Lush green terraces of tea plantations, bustling chaotic streets of traffic, singing sri lankans as they clamber up Adam’s peak, these are just some of the vivid memories I have of the rugged green country of Sri Lanka.
Ely and I made a trip up to Sri Lanka over christmas and new year’s, spreading across 10days to cover the following route:
Sigiriya ( 2 Night) >>Kandy (1 Night) >> Nuwara Eliya (3 Nights)>> Galle (1 Night)>> Hikkaduwa ( 2 Nights)
Sri Lanka had open up more in the past 10 years, and have been receiving a surge of tourist arrivals. Some of these places that are visited are rather accessible and maintained well, making it a bit safer as well.
So here’s listing some of the fun and adventurous activities to immerse in during your time there:
Top 9 fun and adventurous activities one can embark on in Sri Lanka:
Crazy crowded but scenic train rides from Kandy --> Nuwara Eliya/ Elle
2. Hiking and Trekking at the best Nature Spots
One of the trademark beauty of Sri Lanka is its lush greenery. We got to enjoy a lot of it by visiting the 2 UNESCO World heritage sites -- Horton’s Plains and Adam’s Peak.
Come prepared with good waterproof clothing and proper hiking boots. Though both places are relatively easy to walk without too much scrambling on loose rock/ jagged edges, but the weather here proves volatile, so the ground will be slippery if there is rain or morning dew gathered. Also, Adam’s peak is quite dark while hiking up at night and I actually injured my ankle stepping into a porthole ( how unexciting). So I would recommend one to be ready with proper hiking boots all the time.
Adam’s Peak hike
Head off to Adam’s Peak starting ground as early as 11pm might be a bit extreme, depending on your speed of staircase climb up the mountain. Most fit people will take 2-3 hours to get up to the top.
There are plenty of rest points in between to get chips, hot drinks and some sri lanka street snacks.
Enjoy hiking? Find out the other hiking/ climbing spots in Asia
Definitely a must visit for those who love nature and scenic walks. Though the ride and entry in the park costs us as much as US$90 (which is a bit insane for a natural scenic place like that), it was nonetheless a very beautiful and relaxing trail with the cool fog following us around.
If you managed to break away from the noisy groups, you might have a higher chance bumping into animals like sambar deer. It was an absolutely astonishing sight to see it running across the walkway.
Sigiriya Rock World Heritage Site
A unique shaped piece of rock with no other high elements around it, this UNESCO world heritage site is truly surreal to look at, and turns out to be quite a relaxing climb as well. Its mostly stairway all the way up, with handbars to grip also. Very friendly for younger ones to less fit folks as well.
3. Tea, Spices and everything nice
The trademark of Sri Lanka is also none other than their -- black tea. Once you enter the zones of Nuwara Eliya, the temperatures here at night drops and you immediately feel the need to whip out your warm jackets and long pants to replace the t-shirt and shorts from Kandy. The cool air was quite lovely in the day though, hence making it such a conducive climate for tea to grow.
Ely going down the trails of the tea plantations. We had 2 boys following us around during that trail.
4. Visiting historical monuments of Ceylon
The country of Sri Lanka, on top of its scenic nature routes, is also very rich in history, religious roots and culture. Even though we were on a slightly tight budget here in Sri Lanka, we still managed to visit a couple of the really beautifully preserved heritage sites, and I would strongly recommend them for your consideration.
Polonnaruwa Ancient city
We got around Polonnaruwa Ancient city by foot and renting a bicycle at one of the main entrances, which speeds up the time needed to get around. It costs about US$12 to rent a bicycle for 2-3 hours.
Check out the Ultimate list of All the Top Ancient Cities of the World
Enter the Grand Cave temple of Sri Lanka -- Golden Temple of Dambulla
Not named a UNESCO world heritage centre for nothing, this iconic massive temple houses hundreds of buddha statues, and the paintings on the walls have been preciously restored and redone.
Indiana Jones Edition: Temple of the Tooth at Sri Dalada Maligawa
This place houses the sacred tooth relic that hundreds of people flock here yearly to receive blessings
Walk the old fort of Galle by the coast
Enjoying reading about Sri Lanka. Visit another popular destination in the area -- Mauritius