I traveled in January 2016 through Sri Lanka – alone, as a woman, on my own and without a travel book, but with my mobile phone and a local sim card (for mobile internet connection).
In this blog I reveal some of my recommendations for your travel in Sri Lanka. This is absolutely my own opinion. I like to share ideas and your personal recommendations as well as no go’s with you – feel free to comment on my blog!
My travel character
I like to experience a new country as if I would live in this country: local food, local public transportation, the offtrack, not to many tourists spots (of course, some are very important to see), some words in Sinhalese or Tamil language, stay with people from here.
10 things to do in Sri Lanka in 3 weeks
1) Going west: Hikkaduwa, beach
it is a nice beach in the south west, more touristic than Tangalle, but for the start it’s cool to get down and relaxe some days here. I stayed in Hector ‘s place – the owner, a German lady called Gudrun and her Sinhalese (Sri Lankan) husband offered me a nice room with double bed and shower for just 2000 rupees (after a litlle bargain and due to the fact that I was alone).
2) Going south: Tangalle, beach in the south
Touristic, but not to much. This beach was perfect to me, because I could run in the morning some kilometres and then have directly afterwards a swim. So nice! You will find a lot of fish restaurants in the beach with fresh fish or shrimps. A plate with rice or French fries and Salat cost around 9 euros. If you are interested, you can see turtles putting their eggs in the sand at night in a special zone some kilometres away. You can go to the turtles with a Tuk Tuk – entrance is 1000 rupees. You cannot take pics. After around 45 days the baby turtles come out of their eggs.
3) Going east: Trincomalee, beach and harbour
A little bit similar to Tangalle but in the north east. When there is no season, there are only a very few tourists and you can get a cheap prize in massages and accommodation. I stayed in “Sun Shadow” near the beach and near the Christian Church in a doble bed room in Upuvali beach for just 1500 rupees a night. You can go by bus around 20 min and see Nilaveli beach – it is a long and very quiet beacj – next to the national parc Pidgeon Island. The entrance there is 2500 rupees.
4) Going up: Pidurangalla, Sigiriya
If you come to Sigiriya and want to climb a mountain with a fantastic view, you can elect. The Pidurangalla is in my eyes the more interesting one of the two mountains. And it is a lot cheaper to enter (500 rupees) than the other one (4200 rupees!!!) and you have a fantastic view!
You can do a nice mediation from upstairs- it is great.
5) Going further up: Climb Adams Peak
Yes- you must do that! I think it was even a little sportive for me to climb all the 5200 stairs (I hope I counted right), my legs hurts the next day – yes- but the view is amazing! I did the climbing with my friend Janine from Germany and her boyfriend and we joined there the same day.
We needed 2 hours and started at 2.45 hours and had enough time to the sunrise. I walked with long trousers, sweater and rain jacket because up the peak it can be rainy and a little cold (around 10 celsius). A good advice from my travel friend Janine: take a Tshirt with you for changing on the top of the hill- yes you will sweat a little bit.
6) Luxury – take a tea in Grand Hotel in Nuwara Eliya
Visit the Grand Hotel in Nuwara Eliya for a High Tea if you want to see a very nice hotel in Sri Lanka. They have a nice piano hour every day. Sent best regards to Shaam – he is at the reception and a very friendly and nice guy.
7) Stay at least once with a local
During my stay I did Couchsurfing several times: Thanks . It was nice to get to know the way local people thinks and live and it is also an economic way to travel: the idea is to offer a couch or bed for free – and you do the same in your country for travelers. Sometimes they show you the real Sinhalese / Sri Lankan breakfast: String Hoppers or Cocos Rotti with dhal curry and chilli with cocos.
Thanks Jeya, Butter, Benjamin, Shaam and Sujeewa that I could stay with you.
8) Go by train from Ella to Kandy
Or go viceversa – at least a chunk of the distance. You will go through different clima zones when you come higher and it is really nice to see tea plantations, different vegetation and feeling the change.
3:50 Min short audio-slide-show about Sri Lanka by train
Einfach hier klicken: Audio-Slideshow by Sarah Lindner (auf Deutsch, in German)
9) Eat and drink in Sri Lanka
My last travel recommendation: Drink a lot of lassies, fresh juices (I always ordered without sugar), fruit salat with ice cream and “rottis” (often with egg, vegetables … you get sometimes dhal to the rotti). The shakes in Sri Lanka are always fresh made: jammy!
10) Visit STEPS Online Children Help Project nearby Baticaloa
This is really important: If you have the chance to go east then you should visit the children project STEPS Online. They help with 6 pre schools to give a good education to the village kids. They don´t have a lot of money, so if you could offer something or buy some food they are happy. I filmed the project to support them and the founder, Francis, who lives in Germany. It would be so nice to know that their work will continue. At moment they have only around 20 USD to give to the pre school teachers every month, so feel free to visit their website and think about helping them. It is a small organisation: www.steps–online.org
After the 3 weeks I traveled to the beach north of Colombo: If you come to Kalpitiya, north to Colombo and to Negombo perhaps you want to do a kite surf. But if you want to stay cheaper, Norocholai is a option. Two nice places to stay: “Dolphin Chilling“ (Open in the winter times, the owner is the German lady Sylvia and „Dolphin Village“ (next to each other) with Hashan, also a very friendly guy.
I am happy to read about your travel recommendations!
At the end
Thanks for being interested in other countries, culture and people! I hope I could help you with some information about Sri Lanka and the really nice people here. It is a country worth visiting because it is relaxing, fun, safe and easy to go around. My first language is German and I am not a real expert in English. If you see any mistakes, I would be glad if you tell me! Copyright: All photos are taken from my mobile phone – if you want to reuse them, please ask me.
For travelling I use always my DKB Credit card – I highly recommend this one. You never pay any commission for getting cash in every bank ATM mashine worldwide.
Next blog in some days: things NOT to do in Sri Lanka
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