Sri Lanka – 1 month of solo backpacking

Tripoto
20th Jan 2014
Photo of Sri Lanka – 1 month of solo backpacking 1/29 by Prana
Photo of Sri Lanka – 1 month of solo backpacking 2/29 by Prana
biggest stupa
Photo of Sri Lanka – 1 month of solo backpacking 3/29 by Prana
interesting things you may find
Photo of Sri Lanka – 1 month of solo backpacking 4/29 by Prana
Buddhist Temple
Photo of Sri Lanka – 1 month of solo backpacking 5/29 by Prana
Photo of Sri Lanka – 1 month of solo backpacking 6/29 by Prana
Temple
Photo of Sri Lanka – 1 month of solo backpacking 7/29 by Prana
Photo of Sri Lanka – 1 month of solo backpacking 8/29 by Prana
Photo of Sri Lanka – 1 month of solo backpacking 9/29 by Prana
one of the amazing train rides in Sri Lanka
Photo of Sri Lanka – 1 month of solo backpacking 10/29 by Prana
Temple in Jaffna
Photo of Sri Lanka – 1 month of solo backpacking 11/29 by Prana
Souvenirs you may find while in Sri Lanka
Photo of Sri Lanka – 1 month of solo backpacking 12/29 by Prana
Local Kandyan dance
Photo of Sri Lanka – 1 month of solo backpacking 13/29 by Prana
Local Kandyan dance
Photo of Sri Lanka – 1 month of solo backpacking 14/29 by Prana
Photo of Sri Lanka – 1 month of solo backpacking 15/29 by Prana
Adam's Peak
Photo of Sri Lanka – 1 month of solo backpacking 16/29 by Prana
Adam's Peak
Photo of Sri Lanka – 1 month of solo backpacking 17/29 by Prana
Horton Plains
Photo of Sri Lanka – 1 month of solo backpacking 18/29 by Prana
Horton Plains
Photo of Sri Lanka – 1 month of solo backpacking 19/29 by Prana
Horton Plains
Photo of Sri Lanka – 1 month of solo backpacking 20/29 by Prana
Horton Plains
Photo of Sri Lanka – 1 month of solo backpacking 21/29 by Prana
World's end - Horton Plains
Photo of Sri Lanka – 1 month of solo backpacking 22/29 by Prana
Horton Plains
Photo of Sri Lanka – 1 month of solo backpacking 23/29 by Prana
Photo of Sri Lanka – 1 month of solo backpacking 24/29 by Prana
Arugam Bay
Photo of Sri Lanka – 1 month of solo backpacking 25/29 by Prana
Trincomale
Photo of Sri Lanka – 1 month of solo backpacking 26/29 by Prana
Scuba Diving in Unawatuna
Photo of Sri Lanka – 1 month of solo backpacking 27/29 by Prana
Scuba Diving in Unawatuna
Photo of Sri Lanka – 1 month of solo backpacking 28/29 by Prana
Scuba Diving in Unawatuna
Photo of Sri Lanka – 1 month of solo backpacking 29/29 by Prana
Scuba Diving in Unawatuna

–oho mada !!! That means "How are you" in Sinhalese. Something I picked up along the way.

I decided to embark on a journey around Sri Lanka and it turned out to be one of the best travels I have ever made.

I traveled using public transportation the entire time and got a chance to meet some amazing people along the way. Read on to find out a thing or two on our experiences while there.

My journey covers : Colombo > Dambulla > Anuradhapura > Mihintale > Vavuniya > Jaffna > Vavuniya > Kandy > Hatton ( Adam's Peak ) > Nuwara Eliya ( Horton Plains ) > Ella > Tanggalle > Unawatuna > Galle > Mt Lavinia > Colombo > Matara > Arugam Bay > Trincomale > Colombo

Expenses based on location

Amount Spent per pax (RS)

Dambulla - LKR 7,126

Anuradhapura - LKR 6,827

Vavuniya & Jaffna - LKR 3,773

Kandy - LKR 5,573

Hatton - LKR 1,852

Nuwara Eliya - LKR 3,037

Ella - LKR 3,610

Humayana Blow Hole - LKR 824

Unawatuna - Scuba diving included - LKR 13,550

Mt Lavinia - LKR 2,178

Colombo - LKR 8,795

Matara - Mi Ella - LKR 4,835

Arugam Bay - LKR 5,265

Trincomale - Nilaveli Beach - LKR 8,184

Colombo - LKR 15,904

Total in LKR = LKR 91,333

Total in USD = USD $ 750

I did Couchsurfing : www.couchsurfing.org along the way while I was volunteering in a village in Mi Ella in between my travels. 2 hours of a winding bus ride from Matara town. If you are interested to contribute some time with the kids by teaching English, you may get in touch with the host : Firdouse, at https://www.couchsurfing.org/people/firdoouse/ . I was glad to share a part of my life with the family and kids that came to learn English. Till a point where few sessions was conducted due to good response. What a wonderful time. So, do stop by to spend some time in this awesome neighborhood !

While in Anuradhapura. I cycle around with a rented bicycle to visit the archaeological sites under the wonderful sun. I would say Anuradhapura is one of my favourite places to visit in Sri Lanka. The city is well organized. Tourist friendly place. You can clearly see and feel the city, it has its own charm without much effort put into it. I wish we stayed longer here..... oh well, travel must go on !

Can't remember exactly but after around 4-5 hours bus ride from Colombo to Dambulla, I checked into Blue Sky guesthouse before we call it a day after dinner. A good start of the journey with the tasty local Sri Lankan dish. Visited Sigiriya and Golden temple while there.

Ella, a place higher than a thousand feet above sea level has one of the most seek after hiking spot for outdoor enthusiast like me. I hiked up Ella rock which took about 3 hours or so to finish. Little Adam's peak - worth going to have a good view of the surrounding area. You will find elderly folks picking tea leaves as you walk pass the tea plantation up to Little Adam's peak. Don't be surprise if you see someone come running out after you to invite you for a tea. ( its a restaurant - you have to pay )

If you have not been to Kandy, you have not been to Sri Lanka. This cool place up the hills will bring you to surprise. We got into the traffic jam when we arrived. The rain did not help to ease the traffic. My tuk tuk driver was smart enough to maneuver his way through and brought me safely to our guest house - Sevana guesthouse , which expectedly happens to be up the hill too.

Next day, I took a local bus to Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage and it was a relaxing one. You may start getting souvenirs here as I did not see similar thing can be done in Colombo. I didnt manage to find shops with souvenirs in Colombo. Not sure if Pettah Bazaar in Colombo has it. It was too busy for me to even try looking there.

Try to avoid going to the herb's garden if you see people calling out to you. They will try their best to offer you a body massage using traditional herbal products and sell you stuff after inviting you for a demonstration. I felt weird and left after the whole thing finished. I did not feel comfortable with the guys there. Anyway, this is part of the journey... so, no complaints. Life goes on

I managed to hike up Adam's peak too while in Sri Lanka. So much for being on an adventure. I hiked up, stayed for a while under the freezing cold weather and finally got to see the sun rise before I make our way down and continue our travels. I stayed at Dellhouise which is just meters away from the entrance of Adam's Peak. You do not have to pay to hike up Adam's Peak.

Do arrive early as there is a Temple up there where you may witness the morning prayer along with the sun rise.

If you wish to skip going to Nuwara Eliya, you are making a HUGE MISTAKE !!! It is one of the best out of the best places to visit ! It never cross my mind how beautiful and vast landscape this country has to offer. I am glad I visited Horton Plains. No words can describe how amazingly beautiful it is in the morning. It feels like you are in a Safari land in no where close to Sri Lanka. You have to brace the morning cold to witness the magical morning. I can bet you it will be worth while.

According to Wikipedia : "It is well known for the Sri Pada, i.e., "sacred footprint", a 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in) rock formation near the summit, which in Buddhist tradition is held to be the footprint of the Buddha, in Hindu tradition that of Shiva and in Islamic and Christian tradition that of Adam, or that of St. Thomas."

Hope you would find Sri Lanka as magical as I did.

Strong WIFI connection. Tasty meal ( you have to pay ). Tuk Tuk ready to fetch you to bus stop or anywhere you want to go. Free pickup from Bus Stop to Guest House.

Ancient city with many historical sites to visit.

Photo of Anuradhapura, North Central Province, Sri Lanka by Prana
Photo of Anuradhapura, North Central Province, Sri Lanka by Prana
Photo of Anuradhapura, North Central Province, Sri Lanka by Prana
Photo of Anuradhapura, North Central Province, Sri Lanka by Prana
Photo of Anuradhapura, North Central Province, Sri Lanka by Prana
Photo of Anuradhapura, North Central Province, Sri Lanka by Prana
Photo of Anuradhapura, North Central Province, Sri Lanka by Prana

Fairly easy hike spot for outdoor lovers. Freezing cold if you arrive before sun rise. Make sure you arrive to witness the sun rise as it is one of the most beautiful scenes.

Photo of Horton Plains, Nuwara Eliya, Central Province, Sri Lanka by Prana
Photo of Horton Plains, Nuwara Eliya, Central Province, Sri Lanka by Prana
Photo of Horton Plains, Nuwara Eliya, Central Province, Sri Lanka by Prana
Photo of Horton Plains, Nuwara Eliya, Central Province, Sri Lanka by Prana
Photo of Horton Plains, Nuwara Eliya, Central Province, Sri Lanka by Prana
Photo of Horton Plains, Nuwara Eliya, Central Province, Sri Lanka by Prana
Photo of Horton Plains, Nuwara Eliya, Central Province, Sri Lanka by Prana

Stay at Nilaveli Beach and walk along the coast line to witness how the locals live.

Photo of Trincomalee, Eastern Province, Sri Lanka by Prana

Kandyan dance, a must see while in Kandy. As well as tooth relic temple.

Photo of Kandy, Central Province, Sri Lanka by Prana
Photo of Kandy, Central Province, Sri Lanka by Prana
Photo of Kandy, Central Province, Sri Lanka by Prana

Get out there and enjoy the sun, sand and beach. !!!

Photo of Unawatuna Beach, Unawatuna, Southern Province, Sri Lanka by Prana
Photo of Unawatuna Beach, Unawatuna, Southern Province, Sri Lanka by Prana
Photo of Unawatuna Beach, Unawatuna, Southern Province, Sri Lanka by Prana
Photo of Unawatuna Beach, Unawatuna, Southern Province, Sri Lanka by Prana

Another fantastic beach - Make sure to check out the season to avoid arriving during Monsoon season.

Photo of Arugam Bay Beach, Arugam Bay, Eastern Province, Sri Lanka by Prana

Hike up Adam's Peak to get the amazing feeling of accomplishment as you climb up the stairs to the temple at the peak.

Photo of Adam's Peak, Nuwara Eliya, Central Province, Sri Lanka by Prana
Photo of Adam's Peak, Nuwara Eliya, Central Province, Sri Lanka by Prana
10 Comment(s)
Sort by:
HI. Did you enlist the help of any travel guide when you went backpacking in Sri Lanka or did you visit all these places on your own accord?
Sun 01 10 16, 12:33 · Reply · Report
Did you go backpacking in Sri Lanka alone or did you have company? I've never heard much about crime rates in Sri Lanka but still too would like to ask if it is safe for women to travel on their own there.
Sun 01 10 16, 03:31 · Reply · Report
Wish I could go backpacking in Sri Lanka. Such a beautiful country. I hear everything about it is good, the food, the people, the culture, the beaches. Hopefully I'll make it someday.
Sun 01 10 16, 03:07 · Reply · Report
Hi Prana….thanks for the post. I will be in Sri Lanka 3 months from now for close to two months so I have plenty time to go backpacking in Sri Lanka myself. Your information really helps. It's more than I was looking for.
Sat 01 09 16, 17:37 · Reply · Report
Hey Prana, my husband and I are planning a one month trip to Sri Lanka and your information really helps. Not that we'll be going backpacking in Sri Lanka but at least we know where to start. Thanks a ton.
Sat 01 09 16, 14:34 · Reply · Report
Show More Comments