This isn't the popular way around to do the journey and when I was researching all I could find was posts about travelling from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya BUT train tickets are notoriously hard to book in Sri Lanka and getting them at the train station is pretty chaotic, although not impossible. If you want to travel first class or observation car then you need to book in advance and as soon as tickets are released - use an agent in Sri Lanka to do this (we used Paradiso Travels or there are specialist agents).
We missed the slot for our original plan to travel to Nuwara Eliya but it made no difference really. The journey back to Kandy was just as stunning and I loved every minute of it. So don't be put off!
We arrived in Sri Lanka and spent the first few days relaxing at the Jetwing Beach Hotel in Negombo before departing with our car and driver for the south coast first stop Bentota, onto Galle and Mirissa and finally the Udawalawe National Park to see the elephants.
I've already said in my previous post how important it is to embrace the extensive driving and travelling as part of the holiday, I loved watching day to day life as we journeyed through towns and countryside. It is fascinating and there is so much to see at every turn. It is colourful and enlightening, it is so different to how we live here in the UK.
In total we were away 17 nights so more than two weeks but not quite three. If I knew what I know now then I would extend our stay to the full three weeks. So I am going to tell you what we did, give you the highlights and suggest possible improvements in case someone else is planning a trip to Sri Lanka any time soon!
We travelled at the end of the south west monsoon season (May to August) and although still hot and very humid, we did have more grey days and less full sun, We had two short spells of very heavy rain but it is always over very quickly! You can read more about the best time to travel to Sri Lanka here.
We split our holiday into three main parts:
Well here I am, home from just short of three weeks away in Sri Lanka and what a country, I am not sure I can really do it justice, I am really struggling to find the right words to even start explaining all about it!
We arrived and stepped off the plane in Colombo and the humidity really hit us, I have never visited a humid country before so I had no idea what to really expect. I can certainly say that we needed the first 48 hours to acclimatise and adjust to a completely different climate and culture.
Our driver met us in arrivals and thank goodness! We knew that hire cars are not recommended (and virtually impossible to find) and the easiest way to get about is to hire a driver with a vehicle for the duration of your stay. For backpackers and budget travelling, trains and buses are popular and an excellent way to cover distances fairly quickly but for us it was definitely an air conditioned mini-van that worked. Having a local with us to guide us, advise us and generally help out was an absolute essential.
Leaving the airport and seeing the reality of the busy, crowded roads was quite an eye opener. There are motorbikes, tuk tuks, buses, cars and people everywhere! It really is like the YouTube videos you see!. And everyone sounds their horn continuously! But no one gets cross or upset, there is no road rage.
Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my fifties. I share style tips, health and fitness inspiration, I talk about my holidays and days out and I tell you about my beauty regime and my lifestyle. I hope you might pick up a tip or two and get some inspiration!
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