Sri Lanka

 out of 9  reviews

** SRI LANKA TOURS **

Read travel tips for Sri Lanka Tours from our amazing community of BLACK AND BROWN TRAVELERS that will help you find some of the best places to visit in Sri Lanka.Our variety of travel tips will definitely help you plan your next trip. Our tips range from best places to visit in Sri Lanka, affordability, nightlife, local food, where to stay and even what it is like Traveling While Black. Lastly, we are working diligently to create a comprehensive city guide for Sri Lanka. Stay tuned! But in the meantime, scroll down to read tips below!

 

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 out of 9 reviews
Things To Do
Adventure
History
Affordability
Relaxation
Local Food
Romance
Nightlife
Traveling While Black

9 Reviews

  1. author
    DnAGlobaltakeover
    08 Apr 2021
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    We booked our Sri Lankan tour with Tour Radar, but we WILL NOT recommend them.

    Here are some highlights and things we recommend doing/seeing:

    – The infamous train from Kandy to Ella ( this train is extremely crowded and the hanging out of the train photo is very difficult to get)

    – The beaches are stunning, especially in Bentota ( some beaches have stray dogs on them so be careful)

    – The food was nice but nothing memorable

    -Skip Colombo only go there to fly in and out.

    – Visit some waterfalls

    – Whale watching ( seasonal)

    – You’ll need to pay to get a photo of the fishermen standing on the poles

  2. kingofharlem22
    kingofharlem22
    24 Mar 2020
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    I went to Sri Lanka on a whim and with no idea what there was to do. Before arriving my friend googled and found this dope spot called Ambuluwawa Tower that is in the Kandy region. It’s basically a spiral tower that gets really narrow and goes REALLY high. The perfect place for an adventure or better yet some great IG pics. My friend and I decided to go and it was EPIC. Climbing up is super exhilarating and scary at the same time and BRING A SELF STICK for pics and videos because that’s the only way to capture the view. Everyone kept asking for mine because no one knew ahead of time. Also, Kandy is about 3 hours inland so I recommend renting a car, most come with a driver for around $35 a day I think it was. It is absolutely worth the trip from Colombo.

  3. PONMeetsWorld
    PONMeetsWorld
    15 Feb 2020
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    Despite its small size, Sri Lanka is not a destination you can fully explore over a weekend, and it is definitely NOT one of those “I’ll just wing it” trips. Unless your plan is to be laid up on the beach all day, proper planning will be your best friend when it comes to Sri Lanka.

    If you want to really explore Sri Lanka, you’d need at least two weeks. The island’s main attractions are VERY spread out. In fact, you could easily spend the bulk of your time journeying between attractions and your accommodation. My best advice (which was given to me by our seasoned tour guide) is to book multiple short stay accommodations near the attractions you wish to visit. That way, you won’t need to worry about driving four hours back to your hotel in Colombo after visiting a wildlife reserve…(true story).

    Another tip: Be prepared to be stared at. From the airport and throughout the trip, it became a bit obvious that Sri Lankans do not see too many Black people. They were not at all rude though. They seemed more curious and fascinated than anything else.

    Final tip: Accept that you will be nagged to buy things. If you stand in one place for too long, someone is going to try to sell you something. When you walk along the beaches, people will try to sell you things. This can be irritating when all you want to do is relax, but it’s the reality of life in countries that rely heavily on tourism. Those people are about their bread too, so be patient, but firm in letting them know if you aren’t interested.

  4. author
    Elcidjarhead
    09 Jan 2020
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    Sri Lanka is one my favorite places to visit. The beaches are awesome and the people are chill.

    Things to do: 1. Sigiriya Rock aka “Lion Rock” and Pidurangala Rock. Both are located in the central part of the country. I recommend making the trek up Sigiriya Rock during the day and catching the sunset and nice view of Sigiriya Rock from Pidruangala Rock. 1.a. Visit Dambulla Royal Cave Temple on the way to Sigiriya. 2. Catch a train from Kandy to Ella. It will take a while and is crowded. PRO TIP: Book a first class ticket if you want a guaranteed seat or get there early for a second class ticket and make sure you get on. You may have to be aggressive if it is the weekend. Some do not get on the train. 3. Hang out in Ella. There are so many bars and foreigners to mingle and chill with. Visit the tea plantations and etc. A MUST- When you get off the train one stop past Ella and walk back to nine Arch bridge. Then walk the track to Ella. 4. Beaches: This is the highlight of Sri Lanka. Mirissa Beach. Enough said! 5. Colombo is a must. Visit the Iconic Galle Face Hotel. Galle Face Beach, Galle Face Green, Gangaramaa Temple, Viharamahadevi Park, Independence Memorial Hall, Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque IS A MUST!!! 6. Galle Fort.

    Food: Most of the local cuisine I experienced was in Sigiriya. I also like the food at the Ministry of Crab ($$$$).

    Accommodations: I stayed at Hotel Sigiriya. It has an amazing view of Sigiriya Rock. There are so many hotels in Colombo. Just pick one. The Movenpick, Cinnamon Grand, Kingsbury, and etc. Besides hotels there are so many family stays and etc. to choose from if you want a ground-level experience.

    Getting around: Train, Tuk-tuk, bus, and car hire. Uber and tuk-tuks on uber is available.

    Traveling while black: No issues for me doing my time in what I call the “Tropical India.” The Sri Lankans were very polite, helpful, and genuine doing my time there. I do know a black female traveler that experienced some taunting and her bike was stolen or sabotaged by some guys.

    Lastly, hit up the Maldives from here. Check out my review for low-cost accommodations and etc. I have a few photos and etc. posted to my instagram and highlights for Sri Lanka.

  5. AJules
    AJules
    27 Oct 2019
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    We stayed in Colombo, SriLanka. However we also visited Sigiriya and Candy. SriLanka was a beautiful country with lots and lots of culture and history. SriLanka was amazing for the fact that it had something for everyone. Whether you love beaches, massages, hiking, history, culture, there was something for everyone.
    Although the locals do stare, a glance back and smile invites them to smile back. They are generally very nice and pleasent people who are very interested in you as a black person. Would highly recommend.

  6. illustratedbysade
    31 Jan 2019
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    Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka!!! This country has easily become one of my favorites on the planet. Why, you ask? Well, for starters, it’s CHEAP – – like dirt cheap, making it perfect for someone like me, who’s a budget traveler (a/k/a cheap lol). Let’s get your biggest expense out of the way – your flight. Depending on your departure city, the flights to and from Sri Lanka will undoubtedly be your largest expense. If you’re in America, the flight alone may cost over $1k depending on the season. BUT, but once you’ve arrived, you’ll only need a budget of $20 per day to get by. Now, this does not include any accommodations and excursions. My goal is always to have my larger expenses paid for in full before I step on the plane, so any spending money I’ll have with me will just be for that – spending. You’ll need to exchange money because few places accept credit cards and ATM’s may be rare. Be sure to ask for lots of small bills. An average, well-paid salary in Sri Lanka is about $20-30 per week. Hopefully, that’ll help give context as to why everything is so cheap. It’s a poor and developing nation, but rich in culture, history, adventure and beautiful people. Note: LADIES! Tampons are not a thing in Sri Lanka, so bring your own because you’ll be hard-pressed to find any. K! And bring bug spray, sanitizer and wipes because toilet paper in public restrooms is apparently not a thing either (lol). And one last piece of advice on how to make friends easily, bring one converter and a power strip. People will love you. =)

    I spent 12 days there and only exchanged $300 US and had $50 left over by the end of my trip. If you’re traveling all the way to Sri Lanka, I recommend that you spend at least 12 days or more, if possible. The country is not very big, so you can see a lot in a short time. The bus system in terms of access – not in terms of luxury (lol), is the best I’ve seen. The buses go EVERYWHERE. Even if it’s a village of 5 houses, there’s a bus that will get you there, and the 4 hour trip may only cost you $1 or less! Below is a simple itinerary I recommend for a 2 week time frame. A quick note: the airport is actually located 40 minutes north of the capital city of Colombo in a town called Negombo. I highly recommend that you skip Colombo all together if on a time crunch. There are far superior towns to visit – don’t even waste your time. Depending on what time your flight lands, if at night, get a hostel in Negombo for the night and then start your trip the next morning. If arriving in the early morning, catch the 8a direct bus (double check these times because they may change) from Negombo bus terminal to a sweet town called Kandy. Also, Sri Lanka has a version of Uber called Pick Me. Download it! You can request a car or tuktuk with this app and it’s CHEAP! Even the locals would agree. It’s only available in the larger towns, like Negombo and Kandy, but if you’re like me, I have a hard time negotiating prices. The app, will still work to at least give you an estimate of what the ride would cost, that way you have a bargaining starting point. Even though, things are cheap, you don’t want to ripped off just because. Feel me?? Moving on (hehe).
    Places of Interest:
    – Negombo (airport)
    – Kandy: Bahirawakanda Buddha Temple, Temple of Tooth, Kandy Cultural Dance Show, Pinduragala Rock Hike (day trip). You don’t need a tour guide for any of this stuff. You can either walk, hire a Tuk Tuk, or bus. For the day trip to Pinduragala, I took the one and only early morning direct bus. I think it cost me 150 rupees, which is around $.80 cents – more or less. On the way back, you’ll have to transfer, but its sOOO easy. Just ask the bus driver or bus attendant. They work in tandem and most speak english and are very helpful. Th buses run regularly, so don’t feel rushed. Keep in mind, that there may be a chance you won’t find a seat. They jam the buses to the max. Like literally people hanging out the doors. It can be really immidating because you’re mainly riding with locals, but I’m telling you, if you’re smart, you won’t have any problems. Do like the locals do, and take the bus. Oh, and there are wild monkeys!
    – Ella: Next, the train ride from Kandy to Ella is considered one of the most iconic in the world. The trains are these old, Chinese, dilapidated trains but the brilliance is that they maybe travel 40-50mph with the doors wide open, so you can literally sit with your feet hanging out of the doors. I’ve never felt so free in my life. If you’re ballsy, grab an iconic photo while holding on, hanging outside the moving train, with the landscape of tea terraces sounding you. It’s magical. BUT be careful! The train ride cost me around $2.50 USD (I recommend 2nd class tickets) and last 7 hours but it goes by quick. Things to do in Ella: Nine Arches Bridge, Ravana Waterfalls (get a tuktuk and ask how much for him to wait an hour and bring you back to town. You may see more monkeys!), Ella Rock (Sunrise) Hike and Little Adam’s Peak (Sunrise) Hike.
    – Udawalawa (known for elephants) or Yala National Parks (known for leopards): I wanted to visit Sri Lanka because elephants are my favorite animals and for the most part, the government protects them and hundreds of miles of their natural habitat. There are sanctuaries you can visit in Kandy, but I rather see them in the wild. Sanctuaries can kind of be a tourist trap, in my opinion. I chose a safari to Yala National Park. I stayed one night is a town called Tissamaharama (a/k/a Tissa). In order to do the safari, you must rent a tour. Only licensed persons or professionals are allowed access into the park for tourism. An African safari could run you hundreds of dollars, but a safari in Sri Lanka costs me around $40 bucks. I saw leopards, elephants, water buffalos, crocs, tons of birds. It was amazing. I highly recommend that you visit one of Sri Lanka’s national parks.
    – Mirissa – BEACH, BEACH, BEACH. I only spent one night in this town, but I wish I would’ve stayed longer. During the fall, the weather is incredible on the southern coast of the country. The water is warm, good places to surf. UGH, I just loved it so much! The beach towns of the south are very surfer and hippy. Hostels and hotels also cost a bit more as well, but in comparison to prices on Miami Beach, it’s still super cheap. Things to do: whale watching (not a good idea if you get sea sick easily, but super cheap; around $40 bucks! Normally, whale watching in the U.S. can cost you hundreds.), chill on Mirissa beach, Parrot Rock (sunset views), Coconut Tree Hill (amazing), The Doctor’s House (drinks), No. 1 Dewmini Roti Shop (eat the best Roti of your life!).
    – Unawatuna Beach: amaaaazing. You can take a bus from Mirissa to Unawatuna for like $0.30 cents, nuts!). Things to do: walk and shop around Yaddehimulla Road, Skinny Tom’s Deli (eat), Wijaya Beach, Japanese Peach Pagoda, surf, snorkel – you name it!
    -Galle: Now, Galle is a big town, so I decided not to stay the night there. Instead, i just took a $.20 cent public bus for like 15-20 minutes from Unawatuna as day trip. Things to do: Galle Dutch Fort, Galle Lighthouse, Old Dutch Hospital. Lots of just walking around the beautiful, historic streets of Galle. There are also wild monkeys everywhere. Whether or not you decide to stay the night in Galle, this is where you’ll take the direct coach bus back to the Airport. There are 2 direct buses that run daily, one in the early morning and the other in the afternoon. The bus will be parked across the street from the actual bus station, on the Fort side, near the cricket stadium. This will make sense – just ask around. For all of the buses in Sri Lanka, you pay onboard. There will an attendant walking around collecting your fees, so just have a seat, have your Rupees ready and wait patiently. Unfortunately, I cannot remember the cost, but it had to have been somewhere between $5 – $15US – sorry about that.

    Anyway, I hope you’ll find the majority of this info helpful and useful. Sri Lanka is an incredible country and I CANNOT WAIT to go back! Oh, one last thing! Don’t worry about any traveling while black issues because everyone around you is black. Sri Lankans are dark-skinned people. The only white people you’ll see are tourists. You’ll fit right in (lol), but really people are kind and generous. You shouldn’t have any problems. Happy Travels!

  7. Madeinnigeria89
    Madeinnigeria89
    10 Jan 2019
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    Sri Lanka was one of my most relaxing trips!! The water/beach side is absolutely amazing and the water is so so warm. My hotel was a bit of a”wellness” hotel, so it was a lot of massages… spas.. laying on the beach etc.

    I went to Galle Fort which is so much more relaxing than busy Colombo; the food was amazing and absolutely had no issues with the people there!

  8. Iveline
    Iveline
    06 Apr 2018
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    Great for friends, solo or couples.

    I visited Colombo, Pinnawala, Kandy, Ella, Udawalawe National Park, Unawatuna and Hikkaduwa Beach. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED Sri Lanka and will be going back to the beaches and to check out the Northern part of this beautiful island. There is something for every adventurer in Sri Lanka. I also loved the food, as it was very spicy but you could always ask to get it “American Spicy” if Sri Lankan might be too much! And if your vegan there are usually options and they are very accomodating.

    Pinnawala- I visited the elephant orphanage for a day. There is not very much to do here, other than seeing the beautiful jungle/forest backdrops along the river where the elephants parade themselves. We stayed at the Hotel Elephant Bay hotel and it was a pretty decent stay with breakfast included and great views of the elephants.

    Kandy- It was very touristy but you got a good sense of the history and culture here. I would stop and check it out for a day or two. They usually have a lot of festivals here, I recommend trying to see if you could catch one during your stay. Check out the Kandy Lake Club – Culture Dance Show and eat at Licensed to Grill.

    THE TRAIN FROM KANDY TO ELLA IS AMAZING!!! Take the second class ticket and enjoy the views and beautiful people on the train. Its slow but SO SO worth it!

    Ella – is a happening place with great hikes, restaurants and nightlife (not crazy night life, but better than the rest of Sri Lanka which is more quiet). I would only stay on the main strip… beware of accomodation listings that tell you they are in Ella and they are not! Ella downtown is very small and the surrounding areas are a bitch to get to/from. Tuk-tuks usually do not want to go out from Ella downtown. Definitely do Little Adams Peak (hard hike), Ella Rock (easier hike), dine/drink at Chill Cafe, Adam’s Breeze, and Matey Hut.

    Paid a driver to take us to Udawalale for like 60 dollars – 2.5 hours.

    Udawalale – I was only here one night because I’m a city girl and I did not think I would make it camping. I was wrong, it was wonderful but it was all booked up when I tried to stay longer. I stayed at Big Game Camp and they were such a treat! Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included. The staff is great and the stay includes a safari. We saw Elephants (even a 1 month old, it was so cute!), monkeys, peacocks, alligators, water buffalo, big lizards, deer, parakeets, kingfisher birds and more all up close! Great experience.

    Paid a drive to take us to Unawatuna for 11,000 rupiahs – 3 hours with slight traffic)

    Unawatuna Beach – the south is mostly buddhist and you can see a little shift in the culture. I really liked it, I am more a beach lover and with that comes a more laid back feel. The beach is full of Sri Lankan surfer-like people and we were really welcomed. Unawatuna is not my favorite beach town but I did enjoy myself and they do have more modern hotel options available. I stayed at the Thambapanni Retreat and we loved it. The food and beverage manager even created a cooking class for us (they dont have one officially) because we complimented the chef and said we wished we could make it at home. Beautiful people! I would recommend going to the Bedspace Kitchen – the food is phenomenal!!! Get the Butter Kettle Fish. The staff at Bedspace Kitchen are party dudes and they could offer some help on where to go for nightlife. If you want to do yoga – the Yoga with Asiri is a must! It’s in the Secret Garden Dome – you can get you ‘Om in the Dome’ on here.

    Short train 25 minute ride for 25 cents to Hikkaduwa or tuk-tuk for 20 minutes for 1000 rupiah.

    Hikkaduwa Beach is my favorite!!! I loved it here. The vibe is just so cool. I stayed at the Universal Beach Guest House – this includes breakfast and I splurged and got the ocean front room. The water almost hit my balcony (scary since they had a tsunami there but gorgeous/relaxing otherwise). We went out to Top Secret bar, Funky de Bar the surrounding bars for food and good vibes. Also if you like gold, you can get custom gold pieces for fractions of what you would pay in the US. I left with a custom chain and 4 different gold rings for less than $200 and they were 14K gold (3 months later non have turned green LOL). I recommend going to Lucky Gem on the main strip for jewelry. Also if you’re on the budget don’t buy the beer or alcohol in your hotel – just go to the Sandagiri Market and pay half the price.
    By the size of my review you can see I loved Sri Lanka. GO GO GO!

  9. Lindsay
    Lindsay
    06 Apr 2018
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    I traveled here solo, and I can tell you that if you are looking for adventure, this is the place to be. The Summer time is probably ideal for you travel, because the people will be celebrating the birth/death if the Buddha. This is a major event, with lots of free parties and free food. In the south, in Hikkaduwa, you will find the beach. It’s really chill here. On the northeastern side (if you go in the Summer, you can take a cheap boat ride to sea) you can see the blue whales mating. Central Sri Lanka, this is the epicenter of everything . There you will find the temple of the Buddha’s tooth you will also find Lion’s rock, Anuradhapura etc. in the north, volunteer
    The vis

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