Another narcissistic instagrammer turned blogger slash future YouTuber, you’re probably thinking.
But give me a second, no, 50 seconds, to change your mind.
Recently while planning a trip to Sri Lanka, I thought I could plan the way I usually do when it comes to initial reconaissance: Pick the brains of my well-traveled friends.
Except, this time, I couldn’t find a lot of people who had been to Sri Lanka. And even the ones who had been didn’t keep records of who they had used as a driver or their specific itinerary, or the names of must see places. Let alone which mobile phone carrier offered the best data coverage or which class-type I should reserve on the train ride for the best seat to watch the world go by on my way down to Ella.
When you google “travel Sri Lanka”, what you see are blogs with the very basic information. “Go see the Cultural Triangle, Mrissa Beach, Yala National Park.”
But what the heck is the “Cultural Triangle”? How do you get from Nuwara Eliya to Galle with a private driver when you want to take the train? No one’s insisting you visit Kandy Temple by 6:00AM in order to witness the locals giving offerings and refillng the flickering lamps. Or if you want the most incredible view overlooking Kandy, go the restaurant with no name across from Serenity Hostel. (Just dont stay at the hostel 🙂 ) Or that second class on the train to Ella is the ideal seat to book as they have the bigger windows (offering the most panoramic views), than first class and yet save you from the sardine like packed conditions in third class. Or to avoid seats 7&8 in second class because there is a large partition blocking off the window. You won’t be able to find on ‘Tripadvisor Q&A ‘ that despite having no queue, and a more impressive kiosk, ‘Mobitel’ has less coverage over Sri Lanka than ‘Dialog’ which will have a long queue (but for a reason!).
We all know that the first time we travel to a foreign country there will be a learning curve compared with subsequent visits. The second time you travel there, you might opt to take the train from the airport instead of that overpriced taxi you had ignorantly sprung for the first time. Or maybe you wouldn’t have gone to that tourist trap that didn’t live up to all the hype? I’m here to do your reconnaissance for you. To be your guinea pig if you will. You can learn from my experiences so that your upcoming trip is the best one possible!