Most people would spend a few days in Colombo first once they reach Sri Lanka before venturing to other beautiful towns, but not us. We arranged for a driver to meet us at the airport who then brought us all the way from Colombo to our hotel in Nuwara Eliya in a 7-hour long car journey.
I was so glad to spend only 1 day in Colombo during the last day of my trip, given my previous bad experience with their taxi drivers.
I also wanted to escape the heat in Colombo and retreated to the hill country of the Central Province, Nuwara Eliya, which is perpetually at a comfortable 15 degrees.
At Kandy, the only place we visited in this busy city was Udawattakele forest park to have a bird eye view of Kandy city and Kandy Lake, as we only had one short day here.
Watch my Sri Lanka Travelogue:
Mackwoods, Bluefield & Pedro Tea Estate in Nuwara Eliya
We spent 4 nights in Nuwara Eliya and had plenty of time to visit all the tea estates there.
Only Pedro charges 200 rupees for a factory tour whereas for Mackwoods and Bluefield, the factory tour is free.
We went to the factory tour at Bluefield Tea Gardens.
You can also try the Ceylon tea for free and only need to pay for the chocolate cake which tasted too creamy and sweet for my liking.
Salmiya – The Number 1 Pizza Shop in Nuwara Eliya
This small and nondescript shop with many flies and only 2 tables was number 1 on TripAdvisor and we definitely weren’t disappointed.
The wait is 20 mins long but the pizza here was definitely worth the wait as Salmiya’s pizza has a thin and crispy crust topped with generous servings of fresh ingredients. We went back again for a second time but it was closed as that day happened to be a public holiday and a new year for the Muslims.
Indian Summer Restaurant Nuwara Eliya
Although Indian Summer Restaurant was the most expensive meal we had, the food was good and the service of the staff and manager there was superb!
Lake Gregory & Botanical Gardens Nuwara Eliya
We paid like 200 rupees and 300 rupees per person for admission into Lake Gregory and Botanical Gardens respectively, whereas the locals only need to pay 10-15 rupees per entry. If you are an Indian from another country, you also pay less than a foreigner like us.
I love the scenery and surroundings in Lake Gregory and did boat paddling at a cool air-conditioned weather.
We saw this funny signage in the Nuwara Eliya Botanical Gardens.
The blooms at the botanical gardens were not so nice and I heard that the botanical gardens in Kandy was much better but also cost 5 times more at 1500 rupees per person. In comparison, our entry into the amazing Royal Botanical Gardens in Sydney was free!
Lover’s Leap Waterfall
The Lover’s Leap Waterfall is located a short distance from Pedro Tea estate and only a Tuk Tuk can drive up the narrow and stony path up the hills. Thereafter, we walk/climb up further on foot with Ranjit’s (our driver) help.
That day happen to be a public holiday and there were people up on the rocks at the waterfalls celebrating with drums and music.
The waters at Lover’s Leap Waterfall is a source of fresh water to the villages staying near the waterfall.
Ramboda Falls at Ramboda Falls Hotel
Getting bad food poisoning in Nuwara Eliya
Surprisingly, dining at restaurants in Sri Lanka was not cheap at all and cost the same as eating out in Singapore. We were already very careful to dine at reputable restaurants in hotels but still I was afflicted with food poisoning after coming back from dinner at Grand Thai restaurant located at Grand Hotel in Nuwara Eliya, a restaurant we visited twice.
Our first dinner at Grand Thai Restaurant was still alright, but it was the second dinner that gave us bad food poisoning.
I woke up at 3 am and could not go back to sleep again as I vomited 4 times and had diarrhea 8 times.
Our room in Midky Hotel, Nuwara Eliya.
The manager at Midky Hotel, Kumar, was very nice to arrange for me to drink some black coffee with lime, and I felt slightly better after that. We even managed to buy some anti-diarrheal pills from a small pharmacy in Nuwara Eliya town before embarking on a nightmarish train journey to Ella, which make me feel even weaker and tired standing all the way.
Ravana Falls Ella
The man just happened to be wearing an underwear close to his skin colour!
The locals love to swim and bathe at Ravana falls while tourists like to chill around at a huge rock here. The water felt so cool and refreshing as I waddled around to take photos.
Little Adam’s Peak
As we climb up the Little Adam’s Peak, we could see the magnificent Ella Rock just opposite us.
The beautiful Ella Rock.
9 Arches Bridge Ella
As its name suggested, there were 9 arches on the bridge.
It so happened that a train would pass by in 20-mins time while we were there, so there were many people waiting around for the train to pass by to snap photographs.
We had friendly Tuk Tuk drivers who brought us around to the above places at Nuwara Eliya and Ella and even guide us around the dirt roads and tracks on foot otherwise we would not know how to reach these places.
After the 8 days in Sri Lanka, I brought back many wonderful memories of the beautiful terrains, peaks, waterfalls and nature, as well as a lot of Sri Lanka tea leaves for my family and friends.
I do wish that I have a bit more time to visit Trincomalee as I saw photographs of its pristine white beaches and huge waves of the Indian Ocean on the internet, maybe next time?
Have you visited Sri Lanka before? What are some of your recommended places to visit? 🙂