Sri Lanka

Formerly named Ceylon, Sri Lanka’s history is intertwined with it’s namesake tea.  Luckily for visitors, the tea producing regions are also stunningly beautiful, featuring rolling hills, jagged extinct volcanoes, and the world’s best sunsets.  Having been settled for thousands of years the hill country not only is modern, but has cultural sights worthy of the most experienced world traveler.  Surrounding these areas are some of the globe’s best beaches, surfing areas and places for relaxation.  A seemingly tiny country, Sri Lanka really has it all.

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DON’T MISS: Arugam Bay.  It’s what surfing movies are made of: laid-back town, beautiful beaches, and a distinct lack of commercialization that ruins many of the world’s beaches.
MUST SEE: The train from Kandy to Ella, one of the world’s great train rides that takes just 6 hours for less than $5 in comfortable second class.
MUST TASTE: “Short Eats” Sri Lanka’s fast-food.  Availability everywhere these snacks will fulfill any craving from meat to sweet.

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TRIP PLANNING: Sri Lanka is deceivingly small but packed with things to do.  Make sure you give yourself enough time to enjoy the beaches and see the sights.
GETTING AROUND: Buses are great to get between major cities.  With some strong negotiating rickshaws and taxis can be ridiculously cheap to get between places on your own schedule…but don’t accept the first five prices they offer you…

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OUR COST PER DAY (2 ppl): $32.26!  Our cheapest country by FAR!
COST OF A BEER: $1-2 for a 650ml beer.
KEY MONEY-SAVING TIP: Take the A/C buses, they are 75% less than private transport (taxis) and will get you places in comfort.

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YOU NEED TO KNOW: Buses run on odd schedules such as only having connections early in the morning, check with your hotel to make sure you can make your connections.
IF WE KNEW WHAT WE KNOW NOW: We would not bother going to Columbo at all.  Negombo Beach is closer to the airport, easy to get to/from anywhere in the country, and much nicer than Columbo.
HELPFUL LINKS TO LEARN MORE: Wikitravel Kandy, Wikitravel Airport, Wikitravel Sri Lanka.

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WE WERE THERE FOR: 3 weeks.
OUR HIGHLIGHT: The T20 Cricket World Cup.  We attended two matches and enjoyed every beer minute.
WHERE WE WENT: Colombo, Kandy, Adam’s Peak, Ella, Arugam Bay, Hikkaduwa, Negombo, Dambulla
WE REGRET MISSING: More beaches.  After seeing three we wanted to see them all!

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FEATURED ARTICLES

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Sri Lanka Highlights

Surfing, cricket, tea plantations and country life: what Sri Lanka is all about! Experience the best sights of Sri Lanka in our highlight reel of our three week visit to this amazing island.

16 Photos

Arugam Bay

Discovering a true "surfer's paradise" is what Arugam Bay is all about. This wonderland is a strip of beachside hotels, cafes and surf shops along an expansive bay of perfectly breaking waves. Experienced and novice surfers from the world over arrive to hit the waves, try surfing for the first time, or just enjoy the laid back surfer culture. It's a can't miss destination in Sri Lanka.

11 Photos

Dambulla

The idea of 2000 year old Buddhist caves doesn't excite many…until they step inside to discover the carefully carved, beautifully painted statues. Beginning in 100 BC local kings ordered these caves carved for future generations to marvel at, possibly making them more impressive today than when they were carved. Of the Ancient Cities in Sri Lanka this is the most impressive and reasonably priced, making it a must-see.

14 Photos

Adam's Peak and Ella

Tea plantations rolling among cool hills is what Sri Lanka is all about. The country was formerly named Ceylon, a name which the world-renowned tea still bears. Ella and the Adam's Peak areas give visitors the chance to marvel at the carefully tended hills, the other-worldly volcanic scenery and jagged peaks. By train, bus or foot, these areas are the Sri Lanka of legend.

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Kandy

The only real city in "Hill Country" the cool air is a respite from the steamy coasts. Situated in a valley between lush green hills, the city is centered around a holy lake and a temple that purportedly houses one of Buddha's teeth. It is a great town to relax and refresh while sipping tea.

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Find more experiences you could be having in Sri Lanka by clicking here!

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