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Sri Lanka Travel Blog

Sri Lanka is a favourite travel destination of ours. We got married there and we’ve taken our kids there. This Sri Lanka travel blog to help you plan your holiday or travel in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka works for single, couple and family travellers with interests ranging from culinary to wildlife, culture, surfing and adventure sports. Budget or luxury travellers will find what they want here. This island is warm, welcoming has good food and wonderful people, but you might need a little insight to get the most out of your holiday or vacation. There are things to love and a few things not to like in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka Travel Blog train in station

Sri Lanka is open to tourists at time of writing. Tourists now need to travel in “bio bubbles”. No missing with locals is allowed for two weeks. Tourist must stay in approved hotels and visit or tour safely. Everything needs to be approved to satisfy requirements. There are 98 approved hotels scattered all over the country. You will need to check all of this information for yourself. Start with this booklet from the Sri Lankan government. We do our best to keep this information up-to-date, but things change fast.

Sri Lanka Travel Blog

Sri Lanka lies, like a jewel between the Gulf of Mannar and the Bay of Bengal, just off the tip of southern India. It’s separated from India by the Palk Straight, which gets to just 54.8 Km wide. It would seem to be possible to cross to Sri Lanka to India by boat, but this just isn’t a common tourist route. Most tourists fly into Sri Lanka’s main airport, near Colombo City, the capital.

Sri Lanka have their own airline. SriLankan, we like them a lot and have flown from London to Sri Lanka with them often. If you’re heading to Sri Lanka from Asia, Air Asia have taken us there from KL. Sri Lanka was called Ceylon during my lifetime, the name changed in 1972 when Sri Lanka became a republic within the British Commonwealth. Sri Lanka is fairly close to Maldives and you could easily split your holiday between these two destinations, we’ve done it, it was great.

Sri Lanka travel blog guide

All our Sri Lanka travel blog posts, tips, advice, essentials and recommendations are here on this one blog page. Links take you to more detailed information. We hope you enjoy your time in Sri Lanka. We cover the following:

  • Costs of travelling in Sri Lanka.
  • Ideas on where to go in Sri Lanka, beaches and cultural destinations.
  • Activities in Sri Lanka and where to find them. There is snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing and wildlife safaris, we’ll tell you where.
  • What are the big, must-see attractions and how to get to them.
  • What to expect of accommodation in Sri Lanka, from luxury to budget and finding the best deals.
  • Practicalities of getting around the island by public transport or private vehicle. Update, as of July 2018, you can now book train and bus tickets for Sri Lanka online using our favourite, 12GoAsia. This is great news!
  • Should you book hotels, or wing it if you are backpacking around the island?
  • What food to expect in Sri Lanka, from street food to boutique hotels
  • Best time of year to visit, and which coast, south, east, north, west.
  • Vaccinations and staying well in Sri Lanka.
  • Sri Lanka with and for kids and families.
  • Independent travel and booking tours in Sri Lanka.
  • Suggested itineraries and how much time you need to see Sri Lanka (in production!)

Costs of Travel to Sri Lanka

lion paws sigiriya rock sri lanka
Sri Lanka’s historic sites are undeniably expensive, particularly for foreign tourists. Seeing all the sites of Sri Lanka will greatly eat into your travel budget. The magnificent lion paw gates at Sigiriya rock fortress are shown above. A magnificent historic site, but it costs.

How much Sri Lanka costs depends on you. We’ve visited as budget and luxury travellers. Sri Lanka worked out cheapest country on our 12-month budget round-the-world trip. That time we certainly managed to stay under our $50/day goal.

Food was very cheap if you ate in the right places and accommodation and transport were incredibly good value. We mention the small guest houses and hotels we use in the posts specific to that destination.

If you choose top-end luxury hotels and villas, Sri Lanka offers a lot for your money. We’ve tested out quite a few, for personal enjoyment and as part of our work.

We can highly recommend the Lighthouse Hotel near Galle, one of the finest on the island. We got married there. More luxury hotels and villas are listed further down the page.

Taking guided tours and paying admission costs to the big attractions quickly eats into your cash as all admission costs are relatively high in Sri Lanka. This is one thing we don’t like about Sri Lanka, high costs, scams and erratic pricings. Costs of visiting Sri Lanka’s top attractions certainly need to be considered before planning your trip.

We had a wonderful time on our budget trip and didn’t feel any need to see and do everything with a high price tag. You can easily cut costs by not visiting all the big sites. There is enough to do and enjoy in Sri Lanka without spending a fortune.

All information on this page represents our personal experiences only. Things change, please double-check any important information for yourselves.

Finding the Best Prices and Deals on Hotels, Hostels, Guest Houses and Resorts in Sri Lanka

We like to use Agoda for Asia as they are the experts for the region and often have a bigger selection, particularly try them for smaller hotels and budget accommodation but they do list luxury hotels, villas, and resorts.

If you’re the sort to book a long time in advance, reserving multiple hotels on a fully refundable basis, is your friend. Further down the page, we have more information oh hotel standards and a few personal recommendations. We don’t recommend Airbnb for Sri Lanka, we never found any useful accommodation on that platform in this country.

Best Beach Destinations in Sri Lanka

Ambalangoda beach sri lanka travel blog
One of Sri Lanka’s unspoiled beaches, where fishermen still haul in their catch in the early mornings. Ambalangoda, south-west coast

We now have a full post on Sri Lanka Beaches, the link is at the end of the page, you can click through to take a look at that. I’ll tell you here that the main tourist beaches on the west coast can get very crowded. For decades tourists have been pushing further and further south to avoid, ironically, other tourists.

Our favourite beach for family fun is little Mirissa, south of Galle, but even that is getting busier and busier. Don’t overlook the west coast and even the northern beaches. The Jaffna area (far north) is thought to be going to become a beach holiday destination in coming years. The north-west coast is upcoming.

There are still quieter spots on the south-west coast to escape the crowds. We found Ambalangoda beach to be almost deserted and peaceful. The main part of Hikkaduwa can be crazy these days which is a shame, that was always my favourite. Many beaches have big surf and strong rips, not ideal for small children.

Beaches for Surfing in Sri Lanka

  • Weligama Beach, Matara District. South west coast.
  • Hikkaduwa Beach Galle District South west coast.
  • Mirissa Beach Matara District (right next to Weligama)
  • Arugam Bay. South east coast Batticaloa District. Elephant Rock is a little south of main Arugam Bay

Beaches for Snorkelling in Sri Lanka

Hikkaduwa and Unawatuna are often mentioned as snorkelling destinations in Sri Lanka. We’ve visited both several times and it’s been too rough and murky for snorkelling each time, but the following are the usual recommendations. We have been scuba diving from Hikkaduwa but the diving wasn’t great. The northeast coast is supposed to have good snorkelling, but again, conditions weren’t good enough when we were there.

If you’re keen to snorkel in Sri Lanka pick your times carefully. Avoid the monsoons, there are two monsoon systems that affect Sri Lanka. April and September are recommended for good visibility on the east coast, elsewhere November to April. We’ve visited around Christmas time several times, sometimes we’ve had great weather, others rain.

  • Hikkaduwa
  • Passikudah
  • Mirissa
  • Unawatuna
  • Kalpitya
  • Palhena Reef
  • Galle
  • Negombo
  • Trincomalee
  • Pigeon Island
  • Weligama

Best Cultural Destinations in Sri Lanka

Sigiriya Rock Fortress Sri Lanka Travel Blog and Guide
Arriving at the mighty Sigiriya Rock Fortress for the first time with our children. We waited until they were 8 and 10 before taking this on. In the ” Golden Triangle” Sri Lanka.

The Golden Triangle is where you’ll find Sri Lanka’s key historic sites, including Dambulla Cave Temples and Sigiriya Rock Fortress. You’ll either need to base yourself up here or visit them by road from Kandy. Anuradhapura is a magical ancient city and home to a Bo tree descended from Buddha’s and thought to be 2000 years old.  Kandy is a cultural attraction in its own right, boasting the iconic Temple of the Tooth along with multiple smaller temples and interesting attractions. Ella, high in the tea fields, is popular with visitors as is the southern capital of Galle. We feel that Jaffna, in the very far north, is the new must-see place for more adventurous travellers. It’s almost free from tourists and very different from the rest of the country.

Sri Lanka’s highlands offer tea plantations, scenic walks and cooler temperatures. The famous hike to Adam’s Peak is worth your time, for the less adventurous there’s Little Adam’s Peak, just outside Ella. The Adam’s Peak climb is more of a pilgrimage, hikers start in the dark to be there for dawn.

Where our Sri Lanka travel blog is different from many of the travel blogs out there, is that we visit all of these places to review and describe them for you. Other don’t, they write guides with no first-hand knowledge. We think it helps you better if we go there for you rather than collecting information from the internet.

Cultural Destinations in Sri Lanka – More Reviews

Hotels, Villas, Guest Houses and Hostels in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Travel Blog the Eden Resort and Spa Golden Mile, Beruwela, Bentota
A stunning room at the Eden Resort and Spa on Sri Lanka’s West Coast, standards of accommodation are generally good and prices way lower that the west.

What to expect from accommodation in Sri Lanka? That totally depends on your budget. Here’s a selection of accommodation styles, at all price points, we do not make financial gain from sending you to particular hotels, resorts or guest houses, these are just examples that we know well.

Top End. Some of the luxury resort hotels and villas we’ve tested out in Sri Lanka and recommend. Just click through on the names below for more information.

Mid-Range. Family hotels with pools and all the usual facilities are abundant in Sri Lanka. Whatever style of accommodation you need, you will find. Search online using any of the major hotel booking engines. If you plan to book in advance. In high season or if you have very specific needs, even just for peace of mind, we would recommend pre-booking. Sri Lanka is getting busier and busier these days and hotels get full.

Recommended guest house hotel in Mirissa On The Rock
Towards the mid-budget range, cute family rooms like this one, at On The Rock, Mirissa, are easier on the pocket. Details below.

Budget. Truly budget backpacker guest houses are getting rarer in Sri Lanka as tourism booms and accommodation providers go more up-market. Again, we would recommend booking, but it is still possible to just turn up and go knocking on doors to find a bargain. At peak periods expect many places to be full. Sri Lanka is in no way as undiscovered as some would suggest.

The guest house in the photo above, is On The Rock, Mirissa.

Sri Lanka Tours

Sri Lanka travel blog guide temple flowers anuradhapura
Temple flowers at the 2,000-year-old Bo tree at Anuradhapura. The Ancient city complex and temples take a full day of exploration and our guide saved us money.

Some visit Sri Lanka independently and make travel arrangements as they go, some book tours. Both are easy to do, before departure or after arrival. We’ll help you with getting around Sri Lanka, how to do it and where to go, below

Before we start on the independent travel information for Sri Lanka, I want to share a resource with you that could simplify your trip no end. It’s a website we’ve used in many countries, but not as yet for Sri Lanka. The number of tours they offer, from one day to a week and more is phenomenal. They offer private airport transfers, food tours, guided visits, internal bus connections. This is gold! I’m massively impressed with what you can organise in Sri Lanka before you’ve even left home, you’ll find our full review here. or hop on over to their site and see which Sei Lanka tours, activities, even transfers, you can book in advance, from home.

Best Time to Visit Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka travel blog fish sri lankan food guide
As the sun goes down the restaurants open on Mirissa Beach

This little island has a double monsoon system, so picking the best time to visit Sri Lanka can be complex and entirely depends on which parts of the island you are visiting. Luckily for us, it means that there is always somewhere on the island with good weather at any time of year.

Temperatures remain fairly steady year-round, but you will see a big differential between coastal resorts (high-20s to mid-30s) and the high hill country (up to 20 degrees Celsius.) The temperature in Kandy is normally around 20 degrees C.

In general, the SOUTH-WEST COAST and HILL COUNTRY receive the heaviest rain from April to June. the EAST COAST is wettest in November and December. In between these two monsoons, the inter-monsoon rains bring thunderstorms ANYWHERE in October and November. This means the driest times are December to March for EAST, SOUTH and HILL COUNTRY and April to September for the EAST COAST.

I did warn you that it was complex! In our experience rain is extremely unpredictable, we’ve had great weather and bad weather at the same times of different years.

How To Travel to Sri Lanka. Package Holiday or Independent Trip?

Sri Lanka Travel Blog and Guide Tuk Tuks Getting Around
Getting around Sri Lanka independently is pretty easy. Tuk tuks are a lot of fun. Here arriving at the Templeberg Villa in the hills just outside Galle.

Independent travel is a great way to see Sri Lanka but package holidays can be a good option for new travellers. If you want to organise an independent trip to Sri Lanka, maybe it’s your first time, here’s what you need to do:

  • Book your flights, select the cheapest, best flights for your dates using a flight comparison tool such as Skyscanner, if you’re new to finding amazing flight deals for yourself, we have a guide to using Skyscanner like a ninja here. Similar sites exist, but Skyscanner is our favourite, we use it every time. Sri Lankan airways are superb and often very good value, budget airlines also fly to Sri Lanka.
  • Book your accommodation, think about where you’d like to stay on your first night and most certainly book a hotel, it makes life so much easier when you’re tired and adjusting. We use an affordable little hotel not far from the airport for late airport arrivals/departures. We’ve tried a few, this one has been best so far. There is a fixed rate, tourist taxi desk at the airport or arrange for this hotel to pick you up. If you’d like to book a whole week somewhere, go ahead, if not, a few days here, a few days there, is also fine.
  • For onward transport from Bandaranaike airport, by bus, taxi, train, tuk tuk or minibus click through.

Sri Lanka is a small island but the big sites are quite spread out, you’ll probably want a multiple base vacation. You don’t have to book every night in advance, you can leave your options open and book as you go, but organisation cuts into your vacation time and is a bit of a hassle.

When we’re backpacking we usually just arrive in a town and knock on doors until we find a place we like, but on a shorter vacation or one using mid-top range hotels you’d want to be more organised.

Flights to Sri Lanka.

We found it was cheaper to fly to Sri Lanka from the UK via Istanbul. If you visit our post on How to Save Money on Flights with Skyscanner you can read all about that tactic. We have also visited Sri Lanka from Malaysia as a stop-over on a flight to London. This cost us no extra and the flight was an incredible bargain with the excellent Air Lanka.

Visas for Sri Lanka

We love Sri Lanka for making children’s visas free. (at the time of our visit.) Not many countries do that. All visitors to Sri Lanka needed an ETA (Electronic Travel Authorisation) available online. The ETA lasted for 30 days but could be extended. Find more information about obtaining your visa here. This section and regulations are particularly susceptible to change, so do your research well.

Sri Lanka Essentials, What to Pack

Sri Lanka Travel Blog and Guide Tuk Tuks Getting Around
Where you stay and your travel style determines your packing needs for Sri Lanka. At a luxury hotel ( this is the Calm Resort, Pasikudah, east coast) you may like to dress up slightly, me, I wear jeans. Wardrobe is personal choice.

You will need copious sun block (or sun-protective clothing) and mosquito repellent. Really, whatever else you take is personal choice. Expect heat and humidity but be prepared to be chilly if you’re hitting the hill country. Have clothing that will cover legs and shoulders for visiting religious sites. Families with young children will benefit from taking antiseptic hand gels or wipes. We like to carry a small bottle of iodine, small bites and scratches become infected easily in the tropics. Read more about our travel medical kit here or about the travel gear we normally carry, here.

Vaccinations For Sri Lanka

Again, this is a personal choice. We tend to not get any special vaccinations for visiting countries with big tourist industries, such as Bali, Thailand or Sri Lanka. The recommended vaccinations for Sri Lanka will vary depending on your home country, please check the official regulations with your doctor or health-care provider. You’ll also need to check latest COVID 19 safety requirements.

Currently, malaria prophylaxis was not recommended by my London GP. Back in the 90s, we took malaria tablets, we don’t today. Be very vigilant about mosquito bites, Dengue is a real risk. Always do your own research and get whatever jabs you need to feel safe.

Remember there is rabies and to keep your kids away from dogs and monkeys. A child died after a bite from a puppy recently, always get post-bite treatment if the worst happens. Read up on vaccinations and what we do here.

Get More Out of Your Trip. Read Before You Go!

The essential companion for your Sri Lanka trip, Lonely Planet Sri Lanka brings you history, culture, food, and customs, a few useful words and phrases to practice (please, thank you and hello are always appreciated) and of course, maps, hotel and restaurant recommendations. Get your copy here.

Books on Sri Lanka for Adults

Running in the Family, Lonely Planet Sri Lanka (Travel Guide), The Elephant Gates: Vibrant Reflections of Life, Family, and Tradition in Sri Lanka, A Field Guide to the Birds of Sri Lanka, Island of a Thousand Mirrors: A Novel, At the Water’s Edge.

Books on Sri Lanka for Kids

Leap & Hop Sri Lanka, Children Travel Book,  Children Just Like Me: Celebrations!,  How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World (Dragonfly Books).

Our Sri Lanka Travel Blog & Experience

We want you to visit Sri Lanka, get the most out of your trip and enjoy this amazing country as much as we have. We have visited 5 times, each time for a month to 3 weeks. Our last Sri Lanka trip was our second as a family with kids. We have created this guide to Sri Lanka with kids for you, as well as this, our general Sri Lanka guide. As professional travel bloggers we visit with the intention of gathering information to help our readers.

We’ve visited Sri Lanka on a tight budget, independent backpacking,  and with more cash to spend on couple holidays and diving trips. We held our wedding in Sri Lanka. We’ve tested some beautiful boutique and luxury hotels and travelled around the island by public transport and by private tour exploring many destinations. Recently we added Jaffna and Sri Lanka’s east coast.

We want you to enjoy Sri Lanka and not perceive it as a challenging destination.

Big Tourist Attractions in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka travel blog guide temple flowers anuradhapura
Turtles are hard to resist. You’ll find babies at numerous turtle hatcheries around Sri Lanka and adults are regular visitors to the beaches. You can guarantee sightings at Hikkaduwa where giants are fed by locals in the shallows. But is it ethical? This was at Kosgoda, near the Golden Mile of Beruwela and Bentota.

There are plenty of big tourist attractions in Sri Lanka. Sigirya, Dambulla, the Temple of the Tooth, Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage, Turtle Hatcheries, Yala wildlife park are popular, plus more. They’re incredible. We’ve been to them all over the years, except Yala. People often visit these sites with drivers rather than organising their own transport. There are some big distances involved. You can easily find a driver in Sri Lanka who will take you around the whole island if you don’t fancy trains and buses. Tuk tuk drivers will be keen to take you too. We have a post on Sri Lanka’s top places to visit.

Getting Around Sri Lanka.

There are many ways to travel around Sri Lanka once you arrive. Public transport is very affordable, but if you’re on a vacation or special holiday, you may want more luxury and convenience. Look at options below for booking private tours and vehicles with drivers.

Travel in Sri Lanka by Bus

Sri Lanka Travel Blog and Guide getting around Sri Lanka by bus
Sometimes they’re good, sometimes they’re packed. Getting around Sri Lanka by public transport.

Buses in Sri Lanka are frequent, sometimes fun and incredibly cheap. A family can travel halfway across the island for $5. You just find a bus stop or bus station and hop on. There was always somebody to help us find the right bus and most Sri Lankans have great English. The buses usually come in two flavours, standard, open to the elements, no windows type and the smaller air con buses. Be aware that some buses get incredibly crowded. The Sri Lankan people lean towards wonderful, warm and considerate and we had great fun on the buses. If you’re travelling with big packs you may need to put them on the seats, in which case, you could just buy a ticket for them, too.

Travel in Sri Lanka by Train

Sri Lanka travel blog and guide. Getting around Sri Lanka by train
Train travel is our favourite.

The trains are great to use, some routes are fantastically scenic, but occasionally they were so packed we had to stand. Trains vary, some are very old-school, some are very modern. We like the older Sri Lankan trains best.

Tuk Tuks or 3 Wheelers

Sometimes we used tuk tuks, to travel quite long distances in Sri Lanka. They’re more expensive than buses but it is possible to fit 2 adults, 2 kids, 2 big backpacks, and 4 smaller bags into the back of one. Sri Lankan tuk tuk drivers are pretty fair with pricing but you;ll probably have to haggle We took one fancy air-con taxi from the airport, it was good but expensive ($12).

Booking a Private Tour and Driver in Sri Lanka

Tours and hired drivers are very easy to organise and the most commonly used method for package tourists and more up-market travellers. You can arrange trips through your hotel, direct with drivers, or through the multitude of travel agents on every street. You can travel the whole island by tuk tuk or aircon minibus, the choice is yours. When we got married the same tuk tuk driver took us all over the island, we even went to his home to visit his wife and child, he was at our wedding. We’ll never forget him and we hope and pray he and his family came through the tragic tsunami safely.

Update: As of July 2018 you can book bus and train tickets in Sri Lanka online using 12GoAsia (see here). This is great news! We’ve been using 12GoAsia for years in Thailand, being able to do this for Sri Lanka is a great step forward.

Food in Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan Food With Kids

Sri Lanka Travel Blog and Guide Tuk Tuks Getting Around
A typical Sri Lankan breakfast of string hoppers, fresh coconut ( pol) sambol and dal. You can choose Western food or Sri Lankan, we go Sri Lankan. This was our villa breakfast at Villa Balapitiya.

We don’t think Sri Lankan food is fantastic in comparison to some other countries (Thailand, India, Vietnam etc.) but it’s good and we found food for the children easily. There are stand-out dishes and specialities to enjoy and fish and seafood along with fresh tropical fruits are big players.

The children ate omelettes, egg hoppers ( find out what is a hopper here), fruit, curd, roti and traditional Sri Lankan breakfasts. My boys really started to enjoy egg curry, dal and potato curry in the mornings. There are also plenty of baked goods, savouries and cakes (short eats) some better than others.

The children drank a lot of freshly made fruit milkshakes for extra calories and nutrition and started to drink tea for the first time. Sri Lanka does excellent tea, always served in china teapots. In Kandy you will find plenty of bakeries serving cake to go with that tea.

On long bus and train journeys, vendors would be around selling savouries and drinks. My boys enjoyed fresh wade (vada) but some have too much chilli. If we were stuck we’d just buy a packet of biscuits and some Milo. Sri Lanka does great biscuits, very British bourbons, cream crackers and gingernuts included. Nobody had any tummy trouble during our time in Sri Lanka.

We’re passionate about food (my husband is an executive chef) and really wanted to eat well in Sri Lanka. Unfortunately food options in Sri Lanka were sometimes a bit limited by availability, time constrictions and the boring standard tourist menu. Food was good and nutritious, but not always very exciting. Real Sri Lankan rice and curry turned out to be hard to find.

If you are staying in a hotel rather than backpacking around the island your food experience will be totally different. Every good hotel we’ve stayed at on the island had great food, usually with more of a western influence. You will find plenty of incredible seafood dishes, fresh tropical fruits, and curries if they are what you enjoy. We’ll give special mention here to the incredible Sri Lankan crab curry prepared for us with love by our chef at The Max Wadiya Villa, I’ll never forget it. With accommodation and food like that, every hour that went into creating this Sri Lanka travel blog was an absolute joy.

Make sure you sample the traditional Sri Lankan breakfast, we’re big fans, but you may need to order the night before

Foods You Should Try in Sri Lanka.

  • Roti. Filled rot, the filling can be very spicy (hot).
  • Kotu roti, roti dough strips, but chopped with veg or meat.
  • String hoppers. Noodle-like nests, eat with curry.
  • Curry and rice. The national dish of Sri Lanka, multiple curries, with rice.
  • Crab curry. The best crab curry in the world! The crab is usually in its shell
  • Devilled dishes. A curious east-west dish, you’ll see it on most tourist menus.
  • Egg curry. Similar to crab curry, but egg. One of my favourites!
  • Egg hoppers. A bowl-shaped pancake with a cooked egg in the bottom.
  • Short eats. Or shorties. Various pastries, bread, and fried snacks.
  • Milk rice. A Sri Lankan special way of preparing rice. I’m not a fan.

That’s it, a quick overview of Sri Lanka. There are plenty of links in this Sri Lanka travel blog page, rather a lot actually, that can give you more information. If you want to start your hotel search, we suggest you start with  Agoda  or ). Agoda works particularly well for Asia, Hotels Combined lets you compare multiple booking sites at once.

Travel in Sri Lanka World Travel Family Travel Blog

 This Sri Lanka travel blog first appeared on World Travel Family travel blog. We travel full-time to create this resource. It’s been over 9 years now and his website helps us make a living ( see how here). Enjoy your trip to Sri Lanka!

Cardiff Doctor Who Experience and Locations
Sri Lankan Food Guide. Hoppers. What is a Hopper
What is a Hopper? Sri Lankan Food, Hoppers


Wednesday 23rd of January 2019

Hi there Alyson

We are considering a trip in late April ie 13th-28th this year to tie in with school vacations (we are a family with 3 kids aged 15,14 and 4). My concern / question is whether end of April makes sense from a weather viewpoint as I read this is the start of monsoon - and the flipover period between the coastal East beaches and SW? So if we did a "once in a lifetime" type trip - does April make any sense? I know you are not a weather expert and it can change - but Id appreciate any insight into travel this time of year. Also we would arrive around New Year,,,,does this pose any impacts eg will places be super busy for the first few days??


Thursday 15th of August 2019

Hi all around the year climate is good even though you encounter isolated shower frequently but in April to October southern beach areas has rough see if you expected to visit beach go to the eastern part of the Srilanka.


Tuesday 29th of January 2019


Alyson your correct Sri Lanka New year season is amazing time period, After April 13,14,15 long journey train starting from colombo are not much crowded ,because of new year days,all area not have many people, people go there village before the new year ,most of private company give holiday to them.

Alyson Long

Wednesday 23rd of January 2019

I've never been in April but everything I've read says it's a good time with rain picking up into May, but you should always expect some rain in Sri Lanka. Also it depends which parts you're visiting. I would have thought that catching the New Year festivities would be a great opportunity but there may be some closures Locals will be travelling so expect trains to be extra busy, maybe book seats if this is even possible, you'd need to be in 1st class for that I would have thought. The tourist scene in Sri Lanka is very well established so I doubt there'd be any closures of tourist hotels and restaurants or issues with hiring drivers, just more local services. But...don't know, never been there. It wouldn't put me off and if it's the only time you can go then it is what it is.


Sunday 20th of January 2019

Hi, I've really enjoyed reading this article of yours. We're really looking forward to Sri Lanka, I'm planning a loose inventory as I don't want us to have a strict schedule just in case we see or visit somewhere that is so awesome that we want to stay longer.

We're planning budget stays and local eats, however we have some bigger plans too. We followed your advise so I have booked a budget guest house with great reviews , just 10 minutes away from the airport. Also I've booked a mid budget hotel at Fort colombo 4 days before our flight home for 2 night so we can enjoy Navam Perahera festival. Our big spends will be a hot air balloon trip in Dambulla and the nature reserves. I have to ask though, have you ever used Heli tours for a helicopter transfer? They are meant to be the cheapest way of experiencing a helicopter which averages at £55-60 each! It's like a bucket list item, up there with the balloon. We'd love to do a trip or transfer on one but I'm struggling organising it with this company, where else do you think, would do an experience like this in Sri Lanka?

Keep up the good work, really fascinating and informative.

Alyson Long

Monday 21st of January 2019

I've only ever been on a helicopter in Australia sorry, never even seen or heard of such a thing in Sri Lanka. I didn't know there was ballooning either, so good job hooking all that up!


Friday 2nd of November 2018

We will be visiting Sri Lanka this December and would like to hire a private car and driver to get around for our family of 3. There are so many options out there. Do you have a reliable one to recommend which is not too expensive?

We're planning 1N Colombo, 2N Nuwara Eliya/Horton Plains, 1N Ella, 1N Udawalawe, 3N Galle/Unawatuna and 1N Colombo. Should we skip Udawalawe to make trip more relaxed and stay an extra night in Ella given that we are doing Horton Plains?

Alyson Long

Saturday 3rd of November 2018

No, sorry. We haven't used a driver in years, we just use buses and trains these days.

France Archambault

Monday 10th of September 2018

Hi, thank you very much for all this valuable information.... seems like I cannot find out if you succeeded to climb Adams peak or not at the end. Wondering How difficult it was for the kids... would love to hear from you., as debating the idea of going or not. Our kids (6-9) love trekking and are in good shape but not so experienced neither!! Thanks

Alyson Long

Monday 10th of September 2018

We didn't in the end. It was raining continuously. Another year!

Lindsay Nieminen

Monday 3rd of September 2018

We are thinking of heading there early next year ! I dont think I have a single question after reading everything you have posted! THANK YOU!

Alyson Long

Monday 3rd of September 2018

Doing my job well then Lindsay! Shout if you think of anything. I need to get back soon, we've never been to Arugam Bay nor spent much time in Columbo, would like to rectify that!