Its been a while since I have been able to travel, so good to get a review up here of a new country 🙂
I spent 7 days here and I feel like I just skimmed the surface of an amazing country! I was traveling from India and one thing that instantly got me was how much more
Changing Indian Rupees to Sri Lankan Rupees
People arriving from India, there is actually nowhere to change these in the airport. This is due to the currency being a closed currency and currency places in the airports are banks, however, as always there are people around to do this. I actually found this VERY
The main activity I was recommended was the Kandy to Ella train, a picture esq journey through the heart of the country via the tea fields on one of my favorite transports in this sub continent , the train
I arrived in
Here is a Timetable of the Route
I choose to stay in Colombo for the night and depart at the 5.50 the next morning. I had no bookings so the earlier the less busy I thought!
I turned up at
You can buy food and water before boarding the train at many places allong the track, however don’t worry there will be a continuous offer of refreshments throughout the journey from the onboard kitchen, Sweet Chai Tea being my favourite!
For my two hours in Kandy, I walked around Kandy Lake and Entered the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Any holy temple in Sri Lanka you will need to be covered up so No Shorts. You usually can rent or purchase India Yoga pants outside
Kandy to Ella Train
Most people board the train for the scenic journey here. Most backpackers choose Second or Third class which is unreserved. There was a mass scramble to get on the train when it arrived which I didn’t have to be a part of because of the reserved seat 🙂
The train moves at a slow pace which means you can hang your leg, body out of the door which
The train takes around 4 hours and is breathtaking!
As I had a
Ella is famous for its Tea Fields , hiking and generally a cool backpacker hangout.
Lots of people do the Ella Rock hike for SunRise. If you elect to do this , I recommend you take good route instructions or a guide as the way to the top has lots of turns which can leave you astray and make you miss the 6/7am Sun Rise
I wanted to see how Tea was made, there is the Lipton Tea Fields a train journey away however closer can get a 1500 Rupee Return Tuk Tuk to Uva Haputale Valley Tea Factor
Ella to Matara to Weligama
Next stop was down the coast. The cheapest way to do this is via
Sri Lankan Buses
Getting around the coast road is very easy, just get to the side of the road (anywhere not just the bus stop ) and wait for buses ( usually traveling pretty fast! ) and watch for the bus title to see if it’s going too or past your destination and put your hand out to flag it down. If they don’t stop it usually means they are full. If they stop the conductor will usually shout out asking where you are going in return you shout out a bad pronunciation of the town, and you are welcome onboard. As soon as your hand
Lots of travelers from Ella were doing Mirissa as their first south coast city,
A great seaside resort which has amazing seafood, famous for Surfing as well,
Next stop was the Dutch Fort of Galle. A nice A big city on the coast, which has great western food inside the fort if you are missing out on a steak or sushi! I actually found the city outside the fort had great street food as well. There was actually some good surfing here for beginners. If the conditions are good take a board out, as you don’t know when the conditions will drop.
Compared to Weligama and Galle this was very touristy, and also a very popular destination for surfing. When I was there
To me this city was very resort-y! It was definitely relaxing , I never saw more than 100 People on the beach and was offered items for sale twice ! I’d say this was a good place to come and relax and obviously why my friend had chosen it for the destination for his wedding!
Sri Lankan Food to Try
Kottu – A great Sri Lankan go to, what I nick named the Sri Lankan Pad Thai as its something you can have for Breakfast/Lunch and Dunner. Will set you back anywhere between 250 – 400 Rupees depending if you go Veggie or Meat its a mix of fresh
Coconuts – For westerners paying over the odds for coconut water back
Tropical Fruit – You will see multiple fruit vendors on the side of the road selling Banna’s still on the vine, Watermelon, Jack Fruit, Passion fruit, Coconuts, Mangos to name a few! You will also have every opportunity to try these blended up in smoothies or Lassies ( a local Yoghurt drink )
Street Food – A big love of mine in
Local Food – I really like going deep and local with food and I also like spicy food so this actually goes hand in hand in Sri Lanka. My tip to find local food was to watch were the