Sri Lanka Top 10

A diary in Sri Lanka

Sunday, November 3, 2013
A diary in Sri LankaLike0

Great Britain has many things to love, among them the beautiful architecture, the lush greenery, the ONE MORE THING…but sadly (for anyone seeking a holiday tan) blissful sunshine and endless sandy beaches are not among them. Luckily, I found those things in Sri Lanka, which was dubbed “the little England” of Asia for good reason.  The island, which was colonized by the English in the late 18th century, is the perfect escape when the ‘squeeze’ gets too tight in the city. A diary in Sri Lanka began.

Upon our arrival, we took the Colombo highway to drive south, near Galle, and reached our hotel in approximately 2 hours. The drive was lovely, with coconut trees blooming and wildlife easily within reach.  We frequently found ourselves lost for words, as we discovered that every corner of this majestic island was precious and one of a kind.

We spent days on the road, exploring, hiking, whale chasing (only because we were desperate to find one and could not) experiencing new food, flavors, culture, homes and villages. Sri Lanka is a must visit at least once in your lifetime, any time of the year and don’t bother asking a local when the best time to visit is, he will smile and tell you ” We do not believe in the weather forecast here in Sri Lanka. It can rain one minute and the next sunshine for the rest of the day”. It’s true. October-November is named the slowest season, it was far from it. We enjoyed every corners of every city and the beautiful things they have to offer. Sri Lanka has just come out of a 30 year war in the North, so the island is picking up the pieces, fast. Travelers are discovering it once again and wanting to go back for more.

One of our favorite experience is the Galle Fort (more than 400Yrs old) and the most memorable way to experience it is by walking. A leisurely walk leads past the old Dutch Church, the Governor’s house, the spice warehouses, Court Square, the Kacheri (town hall), the lighthouse and on to the sea wall and ramparts.

We decided or thought we could cover Sri Lanka in one week. Little did we know. We could have possibly done every mistake in the book a traveler would do, but, it gives us a chance to write about it, nevertheless, it was an experience that made us want to return for more in December.

Here are a few things to consider.

1. Do not spend all your time on the road. The journey between Sri Lanka’s cities is not easy. When we were warned, we did not understand why. Picture this, one way lane around the whole cities. The only highway there is, is to get to Kandy and that, you must leave early to avoid traffic. Luckily, a new highway will open soon and smooth traffic. However, inland and beach road are a beautiful drive, but not if you are driving 4 hours. Do not calculate distance in KM, calculate in hours and always, always add an extra 30 minutes to any time you are given. Drive in the evenings after 8pm if you are traveling further than 2 hours. That way, you reach your next hotel in the evening, sleep and have the next full day to enjoy instead of spending it on the roads!

2. Do not attempt to cover everything in one trip. You will get exhausted. Stick to 2 areas if you have the time. Always stay 3 days in one place. You will need time to recover from the road trip

3. Do not attempt to drive to Nawara Ella and back the same day. No matter where your back road is. Just don’t. It is a difficult road up 2000meters +. However breathtaking and not to be missed. The little England of Sri lanka. Try not to miss this tea plantation haven if you are close bye

4. If you can, try traveling independently by railway. You will love the experience through inland and sea

5. Do not miss out on Ayurvedic Massage

6. Adam’s peak is breathtaking. If you are staying around that area, GO to it! 5:30am wake up call though is a must

7. Don’t try to hard to do sightseeing if the places are to far away. Enjoy the beaches and the food. It truly is relaxing

8. Do not change hotels every night. (Don’t even ask, this was a crazy trip!)

9. Watch the sunset at Galle Fort

10. Visit Tangalle, Mirissa (little bars around that area too), Unawatuna and Mount Lavinia Beach

11. Lunch at Tapribane Island

12. Go elephant trekking

13. Go fishing

14. Adapt the Travel Junkie Initiative and give back a little something to the land you are in

15. Don’t go looking for all the tea plantation factories. If you have seen one, you’ve seen them all, personally, it was not as interesting for us as we expected.

16. A good friend kept reminded us to EAT PASSION FRUIT. Take advantage of their fruits. We had fruits every minute of the day. Visit the markets and just keep tasting

17. Book ahead!!!

18. Galle could be your center-point of South

19. End your trip in Galle and do not spend so much time in Kandy

20. East has been said to have the most beautiful beaches, Trincomalee , Arugambe, Pasikudah, that does not mean south is any less

IamSriLanka Tours

Hotels we explored

1. Galle Fort

2. Jetwing Lighthouse in Galle

3. Kahanda Kande

4. Cinnamon Wild Yala

5. Number One Mirissa

6. Amanwella

7. Heritance Nuwara Ella

8. Mount Havana Gampola

9. Michelle Boutique Hotel

10. Cocoon Resort & Villas Bentota

11. Serene Pavilions

12. Heritance Kandalama

Tour Guide used

iamsrilanka.com

Juliet Coombe for Galle Fort thanks to Mr. Oliver’s recommendation who runs Galle Fort Hotel

 

 

DSC_0505Adam's PeakDSC_0931 DSC_0257 DSC_0047 DSC_0014 DSC_0019 DSC_0022 Lake Gregory, Nuwara Eliya, Sri lanka (2) Nuwara Eliya, Sri lanka DSC_0362 DSC_0382_DSC01151861bbq0001sept07photo DSC_0198 DSC_0192 DSC_0208 DSC_0248 DSC_0272 DSC_0379 DSC_0383 DSC_0386 DSC_0388 DSC_0390 Michelle Boutique Hotel DSC_1060 DSC_1119 DSC_1168IMG_1236c IMG_1243c

Travel Junkie Diary

A bohemian traveler

Leave a Reply

Follow @ traveljunkiediary
  • Sailing has become our family norm in summers for a very long time - sleeping on a yacht for days has become somewhat of a summer tradition for Chloè now in Greece. I’ve been lucky enough to have great sailing experience and learning from the best. This summer, back to Portugal but this time across the islands for the very first time!!
  • She’s the girl that has a thousands things to say to you, and a thousands reasons not to... 💫
  • I can’t wait to go back to my beautiful home 🇱🇧 Have you been to lebanon before? ♥️
  • I read once that some people have the ability to magnetize the people they need to help push them even further into greatness. Some take them for granted, some don't see it because they are too blind. But for those who can see it, be grateful for it, because even if you think you don't need them, one day you might understand the chemistry you once had. 💫
  • Just found this photo, 4 years ago, when I was back in Sri Lanka, it feels like another lifetime, do you ever have that feeling when looking at old photos?
  • The start of summer days in Dubai isn’t so easy with the heat but I’ve managed to pull through by keeping busy with upcoming projects and getting ready for my trip back to Portugal in a couple of weeks for summer!
The exciting bit is that on Saturday the 9th of June in Dubai, I’m hosting another successful and popular workshop: ‘Let’s Get Social’ A workshop on how to turn your passion into a business and the use social media. You can message me to learn more on how to join and learn almost everything I know on how to run your business successfully on social media and tips on successful blogging! Happy Sunday everyone! ☀️
  • There is something you should know... I don’t have everything figured out. Believe me, sometimes, even the people who look like they have their sh*t together... sometimes don’t know what the hell they are doing, but that’s ok because we are not meant to all the time! ♥️
Thank you to @dennisstever for the picture 💫
  • The midnight sun. Where the sun never sets. Endless days... For once, I finally found a place where I had enough hours in the day to do everything I wanted. To take my shots without rushing for the sun to set and keep those color in the skies for more than just seconds and minutes and have endless conversations with friends. This is the sun at midnight beyond the arctic. The sun remains this way till sunrise in the summer from the 20th of May till the 21st of  June and we witnessed the first day of the rise of the midnight sun ♥️ thanks to my wonderful friends @pukkatravels where you can join my next trip in October but this time, we sail in search of the Northern Lights 💫
  • JOIN ME THIS OCTOBER!! The remote islands in Tromsø are one of the most rugged landscapes I’ve ever seen!! I’m so excited to share it with you for those who are interested in joining one of my next @travelwithtjd adventure series with @dennisstever who took this photo of me!!
In October you can also join us as we sail for one night in the arctic and into the fjords to watch the NORTHERN LIGHTS, the rest of our stay will be on land driving into the fjords and set a campfire to see the Auroras! 
It’s going to be an adventure with photography advise, arctic wildlife on ground, at sea and in the skies!
In partnership with my dearest friends from @pukkatravels 
Spaces are very limited and all the info is found in the link in my bio and you can always get in touch if you have any questions!! (More on highlighted stories) #TravelwithTJD
  • I hope you find that place one day. Where the chaos inside is understood and your heart feels at home... no matter where you are. 💫
  • Lost and unlost... Lost and unlost... Over and over again. 
It was almost midnight, (Yes, this is how midnight looks like) where the sun never sets till sunrise, and we decided to climb up the hill to see where we actually anchored the boat, knowing this was a remote island.  The wind was pushing us back and forth and we kept losing balance, no tripod would ever stand-alone. Then, when we reached the top, both Dennis and I froze, dropped to the ground from the shock and suddenly we were numb. The light from the midnight sun reflected the mountains, the sea, the grass and the skies turned pink and purple!! All of a sudden I had a rush of emotions that I couldn’t hold inside of me and my eyes were filled with tears, mostly from the wind and mostly from not knowing how to deal with so much feelings. 
This was a reality I would always want to stay awake for. Then, @dennisstever pulled his camera and took my picture when I was in my moment and I’m so grateful for that!! @pukkatravels @travelwithtjd
  • They say, reality is a projection of your thoughts. I’ve dreamed about sailing north of the arctic for years... I never doubted for a second that it would not happen ‘one day’ but, nothing every prepared me for what I’m experiencing on this trip witnessing the magic of the midnight sun!! I’ve seen and felt things I never imagined existed or at least only on @natgeotravel magazines. This is the start of my 3 day journey sailing in the arctic! 💫

I’m also very excited to announce our new partnership with @pukkatravels for our next @travelwithtjd #TravelWithTJD in October and now, you can join me too! Information will be up tonight on the link in bio!