Stunning Sights + 12 Practical Tips for Travel in Sri Lanka

I love friendly people, island life, animals, delicious healthy food, and tropical fruit, so it’s obvious I love everything about Sri Lanka.

If you are planning to travel there, I wrote 12 travel tips at the bottom of this post!

Photos taken with Canon 5DMKIV +  my Iphone7.

This Jungle Asian feels at home eating Mangosteen.

The train rides are magical. I felt like I was in Jurassic Park!

The monkeys knew I had food in my bag so followed me. I got scared, threw my food at them, and ran. Lol.

Girls walking to school in the morning.

So many happy + healthy dogs. This one followed us for a long time.

Fish market in Beruwala.

The city of Kandy.

Helga’s Folly – a kitschy hotel owned by a Los Angeles socialite in the 1950’s. The decor is out of a Tim Burton-esque dream. Worth a visit to have a drink!

I learned this is called a Cannonball tree – my first time seeing one.

At first glance the Pinnwala Elephant Orphanage looks like a dream, but we were disappointed when we visited. I first saw photos online before my trip that I now realize didn’t show the full picture behind this zoo. Yes, it’s a zoo, and they make money at the expense of the animals. If you look closely you’ll see the elephants have their heads down with their trunks dragging on the ground. Their spirits are broken. Some are also chained up (you can see the chain around the neck of the elephant closest to the camera in the photo below). While it looks like they have space to roam, they are actually surrounded by herders who carry sharp hooks. If they wander off they are hit to go back into the huddle.  The name “orphanage” is misleading because while this was originally a place for orphaned elephants, now they breed and train them for tourists. If you do more research online you will see reviews that are similar to what I am posting. Please look it up before deciding to visit.

Perehera Festival Parade.

Sri Lanka Travel Tips:

  • Give yourself AT LEAST 2 weeks to travel around the island. We only stayed 1 week because of our schedule and only had time to enjoy 2 cities.
  • Wear conservative clothing. For women – shoulders, chest, and knees should be covered to respect their culture.
  • Everything is negotiable. Don’t accept the first 3 prices someone gives you.
  • Ladies – wear pants that are tapered or cinched at the bottom. Basically, ones that won’t hit the restroom floor. I packed my favorite wide legged pants and it was extra work to hold them up. Lol.
  • Almost all Sri Lankans speak English.
  • A Visa may be obtained online before your trip.
  • The airports are strict so keep hard copies of ALL your travel itineraries, boarding passes, and visas. Showing them copies on your phone will not work.
  • Book long distance train tickets early, as they sell out almost every day and you may get stuck.
  • Regardless of what time of year you go, pack rain gear. Monsoon season is May – July in the Southwest and October – January in the Northeast. We went the first week of August and experienced some heavy rainfall.
  • Pack a face mask if you are sensitive to car exhaust fumes.
  • Be prepared for a lot of traffic if traveling by car or 3-wheeler.
  • Do research before visiting zoos or anything related to animals. Many advertise as being an orphanage or sanctuary when they chain and train their animals.





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