I am devastated that 80% of my blog notes for my Sri Lanka trip have been deleted when I changed to a new phone. It was the first time I have been so diligent in blogging during my travels and now, it’s all gone!!! It’s one of those face-palm, tear-out-my-hair, kick-myself moments and I have decided to dedicate today to grieving the loss of my hard work.
In any case, I will try to re-write whatever I can. To start the ball rolling, I have decided to do a FAQ on my Sri Lanka trip, especially since I have received sooo many questions after everyone found out I went to Sri Lanka. (I guess it’s not a very popular destination among Singaporeans yet…)
1. What is there to do in Sri Lanka?
Lots! There’s the mountains and the tea plantations, the National Parks and the safari tours (No, it’s not just stumbling about in the forest, waiting for a far shot. Yes, you do get to see animals in the wild, up-close!), beautiful beaches (sun, surf, sea, sand), heritage and religious sites, and even shopping in the outlet malls in Colombo.
2. How many days were you there for?
Unfortunately, a very short ten days. Not enough!
3. Is it clean???
Yes, very! Surprisingly clean. In comparison to India, China, Thailand… and a few of the other developing nations I’ve visited, I must say Sri Lanka is pretty clean and you can always see people happily sweeping their floors in the morning.
4. Is it safe???
Yes, very! Sri Lankans are THE FRIENDLIEST people I’ve ever met. Everyone wants to talk with you (and that’s not because they want your money… well, of course some still wants your money…). Of course, the basic travel common sense still applies – keep watch of your valuables, don’t flash your wallet etc etc…
5. Can they speak English?
Yes! Just like us Singaporeans, they study more than one language in school – English, Singhalese and Tamil (in fact, they are better than us, because they have THREE languages!). In fact, all the signages are in three languages, and English is everywhere.
6. How did you get around?
We took the local trains and buses with everyone else. It was cheap and fun (maybe not so fun for some people. We have spied a few grumpy tourists.). The buses were surprisingly fast and there was music all the way!
For a more comfortable / luxurious option, you can hire a private vehicle to take you around on your trip.
7. What did you eat?
Curry! Curry and rice. In my opinion, Sri Lankan curry is lighter, spicier and not as creamy as Indian curry. Love the dhal and aubergine curry. And drank lots of tea. And Lion lager too! And samosas for the road.
In the more touristy areas, you can also find western food like pizza and fries. We didn’t see any fast-food chains (who needs them when you have excellent curry except in Colombo, though.)
8. I don’t expect there to be WIFI…
You’ll be surprised! All the guesthouses we visited have good WI-FI connection. Most restaurants also advertise that they have WI-FI, although I was off the grid when we were out of the guesthouses. I didn’t buy a SIM card, but I heard it’s pretty easy to get connected to the telcos too.