Welcome to Traveller’s Tales!

Every month I feature a new vacation review from a traveller just like you.  These are honest, unbiased reviews of actual vacations taken by ordinary people. This month, we explore Sri Lanka with Justine.

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Travel Itinerary

We spent 3 weeks in Sri Lanka – starting in Negombo, North to Anaradhapura, then down through Kandy to the beaches in the South.

It felt like the perfect length holiday – we could have spent more time and seen more, but I’ve found that with everywhere I’ve been, I’ve always wanted more.





HOME BASE:  Auckland, NZ

TRAVEL STYLE:  Independent / Backpacker / Adventure

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:  There are too many to choose just one!

Sri Lanka is amazing – highly recommend it!

SIGIRIYA (image credit: Justine)

Trip Highlights


There are so many National Parks with safari options across the country and it’s worth thinking about what animals you’d like to see to decide which Park is best for you. We ended up on three different ones – with mainly elephants in Kaudulla, leopards in Yala and blue whale and orca on a whale watching trip in Mirissa.


A lot of people go to Sri Lanka for the beaches – they are spectacular and well serviced for tourists. Mirissa is popular, but has a nasty undertow so swimming can be less than ‘relaxing’. Unawatuna and Hikkaduwa are phenomenal.

Tea Tour

There are lots of different tea factory tours in Sri Lanka’s high country, but try to get one where you can go into the factory and look around. We recommend Lovers Leap in Nuwara Eliya.

KAUDALLA NATIONAL PARK  (image credit: Justine)

HIKKADUWA BEACH  (image credit: Justine)

Airline Review

We flew with Malaysia Airlines and they were great

Sri Lanka Food Tips:

The fresh fruit is phenomenal, and was regularly part of our breakfasts.

We chose to eat mostly vegetarian as it was cheapest and we had so many delicious meals. Ask for a ‘vegetable curry’ and you will get a mound of rice fit for a family plus 5 – 7 curry dishes all for no more than NZ$2 – 6 (depending on where you are).

Roti are a quick snack and are filling and cheap (NZ$1) – the Roti Shop in Unawatuna became a fast favourite with us. And khottu – delicious!!

Sri Lankan Curry  (image credit: Justine)

Top Tips:

We highly recommend heading North first where the tourist infrastructure is a bit less developed, and finish up at the beaches where travel is a bit easier and way more relaxing.

Walking up Adams Peak (Sri Pada) is awesome – take extra warm clothes as the top can be pretty cold. A raincoat is essential too!

Public transport is great but not well documented so ask your accommodation for advice. We were surprised by how long it took to get around – the roads aren’t great and the speed limits are low so allow extra time.

(image credit: Justine)



Public Transport


International Airport


Language & Communication


Accessing Money


Traveller Safety / Security


Internet Access

Thanks for the feedback Justine!

Have you been travelling lately and want to share your experiences (good or bad)?  Drop me a line or comment below for your chance to be featured in this blog series.



Auckland to Colombo (via Kuala Lumpur) return with Malaysian Airlines


Justine & friends backpacked through Sri Lanka independently – to prebook a similar experience I highly recommend looking at one of Intrepid Travels’ fantastic Sri Lanka adventures, with options ranging from a 2-day Colombo stopover to a 15-day round-island tour.  With foodie, family and cycle options there’s something for every type of traveller.  Book direct or contact me to help you arrange the whole package, flights included.

  CLICK HERE to check out Intrepid Travel’s Sri Lankan tours.


Most nationalities need to have an approved tourist visa to travel to Sri Lanka.  It also pays to advise your local travel doctor of your plans, as there could be some immunisations you require.  The Safe Travel website has some general guidelines on health and safety.

Most of the major Asian airlines, as well as Emirates fly to Sri Lanka via their hub. The main city to fly into is Colombo (CMB).

To book this trip as a complete package email me your names and preferred dates of travel.  For more information on what you need to book a family holiday check out this article.



Anita | Burgess Travellers

Anita Burgess is in the business of making memorable family moments. Soccer mum, travel broker & writer, she’s happiest with a camera in her hand and the sand between her toes. Find insider travel tips and inspiration for your memorable moments on her blog, Burgess Travellers, or get in touch if you’re ready to make your holiday happen.

This post may contain affiliate links for products I love. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you.  All affiliate products and companies are recommended by Burgess Travel Co and may or may not be products used by the featured traveller. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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