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  • "Suggestions for 10 to 12 days backpacking trip through Sri Lanka"

Jack Tang

Atlanta, Georgia

Suggestions for 10 to 12 days backpacking trip through Sri Lanka

Trying to plan a trip with my gf to Sri Lanka in June or July. We are open to anything exciting, unique, or interesting. Being two workaholics working around the clock, we are looking get away from our normal lives and experience something different. We are backpackers who want to embrace the local culture while exploring what the land has to offer. Please share with us suggestions for places to stay/visit and things to avoid. 

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6 Answers

Most Mentioned Places for this Question

  • Kandy (city)

    Kandy

    3 mentions

  • Nuwara Eliya (city)

    Nuwara Eliya

    3 mentions

  • Colombo (city)

    Colombo Western Province

    3 mentions

  • Hina Pasha

    top answer by

    Hi Jack,

    Sri Lanka is a glorious place to visit. It's not a shiny, cosmopolitan place though! Its much more earthy, where we often felt dwarfed by the gigantic foliage.

    I would suggest including places like and Dambulla if you want to explore historical sites. These are both considerably north-east (I think!) of Colombo, so the drive is long, but beautiful. You could visit the elephant orphanage on the way there, even if just to see the elephants bathing in the river - a treat!

    Colombo itself is not my favourite city in SriLanka. It's fine for a day or two. There are some sights, and spare but lovely shopping options - check out Barefoot Gallery Colombo, Paradise Road cafe, ODEL.

    There are numerous beaches in Sri Lanka, the closer ones to Colombo - Bentota, Beruwala , Wadduwa are decent, though the sea is perpetually rough. Not great for swimming. However, the hotel options make up for that. There are lovely resorts, which give you a complete experience of being by the water, without having to actually swim in it. Their pools often face the sea, so you have the illusion of being part of the beach:)

    If you are looking to unwind, the seaside is a great place to be. The northern, cooler areas such as Nuwara Eliya, Central Highlands, Ambewela and areas surrounding Kandy (Kandy itself is not as great) are also worth visiting for the idyllic hilly landscape.

    Down south you can visit Galle, which is also a coastal city, with well-preserved buildings from the Dutch era.

    Please do look at buildings by the renowned architect, Geoffery Bawa! His country estate at Lunuganga is a treat!

    Travel through Sri Lanka is slow, where roads are narrow, and often single carriageway. So you need patience! But I feel that it is well-rewarded if you really want to soak up the place.

    Hope this helps!


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    • Jack T.

      Jack T.

      Thank you Hina:) We have been looking into the elephant orphanage. · (0 likelikes)

    Mentioned in this answer:

    1. Dambulla (attraction)
    2. Colombo (city)
    3. Barefoot Gallery Colombo (attraction)
    4. Paradise Road cafe (restaurant)
    5. ODEL (attraction)
    6. Bentota Beach (attraction)
    7. Beruwala Beach (attraction)
    8. Wadduwa (city)
    9. Nuwara Eliya (city)
    10. Central Highlands (attraction)
    11. Ambewela (city)
    12. Galle (city)
    13. Lunuganga (hotel)

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  • Annie Silver

    answered first by

    It's nice in Sri Lanka. but june-july are very HOT like 28C around country except central province Kandy Nuwara Eliya etc those have good hiking places and rain forests and mountains etc. if its a trip of 12 day , spent last 4 days in eastern cities like Trincomalee and Batticaloa etc there are some nice beaches and spicy foods. Avoid Northern side which were occupied by LTTE terrorists unless you wanna risk and do adventure, Landmines are there. But sri lanka is totally safe other than normal violence. people also nice and open minded. but try not take photos in buddhist temple. Have a nice trip :)

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    • Jack T.

      Jack T.

      Thanks for the land mine warning:) · (0 likelikes)

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    2. Kandy (city)
    3. Nuwara Eliya (city)
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  • Dulanga Liyanage

    answered by

    Dear Jack

    let me introduce my self i am a tour agent form Sri lanka.

    If you are looking for Remarkable Paradise with Diversity, Golden Beaches, Rising Waves, Misty Mountains, mighty elephants with stealthy leopards in wild life, giant whales, a majestic heritage beyond 125,000 years and a unique culture, lovely tea and warm smiles could sum up a country that would be Sri Lanka.

    As per your request i can suggest below place to visit

    01 - Sigiriya - is home to the 5th Century “Fortress in the Sky” which is perhaps the most fantastic single wonder of the Island. It is also known as Lion Rock because of the huge lion that used to stand at the entrance to the fortress. Within its triple-moated defence the huge rock rises almost to a sheer height of 500ft. On its summit are the foundations of what was once a great and sumptuous palace and gardens complete with swimming pool. On one of the stairways the only known ancient work of Sinhala secular painting survived in the form of Frescoes of life sized damsels in all the freshness and delicacy of their original colour

    02 - Kandy - the hill capital, venue of the annual Perahera. The last stronghold of the Sinhala Kings was finally ceded to the British in 1815. Kandy is an example of the Buddhism's influence in Sri Lanka today. Temple's shrines and monasteries keeping alive Buddhist traditions are everywhere.

    Evening visit The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relics Sri Dalada Maligava and Cultural dance performance

    03 - Nuwara Eliya - The ‘Little England’ of Sri Lanka, is set against beautiful backdrops of Mountains, Valleys, Waterfalls and Tea Plantations. It is supposed to be one of the coldest places on the island, but is really just like an England spring day although the temperature does drop at night.

    All around Nuwara Eliya you will see evidence of the British influence. Houses are like country cottages or Queen Ann style mansions.

    04 - Colombo - a drive through the city taking you to the busy commercial areas as well as the tree-lined residential, Cinnamon Gardens. Visit Fort, the former British administrative center and military garrison, Sea Street - the Goldsmith’s quarters in the heart of Pettah, the Bazaar area, where is also a Hindu Temple with elaborate stone carvings, and the Dutch Church of Wolvendaal Church dating back to 1749. Also visit the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH), see the replica of Avukana Buddha and Independence Square. (can do shopping )

    Hope above details clear for you.


    Best regards

    Dulanga


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    2. Kandy (city)
    3. Sri Dalada Maligava (restaurant)
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    5. Colombo (city)
    6. Cinnamon Gardens (attraction)
    7. Sea Street (attraction)
    8. Wolvendaal Church (attraction)
    9. Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (attraction)
    10. Independence Square (attraction)

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  • Nick Tsagaris

    answered by

    Hi,

    We too are going to Sri Lanka in January, despite the fact that we are planning to have 3 weeks there.

    I'd be careful about the answer above as it sounds to me that its from somebody that works for a visit organization.

    Have you perused about Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage? We have picked not to visit there as I don't care for the sound of the way the elephants are dealt with, we are wanting to see elephants in the wild rather in Udawalawe National Park.

    Adam's Peak looks astounding to move during the evening, we are picking not to do this and I think moving around evening time will be a lot for us.

    From what we've perused, whale viewing is great in January.

    Are you mindful that the airplane terminal is quite far out of Colombo, its a decent hour evidently in a taxi from the air terminal to the train station.


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  • Arqam Azhar

    answered by

    Hi Jack!

    It's great to hear that you'd be heading down to my amazing Island - Sri Lanka :)

    It would indeed be my pleasure to help you and assist you'll in having one of the BEST travel experiences ever. Sri Lanka is bigger than it looks like!

    Let me know your interests and what you are into lets take it from there. I am in to the Travel Planning Business, but I am also an active supporter of travel communities. This is my profile on Couchsurfing, you can check what people around the world have said about me https://www.couchsurfing.org/profile.html?id=5GVBLEQMA


    You can also just drop me an Email arqam_a@hotmail.com

    Let me know what you think, It would be my pleasure to serve you'll in Sri Lanka.


    Peace,

    Arqam

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  • Dennis Johansen

    answered by

    Hi Jack - I was there last year around 12 days as well.

    I think you should decide on either "see it all" or "selected sights" type of trip. You can easily spend a lot of time on the road between cities - which is of course an experience it self but also time consuming.

    We went after a couple of days in Colombo to Kandalama Hotel Chanara (amazing hotel) and then to the amazing Sigiria lion rock and on the way to Kandy passing through tempels in Dambulla. After a couple of days in Kandy we went all the way down south to Mirissa Beach (They said it would take around 5-6 hours but took us all day(!) with train via Colombo). After some great days in Mirissa we went to the beautiful and quiet Tangalle and from there, on a daytrip to Yala National Park. Unfortunately we spend our last days in Unawatuna Beach (Tourist trap).

    All in all a very nice trip but a lot of traveling around - so again it depends on what you want to do.

    It is relatively cheap to hire a private taxi/minibus to take you around. Trains are really cheap and very bumpy - but a very nice experience due to the amazing nature/landscape.


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    Mentioned in this answer:

    1. Colombo (city)
    2. Kandalama Hotel Chanara (hotel)
    3. Sigiria lion rock (attraction)
    4. Kandy (city)
    5. Dambulla (city)
    6. Mirissa Beach (attraction)
    7. Mirissa (city)
    8. Tangalle (city)
    9. Yala National Park (attraction)
    10. Unawatuna Beach (unknown)

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