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Welcome to my travel blog! I document my travels with personal stories, tips and tricks, & many photos! I hope to motivate you to  jump out of your comfort zone & visit some of your bucket list countries!

Sri Lanka Tips and Tricks

Sri Lanka Tips and Tricks

Traveling through Sri Lanka is a wonderful adventure with helpful locals and extraordinary views. There are a few things to note before you go, but all in all Sri Lanka is a breeze so go with the flow and enjoy the ride! Tips and tricks for Sri Lanka are as follows:

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- $1 = 156 LKR also called a rupee.  

- If you fly in late at night stay in Negombo instead of hoofing it 45 minutes to the busy city of Colombo.

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- They have two types of local buses- AC AND NON-AC. The non-AC’s are big and look a bit like school buses. They drive very very fast and have room for your luggage at the front with the driver. They are super cheap, for instance 88 rupees from Bentota to Colombo. That’s a two and half hour journey for 55 cents. 

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- AC buses are smaller and look much nicer. For the first few weeks I thought they were tour buses, but later learned I was wrong. They are double the price of non-AC buses. 

- The local buses come often and are VERY CHEAP. Tuk tuk and taxi drivers will lie and say the next one is on four hours when one comes almost thirty minutes. Don’t fall for it, they are just trying to get more business. 

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- If you do want a tuk tuk always cut their first offer by half and go from there. 

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- Eat with your hands. Do as the locals do! It tastes much better and is all apart of the experience! I feel as though I’ll have a hard time adjusting back into using utensils when the time comes. 

- If you have a question about the buses there is normally a man sitting in an office who can give you the right schedule, if not it’s quite easy to navigate as all the bus stops are equipped with signs in English.

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- If you want to book in advance  https://www.booking.com/s/23_8/595c81a1 and agoda.com are the best ways to find cheap accommodation. You can also just show up and ask for any availability, but the heat in Sri Lanka can take a toll when you’re carrying your bag around midday.and agoda.com are the best ways to find cheap accommodation. You can also just show up and ask for any availability, but the heat in Sri Lanka can take a toll when you’re carrying your bag around midday.

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- Try all the street food, rotis, samosas, rolls, chickpea salads, etc! They sure know how to make good snacks.

- Buy your produce from the shops on the sides of the street. It will be much cheaper and you’re also supporting the locals.

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- Rent a motorbike. It’s the best way to see the sites. Should be 800 rupees for a day.

- The best way to find a restaurant is similar to India... You look for the jankiest looking place that’s packed with locals and you’ll find the cheapest and best tasting food.

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- Many good restaurants in Sri Lanka are called hotels. Our favorites were Hotel Zam Zam in Weligama and Imala Hotel in Ella. It looks like a roti snack shop at the front, but has seating in the back. Very cheap and very delicious. 

- Estuti = thank you

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- Don’t pay more than 400 ($2.75) for a Lion beer or you’re being ripped off. They are only 150 rupees ($1) from wine stores. 

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- Lion strong beers are very very strong. Drink with caution.

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- Maps.me is your best friend. Mark places to go, but do not trust it completely in regards to directions. Always ask around, the locals are happy to help. 

- If you eat at the beach you’ll most likely pay triple the price.

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- If you sit in the two front seats of the bus there might be a chance you have to give it up for a monk because it’s a Buddhist country. 

- Water should be 80 rupees (50 cents). People will try to overcharge you, but it’s written on the bottle.  

- Before doing anything with wildlife be sure you research the organization or place and make sure it’s ethical. Many tours are not done ethically and you’ll leave feeling like you just added to the animals grief. The Ulawalawe Safari was ethical and fun, but the Pinnawalla Elephant Orphanage was not!  

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- If you are ever not sure about a price on a packaged good look for the MRP marking and the price should follow. 

- Banks do charge a withdrawal fee so I recommend withdrawing as much as possible to avoid excess fees. Just be sure to split up your cash in many different places while carrying it.  

- Bug spray, bug spray, bug spray.  

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- Be prepared to sweat a lot. It gets very very humid and hot in Sri Lanka.  

- Laundry shouldn’t be more than 230 rupees ($2) per kilo.  

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- Take the trains and hang out the door! If you are going from Kandy to Ella, split up the journey and explore the towns in between. 

- Places do have WiFi, but a local sim does come in handy. 10 GIG plus texts and calls only 1200 rupees ($8).

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- Be weary of the monkeys and dogs. Unfortunately the dogs are not well taken care of in some parts of the country and I have a heard of a few bite incidences. Stand your ground and pretend to throw rocks if you think they will attack.  

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- Cover your knees and shoulders when visiting temples.  

- Watch out for sea urchins!  

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 - Enjoy the locals, they are quite hilarious and curious people! They love to hear all about your life and are happy to help in anyway they can! 

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 - Leave early in the morning to go trekking. It gets really hot in Sri Lanka so the earlier you go, the earlier you finish and you won’t suffer from heat exhaustion. 

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 I hope these tips help you navigate Sri Lanka! This country is full of so much flavor and I’m not talking about just the delicious cuisine! Estuti for reading and enjoy your trip!  

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