Phone case: Ideal of Sweden 

It's hard to believe that just a week ago, I was sitting on a Sri Lankan beach under an umbrella in the blissful sunshine. From beach parties, to the delish rice and curry I ate almost every night, it was an amazing two-week adventure that seems pretty surreal now I'm back on British soil! I headed to the beautiful South East Asian country last month on my own and as always, travelling alone was one of my favourite things about the trip. It might not be for everyone, but for those interested, I wanted to share my trip, my tips and advice about solo travel as a woman, my advice for where to go and eat...and my beautiful photos of course!

My trip

When I first arrived, I was lucky enough to know a few people who were already travelling around Sri Lanka. I headed towards Kandy and we stayed at my pal's grandparents INCREDIBLE house in the hills nearby. It was really secluded so it was an amazing place to be when I first arrived, but living in the lap of luxury wasn't how I spent the rest of my trip! After a couple of nights of being treated like an absolute Queen by my friend Jake's lovely family, a few of us headed to Bentota near the coast. Pretty much my sole motivation for travelling is to be beside the seaside, so I was super happy to be there. I missed out on Kandy and Ella and the train journey between the two towns that everyone raves about, but I decided to go with my friends to save on taxi fares. While Sri Lanka is obviously super cheap, taxis are comparably pretty pricey so it made sense to me to split the cost. It was a five hour journey, after all.

We stayed at The Waterside Hotel for two nights, which was one of the priciest places I stayed as I was on a budget (but I'm talking £40 a night per person if you're sharing a room, so for some people it's pretty reasonable) and it had a pool. It was super lovely and as Bentota was super quiet, it was good to be in a place with atmosphere and friends surrounding me. But as a solo traveller I felt a bit nervous about the prospect of my friends leaving and decided to head off as soon as they had gone. It seemed more of a family area to me, and as a woman I think it's better to be around people in busier areas if you can - so I travelled by bus to Hikaduwa.

I received varied advice on taking public transport in Sri Lanka. Before I left, I genuinely hadn't considered anything about my trip (aside from a quick google of recommended routes, I kid you not), but other people did have things to say about it. My cousin warned me about the rates of sexual assault on public transport and told me not to travel alone, but as that's exactly what I was doing it just made me feel super nervous when I was doing so. The Waterside recommended I take a bus as it was just a 45 minute journey that cost 160 rupees (about 80p), so I felt comforted by that. A tuk-tuk driver helped me get on the right one and I was away, no problems.

As soon as I arrived in Hikadiwa, my nerves had gone. I walked into my hostel Chami's Place and met people instantly, who I then spent all my time with while I was there. The hostel was absolutely fantastic, from the atmosphere, to the friendly staff and guests. I also must mention the insanely good - not to mention cheap - food on offer. The breakfast included in the price was literally the biggest I've ever been given. I'm talking a fruit smoothie, 4 pieces of toast, Dahl, an omelette and fruit. I shared a dorm with 2 other girls, but there was only one night where the room was full. It was cleaned every day and pretty much everything you could ever want was available. It goes without saying that this place was incredible value for money. But also, Hikadiwa was a super fun place to be and probably my favourite in Sri Lanka. The beach was busy but enjoyable, there were plenty of places to eat tasty and authentic Sri Lankan food, it was easy to get around and there were fun beach parties too. It's worth mentioning that you have to be vigilant when drinking though, as staff at Chami's warned me to never let my drink out of sight as there had been a few incidents in the past that saw girls being taken to hospital for days at a time after their drinks were spiked. I felt safe in that I had people around me and we all kept an eye out for each other, but it's important to be aware.

After a couple of nights, I headed to Unawatuna for a quick stop and this time I went by tuk-tuk for a grand total of £7.50. I'd been told there was nothing there, but from what I saw that wasn't true. There seemed to be a lot of cute cafes, restaurants, yoga studios, beach bars and plenty of lovely places to stay, but it didn't seem like a party place if that's what you're looking for. Having said that, one night probably isn't enough time to gauge the place so it's worth doing more research before you go. I stayed at the Lanka Eco Village as I fancied one night on my own in a fancy place and it didn't disappoint! The pool was absolutely beautiful and provided incredible sea views, while my little bungalow was equally luxurious. I stumbled across a cute cafe called Skinny Tom's, where I enjoyed an incredible muesli and fruit breakfast. I really recommend you check it out if you're around! I felt a bit isolated on my own, so I was glad to head off to Weligama the following day and to experience a little more.

I stayed at Hangtime Hostel, which was the only place I'd pre-booked before I left for Sri Lanka. I literally just googled 'yoga Sri Lanka' and stumbled across the hostel. It seemed to tick all the boxes, so I booked two nights as I noticed it seemed to get booked up pretty fast. Two nights wasn't a huge commitment, but I was really glad I did pre-plan this place. Situated opposite Weligama beach, it was a fantastic hostel less than 30 seconds from the sun, sea and sand that I was craving. The cafe/restaurant was dreamy, they offered daily yoga classes and the rooms were spacious and clean (for one £10 a night for a dorm). In fact, the hostel seemed to be a favourite hangout for travellers in the area as I met a few people there who were staying elsewhere.

My last stop was Mirissa, which was about 15 minutes away from Weligama. It was a little busier, with more beach bars and restaurants for travellers to enjoy. I stayed at Hangover Hostel by recommendation and I gotta say, it was fantastically run. There was air conditioning, rooftop yoga, evening activities, great security and a cute cafe to grab brekkie at. Mirissa is also a hot spot for whale watching, so I took full advantage and signed up to Raja and The Whales experience on recommendation. For around £35, I had a huge breakfast, coffee, water, a 7 hour boat trip and - most importantly - the opportunity to see about five blue whales in the flesh, which was pretty surreal. There are plenty of other whale watching spots in Mirissa, but this one came with recommendation so I signed up for one of my last days in Sri Lanka. It was a 5.30am wake up, but seeing whales made it worth it (and I was back on the beach by 1pm!).

Dress: Lindex


I only had two weeks in Sri Lanka and I was desperate to spend some time on the beach, so I missed out on some amazing places. My route was as follows:

Colombo airport - (near) Kandy - Bentota - Hikadiwa - Unawatuna - Weligama - Mirissa - Colombo airport

Other places I would recommend visiting are Ella, Yala and Galle, but I would also research in more depth depending on what experiences you're looking for. This is just based on what I was told while I was there.


Here are a few places I tried out during my trip and recommend:
  • SkinnyTom's - Unawatuna. Great for healthy breakfasts, coffees and juices.
  • Aroma - Hikadiwa. A delicious restaurant for an authentic Sri Lankan dinner, great for vegetarians and vegans.
  • Chami's Place - Hikadiwa. Even if you're not staying at this hostel, the food is an absolute bargain and super tasty. From the banana lassi's, to kottu, I thoroughly recommend.
  • Aloha - Weligama. A cute open-air restaurant with great atmosphere, satisfying food and friendly staff.
  • Hangtime Hostel - Weligama. Like Chami's Place, Hangtime was my ultimate pitstop in Weligama and I spent half my time eating their incredible food. While the smoothies and iced coffee are beaut, the sandwiches are the perfect lunchtime snack.
  • W15 - Weligama. If you're looking for somewhere slightly more upmarket (aka expensive and swanky), this place is perfect. I enjoyed cocktails there on a couple of nights (I still think about the Weligama Dreams cocktail) as well as Sri Lankan rice and curry. 


I have travelled alone in the past and felt absolutely fine, but for some reason I felt slightly more nervous about solo travel in Sri Lanka due to the warnings I had received and various other person incidents that had occurred as my trip neared. Regardless of why, it's perfectly understandable to be apprehensive about solo travel. We're often bombarded with news about travellers getting into danger, while all of the good experiences and stories go unnoticed. I felt safe most of the time while I was away, but there are certain situations that I would avoid for peace of mind. 
For example, I had been told not to travel on public transport alone. I met plenty of people who had done so, opting to catch the bus or trains for their super cheap prices. Taxis are expensive in comparison (our five-hour journey to Bentota in a taxi cost £80), so it's understandable. While I did get the bus, I couldn't help but feel a bit put off. As my journey times after the monster journey to Bentota were shorter, I decided to get tuk-tuks between locations. They're still cheap (around £7.50 for a 45 min journey) and comfortable, but far more affordable.

I also enjoy alone time so had hoped to stay alone for a few nights, but in the end I felt more comfortable staying in hostels with other travellers and meeting people that way. As long as you're careful and lock away your possessions, everything is safe and being surrounded by people is comforting. Hangover Hostel provided great security, with key cards for rooms and lockers, but it's useful to carry a padlock around with you to lock things away if they're not provided. Going out in the evenings alone felt safe too, although as I've mentioned it's important to watch your drinks 24/7. Pretty much every night I managed to meet someone, so I was barely alone anyway. I would also recommend leaving your valuables (locked away) at home in case anything happens to them while you're out. 
The locals are friendly and attentive, so I found that as a tourist I was spoken to a lot. Sometimes it made me feel uncomfortable as I'm a Londoner! But as tourism is a huge and important industry, most of time it wasn't at all untoward. However if you do ever feel unsafe, it's worth spending more to ensure your comfort and peace of mind - like getting a tuk-tuk home instead of walking alone. It's frustrating having to part with extra cash just because you're alone, but it's worth it in the end. I ended up spending around £500 for two weeks, all accommodation, food and travel between towns included. I could have done it cheaper (probably around £400), but I wanted to enjoy myself and it didn't seem like a lot for a two-week trip. 

I feel like I could go on and on and on talking about this trip, but I gotta stop somewhere. If you have any questions or want any more advice, drop me an email or message me on InstagramFacebook or Twitter.

Till' next time,

Daisy xox

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1 comment

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