5 things I loved about Sri Lanka

9.6.19


When I was researching my trip to Sri Lanka, every post I read seemed to be overwhelmingly positive and whilst I agree that it is an amazing place and one you should definitely visit, there were some things I didn't like about it and wanted to share.

However, once I had finished writing about the likes, I didn't realise how long this post was, so I'll be sharing my dislikes separately to save scrolling time.

So, here are the top 5 things I loved about Sri Lanka:

- Nature -


This is THE number one reason you should visit Sri Lanka, especially if you're from a concrete jungle like me but even if you're not! 
Nature must always be included on any of my itineraries as it's what makes me feel peaceful the most and nowhere I've travelled to has come close to what I experienced on this trip. 

Palm Tree Avenue at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya

The colours in Sri Lanka are so vibrant; the trees are the greenest greens and the skies are the bluest blues. Taking the Ella to Kandy train ride through tea fields, spotting elephants, buffaloes and peacocks at a national park (and along the roadsides!), drinking a fresh lime
and mint soda in a beautiful garden cafe, walking through palm tree-lined streets...the list goes on. 
The nature in Sri Lanka is breathtaking at times and was absolutely a highlight of my trip.


- Drinks -


I'm mainly referring to tea, but all the drinks I had in Sri Lanka - take a shot every time I write Sri Lanka - were pretty great; better than the food at times!
And for a country that doesn't really do alcohol, the cocktails are strong AF. The juices and smoothies were super fresh and whenever I had the opportunity to have a King Coconut, I took it.

You're never too far from a tea field...

Back to tea. I have at least three cups of tea a day and that number is normally 5/6 when I'm at work, but the tea in SL showed me to a world outside of PG Tips or peppermint tea. 
I visited two tea factories and both provided free tastings, but Haple Tea Factory in Nuwara Eliya included a much wider range. I bought back some rare silver tea - which I'm trying to drink as slowly as I can - as well as some green and black tea. 

So in summary, if you're into tea, then this is the country for you.


- Pride -

The Sri Lankan people are incredibly proud of their heritage and their country and this was visible in most of the locals I interacted with. I loved the smiles and conversations I had with them about why I chose to visit their country.
This is also why Sri Lankans are known for being some of the friendliest people you'll meet because most are very welcoming to tourists (of course, this is because tourism is a major contributor to their economy.) Around the attacks, there was a lot of love being shared for each other, but this was present prior to that. 


- Homestays -

Little Ele Safari Lodge

I had never done a homestay before and honestly never considered doing one, but having read several posts on them and seeing the 9+ ratings on booking.com, I booked two and I'm so glad I did.
The first one I stayed in was Little Ele Safari Lodge and I was there for only one night as I was going to Udawalawe National Park in the morning. The owner is also a safari tour guide and has been for over 20 years, so he's very knowledgeable on the history of the park and all its inhabitants and I really liked how respectful he was with the animals.
We encountered a mini-herd of elephants - all to ourselves - and unlike the other jeeps, he kept his distance and didn't rush. He provided a great dinner and breakfast and the accommodation was super cute.

Wins Heaven Home Stay
Tea was regularly provided at my homestay and the cake was BANGING

The second homestay I stayed in was Wins Heaven and this was by far the best place I stayed at during my trip. The host and her husband were so kind and on the day of the attacks, she got in contact with me to check I was safe and when it was time for me to leave her place, she insisted that I let her know I had safely arrived at my next destination...so nice!
Whilst it's not the easiest place to get to and definitely isn't an easy walk into town, it's such a beautiful place and being up in the hills, you're surrounded by amazing views.
They provided a gigantic breakfast - best I had - and dinner and even saved me a piece of cake from their son's birthday party...again, so nice of them! 

Annoyingly, I didn't take any photos of my homestays but they are on my Insta story, so check it out if you're interested.
I'm so glad I got to stay with local Sri Lankans and I HIGHLY recommend you do the same if you want a truly authentic experience.


- Ella -

Admiring the view at Little Adams Peak. P.S do not wear this many clothes because it's HOT

Ella was my favourite place in Sri Lanka, despite it being pretty touristy. I felt the most comfortable there as it had a good mix of locals and tourists, but it still felt incredibly Sri Lankan, which is great. 

I went on a day trip around the town with the tuk-tuk driver my homestay had arranged for me and it was the best way to see Ella as walking is a bit of a mission as you're in the hills.
He took me to all the hotspots such as Nine Arch Bridge, Little Adam's Peak, Rawana Falls, Uva Halpewaththa Tea Factory as well as some lesser-known places. He was with me all day and also took me to and from the town to grab some lunch. He also took me to visit Haputale the next day and back to the train station when I was leaving for Nuwara Eliya. 


The best spot in town 👌

As I said, I will be sharing my dislikes in the next post because nowhere is perfect and I think it's important to give an honest opinion when it comes to travel because seeing everything only through rose-tinted glasses isn't helpful to anyone.

Have you been to Sri Lanka? What are some of your favourite things to do when you travel?

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