a wonderful morning view overtaking the beach. This place belongs to a very friendly family that is always available to share good plans to discover and enjoy the area. In addition they prepare a very delicious homemade breakfast with fresh fruits! We planned to stay there 2 nights but felt so good that we stayed 1 more night. This place is ideal to learn surfing but if you already have a good level, you can go to Hikkaduwa that is one of the most famous surfing spot. We also dived there and I was really impressed by the beauty of the underwater world at 24meters of depth. This place is also special because sea turtles use to come at night to leave their eggs. Ok I tried several nights to find them but got unlucky. If you really want to see turtles you can visit the Turtle Hatchery, this organization tries to preserve the sea turtles and collects the eggs of the turtles to avoid them being eaten by other wild animals. After 65 days, the baby sea turtles leave their eggs and the organization releases them into the sea after 2 days of life. If you want to have a romantic dinner on the beach with the light of a candle I recommend Kingfisher Restaurant.
You should definitively have a stop at the old town of Galle and its fortifications, it is such a charming place to be. It feels like traveling in the past, very small streets, old Romanian roofs, colonial architecture, coconut trees and sea view. The beauty of this city and heritage value of the fort is so special that it has been recognized by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Gale was a nice last stop to end our travel in Sri Lanka, from there we took a bus to get back to Colombo airport.