My first solo trip to Asia was to Sri Lanka. The island is beautiful and travelling is mainly via road.
I was in Sri Lanka for 5 days and travelled around the country, visiting about 4 cities. Below is a list of the top 7 things to do in Sri Lanka.
1. Yala National Park
Visit the Yala National Park in Kataragama. The National park is home to a number of animals ranging from the Bear to Monkeys, Elephants etc.
You’ll be able to hire a ride to take you around the National Park. Spend a few hours there and witness the wildlife in its natural environment.
2. Dine by the Indian Ocean
If you visit Sri Lanka, do drop by Galle. Galle is home to a huge fort and lighthouse and is next to the Indian Ocean. I like adding a bit of luxury to my trip and Galle did not disappoint me.
I stayed at the Jetwing Lighthouse Hotel & Spa. The property offers amazing views of the Indian Ocean and is the perfect place to have a delicious meal while watching the waves hit the shore.
3. Visit the Elephants at Pinnawala
I simply love Elephants and had to therefore visit the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. The Elephants are taken care of and it is ensured that they aren’t subjected to any form of stress or abuse.
It is a beautiful sight to watch the Elephants taking a bath in the water, especially the little ones.
4. Negombo Fish Market
Given the fact that Sri Lanka is an island, it has a number of fish markets where fresh fish and other seafood is sold.
I was glad that I took the opportunity of visiting the fish market in Negombo. Hard working people organise the fresh catch and sell it on a daily basis.
5. Take a boat trip of The Dutch Canal
The Dutch Canal in Negombo is one of the longest canals in the country and a lot of tourist companies offer boat trips around the canal.
The experience is good for those who like to experience bird watching. We did come across a number of birds, however my best sighting was of the water snake.
I would have expected to see a lot more birds though. Probably didn’t visit during the right time of the year.
6. Relax by the beach
Of course Sri Lanka has a number of beaches. The first hotel I had booked in Negombo was right at the beach.
Even though I didn’t go and lie down on the beach, I did walk around it and came across a group of people playing Volleyball and also took photos of an abandoned boat.
Always a pretty sight; a beach that is.
7. Visit Kandy
The city of Kandy is located at a higher altitude as compared to the other cities mentioned by me previously in the post.
Going up the hill was fun in the car and the views are incomparable. You might feel a bit sick if you are not used to going round in a car though. I was stable throughout the trip.
One thing about Kandy though is that you might come across Monkeys in some areas given the altitude it is located at.
Even though I covered quite a lot in the 5 days I was there, I did miss out on a number of things to do and places to visit. This would include Sigriya and Nuwara Eliya mainly. Will hopefully cover these cities next time I visit Sri Lanka.
Some Extra points:
- I hold an Indian passport and had to apply for visa online. I got an email with the visa in less than 48 hours.
- There was only one international airport operative at the time I visited the country and I had to travel via road to visit the cities.
- There are a number of local drivers and travel agencies who allow you to hire vehicles for a given number of days to travel around the country. Do check for the best prices.