Often beauty lies in noticing the smaller things in life that you take for granted. Read Jaswanth’s account of an adventure trip to Sri Lanka with two of his friends as they discover the everlasting beauty of the Emerald Island not through the man-made marvels but through the precious gifts of mother nature. They booked a 5 nights/6 day package via TravelTriangle for INR 42000 which included their transfers, accommodation, and breakfast.
My friends and I wanted to go on a vacation on a medium budget and we were looking for destination nearby India to travel to. After considering the love for nature and cost into consideration, we decided on Sri Lanka.
I had been following the TravelTriangle website and mobile application for almost a year now and I knew that I would be provided with an option to customize my own package and choose my own agent all at the most competitive price in the marketplace. Soon, we booked a package with “ Udani Holidays” as soon we got our required configuration for our vacation.
The excitement of three long time friends meeting in Hyderabad from 3 different cities (our starting point) was a nice start to our vacation. We took a late night flight to Chennai, stayed there for the night to wait for our flight to Sri Lanka.
Here’s the 5 nights/ 6 days Sri Lanka trip itinerary we followed:
Day 1: Arriving in Sri Lanka
We boarded our flight from Chennai at 5am and arrived in Colombo at 7.30am. Upon our arrival, a cab was waiting for us at the airport which was booked through the travel agency. We directly headed towards the elephant orphanage in Pinnawala.
The car provided to us was very spacious and comfortable. The driver also had a fair knowledge of the country and acted as a guide for us.
The elephant orphanage was a very special place. One of the largest in the world, it gave us a chance to meet, greet and feed baby elephants inside the park. The huge and majestic creature is a national symbol of pride for Sri Lanka. After spending some time with the elephants, we headed towards the spice gardens which were 40km from the orphanage.
After seeing the various spices cultivated in Sri Lanka, we headed towards our final destination for the day- Kandy. We checked into the hotel and rested for a while. In the evening, we moved out on our own to get a feel of the city and how the people are. We returned to the hotel in a few hours and retired for the night.
Day 2: Kandy and travel to Nuwara Eliya
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There were a few things that were impressive about the city of Kandy. Firstly, the traffic in the city was smoothly managed without any traffic signals. People in the city were very calm and organized. Secondly, the city is a Buddhist-dominated place which gives the city a very soothing vibe when you are roaming around. We had breakfast and checked out from the hotel in Kandy. On our way out, we decided to visit the famous Buddhist Tooth Relic Temple.
Our next destination was Nuwara Eliya. It took us around 7 hours to cover the 150 km between Kandy and Nuwara Eliya. The traveling between two destinations via road in Sri Lanka always takes a little longer than usual owing to the terrain and the single-lane highways. On our way to Nuwara Eliya we passed many tea gardens where we stopped a few times to get pictures clicked.
We finally reached Nuwara Eliya and checked into the cottage we had booked. We had also organized for a cook, who could prepare a nice dinner for us. Indeed, the dinner was very delicious. With a full belly, we slept for the night in the expectation of another wonderful day in Sri Lanka.
Day 3: Traveling to Bentota
We woke up before sunrise to click some pictures early in the morning. As it turned out, it was a very foggy morning with the sun hiding behind the clouds. Nevertheless, we got our camera out and clicked some pictures of the beautiful landscape of Nuwara Eliya around the Gregory Lake.
After clicking some pictures, we headed back to the hotel and checked out. After checking out, we visited a Hindu temple which is dedicated to Lord Ram. I felt really blessed to visit one of the holy temples on the Ramayana trail. Our next stop was Bentota, which was 170km towards the south. On our way to Bentota, we saw a lovely waterfall and clicked some pictures over there.
After yet another tiring 8-hour journey, we finally arrived in Bentota. We arrived in the city around sunset. It gave us an opportunity to catch the sunset over a beautiful coastline which had some ferocious waves at that time. We checked into the hotel in Bentota, relaxed for a bit in the swimming pool and called it a day.
Day 4: Madu River Cruise
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We got up the next day and went for an early morning dip in the ocean. After coming back from the beach, we had a delicious breakfast and checked out of the hotel. We headed towards the Amarasena Turtle Hatchery where we saw the rarest species of turtles in the world.
Next up, we had planned a boat cruise on the Madu river wetlands. It is a cruise that takes you across the wetlands consisting of 21 islands. A few of the interesting islands we visited were the Cinnamon Island and Vishnu Temple Island. As we were finishing the tour, we also got a chance to enjoy a fish spa.
The unique thing about this fish spa was that we dipped our feet into the river where the wild fish helped us out with the spa. After finishing our spa and the boat cruise we proceeded towards the moonstone mine.
Sri Lanka is home to a lot of mining, but there is one blue colored moonstone which is found nowhere else in the world. We saw how the stone is mined, how it is crafted and finally prepared. Later on, we had some lunch and then went for some snorkeling in Hikkaduwa; a scenic beach in Sri Lanka with lots of water sport activities.
After completing our snorkeling, our taxi took us to Colombo where we were supposed to stay for the night. We reached Colombo at 8pm and checked into the hotel. As our driver for the trip wasn’t available temporarily, the hotel provided us a car that took us to a casino. We returned from the casino after a few hours and retired for the night.
Day 5: Colombo
Our final day in Sri Lanka began slowly. We woke up around 9 am, took our own sweet time with everything and had breakfast at around 11am. I guess all the traveling over the past 4 days had taken a toll on our bodies. After breakfast, we decided to explore the city on our own by taking a walk on the streets of Colombo.
Later in the evening, our driver for the trip came back and took us for a tour of Colombo. We visited a number of monuments and temples during the tour including the famous Gangarama Temple. As our tour concluded we headed back to the hotel for the night.
Day 6: Departure
We got up early morning for our flight back to Chennai. We checked out of the hotel and our taxi dropped us to the airport as we said goodbye to the wonderful country of Sri Lanka.
I think the decision to go to Sri Lanka turned out to be an amazing choice. Rarely have I witnessed such peace and tranquility on a vacation, as I have witnessed in Sri Lanka. The country is a hidden gem for tourists looking for places filled with adventure and natural beauty around India.
High Points :
- It was a fun-filled experience visiting the elephant orphanage in Pinnawala.
- Nuwara Eliya is a must visit place for people wanting to visit a hill station in Sri Lanka
Low Points :
- The travel between two destinations in Sri Lanka can get very hectic.
Tips for travelers :
- The climate, in general, is very humid. Better to carry lots of water.
- It is better to convert currency at the airport itself.
FAQs for people traveling to Sri Lanka
- The best time to visit Sri Lanka is December to April
- The ideal duration to visit Sri Lanka is 5-6 days
- The cost of living prices of things like restaurant meals and accommodation is 13-25% higher in Sri Lanka
- Temple of Tooth in Kandy, and Nuwara Eliya are one of the most visited places in Sri Lanka
- Although, the Sri Lanka cuisine is heavily tilted towards rice and fish curry, one can easily find a variety of vegetarian dishes of Sri Lanka
Check list for Sri Lanka
- VISA- Citizens of all countries except Maldives and Singapore require a VISA or a ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization).
- Currency- The currency of Sri Lanka is Sri Lankan rupees which are available in denomination of 10 to 5000 rupees. It is advisable to not accept torn notes and keep loose change at all time for petty expenses. US Dollars are accepted at some high end souvenir shops and hotels.
- Sunscreen- Due it’s proximity to the equator, the sun hits down pretty hard on a clear day in Sri Lanka. It’s always prudent to keep a sunscreen in your bag.
- Water bottle- The humidity levels in Sri Lanka are generally very high. Keep a water bottle with you at all times to keep yourself hydrated.
- Sweater- You will be surprised of how cold it can get in the hilly areas of Nuwara Eliya. Carry one warm cloth with you to counter the chilly winds and any unexpected change of weather.
- Three pin sockets– Electricity in Sri Lanka runs at 230-240v where three pin sockets are the norm.
Explore the natural beauty of the countryside and the humble serenity in Sri Lanka. For an experience unlike no other, Book your package to Sri Lanka now!