12 days in Sri Lanka – arrival and orientation

Over the coming series of posts, I’ll be chronicling my 12 days in Sri Lanka in 2016. I’ll cover where I went, how I got there, where I stayed and what I ate. I’ll share the full itinerary I planned for my trip as well as my top tips on making your trip even better (based on my mistakes!). I hope you enjoy reading and are able to make use of my itinerary and travel tips. Happy reading…

I chose to visit in late December / early January to make use of some of the ‘freebie’ days of leave over Christmas and the New Year but also I was planning to spend a lot of time in the south west, which is best visited between December and March. Sri Lanka has two monsoons to make sure you check the weather for where you’re planning to visit before you start planning your trip. I flew with Qatar Airways from London and really enjoyed the trip, my first on an A380.

Day 1 – arrival in Colombo: I arrived sleepy and mildly apprehensive after I don’t know how many hours of travel from London via Doha. After picking up a local sim card (this proved invaluable for knowing where I was when on the bus) and some currency in the arrivals area, I jumped in a taxi for the 40-minute ride from the airport to my hotel. I was quickly showered, dressed and back out the door, arriving just in time for the must-do walk along Galle Face Green at sunset. Children and adults were enjoying the water and street vendors sold pineapple snacks and short eats.

Finding no room at the inn at Ministry of Crab I had a curry at Semondu restaurant next door in the Dutch Hospital complex, enjoying my first of many Lion lagers by candlelight. Dinner was tasty but I’d heard so many good things about Ministry of Crab that I made the decision to get a reservation for my return to Colombo at the end of the holiday. I stayed at Steuart by Citrus, which is perfectly located next to the Dutch Hospital Complex and walking distance to the station. It was nice enough, but at around £90 for the night, it was a little steep. After a night of broken sleep, and slightly confused about what time it was, I was up at 4am for the train to Anuradhapura…

The beach at Galle Face Green, Colombo

The beach at Galle Face Green, Colombo

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