Travel Stories

Sri Lanka : A Green Heaven On Earth

Nuwara-Eliya

A number of years ago, a friend of mine mentioned how her sister went to Sri Lanka for her honeymoon. I remember my reaction being that of surprise, then I saw the pictures and I was even more surprised. That was the first seed planted and since then the universe kept sending me subliminal messages; Sri Lanka was calling me. When I finally arrived, it was 100 times more magical and beautiful than I ever thought it would be.


Things you need to know:

ebay-sri-lanka

  1. The flight from Jeddah to Colombo lasts 6 hrs. Direct flights from Saudi Airline are available and are reasonably priced.

Tip: The business class is so cheap.

  1. Sri Lanka’s roads are smooth, however the country is mostly mountainous, aka steep curved roads’ galore. So don’t be surprised if your hotel is on top of a mountain or the driver reverses down a steep curved mountain road, they do it with their eyes closed. It didn’t stop me from having a heart attack every time I sat in the car mind you.

  1. If you want to tour the island, it’s best to plan an itinerary with a tour agency that will take over all of your bookings. This is convenient for the smaller towns, where there aren’t any 5* hotels, but instead guesthouses and B&Bs. Guesthouse prices are ridiculously cheap; $12 a night and it will be of the best standards with breakfast and dinner. Use breakfast and dinner as a great way to meet other foreigners and mingle.

Web: bluehaventours.com: I booked with Blue Haven, and Mr Linton and his staff were so understanding and accommodating. They provided a private car for the full duration of our 10-day tour, and they booked most of our guesthouses and attraction visits.

Tip: Be specific about what you want to do; lounge around at beaches, see the nature and go on hikes, visit the temples and eat street food, or all the above. I built our itinerary and chose every single thing we wanted to do and the agency arranged it time-wise.

Tip: If you want to experience the culture food-wise, have a look at some of the blogs and find recommendations since drivers and hotel staff will suggest hotel food.

  1. Try to take the train. The views are breath taking. Endless rows of green, whether it be tea fields or just grass.


Things you should see:

  1. Yala National Park:

    It was hit by the tsunami, yet it has managed to remain a safe haven for many beautiful creatures. Go early to catch the leopards, and to give you time to cover the full park.

  2. Macklewood tea factory tour: IMG-20150324-WA0012Tour the factory, sample different teas and buy tea from one of the world’s best tea producers.

  3. Turtle beach

  4. Horton Plains National Park: horton-plain-national-park-sri-lanka-8The route there is not for the faint-hearted.

  5. Adam’s Peak: 5A midnight hike that will last a couple of hours and at the end, 100s of people sit and watch the sunrise.

  6. Halal restaurant in Kandy: Spicy samosas that are just too delicious for their own good.

  7. Tea Bush hotel:

    The hotel is on a mountain and the balcony has the most stunning views of green fields, mountains and waterfalls.

  8. Chill café in Ella:

    The best café ever. The owner is a young entrepreneur who has never travelled outside of Sri Lanka, but managed to create a place that foreigners flock to because of its lively vibe, good food and it just being a perfect way to spend a night in quiet Ella. We didn’t want to leave.

  9. Spend a day at least in Pinnawala, the elephant village.

  10. Shop in Colombo; colombo-clothes are so cheap that you can stock up on white t-shirts and traditional clothes. You don’t even need to have a full suitcase when you head out to Sri Lanka. Remember, prices are tourist-oriented in the quieter towns and villages.

  11. Check out the mining and jewel museums. They will try to convince you to spend some dosh on gems and precious stones, walk away if that’s not in your plan.

  12. Kandy Kandy Kandy:

    We loved Kandy. A bustling town that never sleeps, go for dinner and just walk around the city center. Find little gems tucked away, from clothing stores, restaurants, kiosks, etc. There’s a mountain in Kandy’s center, where the youth hangout and chill out with their friends for hours next to their cars. The view is stunning; all of the lights, the rivers and the noise seems so far down. But so close. It was worth the trip up.

  13. Fruit stands: 

    They are everywhere; stop and indulge in the exotic fruits they have on offer, especially coconut water, red bananas and rose apples. It’s hard to find cold water bottles, so keep drinking that coconut or step under a waterfall – almost every road has one.

  14. Spice gardens: You must pay a late afternoon visit to one, you will get to see all the spices that were used to buying, you can buy some and you can buy natural remedies that actually work.

  15. Boat trip and surfing:

    Take a boat trip at Kandy or at one the beaches like Mirissa. Most beaches have surfing instructors and surfboards to rent. They also have daily evening fish BBQs, using the fresh produce fisherman bring in. You choose your fish or seafood and you choose how it’s cooked, and then you get to enjoy it while sitting on the sand with friendly crabs crawling around. I loved every single second of it.

  16. Tuk Tuk:

    Photo Credit: autoplenum.de

    Photo Credit: autoplenum.de

    The ride of your life.

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