|Language:||Sinhala and Tamil|
|Currency:||Sri Lanka Rupee|
|Hitchability:||<rating country='lk' />|
|Meet fellow hitchhikers on Trustroots|
|<map lat="7.9232940879498" lng="79.617067109384" zoom="6" view="0" float="right" />|
Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon) is an island nation in Southern Asia. Hitchhiking is nearly an unknown concept in Sri Lanka and that's why it's super-easy, especially if you are a "suddha" (a white person). You get a lot of short rides but that's fine because you never need to wait for more than few minutes.
The climate really hits you in the face (ca 35 degrees celsius, humidity 85%). Seasons are monsoon and little rain.
People are hospitable, generous, happy and laid back. Get to know them. Speaking a few words of Sinhala (or Tamil when applicable) helps.
Sinhalese language (with tuk-tuk drivers and street merchants)
- Salli naha - No money
- Pissu suddha - Crazy white person
- Mage nama (your name) - My name is
- Sinhala kathakaranna naha- I don't speak Sinhalese
- Ingrise kathakarannaduh? - Do you speak English?
- istuhthee - Thank you (in Tamil: Nandri)
- Epa! - Don't! (or "Stop!", "I don't want!)
Most Colombians speak English. If you learn these few words and use them you can cut off two thirds of your travel budget. Please note: Don't expect Tamils to speak Sinhalese.
- Anuradhapura - ancient city with ruins
- Polonnaruwa - ancient city also with ruins
- Colombo - not many attractions, but has some cool stuff
- Kandy - Old capital in the hill country, biggest tourist attraction temple of the tooth
- Nuwara Eliya - Beautiful English-style pearl of the hill country (nice 15-25 degrees celsius)
The good stuff
Pointless to go the cities. See the nature instead. Go to the hill country and visit tea factories. Hit the best beaches in the world (Beruwala for water sports, Arugam Bay for surfing, etc). Visit rain forests or go and see the amazing bio-diversity of the "middle belt" - between low country and hill country (e.g. Belihuloya). Climb up to Horton Plains. Check out the water falls. Go to Adam's Peak after Christmas and climb 5000 steps to the top before sunrise. Check African-like savannahs in Yala National Park with a wide variety of wildlife.
Ferry to India
Update: As of February, 2011, it looks like the ferries will start operating in March 2011.