NAME: Jai Allegra Devi Kaldor WHAT YOU DO: I work in the digital and influencer side of a PR agency, as well as freelance writing and a smidge of photography here and there. STAR SIGN: GEMINI YO! SOCIALS: @jaikaldor LIVING: Sydney :( (soon 2 b Byron Bay tho) LOCATION: SRI LANKA!!!!
Out of the 6 (amazing) places we stayed, I have two no brainer favourites. The first is Ella, a little town hidden between mountains, away from the coast of Sri Lanka.
It is a much cooler climate than the rest of Sri Lanka (thank jesus) and it is a much cooler vibe than the rest of Sri Lanka too! Every cafe* (cafe means bar, restaurant, hang out spot, whatever you want it to be really) in Ella is inspired by Bob Marley... Speaks for itself - IT’S EFFING KEWL!!
Breathing the freshest of fr3$h air and being surrounded by breathtaking nature isn’t so bad either.
Ella accommodation is pretty much only home stays and b&b’s (not v $$). I wouldn’t have it any other way because Sri Lankans are beautiful people with the sweetest nature and hearts.
Eden View Guest Home was our pick. Expect to wake up to the clearest view of Ella Rock (famous in Ella) and a delicious home cooked breakfast cooked and served by the guest house
My other favourite was Dikwella (Hiriketiya). Pretty much a deserted beach in the Southern Province. Dikwella (where we stayed) is next to Hiriketiya, about a 7 minute walk. Hiriketiya is a recent tourist hot spot (due to its crystal water, endless palms, horseshoe shape and perfect beginner/advanced surfing waves), so Dikwella was a nice quiet retreat to come home to after a day out surfing.
We stayed at Verse Collective, a co-working space AirBNB run by a South African surfer. It’s a cool spot with a mean breakfast. The whole idea is that you have the freedom to travel, work, and relax all at once and it’s literally 5 meters away from the beach!
You must try traditional Sri Lankan cuisine, Roti, Kottu and CURRY! Oh and the seafood in on the southern coast is 2 die.
Ella: CAFE CHILL!!!!! I CANNOT INSIST ENOUGH THAT YOU GO HERE! We went every.single.day.and.night (We were on hugging basis by the end of it). AMAZING ambience, drinks, food, bean bags, bamboo, life, no shoes, freedom, music, air. Such amazing architecture, wow.
MATEY HUT!!! Hands down the best curries we had in Sri Lanka. It is a tiny, tiny hut on the end of the main road and looks a bit run down, but I kid you not I licked my plate.
Dikwella, Hiriketiya: Blue Bay Chillout Lounge! Again I’m a sucker for good architecture, and this place looks like it’s straight out of The Flintstones, heaven. They do a 10 curries (pumpkin and dahl were my favourite) and rice special and it’s pretty up there with the Matey Hut standards!
Ella: 1) Hire a motorbike and caaaruiseeeeee around the mountain bends! The views are literally to die for and you’ll make a couple of monkey AND HUMAN friends along the way.
2) Take a hike! Ella is famous for it’s hikes! We did little Adams Peak, which said it would be two hrs round trip. We’re both 6ft + giants with a huge stride so it took us 30 minutes round trip haha.
3) Walk across the Nine Arch Bridge train tracks and sit and wait til a train goes past!
Dikwella, Hiriketiya: RELAX!!!!!!!! Chill the heck out. Literally. Go for a surf, eat curry, drink a beer or a coconut, let off some fireworks (not sure if legal but they sell them everywhere haha).
One day we woke up at 3am for a 6am safari at Udawalawe park. It was pretty special and i’d highly recommend it if your a sucker for Elephants. Lorne had never seen one and I think we saw about 50! It’s completely wild too with no fencing and a no touching rule which is pretty cool.
Oh and treat yourself to a $20 massage anywhere you go. Expect to be lathered in glorious oil and touched like never before.
Honestly I wouldn’t go to Sri Lanka if you’re hoping for a shopping spree. They specialise in fabrics and fake electronics, that’s about it. In saying that, the island is famous for its tea, so if you love a cuppa you can go wild.
Swimmers, sarong, dresses, sandals (Nike Benassi slides my boo’s), lightweight long sleeve top and pants (mozzies), UNDIES, a pair of sneakers, sunscreen (BUT ONLY DERMALOGICA, THERE IS NO ONE WHO DOES IT BETTER!!!) and deodorant are a must. I packed a bag full a probably only wore a quarter of it. Swim, eat, sleep repeat.