From Nuwara Eliya to Sigiriya by bus

Sri Lanka bus
Riding a local Sri Lankan bus

During our time in Sri Lanka the trains were on strike, which means we had to rely on buses if we wanted to go anywhere.

We started the journey in Nuwara Eliya’s busy bus station (probably it was extra busy because of the railway strike). It was raining, it was cold, foggy and chaotic. As soon as we entered the station grounds someone asked us where we are going. Answering Kandy they immediately pointed us in the right direction. We came across a white minivan, with the sign Kandy. We asked about the price – 250 rupees. Ok, more than on a normal local bus, but here at least we had a seat (and converting it into € didn’t make much of a difference).

The journey was terrible – numerous bends, left, right, breaking, accelerating and so on. I was so sick the attendant (or the man who collects the money) gave me a bag in case I would get sick. Although it was only 14 degrees I had my window slightly open. It helped. The journey would probably be more enjoyable if we could see anything, but because of the rain and fog everything was blurry. We passed many tea estates and all the hills around were covered in tea plantations. This has to be awesome in nicer weather. My suggestion would be – rent a driver for the journey from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya (or vice versa) and arrange that you’ll stop at some tea estates along the way.

At the bus station in Kandy (why we didn’t stop here, you can read here) it was the same atmosphere as in Nuwara Eliya – busy, crowded, chaotic. And same story as before: where are you going? – Dambulla. – Go there.  Again, we were lucky to find the minibus version, where you have a guaranteed seat (this time it was 300 rupees per person). This journey was easier for my tummy. The rainy weather was replaced with sunshine, resulting in me taking off layer after layer (after all I was dressed in all my long clothes I had packed). After about 2 hours we were dropped off in Dambulla on the main street across the main bus station.

After not even 2 minutes a bus arrived with the sign Sigiriya. We hopped on, paid only 40 rupees per person and 30 minutes later we were at our guest house. Now give me a shower and food. 😊


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