Sri Lanka by bike...

Discussion in 'Global Trip Reports' started by gitchegumee, Oct 25, 2012.

  1. gitchegumee

    gitchegumee Member

    My wife and I spent 16 days and 1700km with me on a Baja 250 & a she on a Bajaj 125 rented from Sha Lanka in Negombo. Sri Lanka is a great ride! What surreal landscapes! Ancient ruins, prolific wildlife, stunning vistas, awesome mountains, beautiful waterfalls, well-maintained roads, friendly people (...where you come from?!), and a favorable exchange rate made this trip a winner. Reminded me quite a bit of Bali. We did have to spend half a day mucking through bureaucracy to get our temporary driver's license, but I guess that might be expected. Food was a mild disappointment. It was not nearly as good as I imagined it would be. (Maybe I'm spoiled by Thailand!) Decent, clean hotel with hot and cold water and aircon is about $23. A short lunch on the road is $2. Western-style dinner might be $5-7. Big beers are $2--and Lion Lager is really good. Honda 250 Baja is $15-20/day. We avoided the beaches and low lying areas in favor of cooler weather and fewer tourists. I've seen enough beaches lately and not enough mountains, so off we went from Negombo to Anuradhapura, then to Aukuna and Sigiriya, next to Dambulla and Kandy, then Rambota falls, Nuwara Eliya, Ella, Haputale, Tangalla, Unawatuna, Ratnapura, Kegalla, back to Negombo. The fort at Galle was OK, but Unawatuna was a overbuilt, overrated tourist trap. If you need the beach, then Tangalla was MUCH nicer with way fewer Lonely Planet gawkers. We ran into very few bikers on our trip--not much of an exploited travel means. We by no means did a complete trip--Still lots for me to go back and explore. I hope to do that some time in the future. And maybe you should too!

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  3. Bert on the bike

    Bert on the bike Ol'Timer

    Nice, nice, nice. Good to hear some trip report from outside the normal area's. Please post more details and pics if possible. Thanks
     
  4. hawaiianbrians

    hawaiianbrians Ol'Timer

    That looks like it was a great adventure. Make's me want to do some research. Thanks for sharing!
     
  5. Jurgen

    Jurgen Ol'Timer

    Very interesting testimonial of touring possibilities outside our regular (GTR) trails. It is great to know what is possible in neighboring countries. The now peaceful Sri Lanka is just a short flight away and, in addition to lush landscapes, many cultural roots can be found there.

    For sure, with slightly more information, it can become an attractive bikers' destination, with more trails and less tourists than Bali :)

    Thank you for the information.
     
  6. gitchegumee

    gitchegumee Member

    Thanks. I'll try to load some more pics soon. Noted that all of you are living in Thailand.... Forgot to mention that we bought one way tickets for US$131 each INCLUDING taxes from Bangkok to Colombo. On THAI, no less. That's an incredible deal. Don't know why or for how long. Also wanted to say that Sri Lanka is a Buddhist destination. Unlike neighboring India. Very chilled and happy people. They love Thai people and apparently get lots of Thai tourists. Lots of interesting temples, ruins, stupas, and stone-carved Buddhas. During the wetter times of the year there is also whitewater rafting options. I imagine many places for an easy innertube float with couple of friends and a few beers. The country is rife with scenic waterfalls, too. Lots of folks go there to see the wildlife--both big game as well as wetland birdwatching. The locals have a healthy respect for wildlife and leave it alone. Saw a cobra at least 2 meters long crossing the road one morning. Reared up and turned toward me as my bike screeched to a halt. Don't know what kind of cobra, but the local kid watching it slither into his garden just laughed. I would not want to run across that thing in my garden. And I like snakes. Also saw giant squirrels, otters, tortises, many BIG monitors, lots of fast green lizards, chameleons, geckos, skinks, a few domestic elephants, lots of monkeys--and not just macaques, but also bigger black-faced monkeys that were fast and more aggressive, big fruit bats, had a kingfisher perch next to us one night and he picked little ghost crabs off the beach. He was uninvited, but nice to share a seafood dinner with him. Interesting to see him whack the little crabs into submissiveness before scarfing them down. Good fun. Highly recommended destination. Now, I've got to plan my next trip in Northern Thailand. Some route I haven't done before....
     

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