Sri Lanka is an island country part of South Asia. Colombo which is the capital is known for its mix of beautiful architecture, street markets, shopping malls and urban slums.
Tips Before Traveling to Sri Lanka:
» Best Time to Visit Sri Lanka
January – April. Starting in April, it starts to get hotter and drier which means longer sunny days. Make sure you stay hydrated and wear sun protection, it’s easy to get dehydrated and sick from the heat.
Sinhala, Tamil, English
Sri Lankan rupee (LKR). 1 Sri Lankan Rupee equals 0.0066 US Dollar
» Entry & Visa Information
To enter the country, passports should have one blank page and be valid for no less than six months. Most travelers will need to apply for a visa before arriving in Sri Lanka, you can visit http://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa/ to apply.
On the website, it costs $35 and the visa is valid only for 30 days. While it only took 10 minutes to process and receive my approval, I recommend applying a week or two before your trip.
While in Sri Lanka:
» Things To Do:
Visit the Kurugama Tea Factory (Kandy)
We had a young lady as a tour guide while we walked through and learned the history of the factory. We were shown the process of sorting, sifting and drying the leaves. At the end, they had a gift shop while we were able to buy the teas.
Explore the Royal Botanical Gardens (Kandy)
This is Sri Lanka’s largest garden and it holds over 4,000 different species of plants. It will take you around 2-3hours to walk around the garden, I would recommend renting a golf cart so you’re able to see the whole garden faster.
Go see the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage (Pinnawala village)
The Elephant Orphanage seems to be one of the talked about places in Sri Lanka. While I don’t support the mistreatment of animals and it was hard to see the Elephants’ chained up, watching them bathe in the river truly was an amazing experience.
Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha statue (Kandy)
If you’re in for a little workout, you can climb your way up to the temple to see the Buddha statue and get a great view of the town.
Yala National Park
Our trip was only for three days, so we didn’t have time to visit the Yala National Park. However, it was on my list of places to visit as it’s one of the famous wildlife parks in Sri Lanka. The park is well known for its variety of wild animals.
We were lucky to know people in the area, so we were able to get one taxi driver to show us around Sri Lanka for free. There are metered taxis in Colombo, but for most places you settle on fare especially if you’re going long distances. They also have Uber available in Colombo.
When in Sri Lanka you have to hop on the Train. The Colombo-Kandy-Nuwara Eliya-Badulla line has the most scenic stretches of the country. To book beforehand you can visit www.visitsrilankatours.co.uk/train-tickets-1.html, where you can purchase tickets and look up train times.
For quick trips around the area, just hop in a Tuk Tuk as it’s easy to get. Don’t settle on the first price they tell you, make sure to bargain as the fares are much higher for tourists.
For women, trust your gut before hopping in a Tuk Tuk and watch your purses at all times.
Elephant Hotel (Pinnawala) – Price range: $40 – $70/night
If you’re heading to Pinnawala village to visit the Elephant Orphanage, I would stay at the Elephant Hotel. It’s a budget-friendly hotel that provides a great view of the Elephants bathing.
Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel (Colombo) Price range: $130 – $200/ night
The staff were friendly, the room was spacious and overlooked the pool area -It’s a luxury hotel but affordable. Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo is a 45-minute drive from Bandaranaike International Airport and is close to most of the known sites in Colombo.
Kandy City Hotel (Kandy) Price range: $50 – $130/ night
The hotel is in a great location for exploring Kandy City. Walking distance to Kandy Lake, nice restaurants, shopping areas and more. This hotel is also close to the Kandy railway station.
Until Next Time Sri Lanka <3