Sri Lanka is a very small island country located in the south of India, which is self-sufficient and even exporting oil to other coutries. Although the traditions, cuisine and the culture of Sri Lanka are very similar to India as the appearance of the locals is, people are more open-minded. And on the top of everything it has the greenest hills, the best tea Ceylon is there, and it is full of coconut, perfect beaches, various spices, ayurvedic therapies and tea lands… So it’s creating a sense of ‘God created heaven’. Now, it’s time to share these beauties with Sri Lanka Travel Guide.
With this guide I am telling you my Sri Lanka tour that I finished in 12 days, and the itinerary of mine and the potential itinerary to follow and more. Let’s start!
Sri Lanka Itinerary and My Route Map:
As you may see, I have many pins on the map cause I have been to so many places when I was teaching yoga at an Ayurvedic Hotel in Balapitiya. I have even experienced a ‘Full Moon’ ceremony in a very sacred temple. I am not gonna bother you with those details, don’t worry. If you are ready here is the itinerary for Sri Lanka Travel Guide:
Route 1: Colombo (airport) -> Galle -> Unawatuna-> Mirissa ->Yala National Park-> Arugam Bay-> Ella-> Nuwara Eliya -> Kandy-> Sigiriya-> Negombo -> Colombo
Route 2: Colombo (airport) -> Sigiriya-> Kandy-> Nuwara Eliya -> Ella-> Arugam Bay-> Yala National Park-> Unawatuna-> Galle -> Colombo
The highlighted ones are the places you need to see in Sri Lanka. Since we know where to go now, we can go through one by one and decide how many days we should spend in each of them:
Unawatuna is a small coastal town half an hour away from Galle. The reason why you should stay here instead of Galle is there is not a touristic crowd like in Galle here. So after seeing Galle Fort, you can stay in Unawatuna and enjoy the ocean and the sun.
Main Beach, is too touristic. Of course you can order a Sri Lankan beer which is not too bad or something to eat and rest on sunbed. It’s not somewhere for backpackers at all. But there are so many secret beaches instead. One of them is Jungle Beach, where you can take a tuktuk or rent a scooter to and enjoy the palm trees. You can take the path on the left side and walk to the other bay and then you can also visit Japanese Beach Pagoda from there.
From Unawatuna you can take a ride to Koggala which is 5-6km away from there to catch stick- fishermen on their sticks hunting fish. Koggala is a close alternative to Mirissa.
Unfortunately these fishermen is not posing for free. They charge around 400 rupees per person. What I did is drinking my beer in front of the street and waiting for a tourist group. When everything was ready, I took pictures for free:)
It’s enough to stay 2 days in Unawatuna.
Arugam Bay is the place for surfers If you have time and interest for surf, for a couple thousand rupees you can take classes. Arugam Bay was a place that I couldn’t manage my time to go. So on my next trip, I will definitely go there and learn how to surf.
Yala National Park
This is Sri Lanka’s most famous national park. Elephants, deers, many species of birds … If you wanna take a safari tour, this is the place. It was another place that I wanted to go with the tours of the hotel I worked for, but couldn’t. Next time!
Ella, yolculuğu esnasında bile insana keyif veren mükemmel bir kasaba. Daha yoldayken aşık oluyorsunuz doğasına, her bir yanı çay tarlalarıyla bezeli mükemmel bir yolculuk. Ella, adanın en yüksek noktalarından biri (deniz seviyesinden 1km. yukarıda). Zira genel olarak adanın rakımı oldukça düşükken, Ella akşamlarının serinliğiyle biraz ferahlıyor, nefes alıyorsunuz.
Ella is a perfect town to enjoy even during your journey to go there. You will be in love on your way to there, it is a perfect train journey through tea fields. Ella is one of the highest points above the sea level in the island (1km above). In general, the altitude of the island is quite low, Ella is refreshing with the coolness of the evenings, you feel the breeze.
One of the basic things to do in Ella is hiking. Little Adam’s Peak is a short hiking trail that is not hard at all. After that point, you can follow the path on your map to Nine Arches Bridge. After taking a break and capturing the bridge from the hill, you can take crazy pictures on the railway. And taking this lane by walking to go back to Ella is just half an hour.
By te way, I suggest you to hike to Ella Rock also. Catch the sunset here.
You can also get a short bus ride from Ella or walk to Rawana waterfalls. If you don’t expect a big waterfall, it is ideal for cooling down. But I must say that this is also a popular spot for locals. And the sense of fun for Sri Lankan people can be a bit disturbing. It’s good to go there with a company.
So, Ella deserves 2 days to stay.
Nuwara Eliya is relatively a quiet town between Ella and Kandy. I get off from the famous train ride from Ella to Kandy. So, you can take one of the doors on the left side and enjoy the beautiful views from the train ride which is around 3-3.5 hours.
It was the wrong season to hike Adam’s Peak when I was there. But if you go during the season you can start hiking 2 hours before the sunrise and catch it on the top of the hill. Out season you most probably see fog and clouds up on the hill.
Besides Adam’s Peak, you can chill around Lake Gregory.
From Nuwara Eliya it’s about 3 hours, directly from Ella the the train ride takes 6 hours. What is more beautiful than Kandy or Ella or anything else here is the unique train ride…
When I reached Kandy, I was badly sick because of too much AC and exhausting trip. So I spent my only 2 days at the hostel watching Game of Thrones. I didn’t feel sorry, cause Kandy is a city and I don’t like cities at all.
Anyhow I missed visiting Temple of the Tooth (which costs 1000 rupees). Ceylon Tea Museum and Kandy View Point. That’s all.
I think staying 1 day is enough for Kandy.
Sigiriya, Sri Lanka’daki diğer her yerden biraz farklı. Daha az yeşil, daha çok topraklı. Akşamları 9 sonrası dışarıda yürümenin, vahşi fillerle karşılaşmak açısından tehlikeli olduğu söylenen efsane bir yer.
Burada Lion Rockvar gidilesi, bir de Pidurangala Rockvar. Lion Rock güzel olmasına güzel de, girişi 30 dolar olduğu için kendimi yolunmuş gibi hissetmemek için gitmedim. Zira anlam veremiyorum, Kamboçya’daki koskoca Angkor Thom milli parkında onca tarihi tapınağı görmek için 35 dolar verirken, bir kaya görmek için 30 dolar veremezdim efendim. Benim gibi düşünen birkaç sırtçantalıyla gündoğumunu yakalamak için bizim tercihimiz Pidurangala oluyor, girişine de 500 rupi ödüyoruz. Baş lambamın pili bittiği için, bir elimde telefonun ışığı, diğer elimle kayaları tutarak aslında oldukça tehlikeli bir işe kalkışıyorum hele bir de hastayken. Ama gün doğumunu görmeye değmez mi? Tabi ki değer.
Sigiriya is a little different from anywhere else in Sri Lanka. Less green, more ground. It is a desert that is said to be dangerous in terms of encountering wild elephants by walking outside in the evening.
There’s Lion Rock and Pidurangala Rock here. I didn’t feel like going Lion Rock cause they charge 30USD for entrance. I don’t understand why it’s so expensive actually. I gave 35USD for the entrance of Angkor Whom National Park which is a huge national park with many temples…. So, in order to catch the sunrise with a few backpackers who think like me, we preferred Pidurangala and we payed 500 rupees for the entrance. Sometimes it’s like rock climbing, especially before sunrise when it’s dark. So be careful and ready for it. And does it worth? Yeah, sure.
Sigiriya is also nice with its shabby pubs in the center. In the evenings- be careful about the elephants- you can enjoy the river and tree houses.
By the way, wherever you stay, they will insist on selling you safari. But it’s not that possible to see any other animal rather than elephants here. So go to Yala instead.
You need to transit in Dambulla on the way from or to Kandy. If you stop by, I suggest you to visit Dambulla Cave Temple. Since my sickness kept on, I had to skip that too and went directly to Negombo to recover myself before my Myanmar trip.
It’s ok to stay 2 days here.
What else you can do in Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka is a place that university students come to volunteer. So you can volunteer in elephant sanctuaries or sea turtle protection organisations.
If you are interested in cricet, Sri Lanka is the place! Almost every corner, you can see kids playing cricet. Enjoy it! Maybe learn how to play, ha?
After a tiring flight, you can rest in Negombo and enjoy the ocean and waling around the Dutch canals.
Things to know before Sri Lanka trip
Sri Lanka Visa: On the gate, 35USD.
Transportation: Very easy. Almost everywhere, you can find a transiting point and bus to take. Train rides are also wonderful.
Season: For the south Nov-May, for the east Mar- Sep is the season without monsoon. I was in South during July and it was ok, it rained just a few times.
Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee (100 Rupee= 0.65USD)
Language : Sinhalese
For the conclusion, Sri Lanka is a country that I wanna go again and again. At some point, I can go for work again and learn how to surf. Why not?
The next post will be a photonovel full of green.
For other travel destinations: http://www.journalofayogini.com/kategori/travel-with-me
For yoga and wellnes posts: http://www.journalofayogini.com/kategori/yoga-wellness