Ah Sri Lanka! It’s tropical beaches, lush green tea lands and ancient structures. It has something for everyone and in recent years, with the civil war at an end, has opened its doors far wider to tourism. Visiting during January 2016 with my three-year-old daughter, husband and an 18-week pregnant self, I jotted down some of the sights and smells of Sri Lanka as I experienced them with my family. I wanted to bottle what I saw: it is a climate and culture so different from my own. For those of you who haven’t been to Sri Lanka before, this may help give you a vision of the country. For those who have, may it transport you back.

On the road in Sri Lanka

1. Looking up at the many palm trees which line the roads and peeking the orange King coconuts, orange versions of the fruit, unique to Sri Lanka.

2. My daughter excitedly pointing out the coconut trees as we drive past them.

3. The distinctive whistle of the bread van which permeates through the air as night falls.

4. Beautifully presented (and tasting) fresh fruit.

Fruit in Sri Lanka

5. The smell of fish wafting through our tuk tuk as we drive past the roadside stalls in Weligama.

6. Drinking endless glasses of coconut water (and not paying a fortune for them).

7. Surfers getting lessons or trying to catch waves on the southern beaches of Mirissa and Weligama.

Surfers in Sri Lanka

8. The warm humid air wafting in your face as you sit in the back of a tuk tuk.

9. The delight and squeals of joy from my daughter as we cram into the back of a noisy tuk tuk (complete with pushchair) and it zooms as fast as it can go, the smell of fuel never far away, it’s engine straining as it climbs hills and attempts to take over vehicles far larger (and faster) than it.

tuk tuk journey
Crammed in the back of a tuk tuk
10. Watching fireflies flicker on and off, on and off and the delight on my daughter’s face as she spots them

11. Walking amongst the tea plantations. The sweet, honey smell drifting upon the air as we wander through the green trees.

Tea hills of Sri Lanka

12. Eating breakfast in the calm surroundings of the tea hills while drinking its produce.

13. Seeing Adams peak from afar as dusk falls, surrounded by tea trees after an afternoon of hiking with new friends.

Hiking in the tea lands in Sri Lanka14. Eating delicious spicy curries and string hoppers.

15. The somewhat terrifying roads of Sri Lanka as each vehicle jostles for position: cars overtake buses, buses overtake buses, tuk tuks attempt to take on any vehicle it can. The only inevitable victory for them are pedestrians and cyclists.

Roads in Sri Lanka

16. The bumpy, well-worn primitive roads which seemed to go on forever as we descent down from the tea plantations towards the southern shores.

17. My husband having to buy a sarong in order to get into the Temple of the Tooth, Kandy.

18. Learning more about Buddhism at the Temple of the Tooth and a reminder of Sri Lanka’s more recent past as the scars of a bomb planted by the Tamil Tigers is pointed out by our guide.

Temple of the Tooth, Kandy, Sri Lanka

19. Watching the sunsets on Sri Lanka’s southern beaches

Sunset in Weligama, Sri Lanka

20. The many stray dogs which roam the streets and the odd beach as dusk sets in.

21. The drum beat echoing through the hills of the tea plantations and going on through the night as the Tamil community celebrate Thai Pongal.

22. Coming across Thai Pongal celebrations as we wander through a tiny village in the tea hills.

Offerings for Thai Pongal, Sri Lanka

23 The elaborate traditional costumes of the Kandyan dancers, bells jingling, drums beating as they perform.

24. The fearless fire eaters and smell of gasoline as they perform stunts to a captive audience who gasp with amazement as they walk across hot coals with ease.

25. Seeing the influences of various European powers which have occupied Sri Lanka as we explore the colonial city of Galle.

Galle, Sri Lanka

Have you been to Sri Lanka? What are your memories of the country? 

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25 Sensory Experience in Sri Lanka


22 Comments on 25 Sensory Experiences In Sri Lanka

    • Wander Mum
      March 24, 2017 at 3:55 pm (12 months ago)

      Thank Tanja, was an awesome trip!

    • Wander Mum
      March 27, 2017 at 1:15 pm (12 months ago)

      Hehe! It was quite funny!

    • Wander Mum
      March 27, 2017 at 10:06 pm (12 months ago)

      Hehe, it was a bit of a squish but we made it happen.

    • Wander Mum
      March 27, 2017 at 10:07 pm (12 months ago)

      Glad to bring back some memories. Hopefully you’ll head back soon and explore further!

    • Wander Mum
      March 28, 2017 at 12:19 pm (12 months ago)

      Hehe. It’s an interesting sight. String hoppers are noddles made of rice flour and a hopper is a pancake usually filled with curry.

  1. Lolo
    March 27, 2017 at 6:23 pm (12 months ago)

    Lovely way for me to experience Sri Lanka! I would love to visit one day! #MondayEscapes

    • Wander Mum
      March 27, 2017 at 10:54 pm (12 months ago)

      Thanks Lola! Hope you get to go for real one day.

  2. Suzy McCullough
    March 28, 2017 at 11:05 am (12 months ago)

    Aaaahhh Sri Lanka you’ve taken me right back. We went in 2018. We suffered a bit with bad tummies which is why we’ve not yet taken Jamie. How was your three year old? I never really enjoyed the coconut milk but the fresh fruit was just delightful

    • Wander Mum
      March 28, 2017 at 12:23 pm (12 months ago)

      Glad to have transported you back…I’m assuming it was 2008 (unless you have a time machine, which I’d love to borrow if you do)! Mrs T did really well! She loved it there.

    • Wander Mum
      April 8, 2017 at 3:00 pm (12 months ago)

      Thank you Emma! It deserves to be towards the top of your bucket list.

  3. Sarah Christie
    March 28, 2017 at 9:33 pm (12 months ago)

    It looks just breathtaking, I know so many people who have been that have just fallen in love with Sri Lanka, in fact one friend lives there now, those fire eaters are crazy I was cringing watching them run across coals, thanks so much for linking up #MondayEscapes x
    Sarah Christie recently posted…Monday Escapes 27/03/2017My Profile

    • Wander Mum
      April 8, 2017 at 3:02 pm (12 months ago)

      Oh wow, your friend certainly liked it a lot! The fire eaters were mesmerising to watch!

  4. Claire at Tin Box Traveller
    March 29, 2017 at 1:02 pm (12 months ago)

    What brilliant memories. I think the rush of sights and smells riding in a tub tub with stick with me as well. I’m always amazing by fire walkers. Ouch! #MondayEscapes
    Claire at Tin Box Traveller recently posted…Monday Escapes 27/03/17My Profile

    • Wander Mum
      April 8, 2017 at 3:04 pm (12 months ago)

      Thanks Claire. It was a memorable trip!

    • Wander Mum
      April 3, 2017 at 1:35 am (12 months ago)

      You can imagine how much it amused me then! ?


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