Sri Lanka Travel Guide
Our neighbouring island country is very well known for its tea estates, elephant orphanages, Buddhist ruins, national parks, beaches, hiking trails and a host of other attractions within a modest physical dimension. Achievements of the great Sinhalese kingdom can be well witnessed by Sri Lanka’s 2000-year-old history. Due to its unique location, Sri Lanka was a major trading destination and the influence of various cultures is evident in the country’s food, clothing and architecture. Here’s my Sri Lanka travel guide covering all the key points that will help you plan your trip.
Cost of Food in Sri Lanka
Rice and Curry dominate the Sri Lankan food scene, with more than 15 varieties of rice produced in Sri Lanka right from red rice to long-grain rice. The dish consists of rice, dal, sambal, vegetable and a piece of meat (there are vegetarian options as well). The number of curries that comes with rice can vary from 3 to 15! You will find Rice and Curry being sold at a host of places right from street vendors to fine dining restaurants. Other Sri Lankan specialities include kottu roti, hoppers, string hoppers, roti, seafood etc. Along with this one will find major fast food joints like Domino’s, pizza hut, KFC etc in bigger towns along with local multi-cuisine food joints.
Food in the country is quite reasonable, given that you are eating Sri Lankan delicacies at a local restaurant. A Rice and Curry can cost you about LKR 180- LKR 400 same is the case with Kottu roti and rotis. If you like to indulge in some Seafood the cost would go up to LKR 650 – LKR 1000 (and above). A Lion beer is about LKR 300 and a pot of tea\coffee is LKR 120 to LKR 300. Your average cost for a meal per day can vary from USD 2 to USD 5.
Where to eat in Sri Lanka
- Jade, Negombo – Located on the highway to go from Katunayeke to Negombo city centre.
- Little Hut, Negombo- On the highway to go from Katunayke to Negombo city centre.
- Dewini No. 1 roti, Mirrisa- Ask anyone! It is hands down, the number 1 roti place. These are stuffed rotis. Do not miss their Chocolate Pineapple roti and their milkshake range.
- Balaji Dosai, Kandy- This one is for the time you crave some Indian food
- Devon Bakery- This is a chain of bakeries present all over Sri Lanka, try some cake or sambosa (samosa)
- Chills Cafe, Ella- A multi-cuisine restaurant, give your taste buds some rest from the Sri Lankan delicacies and indulge in some fast food and CHILL. Loved the vibe at the place.
How to Get Around in Sri Lanka
All the major modes of transport work in Sri Lanka- Bus, Train, Car, Tuk Tuk, Motor Bike and Plane. Train journeys can be extremely time-consuming in Sri Lanka but, are highly recommended for that is the best way to enjoy this country’s varying landscape. To buy a general ticket simply go to the railway station an hour before the train but this does not guarantee you a seat. You must reserve a seat at least 3 days before the departure date. Buses are the cheapest mode of transport but they get extremely crowded. AC buses run only on a couple of routes and there are near to non-express buses, so be prepared to stop every 15- 20 minutes on your way. One can easily take a tuk-tuk for most of the short journeys, but I found them to be overpriced as they do not have a meter (except in Colombo).
Top Things to Do in Sri Lanka:
- Kandy: Is one of the bustling cities of Sri Lanka, home to the tooth temple and the International Museum of Buddhism.
- Cultural Triangle: This includes Dambulla, Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura. Be stunned by 2000-year-old ancient ruins.
- Adam’s Peak: One of the pilgrimage spots, even if you do not want to visit it for religious reasons the night trek experience is worth it.
- Ella: For the train journey from Kandy to Ella is a MUST MUST (MUST) try.
- Tangalle: If you are an early riser, go to the beach and see some baby turtles take their first steps. If you are not an early riser- be one, believe me, it is worth the site.
- Mirrisa: This can be your base to do the west coast of Sri Lanka. Waves are amazing, the food is delicious and stays are convenient.
- Galle: One step in the Galle Fort and you would think you landed up in Europe! Marvellous architecture, cute cafes, beautiful lanes to walk.
- Weligama: One word: SURFING.
- National Parks: There are plenty of wildlife sanctuaries and national parks to choose from. Some of the must-visit are- Yala National Park, Hortons Park & Udawalawe National Park
- Water Sports: Sri Lanka is a paradise for those seeking an adventure. Go scuba diving, snorkelling, whale watching, and surfing. Sri Lanka has all the options for you!
If you like the travel guide check out my guide to the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka, an absolute must-visit for a wholesome Sri Lanka trip.