Escaping The Cold - Sri Lanka

by jamieevans

Taking a look at why you should choose Sri Lanka as your getaway from the cold.

So me and the missus are looking into booking up a trip for early 2013 – around February. I generally like to get something sorted for this time of year, as by the end of winter I am sick to death of being cold, having the complexion of the Pillsbury Doughboy and staring at slate grey skies. A cheeky February holiday lifts the spirits and gets you a good base tan for when the British summer (such as it is) kicks in.

Our deliberation

If you want to go somewhere hot and sunny in February, you’re looking at long-haul realistically. Even European countries that are generally hot, like Turkey and Spain, can be chilly in the early months of the year. So we want somewhere long haul, and ideally somewhere cheap. To me, this screams Asia –we narrowed it down to one of the south eastern countries (Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand) or Sri Lanka. I’ve travelled extensively around the Southeast Asian countries in my youth and Emma wasn’t overly fussed either way, so we opted for Sri Lanka. We also got ourselves some cheap travel insurance at, as it is always best to be prepared when adventuring these places.

Lonely Planet Sri Lanka (Travel Guide)

Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher Lonely Planet Sri Lanka is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidd...

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DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Sri Lanka

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Sri Lanka is your in-depth guide to the very best of this beautiful and diverse country.Explore Sri Lanka region-by-region, from Colombo and the beac...

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Our Reasoning

There are a number of reasons I feel Sri Lanka will make a great holiday choice, which I will list here:

  1. Sri Lanka has the advantage of being one of the cheapest destinations anywhere on earth at the moment. Aside from the cost of the flights, which you can get for around £500 return, holiday spending should be minimal.

  1. Sri Lanka has the benefit of being fairly compact. You can get around very easily I understand, which is perfect for a two week holiday. At one point we were thinking of doing India, but it’s just so big. If you’re happy to stay put in one resort or one small area that’s fair enough, but we like to travel around and see as much as possible when we go away.

  1. Despite its relatively small size, there is a wealth of things to see and do in Sri Lanka. There are numerous National Parks such as Yala and Uda Walawe, you can explore Tea Plantations in the Hill Country, you can climb the sacred Adam’s Peak mountain, you can venture into the jungle and hike up to the ancient Sigiriya rock, visit a turtle hatchery and release baby turtles into the sea and much more. Plenty to keep us occupied for two weeks!

  2. The beaches look amazing. As I mentioned earlier, one of the main reasons for taking a break at this time of year is to get reacquainted with the sun, so I’m hoping to also spend a good few days relaxing on some beautiful tropical beach somewhere. Fortunately Sri Lanka has these in abundance, with Hikkaduwa and Unawatuna looking particularly spectacular.



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Any tips from yourself?

So there you have it! If anyone has been to Sri Lanka before and has any advice of things to do or just general tips, I would be happy to hear from you. I’d like to know the name of a decent Sri Lankan cookery course as well if anyone has any info about this.  

Updated: 10/25/2012, jamieevans
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HollieT on 01/06/2013


I visited Sri Lanka in 2010 with my then, 13 year old daughter. We loved it! We visited in August because it was low season and even cheaper. You are absolutely right, there is sooo much to see and do. We visited Kandy and the Temple of the tooth, fantastic. Yala National Park, even better, tea plantations, the botanical gardens- you name it.. We also stayed in another hotel overlooking the River kandy, named the Panoramic view- and believe me it was.

We literally saw about as much of Sri Lanka as is possible and it is such a beautiful country. The beaches are out of this world, the people are lovely, friendly, welcoming- you couldn't ask for more. We stayed ( the hotel we booked that is) In Indurwara.The infrastructure isn't that great, so what might take 2 hours to travel to in a country with great roads etc, would probably take about 5 hours in Sri lanka- but the scenery is breathtaking! Truly. And it's so cheap.

We cut out the tour operators and used the local tuk tuk drivers who also have taxis. We booked a trip to Yala National Park (which was 5 hours away) and paid a total of £80 for both of us, which included: Travel, entrance to the park, hotel which included evening meal and breakfast plus a packed lunch for the safari. You need the hotel stay because they take you safari at 5am. It's the best time to spot the animals because they shelter in the sun during the day. And at the end of the of it all, the Tuk Tuk driver will invite you to his home for a meal!

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