Sri Lanka encompasses the beauty of the beach, the serenity of the seas and the remoteness of the rainforests. It is the perfect destination for those who are up for an adventure as well as some rest by the ocean.
I embarked on a 2 week trip to Sri Lanka where I spent the first week volunteering and the second, travelling throughout the south.
Saturday & Sunday
Our week of travelling began on the Saturday when we said goodbye to the coastal town of Ambalangoda where we had spent the week volunteering. Our first stop was Galle, famous for its UNESCO protected, Dutch fort.
After wandering along the fort, we headed to see some fishermen. These unique fishermen sit on bamboo stilts in the shallow waters of a beach and fish. Of course, we gave it a go too.
We spent the following 2 nights at a hotel on the beachfront of Mirissa where we swam in the ocean, boogie boarded and wandered the local markets behind our hotel. In the early morning of Sunday, we went whale watching and spotted several. Handy tip: stock up on sea sickness tablets.
Monday & Tuesday
We visited the town of Tissamaharama or Tissa, where we embarked the following day on a safari in the Yala National Park known for the highest concentration of leopards in the world. At the break of dawn, we were picked up from our hotel by safari jeeps in which we toured the national park. Although we didn’t spot any leopards, we saw elephants and their calf’s, crocodiles, buffalos and monkeys.
Our next stop, the mountainous town of Ella. Ella was definitely a highlight of my trip to Sri Lanka.
Before the sun broke out on Wednesday morning, we left to go hiking up Little Adams Peak to watch the sunrise. The half hour hike to the top was totally worth it as the view was sensational. We were surprised with a panoramic view of our surroundings as the sun slowly arose behind the mountains.
On route to Kandy, we stopped in Nuwara Eliya also known as ‘little England’ and visited the Damro Tea Factory where I spent way too much money on tea. Our next stop was Kandy where we were greeted at our hotel with a spectacular view over Kandy Lake.
A visit to a wood carving shop was our first activity of the day where we were shown how traditional Sri Lankan masks were created using naturally coloured paints.
The next stop was the Temple of the Tooth. We toured the sacred temple which features a tooth of Buddha. When visiting this temple, hold on to your belongings tightly and watch for any wandering hands.
The curvy road up to the Bahirawakanda Vihara Buddha Statue is well worth your while as there is a picturesque view from the hilltop.
In the late afternoon we watched a Sri Lankan cultural dance show by the Kandy Lake Club Dance Ensemble. The closing act was fire walking where men walked over burning coals barefoot.
The natural beauty of Sri Lanka continuously attracts more and more tourists each year. It completely exceeded all my expectations with its rainforests, beaches and welcoming locals.