Sri Lanka, the pearl of the Indian Ocean, is a country that you will instantly fall in love with. Seriously, do you know anyone who visited Sri Lanka and didn't like it? Such a small island with so much to see. Endless tea plantations, ancient Buddhist and Hindu temples, welcoming and warm people, beautiful women in sari, spectacular nature and diverse wildlife, delicious food, amazing golden beaches. We could go on forever...

Do you want to know the prices in Sri Lanka? Check out our Sri Lanka budget guide.


Map Places from the photo journey on the map


Sigiriya
Sigiriya
Take a bus from Dambulla to Sigiriya village and stay in a guesthouse near the rock, so you can just get up in the morning and walk to the entrance. If you want to enjoy this place, be there at 7 am before the crowds come. Otherwise it is not worth the crazy price $30.
Sigiriya
Sigiriya
The view is amazing, especially if you manage to be there among the first.
Sigiriya
Pidurangala Rock - The small and cheap Sigiriya
If you are looking for a cheaper alternative ($30 versus $3 is a huge difference), climb to Pidurangala Rock which you can see on the picture. Plus you can have a great view of Sigirya from there.
Elephant Safari - NP Minneriya
Elephant Safari - NP Minneriya
This is the closest you can get to wild elephants. You will see hundreds of them. We decided to go on safari in NP Minneriya because it is less touristy than other national parks where you see more people than animals.
Elephant Safari - NP Minneriya
Elephant Safari - NP Minneriya
Travel to Habarana as it is the closest and rent a jeep where you can stand and enjoy the scenery.
Elephant Safari - NP Minneriya
Elephant Safari - NP Minneriya
We had so much fun watching all the animals. Our guide could spot a tiny bird in a long distance and explained everything. Recommended!
The Sacred Quadrangle - Polonnaruwa
The Sacred Quadrangle - Polonnaruwa
The travellers usually want to visit on of the two temple complexes. Either Anuradhapura or Polonnaruwa. We chose the ancient temple of Polonnaruwa as it is smaller and in better condition.
 Rankot Vihara- Polonnaruwa
Rankot Vihara - Polonnaruwa
Polonnaruwa was a religious centre and the capital of Sri Lanka 800 years ago, until the early 13th century when it was abandoned, and the capital was moved to Colombo.
Moonstone - Polonnaruwa
Moon stones - Polonnaruwa
You can find these beautiful moon stones in front of the entrance to the temple at the Sacred Quandrangle. It is believed that it has a religious meaning. The widely accepted interpretation is that the moon stones symbolises the cycle of Samsara. The lotus depicts Nirvana and the elephant, bull, lion and horse depict birth, decay, disease and death.
Be aware of scams at Polonnaruwa
Be aware of the Polonnaruwa scam
You will meet tuk tuk drivers who will offer you a lower price for the ride and no entrance ticket. They are part of the local mafia of tuk tuk drivers and the guards. They won't take you through the main ticket entrance and they skip the museum (where they check the tickets) and some of the temples. It is not worth it to pay less!
Btw.the monks on the picture have nothing common with the scam :)
The Temple of the Tooth -  Kandy
The Temple of the Tooth - Kandy
This Buddhist temple hides the relic of the tooth of the Buddha. The tooth has an interesting history and it has played an important role in the politics as it is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country.
The Temple of the Tooth -  Kandy
The Temple of the Tooth - Kandy
You don’t actually see the tooth as it is kept in a gold dagoba, but the complex has many small temples, shrines and museums.
Tip: Bring a sarong. You need to cover your knees and shoulders as in every Buddhist temple. It is very strict here and you won't be allowed here otherwise.
Best Cheese Tohsai -  Kandy
Best Cheese Tohsai - Kandy
Eat at local restaurants. Cheap and delicious!
Train from Kandy to Nuwara Elliya
Train from Kandy to Nuwara Elliya
You will pay only $1 for few hours on the most scenic train ride in the world. The train goes through high mountains, hills full of tea plantations and small villages. You stop in tiny train stations where local people get on and off. Don't miss it!
Tip: The train stops in Nanu Oya where you have to take the connecting bus to Nuwara Elliya. The bus is cheap, you don't need to pay ten times more to the tuk-tuk drivers.
Nuwara Elliya
Nuwara Elliya - Little England
Nuwara Elliya is the most important town for tea production in Sri Lanka. It was founded by British in 1846. The colonial atmosphere is evident on every step. Nuwara Elliya is also the only place where you can actually be cold as it has an altitude of 1,868 m.
 Tea Plantations - Nuwara Elliya
Tea Plantations - Nuwara Elliya
In Nuwara Elliya you can visit the tea plantations and factories where you get a guided tour about tea production.
 Tea Plantations - Nuwara Elliya
Tea Plantations - Nuwara Elliya
We visited Pedro Tea Factory and Mackwoods Labookellie Tea Factory. The Pedro Tea Factory has a small entrance fee, nice waiting area, free sample of tea and good prices in the shop. We really enjoyed the visit. We didn't feel welcome at the Mackwoods Labookellie Tea Factory, the visit is free, but the shop and the cafe are overpriced. That's why we recommend you the Pedro Tea Factory.
 Tea Plantations - Nuwara Elliya
Black tea grades - Nuwara Elliya
Tea grading is based on the size of the leaf
OP: Orange Pekoe - main grade
F: flowery
B: broken
FBOP: Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe
 Ella Rock
Ella Rock - Ella
Next train stop from Nuwara Elliya is a village Ella. It is called the most beautiful village in Sri Lanka and it offers great accommodation, awesome food, nice people and incredible nature. Yep, the best village. It's true.
Hike to Ella Rock is one of the greatest trips in Ella. When it's hot, it can be quite exhausting as the last part is quite steep.
 Ella Rock
Ella Rock
Walk on the train rails from Ella to get to Ella Rock the easiest way. The walk is quite fun because all the locals walk there too and chat with each other.
 Ella Rock
Ella Rock
When you are on top of the Ella Rock, follow a small trail leading further for few minutes. There is another view and a small Buddha statue.
 Ella Rock
Ella Rock
This is one of my favourite Buddha statues, hidden under the rock, at this great abandonded place with an awesome view.
  Raha restaurant - best food in Ella
Raha restaurant - best food in Ella
A small restaurant called Raha is located on the corner of the two main streets. They serve the best food we have tried in Sri Lanka. We ate there six times as it was really delicious and quite cheap.
 The Little Adam's Peak - Ella
The Little Adam's Peak - Ella
A trip to The Little Adam's Peak is an easy short walk with beautiful views of Ella Rock.
 The Newburgh tea factory - Ella
The Newburgh tea factory - Ella
When you walk from The Little Adam's Peak, turn right and walk to the nearby Newburgh green tea factory. It is owned by Finlays and you can get a guided tour here. It is interesting because they make green tea here. It is the same plant as the black tea, but different process.
 Cooking class - Ella
Cooking class - Ella
A bit unusual cooking class where you watch more than you cook, but fun anyway.....
 Arugam Bay
Arugam Bay
We ended up in Arugam Bay unexpectedly because it was pouring down at Adam's Peak, but we didn't regret it. It is a small sea resort with a hippie atmosphere. There are no big hotels, only guest houses and small restaurants.
 Try surfing - Arugam Bay
Try surfing - Arugam Bay
Arugam Bay has quite big waves and it is a popular spot for surfers. You can rent a surf very cheap at many small rentals.
Try surfing - Arugam Bay
Try surfing - Arugam Bay
It doesn't matter if you haven't try surfing before. Everyone looks cool with the board and only the size of the board shows that it is your first time:)

Map Places from the photo journey on the map


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