|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 rain and no rain. Choose wisely.
People are super hospitable, generous, happy and laid back. Get to know them. Otherwise they will just rip you off (white skin means money). Speaking a few words of Sinhala (or Tamil when applicable) helps.
Sinhalese language (against tuk-tuk drivers and street merchants)
- Salli ne - No money
- Pissu suddha - Crazy white person
- Mage name (your name) - My name is
- Sinhala kathakaranna epa - I don't speak Sinhalese
- Ingrise kathakarannade? - Do you speak English?
- Stuhtee - Thank you (in Tamil: Nandri)
- Epa! - Don't! (or Stop!)
Most Colombians (the rich people of Colombo) 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 and shit
- Polonnaruwa - ancient city with ruins and shit
- Colombo - avoid... crowded and polluted during the day, silent and boring during the night
- 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, Unawatuna for parties, Mirissa for chilling and smoking free weed, Arugam Bay for surfing). 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-type savannahs in Yala National Park.
Ferry to India
Update: As of February, 2011, it looks like the ferries will start operating in March 2011.