Sri Lanka, recently, has been ranked the best destination for wanderers in 2019 by Lonely Planet. Rich in natural reserves, crystal clear beaches and UNESCO recognized historical heritages, this country definitely offers you a dreamful vacation with numbers of discoveries. As for both amateur and skilled photographers, a trip is not completely worth it without marvelous pictures, hence this article which shows you the best spots for Instagramable landscapes in “Ceylon – The Jewel of Indian Ocean”
Mirissa – Coconut Tree Hill
Mirissa is a beautiful town, for which tourists find it a gem on the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Within 2 kilometers radius, there are numbers of attractions, but Coconut Tree Hill as the best one. Lying not far from Turtle Beach, it’s about 10 minutes walking along the beach full of white sands, although some moderate climbing is required.
What makes this hill so famous is the ranges of tall coconut trees looking over the wavy turtle beach. Early morning for sunrise and late evening for sunset is always the peak time in this attraction. Would you resist the pleasure of sitting under the shades with winds blowing through your hair?
Be aware of tiny ants and large rocks around the area if you do not want to get injuries while taking perfect shots!
Wijaya – The Ship Rock
When it comes to Unawatuna, people tend to think of the brown coloured beach with clear turquoise water, but not the hidden spot in town – The Ship Rock. Located in the west of Wijaya beach, the rock is formed naturally itself in the shape of a ship. Climbing it is not recommended in case you are sure about your safety because of sharp rocks and big waves around. It’s free of charge, but there is often a queue of tourists waiting for their turns to stand on the rock.
Please stay calm until there is a wave to catch the best chance for photographing. Not to say that inspired shots are usually created during the dawn with red and orange spot lights in the sky.
Kandy – Ella Train
There are millions of results when searching Kandy – Ella train, which proves the fame of this specific train voyage. Starting from the second biggest city of Sri Lanka – Kandy, the train comes up to a height of 1800 meter above the sea at its final destination. Not only passengers have opportunities to enjoy the landscape of vast valleys, lush tea farms and villages hidden in the midst along the route but also a cool climate with fresh air.
Make sure to reserve your seat in advance or be at the train station 2 hours before departure time for purchases of tickets.
The second classed cars with open windows and doors should be taken since you are able to hang around the door for taking photos and sightseeing. Be advised that for the second class, there is no guarantee of a seat, so please jump in the car as quick as you can right after the train stops. The first class ones with air conditioned cars and closed windows are preferred by tourists who do not find those activities interesting.
You may find the first 3 hours of the tour boring due to the repeated sights of houses, while the last 4 hours is the best chance for you. Thanks to the steadily slow speed of the train, recording and taking photos of the landscapes by hanging around the car’s door is not hard.
Sigiriya – Lion Rock
The reputation of this attraction has come to a peak when UNESCO recognized it as one of the most valued and crucial heritages of Sri Lanka, thus the high fee of 30 US Dollars for each foreigner. No matter how expensive it is, the historical site is a must to visit once landed in Sri Lanka. A height of 200 meters makes this “Lion Rock” the first option of taking the whole wide view of forests around the area. However, expect a climb of no less than 45 minutes from the entrance ticket office to reach the top. Stay alert of bees around the bushes and big trees by not making any necessary loud.
There are abandoned broken walls on the top that are suitable for some vintage photographing with a horizontal look down to the ground. Some ponds at the very first pathways are also praised as wonderful background for instagrammer.
Matale – Pidurangala Temple
For just a short 15-minute walking distance from Sigiriya, you are there to catch one of the most romantic and panoramic views of sunset in Sri Lanka. The temple itself has a based rock called Pidurangala that attracts a lot of backpackers to visit after some viral video clips on YouTube. Back to just one or two years ago, it was free of charge (or with a small donation) to enter the temple. These days, you need to pay a fee of 500 Sri Lanka Rupee as a “required donation” to help building and developing the temples right at the entrance ticket office. Bear in mind that you will be given a free leaflet for detailed information of the climbing route as well as the historical/natural value of items you see on the way.
The route should take you roughly 1 hour to reach the top with some effort for the 10 last minutes to pass through large rocks. Then, you are rewarded with a horizontal view of the Sigiriya Rock and the stretching lush jungles. Since the wind is strong and the rock is not perfectly flat, please pay attention to your safety while walking there.
Ella – Nine Arch Bridge
This bridge is simply a connection point for railway operation’s purposes. However, thanks to its unique structure that reflects a gothic style, hundreds of visitors coming to this site daily just to have a look at it as well as spectacular shots. It takes approximately 20 minutes from where the Trisaw drop you to reach the bridge through a soiled pathway. Some of the best corners for photographing are in the tea garden below the bridge or right in front of the tunnel with railway tracks.
A train is expected to pass by around 9.30 AM, so please keep calm and take a good chance of it. For my recommendation, an overview of the bridge from the tea garden shall offer you the absolutely qualified imagery. Some local coffee shops on the hill can also be opted for a higher view.
Ella – Little Adam’s Peak
You are looking for a trekking activity with outstanding scenery, this spot suits you the best. Not extremely hard and complicated to conquer compared to the real Adam one or Ella Rock, Little Adam’s peak gives you the joy of enjoying the fresh and cool atmosphere while helping to keep your body fit.
The pathway to the first stop takes approximately 45 minutes with a direct view of a high loop. Meanwhile, the second stop is trickier with steep hills and solid large rocks without any shade trees. Unless you are sure to handle the next route smoothly, please stop at the first stop to maintain your health. With an amazing view, your instagram post may hit a number of likes for sure!
Galle Dutch Fort – The Lighthouse
The famous Dutch Fort inside Galle city is just not for anyone who loves streets of Dutch architecture. Those loving the peaceful atmosphere may also find this place an apple of their eyes. The iconic lighthouse located on the southern tip of the fort is often crowded at noon by tourists for a perfect shot of the structure. Surrounded by great coconut trees with an overview far away to the ocean, this one is the perfect background for snapshots without any struggling attempts.
Anuradhapura – Ruwanwelisaya Dagoba and Isurumuniya Rajamaha Viharaya
This is, to be honest, not an essential destination to visit for non-buddhist or anyone who is not fond of religious. A tuk tuk driver may offer you a price of 2000 Sri Lanka Rupees for a ride in the ancient town, do join them at your own risk if you feel like or please pay the entrance fee of 20$ for site maintenance and cycle around the area. Since the best background for photographing is the grassy field near the connection route between Sri Maha Bodhi Tree and Ruwanwelisaya Dagoba, you have to walk some distance to reach it. Do not play with the mischievous monkeys around there in case they stole your cameras or personal belongings. You may also want to converse with buddhist there to get more information about the sacred temple and their practices of worshipping.
There is still one spot to catch sunset at the end of the day, which is not so far from the Ruwanwelisaya called Isurumuniya Rajamaha Viharaya. If you do not remember the long name, just indicate the tuk tuk driver or ask anyone there about the best place to view the sunset. There is a high chance that they show you direction to this place. A charge of 200 Sri Lanka Rupee is required for foreign visitors. Like other temples or sacred sites, you must take off your shoes and cover your legs before entering.
Unawatuna – The Swing Rope
This swing rope is a fun activity that you should not miss in Uwanatuna beach. With just 300 Sri Lanka Rupee for 10 to 15 minutes play, you will have a strange experience of hanging on rope, swinging here and there above the sea water. Any shot taken within the sunset background is so eye-catching that it has been featured many times on some magazines and instagram post as the best moment of the trip.
Wish you have the best photo collections in Sri Lanka ^^