Trip to Sri Lanka
February 9, 2017 3:52 AM   Subscribe

We are going to Sri Lanka for two weeks in April. Where should we go, what should we see?

Two adults, two kids (8 & 10). Current vague plan is to spend a day or two in Colombo, then a few days in Galle, then find a nice beach on the south coast, up to Kandy, on to Sigiriya, then back to Colombo to catch the plane. Not spending more than a few days anywhere, but I hope thats not an overly ambitious route. Expensive backpacking (with fairly resilient and adventurous kids ) style. Haven't done nearly enough research yet, will probably leave it all a bit flexible anyway, what are the must see sights, what are the key bits of advice?
posted by wilful to Travel & Transportation around Sri Lanka (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
We've done variations on this sort of trip twice (backpacks only, all 3 kids in tow). One piece of advice it to take advantage of the rail system. It's very inexpensive and from our experience makes getting around the island pretty easy. We didn't make it to Kandy or Anuradhapura, but both come very highly recommended. One place I'd recommend (maybe next trip?) is in the northwest of the country, on the Kalpitiya peninsula. Really beautiful.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 4:03 AM on February 9, 2017

posted by sammyo at 4:58 AM on February 9, 2017

Research the train timetable. I loved the trains, but would've liked to've had first class tickets, and most services don't have first class. Our trip back to Colombo was thus spent standing.
posted by pompomtom at 5:07 AM on February 9, 2017

I just ended a two week trip to Sri Lanka yesterday! The wildlife is amazing and you have to work that into your plan. The beach at Mirissa on the south coast is very nice and you can catch a morning whale-watching tour from there. We saw blue whales, sperm whales, and a lot of dolphins. I did a half day (also morning) safari at Udawalawe national park and that was great too.

I did not really like Kandy, very touristy with some aggressive touts, and would pick Ella instead. There's a lot of beautiful, easy, family-friendly hikes in that area. The train ride from Kandy to Ella is stunning and a must-see but they sell way too many tickets and it's very overcrowded. Many tourists on that route hired a driver to drive their luggage to their destination and they had an easier time finding a seat (or were more comfortable standing) without being weighed down by a bunch of stuff. So if you can't reserve seats ahead of time, I'd recommend that. It's also a good idea to get a tuktuk or driver to take you to the station one stop before Kandy or Ella and catch the train there. There are literally hundreds of tourists boarding these trains at the major stops and it would be stressful with kids, I imagine.

Enjoy the trip!
posted by horizons at 6:31 AM on February 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

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