Travel report Sri Lanka

Within a fortnight we wanted to explore everything the country has to offer – but first of all, I had to apply for a visa online. Visa application was easy and fast and I finally received it after a couple of days. Then I was ready to go! After about 9 hours of flight, we approached Sri Lanka. I was totally excited and looked forward to the next two weeks.

Due to the arrival in the middle of the night, we've stayed the first hours at the airport until a taxi drove us to the nearest train station. English is sufficient to communicate with the locals but you need to get used to their accent. Since we wanted to see the highlands first and relax on the beaches afterwards, our trip started from the train station in Veyangoda, which is closer to the airport than Colombo Fort and on the way to Kandy as well.

Railway Sri Lanka
Railway in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

Train rides in Sri Lanka: an absolute must!

You should not miss going by train in Sri Lanka! There are several reasons why: the tickets are cheap (less than 1 €), the view during the ride is beautiful and you will meet many other travelers. However, the TukTuk, a local auto rickshaw, is a good way for shorter distances. Some trains offer 1st class, but the number of tickets is limited and can only be booked online 14 days in advance. Tickets for the 2nd class are limited, nevertheless the wagons are still crowded. There is no limit on tickets for the 3rd class. So you can imagine how packed it can get during daytime. Air circulation is only provided by fans, which are attached on the ceiling of the trains, and by opening the doors – they remain open all the time and you can enjoy the view. It is also very comforting that are served cold drinks as well as snacks inside the train.

Good to know Sri Lanka:

  • English is sufficient for getting around
  • Take the train for long distances and the TukTuk for short distances
  • 3rd class train tickets are always available and the cheapest
  • Bargain wherever it is appropriate
Train rides Sri Lanka
Train rides in Sri Lanka

The volunteer town Kandy

Kandy is the former royal city. You shouldn't miss to visit the tooth temple (there is a tooth of Buddha) and the historic centre of Kandy. Furthermore, you can take a trip to Sigiriya (Lion Rock), a large monolith surrounded by a beautiful landscape. Close by you can find the cave temple of Dambulla. The path leads you up to the temple passing a large sitting Buddha and countless monkeys. At the entrance – just like in any other temple and house in Sri Lanka - you are asked to take off your shoes. Watch out: You may be asked to pay a fee at the temple entrance. But don't get fooled, it's free! Overall, bargaining is a very useful skill in Sri Lanka, as you can usually go down to the half of the original price.

Must see in Kandy:

  • tooth temple
  • Sigiriya (Lion-Rock)
  • Cave temple of Dambulla
Landscape Sri Lanka
Landscape around the cave temple of Dambulla, Sri Lanka

A lush countryside, elephants herds, numerous temples, lonely and lovely beaches – with these words friends of mine summed up their travel experiences in Sri Lanka. Words that stuck in my head and nourished my urge to visit that apparently paradise-like place! So I decided the next country to discover should definitely be Sri Lanka!

Travel report Sri Lanka