I'm heading to Sri Lanka in 2 weeks and with no plans really yet. I'm backpacking on a budget so I'm hoping to find a few cheap places to stay along the way but also wanting somewhere where I can meet fellow travellers. If anybody has any good recommendations on what to see and do in Sri Lanka and ideas for accommodation to suit my needs I'd appreciate it greatly.
You can start your plan from Negombo because Negombo is the closest main tourism city to the Airport. From Negombo you can get the bus to Kandy and then to Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya and Dahmbulla.
Proceed to Nuwara Eliya and then to Tissamaharama in down south and Yala National Park. After you can proceed along the costal way to Colombo back staying in Precious peaches like Mirissa, Unawatuna, Bentota.
For finding good accommodation information visit www.goasiaholidays.com to get a rough idea of the places visit blog.goasiaholidays.com about 5 years ago
I won't recommend any hotels since we didn't stay in many that were amazing. Most places were pretty cheap and it is easy to rock up and inspect a room and negotiate a price if you want a few nights or breakfast included.
Places we visited (in November 2011) and liked were:
Sigiriya - stay in the little town and get up early to get to the top of the rock before the tourist buses arrive. Don't stay in the government run hotel. it is terrible and a rip off.
Polonnaruwa - hire a bike to ride around the ruins for the day. Take some lunch with you as few options in the park for food.
Mirissa Beach - much nicer than Unawanta but don't stay at Giragala Village resort. We got robbed while we went swimming with money stolen from inside the room. No locks broken so inside job. Manager did nothing!
Kandy - lovely for being so different to the coast
Adam's Peak - definately worth the climb for the sunrise and tuk tuk ride out from Hatton. Dalhousie has a few accom options as the starting point of the walk.
Have a great time! People are friendly, the bus and train are a cheap way to get around the island. about 5 years ago