“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” – Maya Angelou. I draw motivation, energy and strength to do all of this from travelling. After prolonged thinking sessions in my mind, I decided to explore the Pearl of the Indian Ocean- Sri Lanka. Since I went to see the island country in December, my travel itinerary comprises the southern and western coasts and central hills. Here’s how I traversed Sri Lanka and experienced the best without spending a fortune.
The early morning direct flight from Delhi to Colombo took 3.40 hours. From there, I reached Colombo Fort by bus in one hour. To reach Colombo City Hostel (1680 Sri Lankan Rupee per bed), I took a ride in the famous tuk-tuk. After getting freshen up and relaxing a bit, I reached Mount Lavinia beach, which had a lot to offer. Along the beach strip, there are many eateries, pubs, and relaxing spots. For anyone travelling to Sri Lanka, visiting this beach is a must.
Completely tired and with beach sand inside my clothes, I went to Liberty Plaza, the country’s first shopping complex. It is also a great hangout place. I was hungry, and the appetite came with a real struggle for me. Being a vegetarian, I soon realised that there were very few options available to me. It’s a paradise for non-vegetarians (especially seafood lovers), but finding delicious vegetarian food became a challenge for me. Thanks to Subway, where I ate a sandwich. Here are 5 Things They Did Not Tell You About Solo Travelling.
After checking out from the hostel in the morning, I started my journey to reach Galle. There was no direct bus to get there, so I had to first reach Pettah, and from there to Galle.
Galle is a major city in Sri Lanka, situated on the southwestern tip. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site, which is a joy to explore on foot. Galle is famous for its Dutch-colonial buildings, grand mansions, ancient churches and mosques, museums, the lighthouse, and many more. You will come across stylish cafes, unique boutiques, and restored hotels owned by artists, photographers, designers, and writers.
Fortunately, here I found an Indian restaurant named Indian Hut that served me delicious vegetarian dinner. After wandering in the rambling streets of Galle for the whole day, I headed towards Mirissa where I had booked my stay at Mirissa Beach Hostel (1220 Sri Lankan Rupee per bed). Here’s a 7-Day Itinerary In Sri Lanka With Your Girl Gang.
Wanting to relax, I kept this day only to enjoy the sun and sand at Mirissa Beach. Among all the beaches that I saw in Sri Lanka, I found this one to be the best because of its liveliness. There were so many quirky restaurants lined up serving beverages and food. Here, you will be offered food, followed by drinks, and then will be asked for weed too! So you have to be careful about that.
It is a clean beach with average to high waves that make it perfect for surfing. I saw people swimming in the water and having a good time. I also tried, but I soon realised that swimming in a pool is entirely a different story!
Mirissa Beach is a lovely beach with clean sand to lie down and take a nap. The nightlife is equally good there. You can see beautiful lights all around the restaurants that play catchy English songs (except “Chittiyan Kalaiya” because hey, Jacqueline Fernandez!!). During this time, you can enjoy drinks at happy hours’ prices. Parties were going on all around the seashore. Such a fantastic sight to witness! I would recommend including Mirissa beach in your itinerary.
I left from the hostel early in the morning to reach Kandy, which is a major city located in the Central Province of Sri Lanka. Because of the absence of any direct buses from Mirissa, I halted at Galle. And from there, caught another bus to reach Kandy. I checked in to the J Hostel Kandy (615 Sri Lankan Rupee per bed), which also provided me with free tuk-tuk service from the bus stand to the hostel. An adorable couple runs it that will take care of your every need.
After relaxing a bit, I left the hostel to explore the sacred Buddhist city. It is known for the Temple of the Tooth Relic (the sacred tooth of the Buddha), which is a popular pilgrimage site. I decided to go and see the 80 feet high Bahirawakanda Vihara Buddha Statue. To reach there, I walked on a steep but beautiful route for nearly fifteen minutes. It led me to the top of a hill where I got the truly mesmerising bird’s eye view of Kandy. There is a Buddha temple along with a souvenir shop. Ensure that your body is covered because otherwise you won’t be allowed to go inside the temple. The Indian Railways Plans To Launch A Special Tourist Train Called Sri Ramayana Express.
While returning from the temple, I went to see Kandy Lake, a dominating part of the city, and you cannot afford to miss it. I had a pleasant stroll around the charming and peaceful lake at night. I also went to see Kandy City Center, a shopping mall located in the city’s heart. I was dazzled to see Christmas decorations inside and outside the shopping centre.
This was how I spent unforgettable days in Sri Lanka. Apart from its natural splendour and cleanliness, a noticeable thing about the country, in my opinion, is the strict enforcement of rules. Moreover, I could see tourist police everywhere, which made me feel a lot safer. Coming to food, hmmm… yeah, I faced some problem getting a delicious vegetarian meal, but that is not a problem when I think about other factors that made this island nation highly welcoming for me. The bus rides were comfortable, the hostels were good, and the people were friendly, especially waiters at restaurants, who used to talk to me with a bright smile on their face when I asked them about different dishes. My trip to Sri Lanka was unquestionably worth every single penny that I spent.
Keep travelling! (after we defeat Coronavirus) Till then, Stay Home Stay Safe.