Travelling To Sri Lanka: A Holiday Everyone Will Enjoy | Holiday Getaway
If you have some leave days left and seen most short getaway destinations, such as Hong Kong, Angkor Wat or Whale island, put travelling to Sri Lanka on the top of your list. Once a country to avoid, because of the endless civil war, Sri Lanka is now peaceful again and attracting tourists. A country that has it all; beaches, wildlife, great food, and lovely people.
Itinerary: where to go in Sri Lanka
There are several routes to explore when travelling in Sri Lanka. One route is to cross Sri Lanka through the middle and visit Kandy and the mountain villages Nuwara Eliya and Ella. There’s a lovely train route from Kandy to Ella (7 hours).
But with small kids, this might be easier: hire a driver and take the highway from Colombo to Galle. Note that several cows cross the road, so ‘highway’ might not be the most accurate name. Along the South West coast of Sri Lanka, there are several lovely beach villages like Marissa and Tangalle.
Galle, beaches and wildlife
If you are travelling to Sri Lanka, try to visit Galle. Fort Galle is a beautiful old town with lots of ancient history. It’s surrounded by a great ancient defense wall, which protected the city during the devastating tsunami in 2004. And there’s lots to do! Walk around town, have lunch at Poonie’s Kitchen in Pedlar street, do some shopping or treat the family to high tea at the Amangalle Hotel.
Near Galle is the beach of Unawatuna. It’s lovely to stay here for at least a couple of days, so you can properly enjoy the beach and the surroundings. The kids can take surfing lessons at Wijaya beach and enjoy pizza afterward at the beach restaurant there. Make sure to visit the tea plantation and see the sea turtle farm. If you’re lucky, you will see some eggs hatch.
When travelling to Sri Lanka, make the kids extra happy and put Yala National Park in the itinerary. This is really a must do, especially if you have a family of nature lovers. It’s so nice to show the kids a life-size elephant in its national habitat instead of behind bars. We saw crocodiles, a bear, a leopard, and several beautiful birds. You have to get up early, but it’s totally worth it!
Travelling in Sri Lanka: plan well
A few words of wisdom when travelling in Sri Lanka: the distances between towns might not seem much, but traveling in Sri Lanka takes time. Traffic is slow and the roads can be challenging. So when planning this trip with kids, don’t be too ambitious. Yep, we speak from experience.
Where to stay in Sri Lanka
You can rent fantastic local villas in Sri Lanka via Airbnb, with a private cook to make you some homemade Sri Lankan curry (yum!). Hotelwise, The Nisala Arana in Bentota is a beautiful boutique hotel in a colonial setting.
In Yala, the beautiful tent resort of The Secret Yala, is an adventure that most kids will probably love. We hear good stories about the Jetwing hotel there as well if you rather have some bricks surrounding you.
If you need to stay near the airport on your way in or out, the Wallawwa Boutique hotel is a great choice. Although you might not want to leave…
How to get to Sri Lanka from Saigon
When travelling to Sri Lanka, you will be bummed that here is no direct flight to Colombo from Saigon. Don’t despair, you can easily fly via Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur or the fantastic city of Singapore. Perhaps even add a day or two to explore one of those hubs?
Don’t forget your visa! It should be arranged in advance and can be done online. Within Sri Lanka, there are taxi’s and tuk-tuks to get around.
The best time to go to Sri Lanka
December to March is the dry season and best time to visit.