Sri Lanka

Transport
It’s popular to get a driver for most of the trip (at list till you get to the beaches) which is extremely convenient. My driver was very nice and I can recommend his service:
Ushan – ushanneg@gmail.com / +94777900638 (WhatsApp)
He charges $52 per day + $13 per day for accommodations (thought some hotels may offer him a room for free)
Your driver can assist with booking your accommodations but I recommend you do it yourself.
Itinerary 
We arrived Colombo early in the morning and immediately drove to Habarana (3 hours drive).
Habarana – 3 nights
Stayed at Cinnamon Lodge Habarana which is a great lodge style hotel with a swimming pool so nice also for just relaxing.
To do: Polonnaruva – second old city in SL, Safari in Kaudulla National Park (there’s also a safari in Yala Park in the south so do just one), Lion’s Rock in Sigiriya)
Kandy – 2 nights
Kandy is the second largest city in SL but to be honest not exciting and can be skipped.
Stayed in Cinnamon Citadel Kandy – also a nice hotel with a swimming pool facing a river.
Kandy – see/do
  • Relax in the Royal Botanical Gardens near Kandy
  • Temple of the Tooth
  • Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha statue (one of the biggest Buddha statues of Sri Lanka + view point)
  • Gadaladeniya temple
  • Take a walk around Kandy Lake
  • World Buddhist museum 
  • Le Garage nightclub (Saturday)
 
Kandy – eat
  • Slightly Chilled Lounge Bar and Restaurant
  • Empire café
  • Licensed to Grill
  • The Kandy Garden Cafe
  • Muslim hotel – oriental food
Ella – 2 nights
Drive to Nanu Oya, see a tea factory and plantations on the way. Take a train to Ella (2.5 hours) through a beautiful path
A nice town popular by backpackers. Stayed in Ella’s Edge which has fantastic views.
To do: Hiking – Ella’s Rock, Little Adam’s pick – eat/drink at the nearby beautiful 98 Acres resort 
Eat: Chill (great food and drinks)
 
Tissamaharama (Yala Park) – 1 night
Decided not to do the safari (as already did in Habarana) and just chilled at the pool. If you don’t do the safari then you can skip.
Mirissa – 5 nights
Stayed at Paradise Beach Club which I think is the best hotel on the beach.
Originally planned to do 3 nights here, then 3 nights in Unawatuna but heard Mirissa is the nicest beach so decided to stay here for the entire week.
Mirissa – eat
  • Shady lane (highly recommend for breakfast/lunch)
  • Wood Space
  • The Doctor’s House (a great outdoor place for pizza/cocktails, 10 min tuktuk drive)
  • Little Tuna (Sushi)
  • Dewmini roti shop
If you get to Unawatuna – some recommendations I picked:
Unawatuna – do/see
  • Main Beach
  • Jungle beach
  • Japanese Peace Pagoda (view point)
  • Galle Fort
  • Unawatuna Fitness Center
Unawatuna – eat
  • Bedspace (quite expensive but so good)
  • Lemongrass Cafe (great place)
  • Happy Spice (cheap and local)

 

Miscellaneous 
  • Beaches: I heard about Tangalle, Hikkaduwa and Unawatuna but Mirissa is considered to be the nicest
  • Recommended resorts/hotel chains: KK Beach (near Habaraduwa), Cinnamon (various locations), Jetwing (various locations), Cape Weligama resort
  • I didn’t stay in Colombo (the capital) and heard it’s recommended to avoid

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