Sri Lanka Map
Site Index
Contact
Random
Our Travel Books
Advertising / Press

For 91 Days in Sri Lanka – The E-Book

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

We’ve gathered together all of the articles and over 250 photographs from our three-month adventure in Sri Lanka into an E-Book for your Kindle or E-Reader. Carry all of our Sri Lankan experiences along with you in this portable format. The book includes a comprehensive index, which makes navigation a cinch, and features all our anecdotes, advice and the best full-color images from our months in Sri Lanka. We had an unforgettable time in this beautiful and occasionally frustrating island nation, and hope our experiences can help enrich your own visit there.

Amazon Kindle

Direct Download (PDF, MOBI)

For just a few bucks, you can download your own copy of the book for use on your e-reader or computer, giving you access to our blog posts wherever you are, without having to connect to the internet. And, buying the e-book is a great way to support our project… take a look at some sample pages from the PDF.

July 10, 2012 at 4:57 am Comments (8)

Good Night, Sri Lanka

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

From the taxi’s windows, we watched the Colombo night blur by. The few cars which remained on the highway had none of the breakneck urgency which normally characterizes Sri Lankan traffic. And though the unbroken chain of shops and restaurants still had their neon lights blazing, there weren’t many people on the sidewalks. It was 10pm, and we’d rarely seen the island in a deeper state of rest. We were headed to the airport, and putting Colombo to sleep.

Goodbye Sri Lanka

Upon arriving three months ago, we had driven into a Colombo that was just waking up. It was 7am, and kids dressed in white uniforms were reluctantly making their way to school, shopkeepers were rolling up their metal gates, and tuk-tuk drivers were already engaged with buses in their never-ending battle for dominance of the road. We had arrived in Sri Lanka with the start of a busy new day, and it seemed appropriate to be saying goodbye as another one drew to a close.

Just as every day here is bursting at the seams with commerce and activity, our whirlwind tour through Sri Lanka couldn’t have been any more action-packed or intense. From the first moments of our arrival, when we dove into the capital city and its disparate neighborhoods, through the final languorous, rainy week in Galle, we explored the island as thoroughly as possible.

You can’t do justice to an entire country in just three months, but it was fun to try. We met some wonderful people, learned how to head-bobble, ate rice and curry with our hands in dingy dives, held cobras, hugged elephants, played with monkeys, explored ancient forest monasteries, taught ourselves some Sinhala, read up on legends and then visited the very places they played out. We ventured into mosques, temples and kovils, chewed betel, drank coconuts and played cricket. And that’s just a fraction of our Ceylonese adventures!

I’ll confess that by the time our departure date rolled around, we were ready to leave. Jumping around a country for three months, living out of hotels and guesthouses, eating out every night… it’s tiring. And there are aspects of Sri Lankan life we’re happy to put behind us, as well. The constant annoyance of touts and scammers. The unbearable pro-government propaganda of the media. The discriminatory tourist prices at parks and attractions. The corruption which permeates every level of society. The surprisingly durable tinge of colonialism, making you cringe a little every time your driver rushes to open the door for you, or calls you “sir”.

But when we look back on our time in Sri Lanka, I seriously doubt that something like the entrance price to Sigiriya will sour the amazing experience we had on the rock itself. Dealing with the touts at Pinnawela will be soon be forgotten, but I’ll always remember watching a hundred elephants bathe. And, yes, some of the bus rides were unbelievably hellish. But I would endure them again, in order to visit places like Jaffna and Trinco.

So, another 91 days has drawn to a close. Next, we’re off to Busan: South Korea’s second biggest city and a metropolis of over three million. Make sure to follow us on Twitter or Facebook to keep up with our move until we get the new version of the site launched. Busan is going to offer a massively different experience… and will have to be something truly special to impress us half as much as Sri Lanka did.

, , , , , , ,
May 1, 2012 at 10:01 am Comments (9)

After One Month in Sri Lanka

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Cheap Flights To Sri Lanka

Our first month in Sri Lanka is already done?! It seems just yesterday that we were taking our first tuk tuk ride through Colombo’s busy streets. But when I think about all the things we’ve seen and done, it’s amazing that we’ve only been here a month. Sri Lanka is the kind of place where amazing experiences come fast and furious. Here are our impressions of life in Sri Lanka, after one month.

Most Memorable

Mike: The baby elephant approached and then held its trunk towards me. He squeezed my hand, then pulled me close to his body, apparently wanting a hug. I was happy to comply, and it’s a moment I’ll never forget.

Jürgen: Waking up the first morning in Kandy and our house being surrounded by over 30 monkeys. I was in heaven.
Favorite Food

Mike: Sri Lanka so far hasn’t offered a lot of culinary variety, but I don’t ever see myself getting sick of kottu: a piece of roti bread, chopped up and mixed together with spices, vegetables, egg and meat. Best eaten with the hand, of course!

Jürgen: I also would say kottu but you can’t beat the fresh juice of a king coconut. Delicious, and better than any energy drink. And you can eat the coconut flesh, afterwards.
Most Surprising

Mike: I had read that only 10% of the population here speaks English, so imagine my surprise (and relief) to discover that the number is much, much higher. It may not always be fluent, but the great majority of people we’ve met speak enough to carry on a conversation.

Jürgen: How friendly people are here, and how much attention I draw. At times I feel like a superstar. People are genuinely curious and they always want to know where you’re from, and where you’re going.
Most Disappointing

Mike: The unending touts. You can’t go two minutes without some other schemer trying to trick you out of your money. It’s all very easy to see through, so it’s not like we’re in constant danger of being fooled, but their tenacity and frequency are unbearable. And it makes you sometimes react with frustration towards normal Sri Lankans who perhaps really do just want to chat.

Jürgen: Sri Lanka’s touristic offerings are really not geared toward the solo traveler. The whole infrastructure is set up to wring money out of giant tour groups on buses. We’d love for our site to help change that!
Funniest / Weirdest

Mike: Everyone we walk past has a comment. Usually, it’s just “Bye!” (which they often use in place of “Hello”), or “Buddy!”, but sometimes the comments are stranger. “Money!” is a favorite among kids (who’ve learned from their government what foreigners are good for). “Can have you phone number?” I was asked the other day, completely randomly, by two girls. And of course, the constant “What is your country?” I’ve been getting progressively more surreal. “Denmark”, “Brazil” and “Japan” are just some of the places I’ve claimed to hail from. (The worrying thing is that these answers are always accepted without question).

Jürgen: This tout in Kandy, he calls himself The Professor. He’s got about three teeth. We walked past him every day, but he always forgot our faces and tried the same scheme over and over. “Today, there’s a special Kandyan Dance! Come with me, I get you seats!” Still, I kind of miss him and wonder how he’s doing.
How Expensive? From 1 (cheap) to 10 (expensive)

Mike: Impossible to judge with one number. 3 for normal life — eating like locals do, taking the bus, all very cheap. But 8 for anything tourism-related — shockingly expensive parks and inflated fees for foreigners; expensive restaurants marketed towards westerners, etc. Advice: live like a local! I guess it averages to a “5”.

Jürgen: I’m shocked how expensive the attractions are for foreigners. These are making a huge dent in our budget for Sri Lanka. Accommodation is over the top as well. But everything else is very cheap. So I give it a 6.
People from Sri Lanka are…

Mike: … always up for a chat. Very open, and willing to have their photos taken. And everyone always seems to have a smile on their face.

Jürgen: … friendly, happy, helpful and curious.
Sri Lanka in Three Words

Mike: Monkeys, Elephants, Cobras

Jürgen: Adventurous, Surprising, Buddhist

Our opinions of Sri Lanka would evolve over the next couple months. We became more comfortable with the heat and local way of life, but also more frustrated with the pushy behavior of touts, and wearied by the food. But one thing remained certain throughout: these three months were among the most exciting of our lives!

, , , ,
March 3, 2012 at 10:59 am Comments (5)
For 91 Days in Sri Lanka - The E-Book We've gathered together all of the articles and over 250 photographs from our three-month adventure in Sri Lanka into an E-Book for your Kindle or E-Reader. Carry all of our Sri Lankan experiences along with you in this portable format. The book includes a comprehensive index, which makes navigation a cinch, and features all our anecdotes, advice and the best full-color images from our months in Sri Lanka. We had an unforgettable time in this beautiful and occasionally frustrating island nation, and hope our experiences can help enrich your own visit there.
For 91 Days