It all started on the "Friday the 13th", still don't know why I chose this date. But knowingly or unknowingly things were going to turn brilliant, adventurous,unpredictable.
Idea was to travel to the land of beaches, spices, tea, beautiful highlands,to wildlife travelling solo without any travel guide, package tours etc. I had my backpack and me.
So what all you need to travel cheap yet enjoy all the parameters and touch all the horizons of exploration?
1)Visa for Sri lanka, costed me around 1800 INR. I got the visa over online which is pretty easy than going for Visa on arrival. Airports could be busy.
2) Since I wanted to explore five cities in Sri Lanka, I pre-booked the hotels as they were my destination.
3)Plan was to travel via train or buses which is a very cheap mode of transportation.
4)You need to carry cash handy.
So on Friday the 13th I took a flight from Bangalore to Colombo. Flight was at night 1.00am, reached Bandaranaike International Airport, Colombo at 3:00 Am. Welcomed by the beautiful and gorgeous dancers, dressed up in local costumes in the airport the environment was itself so positive and charming. Stayed back at the airport till 7 Am in the morning as I was traveling solo.
You can withdraw cash if you have your international card in the airport itself. It's fast and simple, also you get to arrange Sim card in the airport. I took Airtel. It costed me some 1000 lankan Rupee. So yes pretty cheap. That would be around 500 INR.
From there I booked Uber, yes its there, or else you can take bus. So I stayed at this hotel called Tropical Inn. It was near to the beach (Mt lavinia) and the area was pretty beautiful and looked safe.
I checked in,dropped my bag pack and headed towards the beach that's Mt lavinia. The weather was quite moderate as it rained that day. But overall pleasant. April is a month where the you can witness a changing climate, it might pour a bit but that's good as it balances the very sunny weather. I had my lunch on the beach. The food is brilliant no doubt and cost somewhat around what we pay here in India.
Now how to travel in the city?
There are Tuk Tuk! (Autos). I grabbed one and the driver almost took me around the major places which I wanted to see.
1)Gangaramaya temple - It's a beautiful Buddhist temple. Entry charges costed me 300 lankan Rupee. I explored the place.
2) Seema malaka meditation centre-The gorgeous space is so brilliantly structured on a lake that it will blew your mind.
3) National museum
4)Pettah floating market.
5) checked out the local bazaars.
So overall in 600 INR(1200LKR) I traveled almost all part of the city in a Tuk Tuk. Cheap right?
After having my dinner I returned to my hotel. It's better to keep off late night streets If you are traveling solo. So no late night parties for day 1. Safe , happy, looked forward for the next day.