Discover the beauty of Sri Lanka in 20 pictures

 In Trips

Earlier this year I went on a trip to the land of smiles. I spend about 3 weeks on the island to discover the beauty of Sri Lanka. After spending time at several locations and taking thousands of pictures, I ended up with so many good memories. It was only recently that I was going through all the photos and found so many great shots.

A picture says more than a thousand words, hence why I’m writing this trip report as one big photo gallery. Don’t get me wrong I love writing long stories so I can take you on a journey throughout my experiences. This time I’ll let the images tell the story.

Dambulla

When passing through the city of Dambulla, make sure you visit the Golden Temple. After paying a small entrance fee and making your way up the stairs in the heat. You’ll reach a temple build into the granite rocks. It holds some beautiful Buddha statues.

discover the beauty of sri lanka

Black & white pictures create a mystic atmosphere

The entrance to the Golden Temple is simply stunning. If you head there during the late afternoon, just prior to dusk, you’ll run into a lot of locals. They’ll look at you like what the heck are you doing here, just smile at them and the look on their face will brighten up and you’ll have plenty of interaction.

discover the beauty of sri lanka

Golden Temple in Dambulla

Sigirya

One of the best viewpoints in the area of Sigirya, has to be Pidurangala Rock. You can head up the rock early in the morning before the sun comes up. It’ll be hot even at night and you’ll sweat buckets, so make sure to bring plenty of water. But once you get up there, the view is amazing! I watched one of the most beautiful sunrises. And the best thing you ask? There were almost no people, just my guide, me and a dog.

discover the beauty of sri lanka

The view was definitely worth all the sweat!

discover the beauty of sri lanka

Watching a beautiful sunrise on top of Pidurangala Rock

After having breakfast, I headed over to Lion’s Rock. Make sure to go as early as possible. This way you’ll save yourself from the heat as it can be brutal up there. There is almost no shade at the top. Oh and please leave your drone at home. You don’t want to wake the hornets and your drone will be confiscated by the park rangers anyway.

discover the beauty of sri lanka

Would you dare to walk up these stairs?

Kandy

I wasn’t impressed when arriving in Kandy, it was way too busy but the city grew on me. Especially after having dinner at Slightly Chilled and watching this sunset.

discover the beauty of sri lanka

Sunset view from the terrace of Slightly Chilled restaurant

It was afterwards that I met Andrew, a tour guide, by coincidence. One tuk-tuk driver did not want to drive me to my homestay. That’s when I met him and he took me around Kandy for the next couple of days. Showing me places that barely get any visitors. Make sure to get in touch with him when you visit this area!

discover the beauty of sri lanka

Andrew, the best guide in Kandy!

One of my most memorable moments has to be the scene below of a praying man at the temple of the Tooth. I sat there a while watching him, such an intense experience.

discover the beauty of sri lanka

Praying man at the temple of the Tooth in Kandy

Not only can you find a lot of cultural and historical sights in and around Kandy. There is plenty of nature all around. Either visit the botanical garden or go to one of the smaller parks. Once you wander off the beaten path, you never know what you might see. I was lucky to snap a picture of a deer because right after I made this photo, I stepped on a branch and it ran off.

discover the beauty of sri lanka

Sometimes patience pays off to snap a picture

Andrew took me to so many different temples, but the one below was unique. I was told it is the only pagoda temple in the world with a roof over it.

discover the beauty of sri lanka

So many beautiful temples to visit

Nuwara Eliya

If you ever head to Sri Lanka, make sure to experience a train ride. So many things to see along the way. I wasn’t the only one enjoying the views, so was this complete stranger. Taking in everything that her eyes set sight on.

discover the beauty of sri lanka

Stranger enjoying the local trains

After I arrived at the station of Nuwara Eliya, I met Freddy. He asked me if I needed a ride somewhere and he took me to my homestay. We started talking in the car and asked me if I had any plans. I wanted to hike, see tea plantations, go to Horton Plains and check out waterfalls.

discover the beauty of sri lanka

My fantastic mountain guide Freddy

Freddie turned out to be an all-around nice guy and fantastic mountain guide. He has been showing people around for the past 30 years. Oh and he loves to walk and hike… fast! Hence his nickname Fast Freddy.

discover the beauty of sri lanka

Sunrise on my way to the Horton Plains

I can never see enough sunrises, so on our way to the national park of Horton Plains, we stopped the car near the highest train station in Sri Lanka, Pattipola (1897 m).

“Are you ready for a walk?”, Freddy asked me and before I was even able to say yes, he already set off. It only took us a short time before we reached World’s End. I was so lucky that the weather was good, no clouds, no fog… which resulted in the picture below. Credits to Freddy for taking it.

discover the beauty of sri lanka

Sitting on the edge of World’s End

Ella

Ella is a sleeping little town surrounded by nature and mountains. I chose to stay at a place outside the small city centre as I prefer to be away from the crowds. I ended up staying at The Chillout. The owner will serve you a lovely breakfast and you have a hammock right outside your room!

discover the beauty of sri lanka

Hammock at the Chillout in Ella

One of the best-known places in Ella is the Nine Arch bridge, you can reach it on foot. If you don’t know how to get there, ask the locals for help and they’ll be happy to point the way there.

discover the beauty of sri lanka

Nine Arch bridge in Ella

Barberyn

Before I flew back home, I was offered two free nights by my friend Steven at the Barberyn Reef Ayurveda Resort. This place was completely different from any other place I stayed at before. It’s known as a detox & health resort… The food they served was delicious!

discover the beauty of sri lanka

Sitting, enjoying the view and thinking about life…

Just before dusk you should head out and walk down the beaches, have a drink or dinner at one of the many beach restaurants and witness the golden hour.

discover the beauty of sri lankaTrains

To get back to Colombo I booked the cheapest ticket possible. Don’t book second class, just book third class and sit with the locals. I sat with guys from a cricket team, some police officers, a musician and a couple of families. The best way to experience the train is to sit in the door opening.

discover the beauty of sri lanka

Epic 10-hour train journey from Ella to Colombo

So many beautiful sceneries to be seen before you finally make it to Colombo. After being out and about in quiet parts of the country, I fully enjoyed my last hour on the train. Colombo was a shock, so loud, so crowded…

discover the beauty of sri lanka

The last bit of green before arriving in Colombo

I hope you enjoyed this photo gallery and you managed to find some inspiration to organise a trip to Sri Lanka. You won’t be disappointed. Please note that during these 3 weeks I saw very little of the country, but I wanted to travel slow. There are so many other places to explore on the island. What is your favourite place?

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