Sri Lanka on your own. Routes, useful advice, recommendations, coordinates, prices.
Sri Lanka independently by car in July 2015. The East Coast and the main attractions. Detailed report, routes, useful tips, recommendations, coordinates, prices, photos, video.
We are not the first time traveling independently, but the trip to Sri Lanka was special. We have never met such exoticism before!
After returning from Sri Lanka, I published a short video about our journey. And I was just pestered with questions: how did we decide on an independent trip to Sri Lanka? How was the car booked? What kind of roads are there? In which hotels we lived in Sri Lanka, and in which more like it? How much did this trip cost us? What is the weather like in Sri Lanka in the summer? Was the ocean stormy and there was a lot of rain? And so on. Therefore, I decided to write a detailed report, which, I hope, will benefit those who are only planning their trip to this beautiful, picturesque, exotic island of Sri Lanka.
Actually the video itself:
Why did we choose Sri Lanka for our trip.
Our arguments in favor of this island were as follows:
the elementary reception of a visa the country is very interesting, exotic, we have never been to such countries before. There are so many attractions here, and at the same time you can sunbathe and swim in the ocean a lot of fruits and seafood in Sri Lanka, a very interesting, rich and diverse animal kingdom the lowest cost of the flight, compared to the neighboring countries during this time period of the year (India, Thailand, etc.)
In general, we wanted exotic things, and Sri Lanka was just perfect in all respects.
Preparing for an independent trip to Sri Lanka, compiling a route.
In fact, the preparation for an independent journey consists of such stages:
study of the experience of other travelers search and booking of air tickets search and booking of auto-routeing search and booking of hotels design of travel insurance registration of a visa through the Internet or on arrival (In Sri Lanka, a visa booked in advance via the Internet (called electronic permission) costs less than $ 5, therefore I made it in advance through the site www.eta.gov.lk) navigator, maps for the navigator Next you can pack things, and wait for the long-awaited start date of the trip.
First of all, I began to study the reports of other independent travelers, to search in parallel for variants of flights, learn about car rental in Sri Lanka, hotel prices, visa, and eventually sketched our route. Initially, he had this appearance:
Already in the aftermath the route changed, and we changed it directly on the island, the final route looks like this (the elephant's ears):
Unfortunately, Google maps give the opportunity to mark only 10 points, so the route is not quite complete. On Google Maps, you can see it here.
When compiling the route, I relied on various tourist maps of Sri Lanka, such as this one:
You can download the tourist map of Sri Lanka here.
We did not have a lot of time to prepare and study the experience of other travelers, so we understood everything ourselves, on the island. Even at home I booked hotels for the first 5 days, the rest of the hotels we booked directly on the island itself. It should be noted that Wi-Fi in almost all hotels was very bad, so on the trip we used the mobile 3G Internet DIALOG very intensively. SIM-card purchased at the airport for 1300 RS ($ 10) was enough for 10 days, then we still replenished on 100, 200 rupees through the Internet directly on their website. Called from this number only our distributors about the car, to communicate with relatives used Skype, because it's much nicer to call directly from the beach in the video call mode, and share the surrounding beauty with loved ones. Often made video calls directly from the car, on the way to the next attractions, and of course with the sights themselves, too.
The car will be useful audio guide for Sri Lanka, which you can download here and write to disk. We listened with the iPad, it was very uncomfortable.
Our itinerary and a plan for independent travel in Sri Lanka with coordinates, distances, description of roads and prices for attractions.
Arrival at 5am at Bandaranaike International Airport (Colombo) (coordinates 7.172866, 79.886837) http://www.airport.lk.
At the airport, exchange of currencies, we buy a SIM card of the local operator DIALOG, we get a rented car near the airport, we go to the beach near Negombo (coordinates 7.29067 �, 79.84075 �) distance: 22 km.
Supermarket in Negombo: 7.212974, 79.844089.
After the beach we go to our hotel Hotel Elephant Park located near the elephant nursery in Pinavella (coordinates 7.300964, 80.384515) (detailed feedback will be here later)
distance: 75 km (the road is good, but in places the road repair, traffic jams)
Feeding and bathing elephants. It is better to do this at 8-30, when the first group of elephants will be brought, because at 10-00 there will be a lot of tourists, and it will be possible to look only from the outside. We signed up for breakfast at 8-00 and just at 8:30 were already ready.
Then we go to Anuradhapura (the ancient capital of Sri Lanka), Hotel Alakamanda (coordinates 8.308615, 80.416954) (detailed feedback will be here later)
distance: 140 km (at first the road is of poor quality, but most of the way is an excellent road not heavily loaded with cars)
Supermarket in Anuradhapura Cargills Food City Anuradhapura (8.331505, 80.408998)
Dinner at the hotel. We did not find a decent restaurant in Anuradhapura.
Visit to the old city of Anuradhapura (UNESCO),
Consider that in all holy places you need to walk without shoes, should be closed shoulders and knees, headgear should be removed. If the clothes do not match, then at the entrance you will be given a piece of white fabric as a skirt. Translucent pareos also do not fit.
Ruwanwelisaya Stupa (a large beautiful white Buddha temple) (8.350053, 80.396373)
Parking near the stupa: 8.352070, 80.398433 (paid 50 rupees for parking)
Nearby is another stupa Jethawanaramaya Dagoba (8.351555, 80.403653) before it you can walk on foot through the park, it is visible from the parking lot.
From white Ruwanwelisaya Stupa it is possible to walk on foot to the tree BO Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi (8.344891, 80.397350)
or by car, parking: 8.343325, 80.396298 (free of charge)
Also, I recommend to see the complex Isurumuniya Vihara (8.334602, 80.390478) parking-free, entrance & # 8212; 200 rupees.
In Anuradhapura and the surrounding area there are many other attractions, like Mihintale (8.350703, 80.516939), but we had a few hours to visit the main attractions, we really wanted to go to the ocean and we went to our next hotel on the east coast of Sri Lanka Anantamaa Hotel & # 8212; Trinocomali (coordinates 8.615064, 81.217862) (detailed hotel review will be here later)
It is located on the wide beach of Uppuveli.
distance: 110 km, road of very good quality, not loaded with transport. The area is very picturesque, very nice to go. Judging by the signs "Caution, elephants", you can meet elephants, we did not come across.
Somewhere in the area: 8.628082, 81.038672 or look a little further to the right & # 8212; an amazingly beautiful place, a wildlife corner with lots of big white birds.
Supermarket in Trincomalee without alcohol (Cargills Food City Trincomalee) & # 8212; 8.577545, 81.228028.
Fort Frederick & # 8212; 8.577294, 81.243183 In Fort Frederick are located:
Hindu temple of fertility Koneswaram Temple & # 8212; 8.582662, 81.245479.
Consider that in all holy places you need to walk without shoes, should be closed shoulders and knees, headgear should be removed. If the clothes do not match, then at the entrance you will be given a piece of white fabric as a skirt. Translucent pareos do not pass either.
There is also the rock Lovers Lip (lovers leap) and picturesque views of Trincomalee.
The deer were seen at Fort Frederick & # 8212; 8.578032, 81.243977 and on the promenade of Koneswaram Beach & # 8212; 8.573329, 81.239031.
Restaurant Sea Food noticed already when leaving the hotel here: 8.615661, 81.216265, as there are restaurants right on the beach, to the right of our hotel. In the evening, they cook directly on the street, tables are set right on the beach, on the sand.
Another restaurant Yalsha sea food restaurant (8.611174, 81.216411)
Take a walk in the evening along the shore along the ocean with a flashlight. You will see something interesting.
at 12-00 departure from the hotel, we go to the second ancient capital of Sri Lanka & # 8212; Polonnaruwa (UNESCO).
distance: 109 km, road of good quality.
Visit to the archaeological museum (7.941851, 80.998741) and the ruins of the ancient city:
Royal Court-King Parakramab (7.942649, 81.001871)
Vejayanta Pasada (7.942627, 81.000787)
The Palace Complex of King Parakramabahu (7.944149, 81.001594)
Polonnaruwa Vatadage (The Stupa House) (7.947385, 81.001342)
The Vihara Stupa Ranking (7.958532, 81.003170)
And the most interesting thing about this complex is & # 8212; Buddha statues: Gal Viharaya (7.964628, 81.003548)
The cost of tickets for the whole complex and the museum: 3300 (25 $) adult and 1650 (12.5 $) for children up to 12 years.
Here is a small tip & # 8212; if the child is slightly older, & # 8212; take the child. Our girl is soon 16, but we took her a children's ticket starting from Polonnaruwa, almost all the sights, no one asked the documents.
And yet, & # 8212; take something monkeys There are a lot of them. They love bananas, mangoes, other fruits, as well as lotus flowers, which the local place Buddha.
After the inspection we went to our Ethno-hotel Kumbukgas Mankada Lodge (8.000214, 80.743522)
distance: 49 km, road of good quality, except for the access to the hotel, but this is due to the peculiarities of the hotel ETNO, located at a distance from the road, the hotel is very specific and very interesting, unusual)
Between Polonnaruwa and Dambulla there is a very interesting place.
There, with luck, you can see elephants in the wild. We were lucky from the second time, the first time we just drove past. Coordinates: 8.063591, 80.873771.
Dambulla. Distance: 20 km, road of excellent quality.
Supermarket in Dambulla & # 8212; Cargills Food City Dambulla (with alcohol-the entrance to the department is located to the right of the main) 7.878303, 80.650163.
A good selection of fruits in Dambulla: 7.86810, 80.65083.
Near a large wholesale fruit / vegetable market: 7.866025, 80.651754.
The Golden Temple in Dambulla (UNESCO) Dambulla Rajamaha Viharaya, a museum of Buddhism. Before the complex is a good large free parking. 7.856857, 80.651976.
Entrance tickets to ROCK TEMPLE-DAMBULLA & # 8212; 1500 RS. (do not forget to buy them at the bottom, they are not on the top)
Be careful with monkeys & # 8212; food and lotus flowers, they snatch right from their hands.
All these objects in Dambulla are located on the same street.
Sigiriya Sigiria lion rock (UNESCO)
distance: 18 km, road of excellent quality.
Take a bottle of water with you, take a long time, but keep in mind that we did not meet the toilets on the road. There are places where you can sit and eat if you take food with you. If you take, then do not forget about monkeys.
Free parking: 7.957697, 80.751209.
There is another parking, located approximately here: 7.955633, 80.757194.
We stopped at the first.
The cost of admission tickets: $ 30 & # 8212; adult, 15 $ & # 8212; children up to 12 years. The cost includes also a visit to the museum, we did not notice it, and when we descended, it was already closed (it runs until 17-00)
Ethno-hotel Kumbukgas Mankada Lodge (8.000214, 80.743522) distance: 8.5 km, but the road is some sort of country road, we did not dare and drove around the main road & # 8212; 20 km.
Distance: 93 km, road of good quality, in front of Kandy and in Kandy itself can be traffic jams.
On the way to Kandy is the city of Matala, there is a very interesting Hindu temple Muttuariamman Kovil (7.477607, 80.623922). Inside not allowed, but you can walk around the temple, the entrance to the territory is 100RS, no parking, put the car just along the street.
Candy. Temple of the Tooth of the Buddha Temple of the Tooth Relic of the Lord Buddha (UNESCO)
The car was put on the multi-level covered parking of the Kandy City Center: 7.292187, 80.63689 The temple of the Buddha's tooth should be 5-10 minutes walk along the artificial pond, the temple is located here: 7.293578, 80.641509. Rather, there is not only the Temple, but the whole complex, which includes many museums.
The entrance to the territory costs 1000 RS.
For parking (payment at departure), we paid very little money, I do not remember exactly, but about 60 RS.
Next we went to our next hotel located in Kandy: Mountain View Holiday Home (7.276739, 80.627288) It should be noted that it is located on a mountain, and finding it in the dark was not easy & # 8212; very narrow mountain streets, but this mini-hotel itself is very worthy, the owner is an Englishman.
Candy. Royal Botanical Park of Peradeniya. ROYAL BOTANIK GARDENS PERADENIYA (7.267851, 80.596722)
The location is very convenient for us, very near our Mountain View Holiday Home.
We did not find a good parking place, we just put the car along the road, but because everything was jammed, we had to put it quite far from the entrance to Peradeniya Park.
Entrance tickets: 1100 RS & # 8212; adult, 550 & # 8212; children (up to 12 years)
The park is not as big as we thought, 2-3 hours is enough. We did not hurry, we walked for longer.
Supermarket Cargills Food City on the way to the booth: 7.270860, 80.604753.
Kandy & # 8212; Nuwara Eliya through Rambow distance: 85 km, road of excellent quality, but mountain-serpentines, turns, descents, uplifts.
An observation deck near Tea Bush Ramboda & # 8212; view of the valley and immediately 3 waterfalls: (7.057057, 80.695512) I liked it very much! If you can stay at this hotel for a day, & # 8212; stop, you will not regret! The views from all rooms of the hotel are simply awesome!
Tea Factory Mackwoods Labookellie Tea Center & # 8212; free excursion to the factory, tea tasting (7.024591, 80.718871) Tea is quite expensive, it is cheaper in supermarkets and at the airport. I did not meet this brand.
Waterfall St. Clair observation deck. Clair Viewing Gallery (6.947449, 80.645657)
distance from Nuwara Eliya to the Falls. Clair round-trip: 50 km, road of excellent quality, but mountain-serpentines, turns, descents, ascents.
Supermarket in Nuwara Eliya (with alcohol) Cargills Food City Nuwara Eliya (6.976085, 80.765829)
Victoria Park & # 8212; 6.969083, 80.768168 We did not go, after Peradeniya there was no desire. We wanted to get to the ocean faster.
Even in the highlands of Sri Lanka, independent travelers like to visit the Adam Peak (6.809451, 80.499345) and Plateau Horton (6.811290, 80.787919). But it takes a lot of time, you need to get up early, and it's better not to do it during the rainy season. We left these sights for the next time.
Also in those places you can see a lot of waterfalls:
Bambarakanda Waterfall Bambarakanda Falls & # 8212; The highest in Sri Lanka (6.773265, 80.831318)
Dunhinda Falls & Dunhinda Falls & # 8212; one of the most beautiful in Sri Lanka (7.017123, 81.063770) and others.
Distance from Nuwara Eliya to Pasikuda & # 8212; 200 km, at first a good road, but a mountain road, but the section of the A5 km route 150 after Nuwara Eliya & # 8212; just awful, the worst road that we came across in Sri Lanka. In total, went 5 hours, though with stops for feeding monkeys.
Victoria Conservation Area, Randenigala Reservoir (7.196473, 80.920842) Take something monkeys, they are there along the road and on the bridges, they mow 7.148932, 80.884081.
Relax at the Amaya Beach Hotel Passikudah Resort & amp; Spa Outside the hotel did not go anywhere, walked along the coast.
Transfer to Bandaranaike Airport (Colombo) (coordinates 7.172866, 79.886837) via Polonnaruwa, Dambulla, and Kurunegal.
Distance & # 8212; 270 km (traveling 7.5 hours) The road is excellent to Dambulla (2.5 hours), then road repairs, and quite a long time. Before Polonnaruwa arrived in general for 1 hour, a very free route. It is difficult to go when it gets dark, many cyclists without reflective elements, dogs run across the road in the dark, etc. It's getting dark at this time of year already at 18-30. It is better to go during the daytime.
Between Polonnaruwa and Dambulla there is a very interesting place.
There, with luck, you can see elephants in the wild. We were lucky from the second time, the first time we just drove past. Coordinates: 8.063591, 80.873771 Useful binoculars or a camera with a good approximation.
In Dambulla, they stopped to buy tea for souvenirs and Arak in the supermarket Cargills Food City Dambulla 7.878303, 80.650163, stopped at the market with fruit 7.86810, 80.65083 and once again looked at the Healthy Golden Buddha.
They passed the car near the airport. Packed suitcases, and the plane. At the airport in the waiting room there is a supermarket Cargills Food City with a good selection of tea for souvenirs, and not only. And after passing through all the procedures, next to the duty free French set of shops with souvenirs and all sorts of tea. Fruits and tea we took with us in hand luggage.
Another map is a map that will help you plan a route of independent travel in Sri Lanka:
And of course, use this Sri Lanka card from Google.
TO BE CONTINUED . Further I will tell about:
Search and book flights to Sri Lanka.
Hotels and guesthouses in Sri Lanka. Which is better & # 8212; book in advance or already in place?
Reviews about hotels in Sri Lanka where we stayed.
Car rental in Sri Lanka. Is it scary? (material in development, but for now VIDEO.
Travel insurance on the trip & # 8212; Is it necessary?
We collect suitcases. What to take and what does not come in handy.
Sri Lanka prices, which we have managed an independent trip.
Useful tips for traveling around Sri Lanka.
Currency exchange, Internet, cellular.
Souvenirs, Ceylon tea where best to buy.
A detailed story about independent travel with photos and videos.
Sri Lanka on your own or with a travel agency?
Sri Lanka in July / Sri Lanka in the summer / Weather in Sri Lanka.
East Sri Lanka / East coast of Sri Lanka.
and also on this blog you will see videos about attractions, car rental, refueling, supermarkets in Sri Lanka, etc.
If there are any questions, ask in the comments.
Sri Lanka on your own. Routes, useful advice, recommendations, coordinates, prices.