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 personal recommendations as well as no go’s with you – feel free to comment on my blog!

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My travel character

I like to experience a new country as if I lived there country: local food, local public transportation, the offtrack, not to many tourist spots (of course, some are very important to see), some words in Sinhalese or Tamil language and staying with local people.

 

5 Things not do to in Sri Lanka

1. Jaffna

20160115_180139_not so interesting Jaffna

It is my opinion and I know that you might see it different: Jaffna is in the very north of the country

 

2. Go alone up the „single tree mountain“

20160112_123323_Single Tree Mountain

20160112_130527_nice view from above single tree mountain
In „Single Tree Mountain“ in Nuwara Elija I had a bad experience when I went up the hill: the ladies – who collect tea, want you to take photos so that they can ask for money – are absolutely not the problem. I give almost all of them some of my big water bottle and they were fine. The problem was when I walked down the hill – totally in harmony and alone. A man just appeared in my way with his trousers open and his penis in one hand – on the other a small bottle: at first glance I thought he was masturbing – but then he ran to me – with the open trousers. I stopped going nearer and tried to speak with him quietly and without fear. To be honest, my knees were shaking a lot (I don’t know if because of the hill I went down or because of this situation).
20160112_125731_alone with the nature

I could have run back up again, but I knew that he could be faster and up there was nobody to help me. I could have tried to fight with him but he was a man with a bottle in his hand. I decided to speak really loud that I don’t want to show him my body or do anything else. But he became angry in his face when I stated to shout – with the hope somebody would hear me and help. Then I decided to speak to him – normally and from person to person. I said him that please he should let me pass my way and „that’s it“. Nothing will happen.

I don’t know how many minutes I spoke to him like that for, but… suddenly a red car came up the road (!!!) and the man disappeared. I didn’t stop the car which was on the way up but said „thank you“ in my mind and continued quickly on my way down.

3. Kandy

Yes… I am so sorry, it is a nice place around the lake (above) but for me, personally, Kandy was a bit boring (if you are there, you MUST see the botanical garden!)

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4. Colombo

Yes, it is the capital, but it is loud, a lot of traffic jam, nothing really worth to see there.

 

5. Never buy without bargaining

Taking a massage in the beach without bargain: if you don’t like to be surprised or cheated, ask the price before taking any service like hostels, TUK TUKS,  guides or massages! I meet somebody who was asked if he want to see some turtles, they didn’t speak about prizing and in the end both of them were disappointed.20160117_172958_massage prizes Trinco

 

 

What else you might find interesting about Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka you find different religions living peacefully together: the major ones are Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians.

 20160121_081010_bathing elefant

Language

When Sri Lankas want to say Yes with body language, they don’t shake their head like we do, but move their head a little bit from right to left (tending their head). First I was very confused, but then I checked it.

 20160119_112728_dream beach

Sri Lanka language

is Sinhalese (the bigger part of the country) or Tamil (in the noth), but a lot of people speak simple English. In the bus you always find somebody who could help you with saying when you should get out – the best is to tell the person who collects the money.

Train ride

In my opinion it is enough to pay a 3rd class ticket. Often you find a seat in 3rd class.

Bus ride

Cheap as well, you pay for a long ride of 3-4 hours like 150 rupees, that is about one euro. Be aware not to sit under a music box, because the Bollywood style music sometimes can get very loud! Don’t forget your earplugs. Some bus drivers drive like crazy – very fast and always honk –  but the truth is that mostly they are really good drivers and usually on time.

20160113_120105_bus drive

Busdrive

20160113_120120_bus drive in Sri Lanka

Is Sri Lanka safe for women travelling alone?

20160118_105222 me and men

I would say: yes! In general, locals here are very friendly and interested in others. You should perhaps not go separately when you want to climb a mountain or visit a lonely place, better join a group. In the beach you can speak to a family group or a couple to have an eye on your belongings when you go for a swim.

Have some self esteem when you travel – that always helps due to the fact that the most asked question of me was if I was married. Some woman have photos from a friend in their pocket and will say that’s their husband – I didn’t (and could have at least 5 new husbands here…). But normally men are not pushy (like sometimes in some South American countries).

What does the dot in front of their head mean?

When woman get married they put a red point on their head. Often their paint also a black or red point on babies heads to wish prosperity in their live.

Money

You should always have „little“ money with you: Due to the fact that lot of kiosks don’t have enough change for 5000 or sometimes also 1000 rupees, I always had some 100 rupees with me. ATMs you can find in every major city. I recommend a Visa Card from DKB (Deutsche Kreditbank) with this you get money in every country and every ATM without fee! I have this credit card some years now and never had any problems.

 

20160118_101428_View in Trinco

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’s a country worth visiting because it is relaxing, fun, safe and easy to get 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!

 

PLEASE COMMENT ON MY BLOG and help others

What do you think of Sri Lanka? Where would you (not) go? What do you like/dislike? Just comment… it is FREE!

 

Here you find my blog: 10 things to do in Sri Lanka

Here you can read my blog about Myanmar (German)