There a few places such a temples and small towns we stopped at that I won’t be talking about, but mostly because those particular places are quite religious and aren’t very touristy. The first week of the holiday was very family orientated; visiting family, going to temples and seeing where my parents grew up. The second week however we visited more tourist sites, exploring some of the loveliest things Sri Lanka has to offer and one of their famous National Parks.
Day 8-9: Drive to Kandy
The drive to Kandy was one I absolutely will never forget! The main reason I was so excited about visiting Sri Lanka was because of the slightest hope of seeing a wild elephant during one of our many long drives around the island. Honestly, by the second week I started to feel like I wouldn’t actually see any elephants until we visited the national park, and so for the majority of the car rides I was reading my books. So when it finally happened, I was so bloody overjoyed, the realisation that we were going to drive past an elephant who was standing in the middle of the road, but not only that, the elephant was only letting you passed if you fed it. The whole experience left me in utter awe, not only of how gentle these animals can be but how much beauty Sri Lanka has to offer.
Our stay in Kandy was quite short, which is something I regret, but during the short time we spent there I fell in love with the small city. In the middle of Kandy is a beautiful lake, which I definitely recommend you walk around, especially during the evenings. The royal botanical gardens are also worth a visit, the gardens are filled with beautiful vibrant flowers, plants and just a lovely place for a stroll and don’t leave Kandy without visiting the Gadaladeniya temple, a Buddhist temple just outside the centre of Kandy, not only does it have beautiful views of the city below but the temple itself is magnificent.
Day 10-11: Nuwara Eliya
The short journey from Kandy was magnificent, one that I definitely recommend you take by car so you can experience it all in its entirety. What should’ve been a two hour drive max, took nearly four hours because we couldn’t help but stop along the way. The drive from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya is absolutely beautiful, not only because of the views from the mountains but for the stunning waterfalls you’ll drive past, my favourite being Romboda Waterfall.
Nuwara Eliya is better known as little England of Sri Lanka mainly due to the cooler climate and the architecture. Little England it may be, but what is it better known for its impressive lush tea plantations, especially for some of the best brewed Sri Lankan tea. I would definitely recommend stopping at Damro Labookelle Tea Lounge for a spot of tea, a tour around the tea factory and viewpoints overlooking the plantations.
Day 12: National Park
There are over 26 national parks in Sri Lanka where you can see a range of animals, from monkeys, crocodiles, elephants and even leopards. Uduwala National Park is definitely worth a visit especially to if you want to see wild elephants, and if you visit during April you may be lucky enough to see some adorable baby elephants, as mating season is during the wet season. We choose to visit the park during its afternoon safari, which is a three hour drive around the safari, and the best times to see the elephants up close and personal. The driver was amazing at spotting elephants, birds and crocodiles – it was incredible! All the drivers are respectful of the animals but either way please don’t ask them to drive any closer to the animals or even follow them.
If I was you I wouldn’t leave Sri Lanka without at least visiting one of the beautiful national parks!
Day 13-14: Colombo and Home Time
After finding a place to stay for the night we spent the evening going out for dinner and getting a head start on the packing. For our last official day in Sri Lanka, we spent the majority of it shopping! Colombo has many big Asian retail shops, which means you get more choice than you would in London and they tend to be cheaper. After a long day of shopping we headed back to the hotel and finished packing before leaving to catch our evening flight back to home.
I loved visiting Sri Lanka, and I hope these posts have been helpful, maybe even given you some ideas if you wanted to visit. Without a doubt I can say that I would happily go again if I could, there are so many places I want to visit that we didn’t have a chance to and some others I would gladly revisit, maybe I’ll try and convince my mama that we should go again. If you have any questions about my holiday or even have some suggestions on where I should visit next please send them my way.
Love Sharuni xx
//22nd June 2018//