Getting around Sri Lanka is challenging. For a distance of 120km, it takes 3 hours, and roads are not the best you've seen. Trains are the most popular way of transportation for locals and tourists. The main train line is the one between cities of Colombo and Matara. Another alternative to travel from north to south is bus. The only downside is driving style. Bus drivers are known for crazy driving. I found trains more relaxing experience. Also, you will never get bored, as locals will always want to have a chat with you, ask you where are you from and share recommendations.
Galle Road view from the trian. Photo by Iva Vigan
Sri Lanka is a diverse island with hill tops in the central area and surfing beaches on the coast. For an island size of Sri Lanka, there is indeed a lot to see and do.
If you’re looking for a beach vacation and not so much of planning, villages down the coast are the best choice. Hikkaduwa, Galle, and Mirissa are top spots for surfing and swimming. Hikkaduwa has a turtle sanctuary and center. However, you can go to the Turtle Beach at sunset, and you’ll find them swimming just next to you. Swimming with giant turtles in their natural habitat is an incredible experience.
Turtle Beach Hikkaduwa. Photo by Iva Vigan
Mirissa, Weligama, Matara are all neighborhood villages and easy to get to. Take Tuk-tuk, a popular way of getting around those villages and beaches. Visit the beaches in the area, and maybe organize a whale watching tour. You can enjoy seeing these magnificent creatures from a boat just a few meters away.
Visit Sri Lanka would not be complete without tasting fresh fish, especially crab. You can find crabs, lobsters and white fish, all fresh catch at every corner, and for a fraction of the price paid in other countries. If you want to treat yourself and finish vacation in style, check restaurants in Colombo in Old Dutch Hospital. No matter what type of vacation you have in mind when visiting Sri Lanka, I am sure you’ll start planning your return trip even before you leave the country.
Fish dinner (5.50$US). Photo by Iva Vigan