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Sri Lanka – the Pearl of the Indian Ocean

New Year. New Resolutions. New Travel Plans.

Every year, my family and I go to Goa first week of January. This year we decided we wanted to take a break from Goa, and explore a new place, or a new Country even. Beach bums that we are, it was a prerequisite that the place have beaches in plenty! Sri Lanka wasn’t even on my mental list of places to be covered, but thanks to the sudden hike in flight prices for Bali, we settled for Sri Lanka. I’m thankful for that because, otherwise, I never would’ve visited this beautiful jewel-shaped country!

I scribbled multiple itineraries, scourged the internet for suggestions, booked the flights and then, just like that, our first trip for 2018 was planned!

To cover all of Sri Lanka, you would need at least a fortnight, and I had just half of that, so I settled for the West and South of Sri Lanka, which was a good choice for the season too, but I ended up picking the sea and the ocean over the places of historical interests!

In this post, I will show you through the first 3 days of my trip in which we covered Negombo, Colombo and Bentota.

We landed in Colombo on the 1st of January, and headed straight to our stay for the night, in Negombo. Funny thing is that Negombo is closer to the Colombo airport than Colombo city itself. Whaaaaaa? Yeah, that’s right.

I booked an Airbnb property, Oreeka – which, being just 9 kms from the airport, was perfect for a one night stay. We reached there to find a cute little place nestled between a swarm of coconut trees, overlooking a pool and a beautiful garden. It was only until next morning that we got to see how beautiful the place was!

It had a boat in the garden, a boat, yes! And multiple vintage cars, and a great pool, and a big garden and a DJ console and dancing area. It was just perfect!

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Skirt – Street shopping

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Outfit details: Crop top – H&M, headband, shoes and leggings – Zara

We spent the morning lazing around the place, finding out about Negombo and Colombo, chomping down some bacon and sausages. So, the places you should expect to see in Negombo are:

  • The Dutch Canal
  • Negombo Beach (you can find much better and prettier beaches in this country though)
  • Angurukaramulla temple
  • Mary’s church

Having said that, you can totally skip Negombo and head to Colombo directly. You won’t be missing out on much.

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FamSham

On the 2nd, began our actual trip. We moved to a more luxurious resort – Amagi Aria.It is built right by a lagoon which has tastefully done up rooms with bright paintings. My room opened directly to the pool, and the lagoon. It was a mesmerizing view, to say, in the least. The buffet breakfast was exceptionally good, the lunch options not too much. The staff is very helpful, almost going out of the way to help their guests. We dived into the pool the minute we checked into our rooms, to enjoy the sinking sun by the lagoon. We went on with our touristic pursuits in the latter half of the day.

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Dress – Zara, hat – Shein
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The private dock of the Resort we stayed in

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Swimsuit – Pretty Secrets | Myntra

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We visited the following places and you should totally check them off your list too, if you’re in Colombo!

  • Gangaramaya Temple – This one is not only one of the most beautiful but also one of the most iconic Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka. It is more than a century since this temple was constructed. The ceilings and walls contain pictures and miniature paintings that explain stories from Buddhism religion. In the main sanctorum, a huge Buddha statue exudes a brilliant sense of calmness in the devotees. Built in a mix of various architectural styles including India, Burmese, Thai and Chinese, this temple also houses a museum.
  • Beira Lake – Close to the Gangaramaya Temple, in the heart of Colombo, is a huge lake – Beira Lake. In the middle of the lake is a small island containing the Simamalaka Shrine, which makes for a beautiful place to just sit, relax and meditate.
  • Galle Face Green – This one is right by the Galle beach, a huge stretch of road for all the nature lovers. Go there for a nice walk post dinner, enjoy the winds from the Indian Ocean and lip-smacking treats from the vendors on the road! This road has all the five star properties and makes for a great sight!
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    Enjoying a light moment with the daddy 🙂
  • Old Dutch Hospital – No, it isn’t a hospital. It houses some of the best sri lankan restaurant, cafes and shops! Go there for a good meal sometime
  • Odel – Odel is the shopping hub of Sri Lanka. Expect some expensive shopping. Do not buy your souvenirs from here. The courtyard right outside Odel is something I loved. Absolute Thalassa feels (for all Goa lovers) amazing food, great ambience and lovely live music!

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  • Pettah Market – This is the street market of Colombo. Do not expect Sarojini and lajpat prices, but you can find yourself some good souvenirs, batik print clothes and also the famous Sri Lankan masks. You can bargain and get yourself a good price here.
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    Haggling with shopkeepers to get me some good discounts!
  • Nelum Pokuna Art street – One of my favorites from the city, this street bang opposite the Viharamadevi Park is full of artists displaying their art on the roadside. Such talent that I was awestruck! Must visit!

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Such a bright tuk tuk! you’ll find millions of these in the country

We also went to the Pettah Floating Market – not at all worth it. Just skip it.

These were just the places that I could manage to squeeze in to my itinerary. You could also visit the National Museum, Mt. Lavinia and Buba Beach, Viharamadevi Park. The Old city Hall and Independence Arcade area are other places tourists visit when in Colombo.

The next day, we traveled to Bentota for a day trip– which is on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, all of 110 kms from our resort, and just 85 kms from Colombo. The beach in Bentota is a fold of pristine gold sands along the mighty Indian Ocean. We spent the entire day till sunset at the bentota beach, monkeying around, making time lapses and sipping on to beer! From the beach, we headed straight to one of the turtle conservation projects. You can find many in this part of the country. They have varieties of turtles and you can even release a turtle into the water. Good for a one-time experience!

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Shorts- Forever 21, Top – H&M, Slip ons – Westside, Hat – Shein

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Slit Skirt worn as tube dress – Global Desi
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At the Turtle Conservation Project in Bentota

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This pretty much summed up my first three days in Sri Lanka!

So here’s a list of some of the things I loved about Sri Lanka:

  • The people – so warm, makes you feel as if you’re in India 😊
  • Egg hoppers!!! Egg hoppers are the Sri Lankan version of egg in the hole, where an egg is cracked open into a paper-thin bowl shaped Dosa and cooked. It’s delicious. Must try!
  • Coconut water – everywhere!
  • Beaches – so pristine – amazing for surfing and scuba diving!
  • Tuk tuks – Sri Lankan version of Indian Autos, except they’re much more vibrant- in bright blues and greens and reds!
  • MANGOES – All year round! Can you beat that?

Things I did not like about the country:

  • Travel is expensive, by road – A six seater or an eight-seater van cost us 6500 LKR for 60 kms
  • The rupee has no value at all – I didn’t understand the pricing there at all. It was absurd. A packet of lays costed 300 LKR, a Dairy milk silk priced at 1050 LKR, and even tampons were priced at an exorbitant 1500 LKR! Very weird
  • Shopping – Sri Lanka wouldn’t exactly be a shopaholic’s paradise. The country is great for its varieties of Tea, and the masks, but other than that you won’t really find anything else!

If any of you plan to visit the country anytime soon, let me know, and I can include the list of must-visit places, eateries and whatever else you guys need to know in the very next blog post!

Hope you guys enjoyed reading 😊

Till the next time then!

-TwofoldChic

40 thoughts on “Sri Lanka – the Pearl of the Indian Ocean

  1. Wow this one is excellent.. I really got some helpful travel info through this.. Wish you would add fare charges too in detail for accommodation, travel or for on a whole.. Keep rocking with much more travel diaries.. Good vibes.. 😊✌️

  2. Very nicely summed up…I wonder when did you get all the time to write this post with all the minute details and finding out all the beautiful pictures. Good going diktaaa!!!

  3. Awesome post.. love the lil details of the trip and the pics that are added give to each segment.. gives a real feel of the place in your mind.. keep up the good work:) and yes Would love more details about the stay prices

  4. Wonderfully put. Loved the way you’ve summed up all the crazy yet fun and interactive things that can be done in Sri Lanka. Your pictures are beautiful as always!😉😍

  5. Loved the post double as much gushing over the pictures in the stories! Remarkable that you planned the entire thing all alone! (I mean, my fam would never trust me with that 😛 ) And it couldn’t have been more dreamier! ❤️ Oh and how you look a stunner everywhere! :*

    1. You’re the most amazing person ever! You always look forward to my blog posts! Thankyou for being so consistent 🙈
      Also, I’m the bossy one in the family so they actually have to tag along with my plans :p
      Sri Lanka is a lot like India but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t visit this beautiful country 🙂 Thankyou again!

      1. Hahaha Awww and you’re my darling! ❤️ And I know it’s my loss if I don’t. Now the regular viewer that I always will be, you can stop appreciating it and start habituating to looking forward to the comments that you know I won’t miss pouring in everytime twofoldchic gives a calling! 🖤

  6. Just amazing ! No regrets if I don’t cover sri Lanka now, I know a lot about it already and I surely found it beautiful through your eyes. Thanks to you for giving in time and effort to this really knowledgable and helpful blog. You’re a star ⭐️

  7. I would very much love the outfit details! :* Can’t get over the munchkin you look in that crop top sporting the bright bandana!

  8. Quite comprehensive, a handy guide for people planning out a Sri Lankan holiday. I’m surprised to know about the pricing of daily-use products though.
    Some of the pictures are really nice, especially the ones with the yellow vintage car 🙂

    1. Thankyou Chayanika :*
      I went there imagining every erything would be damn cheap considering how LKR value is half of INR. I was surprised too!
      I loved the vintage cars too💜

  9. Stop giving us all travel goals,you!!
    I cannot really read thoughtravel blogs I general but yours keeps me glued to the very end EVERYTIME. <3
    May you travel far and wide Dikshaaaaa Bosssss 😘

  10. Stop giving us travel goals ,you!!

    I cannot read through travel blogs in general but yours had me glued til the end!!
    May you travel far and wide Dikshaaaaa Bosssss ❤

  11. Had been waiting for this blog. Now that I have finally finished reading, I must tell you that this was worth waiting. It’s like a guide book for the ones who wants to travel to SriLanka. Amazing blog!

  12. It was indeed a pleasure to read about your experience. It was so detailed and lively that for a moment I felt that I was the traveler. Brilliant photography and meticulous articulation. Keep Rocking and make sure that I am there in your next blog which means we are traveling together next time 🤩🤩

    1. That’s the whole point of this blog, to be able to take you all on a visual tour of the places I visit! So glad you like it 🙂
      And yes, come soon and we shall go on a trip. Been foreverrrrrrrrrr!

  13. So cool🤩🤩 your blog made me wanna visit srilanka as soon as possible! Really a great blog, got to know a lot about sri lanka💖

  14. What I find more fascinating than the pictures is the way you write! Got to the end and felt like it had just begun! By the way, the tuk tuks look lovely! Can’t wait for the next half of the story! Keep up the great work Diksha Maam! You have a long way to go! 🙂

  15. I had a completely different perception about Sri Lanka before this post, like you most of us would have opted for Bali than Lanka, but this post has definitely put Lanka as travel destination on my list, the post is amazingly written, the pictures just make you wish you were there! You are giving most of us some major travel goals 😀
    You are killing it Diksha, keep them coming 😀

    1. Thankyou so much Siddharth!
      This means so much.. My travel goals keep changing every month, so be able to help someone get some travel goals is a big thing for me :p
      Keep visiting, keep reading!
      Love.

  16. Wow that’s so beautiful di 💓💓❤️😍😘 It seems so much fun and uncle and aunty are looking so cute and ovio u r our style icon and with a sister whose so pretty and cute amazingly penned down di😘😘 Btw wat were expenses for the entire trip ??

    1. Thankyou sweetheart! Aren’t you the sweetest!
      Since a lot of people gave asked about the expenses for the trip, let me cover that in the next post. Should be up by tomorrow hopefully 🙂

  17. Letting you know..I am travelling in 4 days from now. Can soak all the information that you can provide. I have following questions though
    1. What all places did you travel to other than Negombo, Colombo and Bentota?
    2. Out of Mirissa, Unawatuna and Tangalle(Dickwella), which one do you recommend?
    3. Food? What are the specialities and where(absolute specifics would be great)?
    4. Currency! What’s the best way to get it? Shall I get it in India or at Colombo airport or local shops in city or banks? What’s the difference in the exchange rate from all the sources?

    1. Am I late in replying? I hope not! I visited Koggala(where I stayed), Unawatuna, Hikkaduwa and Galle.
      Unawatuna and Hikkaduwa I’d recommend (hardly 15-20mins apart) if you’re looking for some good beach time and water sports (awesome for surfing and scuba). I didn’t go to Dickwella so can’t comment on that one. Mirissa will take up one whole day if you’re going for whale and dolphin watching. So if you have time and a craze to watch whales and dolphins, you can plan to go to Mirissa too. Galle is beautiful (like Santorini in Greece or Pondicherry in India, if you can draw the reference).
      For food recommendations, drop me your email ID. I have a very extensive list, I shall mail it over 😀
      But yeah, hoppers are their local specialty, paani ka adjusted icecream too. Then of course, fish curry and rice. A particular type of beef called luni miris(I think!) , if you eat beef.
      I got INR converted to dollars here in India. Not from the airport. Don’t do that. It’ll cost you a lot. Get it from the forex company or something.
      And then at the Colombo airport I got dollars converted to Sri Lankan rupee. I got a great rate!

      Wish you a great trip!! Let me know if you need to know anything else!

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