Friday, July 28, 2017

How to Self-Plan a 8N/9D Leisure trip to Sri Lanka!

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide
Sitting in a Shack at Mirissa Beach, Sri Lanka
Sitting in a Shack at Mirissa Beach, Sri Lanka
Thinking to self-plan a trip to Sri Lanka ? Not sure where to start?
You have come to the right place.

Note : I am an avid traveler and below is my own research and plan that I executed.

The best advantage of self-planning a trip is you save 30%-50% of the cost that you would end up incurring if you go through a travel agent.






How much does it cost to visit Sri Lanka?


We (2 couples) travelled from India and staying in Sri Lanka for 8N/9D. 
Below were the expenses per person incurred :
  1. Flights from Mumbai, India to Colombo, Sri Lanka : INR 12,500
  2. Inter-City Transport via Car : INR 15,000
  3. Hotels/Accommodation : INR 25,000
  4. Visa  : INR 1,500 
  5. Travel Insurance : INR 1000
  6. City Transport (Metro/Tram/Taxi) : N/A since we had cab all times
  7. Food : INR 8,000
  8. Sightseeing : INR 4000
  9. Pay at Hotel Taxes : N/A
  10. Shopping Budget : INR 5,000
Total :  INR 72,000 / US$ 1,100 / EUR 950 per person

Note : The expenses will be different based on the below factors :
  • Which country you are flying from.
  • Which category of hotels are you staying in
  • How many people travelling together
  • How many days you are travelling for

Please read my below post to estimate expenses accurately:

Best time to visit Sri Lanka?


Sri Lanka has different weather conditions depending on the which part of the country you wish to visit. Best time to visit West Coast, South Coast and Hill Country (Central Sri Lanka) is from December to March. Best time to visit East Coast is from April to September.

We travelled to West Coast, South coast and hill country during November end.






How to reach Sri Lanka?


Colombo is the largest city of Sri Lanka and has flights connecting to various parts of the world. We travelled from Mumbai Airport, India via direct flight of Jet Airways.

You can search flights to Sri Lanka here.

Our Sri Lanka Itinerary

We travelled Sri Lanka for 8 Nights and covered Central region (Hills), Yala (National Park) and West & South Coasts (Beaches) as under :
Our Sri Lanka Itinerary
Our Sri Lanka Itinerary


Below are the Cities we visited and hotels we stayed along with the recommendation:



Few pics of the recommended hotels by me are as under :

  Elegant Hotel, Kandy
Elegant Hotel, Kandy

Laya Safari Hotel, Yala
Laya Safari Hotel, Yala

View from Madulkelle Tea & Eco Lodge, Kandy

Madulkelle Tea & Eco Lodge, Kandy
Madulkelle Tea & Eco Lodge, Kandy










How to travel within Sri Lanka?

Since Sri lanka doesn't have a good public transport across the country, it's best to have a car with you at all times.

We booked the car for 4 people via Sharmila Travels. They sent a luxurious Nissan Caravan for us. What a delight!
Nissan Caravan



Alternately, you can contact the driver directly for his availability for your trip: 
Mr. Thilakanadhan  Mobile : +94768040446. He is an excellent driver and would take you to a lot of places on the way. He picked us from the Colombo airport, was with us for 9 days and dropped us back to the airport. 








What to Do/See in Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka is full of natural sights and is best experienced as a relaxing vacation. Below is a list of top things to do or see in Sri Lanka:

1. Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Elephants at Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Elephants at Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage 
Elephant taken for a bath!
Elephant taken for a bath!

Baby elephants playing with each other!
Baby elephants playing with each other!

Baby elephant feeding time!
Baby elephant feeding time!

2. Tea Plantations, Hill Country, Central Sri Lanka
Tea Plantations in Sri Lanka!
Tea Plantations in Sri Lanka!


3. Sita Temple
Monkeys playing in the temple!

Sita Temple



4. Yala National Park
Leopard shot captured in Yala National Park
Leopard shot captured in Yala National Park







Peacock in Yala National Park!
Peacock in Yala National Park!

Early morning Safari in Yala National Park
Early morning Safari in Yala National Park
Bird at Yala National Park!
Bird at Yala National Park!

5. Relax and party at the Beaches

Unawatuna Beach!
Unawatuna Beach!

Beach near Yala!
Beach near Yala!

Shack & Party at Mirissa Beach!
Shack & Party at Mirissa Beach!

Jungle Beach!
Jungle Beach!

Beach in Yala National Park!
Beach in Yala National Park!


6. Galle Fort and City

Galle Fort!

Galle Fort from the top!

Galle City lanes!

7. Japanese Peace Pagoda

Japanese Peace Pagoda

Japanese Peace Pagoda



8. Temple of the Tooth, Kandy
Temple of the Tooth, Kandy


9. Matara Temple

Matara Temple


10. To book sightseeing tours, please click here.

What to EAT in Sri Lanka?

Sri Lankan meal is very tasty and comprises of loads of a variety of fresh vegetables in a meal. You would love to have it every day. Apart from the local meal, you can eat variety of sea foods at any beach and visit Ministry of crab in Colombo to have delicious crabs.
Sri Lankan Meal

Srilankan Beer
Crabs and Prawns at Ministry of Crab
Crabs and Prawns at Ministry of Crab
Ministry of Crab in Colombo
Ministry of Crab in Colombo

Variety of Sea food at any beach in Sri Lanka
Variety of Sea food at any beach in Sri Lanka



Sri Lanka Guide

Lonely Planet has a good guide for Sri Lanka. Click Here to buy the same.

I hope, this article will help you to plan and explore Sri Lanka in a relaxed manner!

Enjoy the Paradise!