Sri Lanka Holidays / Vacations
Planning my trip to Sri Lanka
Research – Places to visit
As usual, I did some research to find the best places to visit in Sri Lanka, other than Colombo. Jaffna and other places where there were no tourism during the 30 years of civil war was something I really wanted to explore. I prepared a list of places to visit covering one half of Sri Lanka which were Anuradhapura, Jaffna, Sigiriya, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya and Colombo.
I usually do not work with big branded tour operators, instead prefer local tour operators because the big brands usually rely on the local tour operators. After some research and references, I decided to work with Mr Harshita of Kanota Travels.
Our Itinerary for 10 days of exploring Sri Lanka
Before leaving the Airport
We traveled from Bangalore on Sri Lankan airlines from the Kempegowda International airport to Bandaranake International Airport in Sri Lanka. We were received by Mr Harshita personally at the airport. First we got a local mobile connection at the airport. You have different choices like Mobitel, Airtel, Dialog, etc most of them having good connectivity inside Sri Lanka. I went with Dialog which I would recommend as I was never out of coverage during my entire trip and the data speed was good. The second thing what I did before leaving the airport was to change some USD to local currency so that I can have some cash for food during my 4 hours drive to Anuradhapura. Mr Susantha was our driver cum guide for the entire trip.
Facts about Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka was not new to me as I had travelled to Kandy and Nuwara Eliya about 14 years back and Colombo was a city where I have to go for official reasons. But as a tourist it was my first well planned trip
People – Very welcoming and you will really enjoy their hospitality.
Food – I was eating mostly local cuisines, you should also try. You can get different cuisines in most of the hotels.
Culture – The culture of Sri Lanka mixes with modern elements with traditional aspects, you will find it very interesting.
Cleanliness – A very clean country, garbages disposed very systematically, good toilets
Security – Sri Lanka is a very safe place, we did not face any security issues. There were some checks while traveling in Jaffna and also the airport which I feel is normal
Transportation – We had hired a van for our entire trip, which I felt was very economical. Thanks to Susantha and Harshita
Overall Cost – Very less compared to India
Hotels – Colombo, you can find big brands like Cinnamon Grand, Hilton, Shangrilla, Taj, etc, but as usual, I opted for small hotels and home stays
Data Connectivity – Excellent, get a local connection, you just need your passport. It is available at the International Airport
Forex – You should convert your currency to local currency or you can use international credit cards. You can covert forex at banks / airport / money exchange services
Climate – Places like Nuwara Eliya and Kandy are cold, but other places are something similar to south India
Best time to travel – Between October and March
Take away from this trip – I travel to learn and experience about the country, place, people, culture, food, environment, history and more. As far as this Sri Lanka trip is concerned, I could see a disciplined beautiful country working towards development, peace, climate change, etc. Most of the places we visited had stories to tell and connect to world history.
Check out the Sri Lanka Tourism Web Series before you travel to Sri Lanka.