I would say, it was a bloody crazy traveling in Sri Lanka. Full of thrill, difficulty, funny, deliciously and beautiful! Most of all, it’s really fun and unforgettable! Here I’d love to share our experiences.
Traveling the country by public transport (Bus and Train)
More comfortable? it can be done by a private tour. But the way local do or a lower budget or whatever the reason, let’s try public transports. Once, Alex and I travelled from Colombo to Weligama on the south coast by train. It was roasting and boiling day with crowded passengers. Food in the baskets were available as usual in the asian train but come on, we didn’t even have any space to stand normal and also hardly to breath. There was no any inch free in that train. We were standing almost all day long until we got the seats at the last 30 min to the destination, fair enough!
To purchase the train ticket with SEAT in Sri Lanka, 2nd or 3rd class (1st class was never available I don’ know why!), when you purchase the ticket, you need to RESERVE the seat otherwise it will be without it and you gotta need to try your luck. Surprise!
Once we purchased 2 second class tickets with seats from Kandy, we had got clean and comfortable seats to Colombo, snacks and nice beverages were available on board, happy passengers!
Another crazy and thrill experience was with a Sri Lankan Public bus. I could say it out loud that before I tried Sri Lankan bus, I though Thai Green Public small bus no.8 in Bangkok is the craziest bus in the world. (Prefer to not describe how crazy it is, next time you visit Thailand and if you want to know, then give it a try) But since I’ve tried Sri Lankan bus, then I know no one could beat them down, not even “Need for speed” or “Fast and Furious”. Lol.
But most of all, I think we will regret if we didn’t try all their public transports. Believe me, it’s one of the most must try things in Sri Lanka.
Hopping around with Tuk Tuk
One more transport that I think anyone who traveling in Sri Lanka couldn’t resist to try is Tuk Tuk. It is everywhere. Be careful to confused with the ultimate trick form a Tuk Tuk guy. I don’t mean to offend but it’s a thing to be aware. What you should learn about taking Tuk Tuk is to learn about the right price to go from one place to another, don’t cheat them and don’t let them cheat on you, fair enough? To learn the right price is to talk to your hotel or guesthouse owner or staff, usually, they will try to help you and give you a proper information. When Tuk Tuk guy calls a way too high price, then tell them the price you’ve learned, if they still say no, don’t be bother just turn away and looking for the right Tuk Tuk guy. Sometimes, when we started to walk away, they will say ok and try every way to get us with them, they won’t let us go (it’s the way they do). When you do it often, you will start to laugh and get used to it and I’d say the experience with Tuk Tuk is also one of the funny things to encounter with in Sri Lanka. So don’t be worry, just do it and have fun with it.
Drinking Ceylon Tea
Alex and I are a tea fan. Sri Lanka was like our heaven of tea. There was plenty of nice tea we tried in Sri Lanka, and the funny fact is we always buy Ceylon Tea in Thailand and it lot more expensive than in Sri Lanka like 10 times more. It was just an excitement fact, we can’t buy a lot of Ceylon Tea from Sri Lanka and bring it with us because we’re traveling with one backpack. All we have is what we really need so we shouldn’t bring food from somewhere to another, right? Maybe just a few packs. :D We go to new country, we will eat and try new food. So what we did is enjoying Ceylon Tea in Sri Lanka as much as we could. And really, if you’re tea throat, I believe you will fall for Ceylon Tea.
Talking to Local
We’ve got a big impressive about talk to local in Sri Lanka. They made us really realized again about “separate business out of local life”. When traveling to tourist place, you can’t avoid how some people treat you like you are a mobile ATM almost all the time. And it happens like this almost everywhere. Not just in Sri Lanka, it also happens in Thailand or elsewhere. But once, when I got so tired of people in tourist place, and then LOCAL people turned every bullsh** thing out. They are normal, a lot of them who talk to us because we are just human like them.
Local people in Sri Lanka were kind and helpful, they were helping us with nothing behind. Once we tried to stopped the bus from Weligama to Matara bus terminal, a local guy who just happened to be around that area had been waited for the bus with us, he helped to stop the bus because he knew that we would have waited forever (It a bit exaggerate), 2 buses past but didn’t stop when we tried to stop them but with him, finally we got in the bus to Matara (I have no idea why, we had done the same as the local guy did!) . Once again at Matara bus terminal, when we couldn’t find the boarding platform to Nuwara Eliya. We just asked a local guy who was also looking for his bus, he stopped what he was doing and then walked us to the right place with his smile, impressive!
They just wished to help, didn’t want anything else than help each other. This is really made me realized that I can’t judge any country from what going on in tourist place. I admitted that it’s sad when people saying something very negative about my country in front of my face because they went to tourist place and got those really bad experiences. I can have all reasons to hate every country in the world if I also do that. So yeah, I think talk to local is one of the best ways to enjoy other countries.
Enjoying Sri Lankan Deviled Chicken
Believe me, I’ve tried to resist not to talk about food because it makes me hungry all the time while writing about it. But this one, the Deviled Chicken is what Alex and I still thinking about every now and then. The deliciously Deviled Chicken’s taste is lead with sweet and sour but smoothly and just a little bit spicy from the main ingredients like tomato ketchup, chilly and garlic sauce. If you like something like this so you should to try one.
Sometimes, we even think how to make a stop over when we fly somewhere over Sri Lanka, just because of the chicken!
Let’s get through all the food I want to talk about in Sri Lanka so I won’t struggle with hunger too much after this. I’m not sure about elsewhere but if you pass through Negombo beach, you should try seafood. I’d recommended to try a local restaurant, something simple, something cozy because they stock not too much fresh materials so it’s always will be fresh and tasty seafood, it’s also cheaper than others.
Once we first had a tasty seafood in a local restaurant on Negombo beach, we couldn’t resist but went there almost every day the entire week we stayed there! A woman who was the owner and also cook very nice was also very friendly. That time I didn’t realized about location too much so I can’t point the exactly location of the restaurant that we had been having those yummy yummy! But if I will be there again then I know how to find it.
Enjoying the magnificent sunset
Sunset is magnificent in Sri Lanka. I was trying to understand about this. In Sri Lanka, Mountains or beaches, Alex and I had witnessed an amazingly beautiful sunset almost every day. Once I thought because it’s an island, it’s windy, skies are clear almost all the time, whatever. It’s just different and I haven’t seen anywhere else being like in Sri Lanka yet. So don’t miss the sunset and you won’t regret. :D
Never gone crazy when overheat
Although, it was in winter but it still boiled. Hot and humid, except Nuwara Eliya and other mountains, I guess. When we stayed at Nuwara Eliya, this hillside towns was very nice and local people told us it will be nice all year with 10 – 20 degree Celsius, green and a lot of flower. But since we got down to a normal life, then real life happened and we almost gone crazy, so be prepared our mind for it.
Resting from work
We were trying to work but it didn’t work well. If you are a digital nomad or anyone who need a good internet to work, then you need to get a good Wi-Fi router with you, or time to have a break! Internet isn’t convenience in Sri Lanka, somehow, the owner of the guesthouse in Negombo told us that Wi-Fi internet isn’t that high speed yet and also very expensive in the country, so it kind of limited to use it.
Keep calm and have a nice vacation!