10 Things not to miss on your Surftrip to Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is a wonderful destination offering everything that you are looking for on your surf trip. And beside beaches and waves, there is so much more to discover on this tropical island once called „Ceylon“ with a turbulent history of many reigns, religions and invasions, leaving behind impressive monuments of the past.
From an abundance of things to see and do, this is my essence what definitely not to leave out in this beautiful, luminous country.
1 – Take an afternoon stroll through Galle
Galle is an old colonial-style city in the southwest which is especially known for its well preserved old town part that belongs to the Unesco World Heritage. It is situated on a promontory with inviting fortress walls to take a lovely walk around the town before diving into the small alleyways. Have a coffee or tea, shop souvenirs and gifts or just let yourself indulge in the old colonial flair.
2 – Climb Sri Pada/Adam’s Peak for a divine sunrise
This is a pilgrimage that has to be done by any Sri Lankan, at least once in a lifetime. Mainly Buddhists climb the 5000+ steps, but also Christians and Hindus gather on top of the 2243 m high mountain to get a glimpse of the footprint of Buddha, Adam or Shiva. During the season (dec-may) it is quite busy, but way more fun! Don’t forget to bring (really) warm stuff to enjoy the sunset. You should start your walk around 2:30 – 3:00 am.
3 – Taste your way through the greatest choice of (veggie) curries
The locals eat their curry, served in buffet-style mainly around noon, or already in the morning. Most of them are veggie-based. Some are quite spicy and the dishes all have a different bouquet of scents and spices… yum!
4 – Discover the old ruins of Anuradhapura and laugh with the wild monkeys
Besides the must-see-tourist paths, just step a bit off the track an wander around the ruin walls where locals enjoy their picnic and wild monkeys grab the leftovers, play hide-and-seek, or throw each other into a pool playfully.
5 – Enjoy a stunning view from the ancient rock fortress Sigiriya
Already approaching the huge rock emerging from the jungle is an impressive sight. Climbing up is not too hard, as long as you avoid the midday sun. You should not be too afraid of heights though. Passing by the frescos of the girls on the wall you climb further and further up the metal stairs to the plateau were once a king was enjoying the most breathtaking view.
6 – Have a Coconut at Coconut surfspot after a good surf
Imagine an early morning session on the Reefbreak called „Coconut“ in Midigama on the southcoast, accompanied by a few other surfers in the water and some cows and stray dogs watching on the beach… you come out of the water, and there it is already waiting for you: a fresh coconut, served with a smile…
7 – Take a train ride along the coast or up to the mountains
If you are traveling around anyway, just choose the train for some sections – the most beautiful ones are the one between Colombo and Ella and along the coast from Colombo southbound. Absolutely low-cost and highly entertaining!
8 – Ride a Motorbike – but respectfully
Beside wild tuk-tuk rides, speedy bus journeys and more comforting train traveling, you can also make your way around on a motorbike – most of them have a Surfboard-holder attached. This offers the highest independence to check out the spots and costs around 7-10 Dollars a day. Just make sure to be safe – the traffic can be busy (a mere euphemism) – and always wear your helmet and check the condition of the vehicle.
9 – Have the most delicious tea
Ceylon tea, of course! Sri Lankans are real tea-connoisseurs – no wonder considering the lush hills in the highlands covered with world-famous tea leaves. I replaced my habit of a Cafe Latte in the morning through freshly brewed white or black tea, with a tiny splash of milk – delicious!
10 – Get an ayurvedic massage, chill out and go surfing!
Of course there is plenty more to do and to see… discover yourself, or wait for more posts about Sri Lanka!
check your vaccinations at least 4 weeks before
bring plenty of sunscreen with highest SPF
repel the mosquitos (net, clothes, spray)
stay hydrated (at least 3 liters per day)
boil it, peel it, or forget it!
Photos by Lan