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We already gave you tips for Colombo, recommendations for the coast and a general overview for a perfect 3 week Sri Lanka tour. What is still missing is the beautiful nature rich inland of Sri Lanka.
We drove from Hiriketya by bus 4.5 hours through the inland. Unfortunately we had to stay the whole time, but it is always a great experience to drive with the bus in Sri Lanka. Don’t worry – the busdrivers know what they do and they always have some good music and a lot of energy to honk every few minutes. The bus prices are very cheap. 25 Rupien per hour bus drive plus the tourist fee depending on the bus driver (the usually take more money from tourists). Don’t be upset! It’s even than pretty cheap! 100 Rupien are 50 Cents – so that’s cheap traveling!
Our destination from Hiriketya was Ella. A small, cute place with many shops and restaurants.
Our aim was to take the legendary train ride from Ella to Kandy. It was legendary – but we’ll get to that later 😉
Ella is beautiful. We had some bad luck with the weather, but we stayed over Christmas in this cozy little city. Of course we missed our family, but we had a pretty nice time anyway.
The Nine Arch Bridge is 30m long and a Must do in Sri Lanka. After a 30-minute walk through the jungle, you will reach beautiful english architecture that is hidden between lush green tea fields. It is allowed to walk on the bridge and there is nothing better than seeing a train riding over it! To get to the bridge just follow the path to Little Adams Peak. You won’t miss it. You can also take a Tuk Tuk drive to the Bridge. The train passed the bridge about 6 times per day. For the current train times just ask in your accomandation as the times change all the time. We recommend to be there just before the tourist buses arrive (around 8am). So get up early and enjoy the view.
As above mentioned the path to Little Adams Peak is just on the way to the Nine Arch Bridge. Unfortunately Nastja was sick so we missed this. From Ella town to the top of the mountain will take you around 60 minutes depending on your fitness.
Also something we missed in Ella.
It’s around 60 minutes out of Ella with the Tuk Tuk and the second highest waterfall in Sri Lanka. There you can find many natural pools on different levels. We will defiantly do this on your next Sri Lanka trip.
As we mentioned above we had a lot of rain. Without rain it can’t be that green. The best time for a visit is January to May.
In Ella you will find anything you want – good European food and as well a nice Sri Lankan cuisine.
Of course the prices in the fancy restaurants are higher, but sometimes it also feels good to eat a Pizza or Lasagne.
For a good rice and curry we recommend Cafe Guru. If you are looking for European food check out Dream Cafe and Cafe Chill on the Main Street.
You have several options for your stay in Ella. There are really nice boutique Hotels in the hills but as well cheaper guest houses in town. Have a look here.
From Ella to Kandy we made the legendary train ride. It was epic, but unfortunately in a negative way and this was the worst experience on our world trip so far. Standing for 6 hours in a full train and seeing nothing but heads. BOOK YOUR TICKETS IN ADVANCE OR ASK THE INSPECTOR FOR TRAVELLING IN THE LUGGAGE WAGOON!
We had a short stop over in Kandy so we can’t tell you a lot about Kandy.
On our list for Kandy was written.
So we missed this – but we are not sad about it – we drove from Kandy to Dambulla by bus to climb the Sigiriya lion rock.
The Lion Rock in Sigiriya is one of the most popular landmarks to visit during a tour through Sri Lanka. The natural rock is 200m high. Lion Rock is a UNESCO World Heritage sights and is a must do in Sri Lanka.
Don’t be afraid of high and of walking over 1200 steps. You will reward with a breathtaking 360* view and a lot of funny monkeys. Don‘t feed them. They can be very aggressive. Get there early or late in the afternoon because many people will come after the Hotel Breakfast 😉 Make sure to go right around the bigrock and the queue of people. It’s way faster to climb the rock up.
The ticket prices are very high – per person 4500 Rupien (25€)! If you want to save the money just visit the Pidurangala Rock.
The entry fee is just 5 € and you will have a fantastic view of the Lions Rock. We missed this, because we were finished after our climb on the lions rock!
Unfortunately we didn’t found a good food spot in Sigiriya/ Dambulla. We just ate a lot of Kottu 😀 check the prices, some stores have really high prices. We paid in average 200 Rupien per Veggie Kottu.