Our trip to Sri Lanka was a great adventure with lots of tasty snacks. We decided to travel through the country with our own rented jeep and explore it all in our own timetable. And loved every moment! Sri Lanka has it all in compact package: beaches, surfing, food, diving, highlands, trekking, jungle, waterfalls, elephants, temples, culture. And of course tea.
We didn’t really plan to go to Sri Lanka in the first place. But it happened, and since we were really busy with work before the trip, our planning wasn’t very thorough. Al had checked a place where we could rent old jeep near the airport and that was about it. We traveled to Sri Lanka in May, which was rainy season, so we had to skip all the usual beach destinations in the South and travel to areas with no rain. Our goal was to travel from the capital from the West to the East side, travel along the coast towards North and come back. We had almost one month time to do this journey.
On the way we saw amazing waterfalls, elephants in the wild, enjoyed great scenery in the highlands, visited Sir Lipton’s seat and tea plantations in Haputale, had many chilled afternoons in gorgeous Ella, watching people surfing in Arugam Bay, enjoyed maybe the finest beach ever in Pasikuda, visited too many temples and pagodas in Anuradhapura and enjoyed the views all around the country.
Food in Sri Lanka for vegetarians is easy: dhal and roti are served on every meal, string hoppers and crated coconut with chilli for breakfast, loads of different vegetable curries with rice on lunch and dinner. And tea. Always tea. Absolutely delicious. But the best part were the street food snacks we kept on buying all day long: deep fried super spicy dhal cookies, roti stuffed with potato curry, spicy vegetable samosas and other not-so-healty-but-so-yummy snacks! That truly made our road trip special.
Sri Lanka is relatively cheap. We lived in Indonesia at the time, so for us it was sometimes a bit pricy… But if you’re coming from Europe, Sri Lanka is very cheap. Food is super cheap, accommodation very affordable, renting a car with a driver cheap and recommended. Public transportation (train, bus) very cheap and also highly recommended from other travellers, specially the train because of the scenery. We never took the TATA busses but those drivers were maniacs on roads so not sure if it’s worth it.
Sri Lanka has magnificent wild life. Elephants, birds, whales, they are all there. We visited Udawalawe National Park and were spoiled with loads of elephants with babies and tusks, crocodiles, water buffaloes and birds. And obviously monkeys, lizards, snakes and other creatures on the side of the road all the way.
All in all, Sri Lanka is highly recommended travel destination to everyone. If you are looking just diving destination, maybe Sri Lanka is not the best choice… Sri Lanka has some great wrecks (many of them for technical divers only), ok reefs for doing couple of fun dives and snorkelling, and it’s probably nice place to do your OWD. We booked a dive trip once but decided not to go after all due to problems with the dive centre. So unfortunately can’t say much!
So many stories to tell about the country we both fell in love with. Stay tuned! 🙂
Facts of Sri Lanka (Ceylon)
Population: 20 million, almost everywhere people generally speak great English
Capital: Colombo (nothing to see there we heard, so we rented car from Negombo because it’s right next to the airport and skipped capital totally)
Money: Sri Lankan rupee (LKR) Change your money back to euro/us before leaving the country, difficult to change it later!
Visa: Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) – Online Visa (Apply before your trip!)
Funny fact: HOTEL means restaurant in Sri Lanka… Say what?