On our way back home we thought about our experiences and about which of these are part of our Top 5 in Sri Lanka. In this blogpost you can find our personal highlights during our backpacking trip in Sri Lanka.
Adam’s Peak – Pilgrim’s Path with a view
Adam’s Peak or Sri Pada Mountain is a 2,243m high conical mountain and Buddhist Pilgrim’s Path. Starting with the climb in Dalhousie at 2:30am at 25°C we arrived at the summit at 5:10am at approximately 5-7°C. It’s exhausting, cold and humid! But more than that the sunrise is incredible. Buddhists believe that the 1.8m rock formation near the summit is Buddha’s footprint thus we met more pilgrims than tourists. Invalides, children and elderly people try to climb the mountain with all energy they have to reach the holy place. For us Adam’s Peak was not really holy but it was one of the most beautiful and mystical things we have ever seen.
To start the ascent we highly recommend a hostel in Delhousie. Here you will be able to start the ascent timed properly to witness the sunset.
Tip: Don’t go on Sundays or when it is full moon. These holy days are really busy!
Surfing with Turtles in Sri Lanka – Witness Nature
If you go to Sri Lanka do yourself a favor and try surfing, if you never did before. If you did you may be addicted already so nobody needs to convince you. Having spent some time on surf vacations in Europe we looked forward to the warm water and the beautiful waves we have seen on Instagram. After a few days in Weligama we decided to surf our first reef break which was – in the end – one of our highlights for sure. We took the Tuk-Tuk from Weligama Beach to “Lazy Left” (just ask some surfers for the way and hop on a Tuk-Tuk) and paddled out to the beautiful left hander. After reaching the line up we talked to some more experienced surfers in the water and heard that the water is not shallow and it’s safe to surf (read more infos on our article surfing in Sri Lanka). Due to choppy water all of us got whitewashed by the first waves. Then we saw the first head coming to the surface to breath air. Just two days before we paid 1,000 LKR to see turtles in a hatching farm, now they literally surfed beside us. It was absolutely beautiful to be that close to nature and its old inhabitants. Surfing with dozens of turtles, should be on your bucket list.
Train Rides in Sri Lanka – Join Sri Lankan’s Society
First we were sceptic because we heard numerous negative stories on overcrowded, hectic and dirty trains. From our perspective this is absolutely not the case. Taking the train in Sri Lanka is really an adventure and not just transportation from A to B. The beautiful views on the ocean, forests, mountains or tea plantations show Sri Lanka’s diversity. While on train you will be part of Sri Lankan’s society and meet very different people. Pupils, families visiting their relatives, students and businessmen buy freshly fried prawns, roasted nuts and refreshing drinks from vendors. Do the same and try some of the food, get an ice cream or talk to locals to experience Sri Lanka. Trains in Sri Lanka were definitely one of our Top 5 in Sri Lanka.
Mirissa Beach – Coconut’s & Hammocks
Back home in rainy Germany we still bask in the memories from Mirissa Beach. It’s a dream beach with post card flair and the 100% guarantee to make your Instagram followers jealous :)
The beach is divided into two parts and you will most likely get dropped off at the right part, which is wonderful, but tends to be more crowded. If you stroll through the powdery beach you will see the little Island that separates the two parts of the beach. Our favorite spot was the left part that starts after the island with its shade-giving palm trees, little cafés and a quite lonely bay where you can relax, plan your onwards journey or snorkel at the reef. Just spend your days there in a hammock with a freshly cracked coconut and you will start to feel what Sri Lanka is – relaxed and energizing. You can as well go surfing at Mirissa Beach, more information on this topic you will find in our blogpost “Surfing in Sri Lanka”.
Whale Watching – Get Impressed by the biggest mammals on the globe
One of the few activities we did beside surfing and chilling in hammocks in Weligama and Mirissa was whale watching. If you do not get easily sea-sick that trip is highly recommended! Leaving Marissa’s Port pretty early you will see flying fish, dolphins and whales (usually you get 50% of your money back if you were not lucky). On our trip we were lucky and saw grey Spinner Dolphins that spinned high in the air and rode the bow waves of our boat. It was already breath-taking to be that close to these friendly ocean inhabitants. After leaving the Spinner’s our captain started looking for whales for almost an hour and we were disappointed already not expecting a whale to see. Then we noticed a water spray and knew that this has to be a whale. Luckily the impressive animal did not submerge immediately hence we were able to watch the at least 20 meter long mammal for five minutes. It blew water numerous times and then disappeared into the deep blue ocean saying goodbye with showing its huge tail fin.
Sri Lanka deeply impressed us! Witnessing a buddhist ceremony in 2000 meters is probably a once in a lifetime happening. The friendly people, the delicious food, whales, turtles… Sri Lanka is very special! If you go, have fun! If not, you should consider going :)