Images of sun, palm trees and the ocean are widely associated with Sri Lanka. But what did I like most during my three weeks journey accross the tropical island state?
Hiking in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is not only beautiful, but also offers diverse landscapes. The mountains are surprisingly high. You can find many different plants and animals there. You also will enjoy magnificent views.
Sunrise in the Highlands
The morning looks on the misty mountains are like a dream. But on the terrace of your guesthouse you can have wonderful moments, too. There we heard monks singing from a close Buddhist temple. In addition the view of Ella Gap covering the whole island. Fantastic.
This atmosphere is perfect for meditating or doing yoga. If you are interested in attending a yoga class in Sri Lanka, you don’t need to spend the whole vacation in a retreat. It’s possible to book single lessons, for example in hotels or special places like temples.
Cultural Diversity in Sri Lanka
I haven’t been in a country with such a cultural variety before. This surprised me most about Sri Lanka. I already knew before my trip about the colonial legacy, but I did not realize how much this still affects daily life. You can see this for example in West Sri Lankathe west of the island, where catholicism is widely spread. During Christmas this became obvious. We found lots of Christmas cribs beside the roads. Generally, there are many beautiful churches, mosques and temples in Sri Lanka.
The colorful mix of people and architecture in the lively capital Colombo was very impressive. Travel bloggers tend to advise their readers to avoid hectic Colombo and go straight to the stunning beaches of the south or to the Highlands. I do not share their opinion. If you like Asia’s colorful and vibrant big cities, this is the place to go. Plan extra time! Colombo is full of interesting colonial architecture. The location at the Indian Ocean is another strength. The locals take their sea bath just in the city center. What is more, most picturesque railway tracks lead along the shore.
Travel Sri Lanka by train or bus
A ride on a slow train through tea plantations is a cliché. But don’t miss it on your trip! I liked best the journey between Nanu Oya and Ella. The train comes up to 2,000 meters there.
I can also recommend a ride along the west coast – from Welligama to Colombo. But be aware that a train ride (except from 1st class) or a ride in a local bus is an exotic experience with all pros and cons.
Going by bus is probably not the safest way, but also very exciting. In each of the old local buses you will listen to loud Sri Lankan music. Buses are less hyped than the trains in Sri Lanka. But I enjoyed bus rides journeys the same, as it was fun.
Watching a leopard in the wild was a great gift and exceeded my expectations.
But you don’t have to join a safari to be surrounded fascinating animals. In Sri Lanka, the fauna is extremely rich. When I got up in the morning, I already heard palm squirrels chirping and rare bird species singing. This complimented the tropical feeling perfectly.
If you liked this article, you might perhaps also be interested in my article How to travel the Maldives on a Budget.
15 thoughts on “What I liked most about Sri Lanka”
Sounds wonderful, Sri Lanka is high on my bucket list!!
Thank you very much, Hayley. I highly recommend to see this unique country.
This is a great post. I would love to visit Sri Lanka one day. I like the sound of hiking in the mountains. I didn’t even realise Sri Lanka had mountains if I’m honest!!
Thank you, Amanda, I didn’t know someone shares my passion for the sound of hiking in the mountains 🙂
Yes, Mountains are surprisingly high. It might be not Nepal, but there are some real peaks.
Sri Lanka has moved to the top of my list! I had no idea there was such wildlife there! I just got back from an African safari and im hooked! Im dying to see more wildlife and this country seems a lot less touristy than most. Oh and those train rides look soooo fun! I gotta go now. Great post!
Great, thanks a lot. It’s a wonderful destination for wildlife watching, both on safari or elsewhere. I would recommend to avoid December/January, because it
was quite crowded then, especially at the beaches in the south.
Such stunning photos and a great article. Sri Lanka is very high on my bucket list! I have a friend going next week, so I’m sure I’ll be keen to go even more after seeing the photos! 🙂
Georgia | http://www.bohemianbythesea.com
Happy you like it, Georgia. Thank you very much!
Another destination that has been on our list for a while. We’re especially interested in nature and wildlife and it seems that Sri Lanka has both. Do you know if it’s feasible to do a self-drive road trip or is it better to hire a guide/driver?
Thanks for your comment, Jurga.
I’m not sure about this, because driving is quite chaotic and roads in the mountains are not the easiest.
We’ve had a driver for some days, but it was not the best experience
because he always suggested to take us to places, in order to earn provision or charge extra money. I would go by public transport only next time.
We went to the Hill Country by first class train, which is affordable in Sri Lanka and quite pleasant.
What a stunning place! It also looks like the perfect destination for some adventure and cultural immersions. I think I’d get sick on the slow train, though 🙂
You definitely make a great case for Sri Lanka! I hadn’t given much thought to traveling here, but after reading this post I see that it has so much to offer! Adding to the list 😀
Sri Lanka has always been on my list, amazing pictures and what a great experience.
Thanks a lot, Fee! Glad you like it.