You Should Go To Sri Lanka.

You Should Go To Sri Lanka.

You Should Go To Sri Lanka.

Just go there.

It’s cheaper, more exotic, prettier, more laid back, and better than just about every other beach destination on Earth (yeah, even Thailand). Have your doubts? I’ll prove it to you.

 

It’s cheap

Where else can you stay at a “Hilten” hotel for $9 USD a night?

Hilten Hotel

“Hilten” Hotel, Sri Lanka

Okay, so it’s not THE Hilton, it’s the “Hilten”. Close enough, and at $9 a night for a hotel right on the beach, who the hell cares.

Plus, does the actual Hilton have this little guy?

Hilten Dog

Puppy

Didn’t think so.

Also there’s the half finished, abandoned rooftop floor that’s freely accessible for all.

Hilten Rooftop

Hilten Rooftop

 

It’s exotic

While it’s not fair to say Sri Lanka is particularly more exotic than other South Asian destinations, it’s certainly not all beaches and relaxation either (well.. unless you want it to be). Populated areas run the gamut from ruins and ancient cities in the country’s center to the bustling and modern capitol of Colombo.

Exotic Wall

Tell me that’s not the most exotic wall you’ve ever seen

More adventurous types will love the natural beauty of the country’s inland areas. Try the hike to the top of Adam’s Peak, the tallest mountain in the country at 7359′. Start the hike at 2 or 3 am for an amazing sunrise view from the top. I sadly didn’t have time to do this on my visit, one of the many reasons Sri Lanka will be a repeat trip.

There’s plenty of culture to be had even for those who spend their entire time on the beach. Wake up early for incredible views like this:

Exotic Sri Lanka

Exotic Sri Lanka

It’s pretty

True story.

First Light

First Light in Polhena, Sri Lanka. Unedited.

Sunset Unawatuna

Sunset. Unawatuna, Sri Lanka. Unedited.

Beautiful Sri Lanka

Beautiful Sri Lanka, also unedited

 

It’s laid back

With their devastating 26 year long civil war, Sri Lanka sadly hasn’t had a real opportunity to chill out for a long, long time. The war ended in 2009 and while the south was always safe, today most of the country is accessible.

To be blunt, Sri Lanka doesn’t attract new, uncultured travelers the way some other places do (like some parts of Thailand, among others). It’s sad when hostel etiquette is abandoned and respect for land and culture is nonexistent. Head out in Koh Phi Phi, Thailand any night of the week and you’ll see exactly what I mean. The traveler vibe in Sri Lanka is much more relaxed and low key.

It will be interesting to see how the vibe changes as Sri Lanka slowly becomes a much deserved must see for Asia bound travelers. At least for now though, Sri Lanka is very much a chilled out place. All night parties can still be found in Hikkaduwa and especially Unawatuna (the latter being the most naturally beautiful, least environmentally sustainable beach in Sri Lanka).

Laid back

Laid back in Sri Lanka

 

 

What do you think?

Have you been to Sri Lanka? Is it on your list?

Waves and post

Waves and post at night in Sri Lanka

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Comments ( 18 )

  • Neil Elrick

    Excellent! Two weeks to day I’ll be taking your advice and will be there. 3 weeks of touring and photographing… Bliss!

  • Michelle

    This looks and sounds wonderful. Sri Lanka is going on my list of places to visit!

  • Lindsay

    I love Sri Lanka, and I think it is a great tourist destination. You take such wonderful photos! I have been looking around your site for awhile now and I just drink up the images. I love the photo tips too, thank you.

  • Michael

    Wow, awesome photos and article. You really make Sri Lanka sound appealing with its inexpensiveness and how unscathed the landscape is. How is the transportation in Sri Lanka though? Is it easy to get from place to place?

    • Ed Graham

      Thanks Michael, I’m glad you enjoyed it. Transportation is GREAT where I was in southern Sri Lanka, busses come by every few minutes and you need only ask the destination. They are very cheap but be careful as they have no problem running you over as you get on/off if you don’t get out of the way!

  • Amanda

    Wow, this makes me want to go to Sri Lanka – I guess that was the point, huh? 😉 Excellent photos, thanks for sharing!

  • jill

    Yes, I’d definitely love to see Sri Lanka. I’m planning to head to India next year and sort of planning to squeeze Sri Lanka in, but we’ll see. Fingers crossed it will happen.

    • Ed Graham

      Wow you definitely should! Flights are cheap out there and it’s well worth a stop. Make sure to get out of Colombo to see the southern beaches.

  • Rebecca

    Perfect timing – we’ve been talking about going to Sri Lanka and thinking Feb next year. Where did you visit? Recommendations for must-see places?

    • Ed Graham

      I traveled along the south coast for a week. Loved Midigama, where the “Hilton” was along with some stick fisherman. Also enjoyed Hikkiduwa. WHEN I return I’m determined to hike Adam’s Peak. Enjoy – it’s beautiful!

      • Raphael

        Hey there Ed. I completely concur with your recommendation to visit Sri Lanka. I myself was there a couple of times (although it’s not 20 years behind me) and loved every minute of it.

        All in all I’ve been in Hikaduwa for about 3 months. It’s such an awesome place to stay. There’s lots of really nice Restaurants and bars. One bar, right on the beach was particularly nice because of the owner. An old Lady, a real Grandma…she was the best. She must have passed away by now…which is a bit sad, but I’m sure there’s a daughter or son continueing where she left of.

        If you’re there again go take a look at Kandy, the rise-fields leading up to it, the national park with those immense trees and so on.

        Good travel to you and everyone else.
        Best wishes from Switzerland, Raph

  • Kristina

    I will be heading to Sri Lanka for three weeks over Christmas and cannot wait!!
    Your shots are great!! Kristina x

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