Yamu: Ella is an incredible place purely for its stunning views, weather, hikes and sights. Needless to say, there’s a ton to explore, both gastronomically and adventurously — but it will definitely take you some time to discover all of them! Here’s a little list of how to make the most of your weekend there.
The rolling vistas of Ella are a breathtaking sight to behold, whichever mountain you decide to conquer. We recommend Little Adam’s Peak (not to be confused with Sri Pada) for your first day as it isn’t too arduous — there are steps leading the whole way up, and some off-beaten paths which I’d honestly take over the staircase any day; mostly because you can climb stairs anywhere in Colombo and it’s harder to find a nice mountain.
Also, it’s actually easier making your way through mountain paths than steep cement stairs, the latter is more taxing on the knees. You need to stay up for the afterglow that descends over the place after sunrise, because that’s worth viewing. Head down for breakfast a couple of hours later.
Sri Lanka my Paradise
KateJonesLondon: Sri Lanka is a major discovery for me. I’m fairly well travelled – India, Thailand, Middle East, Maldives, South America, North America are amongst the far away destinations visited. But Sri Lanka is something else completely.
I hadn’t done any research at all – this was a very lazy holiday booking. Normally I spend days (weeks even) pouring over websites, Lonely Planet, magazines, TV documentaries, familarising myself with cultures and places of interest. Not so this time, we literally rocked up at our local town, Aluthgama, barely even knowing what the local currency was.
So imagine my utter delight to discover an island full of beaches, monkeys, mangroves, architecture, monuments, temples, turtles, colonial forts, crocodiles, culture, silk, sunsets and of course delicious food. And thats just the 50 odd square miles that we visited in the South of the island.
Everything You Need to Know About Sri Lanka
Half a World Away: Since getting back from Sri Lanka last week, I have been inundated with messages from friends in Australia and back in the UK asking for recommendations and tips.
The best airport to fly in and out of is Colombo airport, also known as Bandaranaike International Airport or Katunayake International Airport. The airport is actually closer to the beachside town Negombo (20 mins), not Colombo city (40-60 mins), so that’s worth thinking about when you decide on a route. Both are accessible and easy to get to whatever you choose to do.
Expect to eat a lot of curries. Rice and Curry is the local dish – note that I say rice first – this is because this is the main part of the meal, not the curry. Sri Lankan food is much spicier than Vietnam or Malaysia, and probably on par if not hotter than Thai food.
Trincomalee, Nilaveli and surrounding beaches
2trvlrs: In this post you will gain insights about Sri Lanka’s beaches surrounding Trincomalee (or ‘Trinco’ how the locals call it), the biggest city at the East Coast. More particularly, we will share the experiences we made at Nilaveli Beach during our stay in May 2016.
We highly recommend to spend some days in this corner of Sri Lanka. However, please bear in mind the seasons! Best time to visit Sri Lanka’s East Coast is from April/May to September.
Most well-known beaches surrounding Trincomalee are Uppuveli Beach and Nilaveli Beach north of the city. We also read about Marble Beach, a beautiful beach south of the city and managed by the army. As it’s a private beach with a small entrance fee and apparently, this one can be quite populated.
Talalla, Sri Lanka (yoga, now with more sand)
Soul Adventurer: Perfection is a gorgeous beach with light colored, soft sand and crystal clear water, in a bay with gentle waves and hardly any other people. There is literally nothing to do here but swim and read and laze about.
That said, I get too squirrelly after a couple days of no activity, so I went on the search for a yoga class I could do while here. I went to the first resort and was told that yoga was only for guests, the next one had drop in, “but ma’am, the classes are 15USD.”
Staff at both places were quite snooty, perhaps because I rolled up from the beach in my stained shirt and elephant ‘traveller’ pants, but still. I didn’t end up doing a class anyway. It felt far too pretentious for my liking. Instead, I did my own yoga on the beach for each of the 3 days I was there, saved myself $45USD and probably ended up with a better practice, despite the sand and occasional dog interruption.