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124 Kms from Weligama
Head back to Colombo, for your flight back home.What to packSri Lanka is unpredictable when it comes to its rainfall. So be sure to pack an umbrella – a sturdy one at that, and some light rain gear. Also, pack sunscreen and insect repellents. Carry good, durable helmets before embarking on the trip.VisaYou can apply for a 30-day visa online, which is valid for a month from the date of arrival, but an extension can be obtained for up to six months. The processing takes up to two days and costs ₹986. You can also get a visa on arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport, but this will be a relatively long and tedious process. This costs a fee of ₹1,315.Read More
Head back to Colombo, for your flight back home.What to packSri Lanka is unpredictable when it comes to its rainfall. So be sure to pack an umbrella – a sturdy one at that, and some light rain gear. Also, pack sunscreen and insect repellents. Carry good, durable helmets before embarking on the trip.VisaYou can apply for a 30-day visa online, which is valid for a month from the date of arrival, but an extension can be obtained for up to six months. The processing takes up to two days and costs ₹986. You can also get a visa on arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport, but this will be a relatively long and tedious process. This costs a fee of ₹1,315.
Colombo is so much more than just a passage to the other destinations in Sri Lanka. The city's colonial past reflects in it's current architectural build of the city, giving it a vibe distinctly different from the rest of the country. It may feel over-populated, but it is rapidly developing into Sri Lanka's most swanky cosmopolitan. Multiple cafes, art galleries and high-rise modern buildings now adorn Colombo, making it a destination one needs to put on their itinerary.
5. Get the morning train to Colombo which reach around 10 a.m. Check-in your hotel and go out for sightseeing in Colombo. You can finish it within 4 p.m. Get back to your hotel, take a shower and check-out if you have scheduled your flight on the same day. If you want relax at Galle Face Green (sea beach of Colombo city) in evening, eat sea fish at beach food stalls then you can stay overnight in Colombo, take rest and leave next day for you home.
It's a decent AC Bus. But, it will not move until all passenger seats are full. So, one has to wait for a while. In my case, the bus left within 30 minutes. I reached Colombo Bus stand around 8.25 AM, from there the Colombo fort is just a 10 minutes walk.
Explore the art scene in the city of ColomboThe charming capital is brimming with city lights. Situated on the shore, Colombo’s beaches are its greatest asset. One of the most happening cities in Sri Lanka, Colombo’s local art scene, nightlife, food culture and sights stand uncontested.
Spend a day out at beachesKosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project lies an hour away from the Colombo city and makes for a perfect escape on the second day. A few kilometres away is Hikkaduwa, the surfing beach where you can indulge in other seaside activities. Both these options are great, no matter how old your kids are!
Got up early today. The driver arrived on time around eight in the morning. I had my trip planned by the staff at the Regent Hotel. It is an eight-day road journey around the coast and northern area of Sri Lanka covering more than a dozen cities like Kandy, Trichnapali and many others. The road trip to Jaffna started smoothly. My driver, Joseph, spoke good English and was alert all the way. We stopped over at a few ancient Hindu temples on the way. The most remarkable thing I found was how distinctly different these temples and deities were from the ones I had seen in south Indian cities like Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram. The colours were very bright and vibrant. The sculptures of the various Gods, Devis and Divas also varied from the ones I had seen in, say, Kanyakumari and other south Indian cities. The domes of the temples carried the images of Devis and Divas in itself. Blue, pink and gold were the predominate colours used.
Day 1 - ColomboOur journey started with a late night flight from Mumbai. There are many options available in flights, to make the travel as economical as it can go consider travelling from Chennai and if money isn’t the concern then go for direct flights which ply 2 a day from Mumbai.For VISA, it is suggested you apply online @(http://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa/) as the on arrival VISA facility has been terminated.The VISA (ETA) is issued in 24 hours post you fill in the required details and make a payment of 20 USD.We reached at around 4.30 a.m, and just FYI the airport is in Negombo and buses for Colombo ply every half an hour from in front of the airport starting 5.30 a.m.The bus ride is approximately of 45mins and it would leave you at the Pettah bus depot. We reached Pettah at around 7 and took a Tuk Tuk to our Hostel at Galle Face, Colombo.Word of Advice - ~ You should try and book your stay near Galle Face in Colombo for it’s the most happening part of the city and positions you among the posh and main highlights the city has to offer~ Ensure you take a Tuk Tuk (autorickshaw in common language) that runs by meter and not otherwise We started on our mission of discovering the city only post grabbing some sleep at the hostel. Our first destination was a local mall - ‘Crescat’ for we were famished. The mall is small and boasts of many unseen Sri Lankan local brands, the food court is at the ground floor. Do not forget to feast on some Sri Lankan delicacies which a variety of stores there offer.Our next destination was the famous ‘Gangaramaya Temple’ of Colombo which boasts of a huge Buddha inside and a small floating monastery on the lake. Post grabbing some quick pictures, National Museum of Colombo became our next stop.
118 Kms from Weligama
Finally we reached "Nuwara Eliya". Nuwara Eliya resembles an old English town, complete with a lake, race track, well kept lawns with hedges, an Anglican Church and an 18 hole golf course. We were pleased with the view from our hotel "Heaven Seven". Enjoyed the weather most.Read More
Finally we reached "Nuwara Eliya". Nuwara Eliya resembles an old English town, complete with a lake, race track, well kept lawns with hedges, an Anglican Church and an 18 hole golf course. We were pleased with the view from our hotel "Heaven Seven". Enjoyed the weather most.
Explore the wildlife around Nuwara EliyaTravel to the central highland of Sri Lanka to the Horton Plains National Park that lies an hour away from the city of Nuwara Eliya. Another great outdoor adventure could be visiting the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage on the fourth day that is also a breeding ground for Asian Elephants. This will be the highlight of your trip, for you and your kids.
Explore the best of Sri Lankan landscapes at Nuwara EliyaNuwara Eliya lies at a five hour distance from Colombo and makes for the next stunning destination on this trip. The misty hills here are covered in tea plantations was once a favourite destination of the British colonizers, who escaped to its cool shadows in the harsh summer. The small country houses, left behind by the British pop up in its green landscape, giving it a parallel identity of “Little England,” as it is popularly called. Nuwara Eliya is where the natural beauty of Sri Lanka Tourism is highlighted and celebrated.
To reach Nuwara Eliya: take LONG Distance# 1126 from Kandy – Nanu Oya
After breakfast, proceed on an excursion to Nuwara Eliya. Situated at around 2000m above sea level and surrounded by lush tea plantations, Nuwara Eliya is the main hill resort of Sri Lanka and the heart of the tea industry. Once a pleasure retreat of the European planters, the town is still very much an English town with many English style bungalows and buildings. Nuwara Eliya is a good escape for those who miss cool breeze in tropical Sri Lanka at any time of the year. Local tourists flock to this town from March to May when it is the hottest duration for the town, April being the busiest. Nuwara Eliya offers many activities for tourists like tea plantations, golfing, horse riding, boating, hiking and of course exploring the beauty of the landscaped gardens, waterfalls and plateaus. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore the city. Overnight in Kandy. (B)You can stay at-
After breakfast, proceed on an excursion to Nuwara Eliya. Situated at around 2000m above sea level and surrounded by lush tea plantations, Nuwara Eliya is the main hill resort of Sri Lanka and the heart of the tea industry. Once a pleasure retreat of the European planters, the town is still very much an English town with many English style bungalows and buildings. The distance from Kandy is 75km, approx 2 hour drive.Nuwara Eliya is a good escape for those who miss cool breeze in tropical Sri Lanka at any time of the year. Local tourists flock to this town from March to May when it is the hottest duration for the town, April being the busiest. Nuwara Eliya offers many activities for tourists like tea plantations, golfing, horse riding, boating, hiking and of course exploring the beauty of the landscaped gardens, waterfalls and plateaus. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore the city. Overnight in Kandy. (B, L, D)
Our first day in Nuwara Eliya was spent at the Tea factory and Tea plantations, including tea tasting at the Bluefield Tea Estate (100-yr old). We then interviewed people who saw Krishna grow from a Tuk Tuk (auto) driver to a certified tour guide, apart from winning Trip Advisor's certificate of excellence for 4 consecutive years. Stories of how the British exported tea from these Tea Estates and visit of Prince Charles were described to us on our way. We also did a couple of interviews of Krishna's mentor, brother and others who supported him. Hortons Plains - The fantasy land (Must Visit)
150 Kms from Weligama
Day 3 we started with morning breakfast from Hotel itself. We had a small tour around Nuwara Eliya city. As this was our last destination, so we preferred to go Negambo beach, which was round 170 km away from Nuwara Eliya. On the way we tried Avocado which they were serving with Honey. Honey which again made from Kithul tree. Trust me , it was just awesome. We again stopped Kandy for lunch. Kandy basically famous for gems. Sampath took us to one place where they showed us how Gems are being processed.Read More
Day 3 we started with morning breakfast from Hotel itself. We had a small tour around Nuwara Eliya city. As this was our last destination, so we preferred to go Negambo beach, which was round 170 km away from Nuwara Eliya. On the way we tried Avocado which they were serving with Honey. Honey which again made from Kithul tree. Trust me , it was just awesome. We again stopped Kandy for lunch. Kandy basically famous for gems. Sampath took us to one place where they showed us how Gems are being processed.
Things to do: Negombo is a popular spot for vacationers owing to its close proximity to the airport. The town lies 10km south to the airport. Resorts towards the south side of this town provide various commercial water sports activities such as jet skiing and banana boat rides. Between Jetwing Beach and Jetwing Blue Hotels, lies the water sports and diving centre. It offers equipment for hire and guided day tours for diving, sailing, surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing.Best time to visit: Negombo is ideal for windsurfing throughout the year. For experienced windsurfers, January to March is the best time to challenge the waves here.
So we landed in Colombo around afternoon and we decided to relax that day in Negombo itself and we had booked a bful Home Stay called Henderson Lake view residence. It was away from the main city therefore was a very quite place. We met the host family , had lunch and left to see Negombo beach which was around 5 kms from there. It was a nice beach and luckily the sky was extraordinarily stunning and we could capture that in out pictures. We took a speed boat ride, ate some snacks and went to the nearby market. When we came back, we met a lot of tourists from various countries who were staying in the same home stay and we decided to spend the evening listening to their travel stories . Below are few pictures of Henderson Home stay and Negombo beach
Day 1/31st December, 2015:Land at Bandarnaike Airport at about 9:30 P.M. and transfer to hotel in Negombo. Sea Drift, Negombo is a small house stay which is convenient to locate and is 100m from the main beach. The room was clean with mosquitoes net in place and clean bedding but the bathroom was a little cramped up. Considering the fact that the stay cost us only INR 2k (USD 30), it was not a bad deal at all. You may reach Negombo with a 20-30 min drive(pvt. taxi) from the airport or if you are travelling in the day time finding a Tuk Tuk or a local bus would not be a problem at all. Airport Taxis will charge you anywhere close to 1200-1300 LKR (600 INR/ 10 USD), a bus ticket would be way cheaper at 100 LKR (40 INR/<1 USD).We had bought 4 bottles (Malibu, Baileys, Smirnoff and Sheridan’s) for INR 6700 (100 USD) from the Airport because of which our pre-new year bash started in our room. We enjoyed new year’s party at a nearby hotel which over-looked the sea and we gate-crashed to the party, consequently paying zilch!
Day 1 -Negombo: Bandaranaike International Airport is the main international airport serving Sri Lanka and one of the most back packer friendly airports even at 2:00 am. You could land at this airport without a plan and within a few hours get everything done right from a local sim and connection to meeting people planning the same leg and to mapping your next few days with ease.
Others | 35kms north of Colombo lies Negombo, famed for its lagoon of the same name and a beach road stretch dotted with bars, cafés and many a lost hippy. Drop in to Dolce Vita (27, Poruthota Road, Ettukala.) for some tasty, hugely-sized Italian and European favourites; back in Colombo, Green Cabin (453 Galle Road, Kollupitiya, Colombo 3) is an institution, with its outdoor garden leading to fronds of swaying palms.It’s a lovely spot for some home-style Sri Lankan food, including the ever-present white hoppers and devilishly hot curries and concoctions, including Achchi’s Chicken; staying in Colombo, 41 Sugar (41 Maitland Crescent, Colombo 7 | +94 11 268 2122) is a hip rooftop café that opens in the evening, and walks fashionably towards the night with a fine cocktail selection, lovely views, reasonable tapas collection, and a grown-up vibe; finally, Curve (1 Park Street, Colombo 2) serves up some mean cocktails, a sufficient variety of tapas, and memorable ice cream liqueur shots.THE DIGS
Colombo to negombo and airportWe have flight in early morning so we kept our luggage at airport and went to negombo beach. Which is near to international airport. You have to exchange 2 buses to reach beach from airport. We spent last evening of our srilanka travel at negombo beach. After that we spent our night at airport to avoid room charges.
Negombo is a Major city in Sri Lanka, on the West Coast of the Island and at the mouth of the Negombo Lagoon. With a stash of decent hotels and restaurants to suit all pockets, a friendly local community, an interesting old quarter and a reasonable beach.Its beaches, an old favourite with local and foreign visitors and lagoon famed for lobster harvesting. Negombo’s beach is very wide in places, but rather shabby compared to the more pristine resorts further south, although the surrounding resort area is often one of the liveliest places around the coast if you’re in search of cheap beer and late nights. A couple of miles south of the beach, Negombo Town offers an interesting introduction to coastal Sri Lankan life, with a lively fish market, a dash of old-world colonial charm of Dutch-Portuguese and hundreds of colourful wooden boats. Sprawling Negombo, is of interest mainly thanks to its proximity to the Bhandaranaike International Airport, just 10km down the road – many visitors stagger off long-haul flights straight into one of the beach hotels here, or stay here as a last stop before flying home.
265 Kms from Weligama
My injury had made me weak and to some extent killed my enthusiasm. I woke up a bit late. I was running short of cash. So, I walked around few ATMs and finally found the right one. It was the Commerical Bank ATM that read international cards. Anuradhapura was different from all cities/towns I visited in Sri Lanka. Everything was pretty scattered here. So, I took a tuk-tuk and asked the driver to take me around the city.Read More
My injury had made me weak and to some extent killed my enthusiasm. I woke up a bit late. I was running short of cash. So, I walked around few ATMs and finally found the right one. It was the Commerical Bank ATM that read international cards. Anuradhapura was different from all cities/towns I visited in Sri Lanka. Everything was pretty scattered here. So, I took a tuk-tuk and asked the driver to take me around the city.
I left for Galle Railway Station after having an awesome breakfast. My knee continued to hurt. I was thankful to this doctor in the hostel who gave me few painkillers. It helped me for a while. I planned to travel the north before I leave. So, I purchased a ticket for Anuradhapura.
The tourism industry in Sri Lanka is good and Sri Lanka offers amazing destinations for travelers and tourists alike. The Sri Lanka tour itinerary could be customized in line with your interests. Sri Lanka has more to offer on Diving, Cultural tourism in Anuradhapura, pristine coastal lines along Matara (a fishing hamlet), Arugam Bay and much more on eco-tourism. Experience the "Wonder of Asia".
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 !
211 Kms from Weligama
2. Go to Dambulla, Sigriya , Pinnewala Elephant Orphange,Perandeniya Botanical garden, Nuwara Eliya while staying in Kandy. Keep 1 day for Dambulla-Sigriya, 1 day for Nuwara Eliya, 1 day for Elephant Orphange and botanical garden and 1 day for Kandy sightseeing. I skipped elephant orphange(not interested) , botanical garden (not interested) and Nuwara Eliya (less time).Read More
2. Go to Dambulla, Sigriya , Pinnewala Elephant Orphange,Perandeniya Botanical garden, Nuwara Eliya while staying in Kandy. Keep 1 day for Dambulla-Sigriya, 1 day for Nuwara Eliya, 1 day for Elephant Orphange and botanical garden and 1 day for Kandy sightseeing. I skipped elephant orphange(not interested) , botanical garden (not interested) and Nuwara Eliya (less time).
After check-in to hotel, I left for Dambulla caves which were mesmerizing. The rain made me leave early and reached the hostel back by 4-5pm. Since it was too dark, I decided not to leave hostel for dinner. I slept and had decided to leave early next day for Sigriya fortress to see the sunrise.
Welcome to your 'Srilanka Tropical Paradise' tour! On arrival at the airport in Colombo you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Dambulla. The rest of the day is at leisure for independent activities. Overnight in Dambulla.You can stay at-
Welcome to your 'Super Saver Sri Lanka Summer' tour! On arrival at the airport in Colombo, you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Dambulla. The rest of the day is at leisure for independent activities. Overnight in Dambulla. (L, D) On to Dambulla- Distance, 129km approx 4 hours drive.
But keep in mind, if you travel from Dambulla, you have to take one of the buses which are going from Colombo to Malee. No bus service was available originating from Dambulla when I travelled. And most likely, you'll not get a place to sit immediately after boarding the bus. For Solo Women backpackers - I travelled in shorts and it was comfortable in the bus. I didn't face any incident where people teased me or anything. By the time I reached Malee town, it was 1 pm (I started at 8 from Dambulla and this includes a bus repair on the mid way) and I saw the small harbours with pristine blue water. They were picture perfect. I was almost thinking this is it, nothing can beat this in such a place. I took a public bus from Malee bus station to Upuveli (Neelaveli is further and apparently more expensive). It took me a while to look for the hotels but I found few. It's a cluster of 8-9 shacks/hotels/resorts in Upuveli or may be a bit more. And you'll find all options starting from $7 (for a private room with bathroom No AC) to $$$ in big resorts, along with mid ranged hotels with pool and decorated bar in $40-$50. I chose the $7 one and that place happened to be the best bar at nights! French Hostel is what I remember the name was. Now you got there, there are plenty of things to do. Long bike rides, in empty roads, drenching in short and quick rains, the mountain temples, feeding the monkeys, trip to Nilaveli, morning breakfasts in near by villages are possible with a rented bike. I paid 250 SL Rupee, I had to keep my passport with the lady as deposit. I did both scuba and snorkelling, rate varies based on time. Dolphin watching and fishing is also possible. No whale watching in Malee, it happens in Merissa. Food is amazing, in all the restaurants, I chose typical SL food, with fish costing around $1.5 every meal. I also went to Nilaveli, for one evening. It is beautiful but expensive than Upuveli. And somewhere I found Upuveli more serene, calm and less crowded. There are also small beaches here and there in the city. Take your bike and just ride. Dip in the ocean and come back. On the way get into some temple, pose with kids, get fruits as blessings and ride on.
Dambulla:From the city bus stand at Trincomalee, I took a bus to Dambulla which is around 3 hours away.#Stay:Dambulla city hostel: Very nice and comfortable hostel with many guests to talk to and share information, though the hostel is expensive with 2 nights at 3600 LKR with breakfast which is mostly bread jam and butter. You can cook your own food as well. Very nice and friendly Mario who would in every possible way, help you to plan your day.
122 Kms from Weligama
The train ride from Kandy to Ella is considered one of the best train ride in the world. No doubt the rush was maximum. I could only find the space to stand in the much crowded train.I stayed in Ella for two days. Ella is the hippie place for all the tourists travelling. The first day was spent in travelling in the train. On the day 2, we went to Ella rock for the track.Next day, I boarded the train to the south to Unawatuna.Read More
The train ride from Kandy to Ella is considered one of the best train ride in the world. No doubt the rush was maximum. I could only find the space to stand in the much crowded train.I stayed in Ella for two days. Ella is the hippie place for all the tourists travelling. The first day was spent in travelling in the train. On the day 2, we went to Ella rock for the track.Next day, I boarded the train to the south to Unawatuna.
Day 4Woke up early, and went to Ravana Falls and Ravana Cave. You have pay some money to get to the Ravana Cave, temple. The cave is tough to walk, so go only if you have good shoes. It will be tiring but turn around your thirst will sway away by the Greenery. A Bottle is recommended though. At Noon, I went to a small trek to Mini Adam's Peak, this is a smaller version of Adam's Peak which is in NuwaraEllya. I met an Indian and Maldova couple. She met him in Rajasthan, and got married. They were nice couple and We reached the top, took some snaps enjoyed the cloudy chilly weather, and came back. For others, who want bit extreme, you can go to Ella Rock from the Railway Station. Then the next day, I left to Kandy. It is a long Journey with great scenic beauty. It passes through Nuwara Ellya, and by Evening, I went to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.
A key stop over on this roadtrip was the hike into the Ravana caves. According to legend based on the Ramayana, it is said that Ravana (who was the king of Sri Lanka at the time) had kidnapped princess Sita, and had hidden her in the caves behind this waterfall, now simply known as the Ravana Ella Cave. Maithili (me) has been named after Princess Sita so we all felt like I owed this unplanned climb in my flipflops to my name .Quick Tip: Talk to the locals and discover the hidden local spots, cafes and experiencesAs you approach the coast the greens change to shades of blue, you are welcomed by the breath of fresh air and the whiff of the salty sea breeze. As you hit Matara you drive by an expanse of powdery sand and crystal-clear water glitters in the sun. Driving is a pleasure in the country and I am definitey heading back for a full coast road trip
Ella, is a small town in the Badulla District of Uva Province, Sri Lanka governed by an Urban Council. It is approximately 200 kilometres (120 mi) east of Colombo and is situated at an elevation of 1,041 metres (3,415 ft) above sea level. The area has a rich bio-diversity, dense with numerous varieties of flora and fauna. Ella is surrounded by hills covered with cloud forests and tea plantations. The town has a cooler climate than surrounding lowlands, due to its elevation. The Ella Gap allows views across the southern plains of Sri Lanka
We sat on the edge of the mountain and talked for so long about England and Sri Lanka. It was peaceful, undisturbed and there was no one around except for an old uncle who served tea at a small set up under a tree. He said that people like Ella, as it is not crowded and had the best view ever from the top. All we could see, was green color everywhere, hills covered with trees and nature at its best. It was so mesmerizing, that we lost track of time and couldn't come down to catch the train at 11 am from the station back to Colombo. We had to take a bus and the journey was quite tiring by road.
69 Kms from Weligama
3. Get the morning train for Bentota from Kandy station at 5 a.m. (Train name : Kandy to Matara via Colombo). After reaching Bentota around 10 a.m check- in your hotel and go out for sightseeing Aluthgama and Bentota. Relax at beach in evening. For water sport get a tuktuk and reach bentota lagoon which is very near to station.Read More
3. Get the morning train for Bentota from Kandy station at 5 a.m. (Train name : Kandy to Matara via Colombo). After reaching Bentota around 10 a.m check- in your hotel and go out for sightseeing Aluthgama and Bentota. Relax at beach in evening. For water sport get a tuktuk and reach bentota lagoon which is very near to station.
After all the conference and Gala night at Taj Samudra, we packed our bags and headed to Bentota on a Sunday early morning, which is touted as the best water sport destination in Sri Lanka. It was a two hour drive from Colombo. We could literally experience the changes around us - with the city madness leaving behind and the rustic country charm creeping in, I know we are all for a treat.
Things to do: This coastal town in the Southern Province is best known as the water sports hub for adventure enthusiasts visiting Sri Lanka. Some of the popular water sports activities for your Bentota vacation include water skiing, windsurfing, banana ride, wakeboarding, jet-skiing, tube rides, sea diving, snorkelling and surfing. If you're a beginner, various water sport centres operating on the beachside can provide guides and gear for your adventure.Best time to visit: The ideal time to visit Bentota for water sports is from October to April.
After breakfast, drive to Bentota. On arrival, check-in to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure for independent activities. Overnight in Bentota. (B, L, D). distance- 179km approx 4 hour drive from Kandy.
Day 4 and Day 5 (Bentota)Be sure to be well rested because this will be the longest drive of all the 7 days you will be spending at Sri Lanka. Bentota is a beach town which is a 5 hour drive away from Anuradhapura, so its best to start early so that you can still reach Bentota by late afternoon/early evening, leaving you with some time for leisure. I stayed at the Taj Vivanta in Bentota and was here for Christmas, so there was a great dinner being hosted at the hotel itself. There are many other resorts as well where you can opt for a pleasant stay.
They say every morning is a new one, new beginnings and this was a day for all things pretty. We head out to the beach and it hits you….. smack in the middle of your gut. Golden sand, deep blue water and a never-ending expanse of intense green trees. Coconut water by the dozen, lots of amphibians I’ve never seen before happily merging with the grass. With my luck I was surprised I didn’t step on one of them, causing them instant death. The best part about Bentota could easily be the sunset, it’s stunning. We got lucky with a bit of rain and that rain and shine combination was well just beautiful. There is no better feeling in the world than to just float in the water with the evening sun upon your face, the sound of the waves, a song in your heart, eyes shut…. it’s your space, your little getaway corner, where all the problems in the world seem much smaller than they are, where you feel you must have done something right, to be here right this moment.
The next morning we headed out by Taxi (Rails are a cheaper option if you are ok with traveling local) to Bentota, where our hotel was located. We spent the next two days with local sights and food and made a lot of new friends to celebrate the new year with.
Ours was a three nights, four days trip, planned at a very short notice, but was fun nevertheless. The planned itinerary for this trip included a day’s stay at Colombo’s Taj Samudra, then a day at the beach in Bentota, followed in the end by a day river rafting in Kitulagala. But, we liked Bentota so much that we just cancelled Kitulagala plans and stayed in Bentota for an additional day. And that’s the first thing that we recommend for you – be flexible to the extent possible, with you schedule because you never know what will keep you hooked to a particular place in Sri Lanka.We landed in Colombo on the last morning, around 11:00 am and headed towards the city. Keep at least a 2-hours margin for your cab ride from the airport to the city, maybe a little more if you land during the peak hours. (Tip: Money exchange at the airport is costlier than from outside as taxi fares vary from one counter to the next; check prices at multiple counters before you board a cab). Our first impression of Sri Lanka was that of a very friendly country where everyone greeted us with a broad smile.
223 Kms from Weligama
We were flying from Oman. Our flight was via Dubai to Sri Lanka. We reached SL airport on 22-May-2017, 8 am. As we already had the ETA, immigration process was quite simple and fast. Took a local sim which costed me 9 $. Outside of Airport Sampath was waiting for us with a placard. Sampath had been assigned as our tour guide from tourist agent we opted for. He could speak manageable English which we were quite fine with it. We started our journey towards Sigiriya which was almost 180 Km away from Airport. We were enjoying the beauty of SL, it was raining that day. Sigiriya is Historical place and famous for wild Safari life as well. We tried some cuisine in lunch. After reaching there, first place we went to "Minneriya National Park" for Jangal Safari (Wild Life Safari). Hired a Jeep for 2 hrs for 90$, which initially they asked 100 $. It was a adventurous experiences all together for us. Read More
We were flying from Oman. Our flight was via Dubai to Sri Lanka. We reached SL airport on 22-May-2017, 8 am. As we already had the ETA, immigration process was quite simple and fast. Took a local sim which costed me 9 $. Outside of Airport Sampath was waiting for us with a placard. Sampath had been assigned as our tour guide from tourist agent we opted for. He could speak manageable English which we were quite fine with it. We started our journey towards Sigiriya which was almost 180 Km away from Airport. We were enjoying the beauty of SL, it was raining that day. Sigiriya is Historical place and famous for wild Safari life as well. We tried some cuisine in lunch. After reaching there, first place we went to "Minneriya National Park" for Jangal Safari (Wild Life Safari). Hired a Jeep for 2 hrs for 90$, which initially they asked 100 $. It was a adventurous experiences all together for us.
No visit to Sri Lanka is complete without a visit to the “Lion Rock” Sigiriya and Cave temple of Dambulla that form part of the cultural triangle. Sigirya was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site forming the best example of ancient urban planning. The frescoes in the caves of the rock date back to the 3rd century BC were said to have been inhabited and painted by monks.
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.
This magnanimous structure will blow you away because it is so overwhelming! The Lion Rock Temple at Sirigaya has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in Sri Lanka. It was constructed by a king who used this temple as his personal getaway, and after his death this temple was used as a Buddhist monastery. When you reach the top of the rock, you will have an incredible view to see!
Visit the enormous Lion Rock Temple at Sirigaya
Colombo to sigiriyaWe took train at 5 am in early morning to go to sigiriya rock.From train we step down at one of the station. From there we exchanged 2 buses to reach sigiriya village. I recommend to travel by bus as public transport is very cheap, very clean, helpful people. Even you have lots of luggage you can take buses as it is not very much crowded. So we reached sigiriya village around lunch time.From then we started to look for accommodation. We got it for 2000 slr for 3 people. In evening we started trekking on lions stone. Entry fees for indians is $15 each. Its very nice place to trek. It took around 1 hr to reach to top. You find many foreigners on the way. When you reach to top you can have 360' view. Its only heightened places there.
To reach Weligama: there is only 1 bus from Nuwara eliya to galle Via Weligama at 7:50 a.m.from the main bus stand, the journey is long so best to take the early bus. Mirissa can be easily accessed by bus from Weligama as there are frequent buses and it takes less than 10mins
Things to do: Weligama has been identified as a great place to learn water sports for beginners in Sri Lanka. This beachside village in Matara District in the Southern Province has a two kilometre sandy stretch that makes for an active diving spot. Diving and snorkelling are two adventure activities you can try out here. The early morning hours are recommended to practice surfing and watch and learn from professional surfers playing with the waves.Best time to visit: December to April is the ideal time of the year to visit Weligama. Visit the beaches by 8am to catch the waves.4. Find yourself at Sri Lanka's best surfing points at Arugam Bay
Weligama: One word: SURFING.National Parks Food and Transport:Food: Sri Lankan food is a result of a fusion of various cuisines like Arabic, Indian, Malay, French etc.Rice and Curry dominates Sri Lankan food scene, with more than 15 varities of rice produced in Sri Lanka right from red rice to long grain rice. The dish consist of rice, dal, sambol, vegetable and a piece of meat (there are vegetarian options as well). Number of curries that comes with rice can vary from 3 to 15! You will find Rice and Curry being sold at a host of places right from street vendors to fine dining restaurants. Other Sri Lanakan specialties include: kottu roti, hoppers, string hoppers, roti, seafood etc. Along with this one will find major fast food joints like dominoes, pizza hut, KFC etc in bigger towns along with local multi cuisine food joints.Food in the country is quiet reasonable, given that you are eating Sri Lankan delicacies at a local restaurant. A Rice and Curry can cost you about LKR 180- LKR 400 same is the case with Kottu roti and rotis. If you like to indulge in some Sea food the cost would go up to LKR 650 – LKR 1000 (and above). A Lion beer is about LKR 300 and a pot of tea\coffee is LKR 120 to LKR 300. Your average cost for a meal per day can vary from USD 2 to USD 5.Must Try:Jade, Negombo – Located on the highway to go from Katunayeke to Negombo city center.Little Hut, Negombo- On the highway to go from Katunayke to Negombo city center.Dewini No. 1 roti, Mirrisa- Ask anyone! It is, hands down, the number 1 roti place. These are stuffed rotis. Do not miss there Chocolate Pineapple roti and their milkshake range.Balaji Dosai, Kandy- This one is for the time you crave some Indian food????Devon Bakery- This is a chain of bakery present all over Sri Lanka, try some cake or sambosa (samosa)Chills Cafe, Ella- A multi cuisine restaurant, give your taste-buds some rest from the Sri Lankan delicacies and indulge in some fast food and CHILL. Loved the vibe at the place.Transport: All the major modes of transport work in Sri Lanka- Bus, Train, Car, Tuk Tuk, Motor Bike and Plane. Train journeys can be extremely time consuming in Sri Lanka but, are highly recommended for that is the best way to enjoy this country’s varying landscape. To buy a general ticket simply go to the railway station an hour before the train but this does not guarantee you a seat. You must reserve a seat at least 3 days before the departure date. Buses are the cheapest mode of transport but they get extremely crowded. AC buses run only on a couple of routes and there are near to non express bus, so be prepared to stop every 15- 20 minutes on your way. One can easily take a tuk tuk for most of the short journeys, but I found them to be overpriced as they do no have a meter (except in Colombo).My itinerary and expenses:Travelling without any plan in mind gives you ample scope for experiment and expose you to experiences you would have not experienced otherwise. Having said that it is always good to read up about the country and have a general idea of a handful of attractions/experiences that interest you the most. I started the trip knowing I have to visit the cultural triangle and some beach my trip got a shape every single day as I met fellow travelers and locals. Below is a brief itinerary that I ended up following (Will post the detailed articles soon, thank you for your patience???? )Day 1: Arrive at the Bandaranaike International Airport – take a bus to Colombo Fort – Take a train to Kandy – Explore KandyDay 2: Eat at some of the best places in Kandy – Visit the Temple – Taste some teaDay 3: Take a bus to Dambulla – Visit Dambulla cave temples and the Golden TempleDay 4: Take a bus to Sigiriya – Wander around the city- Watch sunset from the top of Sigiriya – Get back to DambullaDay 5: Bus to Polonnaruwa – Explore the ancient capital on a bicycle- Back to DambullaDay 6: Bus ride back to KandyDay 7: Early morning Train to Ella (Highly recommended) – Relax at the Chill cafeDay 8: Walk around the lanes of plantation – Climb the Adam’s PeakDay 9: Leave for Mirrisa – Relax by the Mirrisa Beach and complete your sleep (thanks to the night trek at Adam’s Peak)Day 10: Take a day trip to GalleDay 11: Go beach hopping – A friendly Surfing lessonat Mirrisa (Surfers prefer Weligama)Day 12: Indulge in some Sea Food by the beach – Witness sunset – relax!Day 13: Eat at Dewini’s (because this is the last day at mirrisa *sob sob*) – Leave for NegomboDay 14: Scuba dive with Colombo Divers – Explore NegomboDay 15: Did absolutely nothing but share your experience with travelers arriving in SL and the ones leavingTotal spend: USD 420 (Inclusive of Visa, SIM, Food, Transport, Stay and Entrance fee)That was a brief introduction to my trip, will soon post detailed articles for you to get more information and help plan the trip. In case you have any questions feel free to write to me and comment below:)Happy Traveling!This trip was originally published on 'Of Miles & Musings'.