Sri Lanka, “The land of Lanka” is my first international travel destination. 🙂
I was extremely excited about my Sri Lanka trip since the first time ever my passport was getting stamped. I was about to cross the boundaries of my country and travel into another county. The feeling and excitement was just like a dream come true. I was along with my two friends all set for our backpacking trip. Everything was unplanned except our first day accommodation in Colombo. We had a rough plan of the places we had to visit in 9 days.
Just a few days ago, I came back from my backpacking trip and I have almost traveled most of the Sri Lanka.
And no doubt, I am in love with this country.
I have captured Sri Lanka in my camera in my own ways. Now, I have 2000+ photos and I desperately want all it to share with you guys.
I did city tours, village walks, climbed rocks , swam in the ocean, hiked through tea farms, stayed and experienced local life style, tried Sri Lankan food, travelled a crossed the states through Tuk Tuk (Auto rickshaw). Also done Jungle safari, Whale watching, got a free oil messages in most of the spice gardens and the list goes on.
Now I have lots of stories and I want to share each and every experience I experienced.
I’m just making it easy for my readers to understand my travels across Sri Lanka. I have decided to write a separate post for my each 9 days in which I will try to share the journey experiences, the places I have visited, food I have eaten, the hotels where I stayed, what went good and what went wrong and lesson learned.
After itineraries of 9 days, I will write one consolidated post for planning your Sri Lanka trip.
My whole purpose here to give you guys a visual tour of Sri Lanka. I hope you would enjoy my Sri Lanka travel series.
So, here we go.
Day 1 – Colombo
We booked our flight tickets of Colombo a month ago, which cost us around 17850/- per person. We did not get a direct ticket till Colombo in cheap rates so we decide to go for multiple stops options in which we saved around 7000-8000 INR.
The pattern of our journey to Colombo was a bit odd. We almost hovered over all India to reach Colombo. First we flew to Delhi from Mumbai, then from Delhi to Chennai and the finally from Chennai to Colombo.
At morning 7.30, we were in Colombo at Bandaranaike International Airport. We were so happy and excited; we spent around 2 hours at the airport in the process of immigration and currency exchange and of course, the photo session. We got free tourists SIM cards from Dialog with 50SLR on arrival.
Well, this is the very first moment when we had struggled a bit for a transport. As we came out from airport after all the formalities, we saw lots of Rickshaws (Tuk Tuk), private buses and cabs. Our first day accommodation was at Jonathan’s place in Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia which was around 44 kms away from the airport. We choose this far place because it was just next to Colombo beach.
We asked many tuk tuk drivers for the fare, but all were saying quite high rates like 4000-5000 SLR, which is quite expected if you go as tourist in another county. After bargaining for a long time we made one driver ready in 1800SLR. Initially, he seemed a bit confused since he was not able to communicate with us in English but we took that Tuk Tuk.
The funniest thing happened on our first journey; he did not know English so whatever communication we made is by writing just numbers on mobile. I have share a small video of our first Tuk Tuk ride in the end. Do watch it.
I don’t know why, all the time he was laughing at us: P
While we were travelling, at one point, he stopped tuk tuk somewhere and again he asked about place name where we wanted to go and then he said you get down here or pay me extra in action since the place is far. We got bit tensed, but again we tried to convince him by writing the numbers on mobile then he agreed and he dropped to the right place.
Our host was Jonathan, we booked our stay through airbnb.com, and he offered us a beautiful house nearby Colombo Beach.
By the time we reach, we all were hungry, so we got freshened up and we went out for a lunch.
We were initially confused about food and what order to make. We ordered rice-curry which was quite familiar to Indian cuisine and then in the dessert we ate some pasty items. So our first encounter with Sri Lankan food was good.
Unfortunately, it was raining heavily though out the day so we decide to go back and get some rest.
Meanwhile, we did some planning for the next day. It was still raining; we took an umbrella and went out for a city tour. We visited famous spots of Colombo city like Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple, Beira Lake Galle Face Green and experienced some city life. We also got a chance to visit Odel shopping mall though we did not get anything; we kept shopping for last day in our itinerary.
At night, we did some city walk in search of good restaurants and we ended up eating Pizza. 🙂
Late night, we went back to our room and had a good night sleep.
In this way, we successfully completed our 1st day in Sri Lanka.
Video of our Tuk Tuk driver 🙂