Tea plantation picker


See itinerary here

(Continued from West Timor)

We spent a total of 29 days in Sri Lanka from July 5 to August 2nd 2019. The 30-day visa (45$US) was changed to a free entry on arrival visa the day we left in the hope to boost tourism again (after the April 2019 bombings).

We landed at 10pm and took a taxi directly to Ragama where we slept around 6 hours. At 8:50am, we took a train to Kandy and our trip in Sri Lanka officially began!

Bouddha Temple Blue train Tea picking

We spent 3 days visiting Kandy (temples, big Buddhas, forest reserve) and moved to Haputale by train. Haputale is located in the hills and is where Mr. Lipton set his first tea plantation in the 1800s. The temperature was cooler than in Kandy. We did several nice hikes around Haputale, wondering through tea plantations ans drinking lots of tea every day! We moved to Ella and did many more hikes, including Ella rock. Ella was too touristy and I prefered the much more authentic Haputale.

After over a week in the hills, we moved to Arugam Bay on the east coast of Sri Lanka where we surfed, did two fantastic safaris and saw wild elephants roaming in rice fields in the evening! Great place with more Muslims than we had seen so far in the country.

Beach Fishing boat Lezard Cobra
Street food Tuk Tuk Alixe Tea plantation

We continued our trip to Uda Wallalwe and visited an elephant orphanage and did a safari in Uda Wallawe National Park. This region was definitively elephant country! Wild elephants everywhere, including on the side of the road waiting for locals to feed them bananas (a bad idea to feed wild animals).

The last part of our trip was to explore the south coast of Sri Lanka, which we did at a leisurly pace, visiting Nonagama, Rekawa beach looking out for turtles, Hiriketya beach for relaxing, Tallala beach for a five-day Home Exchange and Galle before heading to Negombo. I especially liked Galle. I call it the « Havana » of Sri Lanka as it reminds me Cuba with old colonial buildings mixed with charming local life. Walking on the fortifications at sunset was a bliss.


Overall, this trip was amazing. Sri Lanka is a beautiful, spiritual country with friendly people, amazing wildlife, beautiful beaches and thousands of fascinating temples. The food is tasty (and spicy!) & the tea excellent.

We visited Sri Lanka less than three months after the bombing attacks on churches, so most places we visited were empty of tourists (except Ella). During high season (November to March), a few years from now, this top country will definitively be overrun by too many tourists.

Continue reading: Thailand is next!

Eagle bird Fish market Local train
Local kids Shiva