Slices of Life in Sri Lanka

Train in Sri Lanka

Slices of Life in Sri Lanka

The number of countries we would visit, of months that we would be away, the itinerary we would follow… we had a plan when we quit our jobs, sold everything and left our French home to travel. As we know it well though, things don’t always go as planned. When we realised how tired we were all the time after only three months on the road, we decided to forget about the plan and privilege the countries we absolutely wanted to visit. We knew we would cut our long journey short and the last place I didn’t want to skip was Sri Lanka.

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Discover life in Sri Lanka through pictures

We spent two wonderful weeks there and it turned out to be one of the countries where we felt the best. I have gathered here some of our best pictures from our stay in this beautiful country and which depict slices of life, in other words, moments of the ordinary life through scenes in the streets of Sri Lanka. The small moments of life, instances we would probably not remember without these photos.

We say a picture is worth a thousand words and I think it’s particularly true in the pictures shown below. I chose black and white in the manner of street photography because I feel like we can focus more on the story behind the image.

Tea picking in Ella, Sri Lanka

If people know about Ceylon tea, they usually don’t know that Ceylon is the former name of Sri Lanka. Tea picking and drinking has an important place in Sri Lankan history and culture. Scenes like this one portraying tea pickers in the pretty little town of Ella is fairly common in the country.


In the street of Kandy

Kandy is the biggest city we visited in Sri Lanka. Unlike most of the other towns we have seen in the country where life is organised around one main road, Kandy is a more spread city. Its streets are bustling and traffic can be crazy. So crazy that it seemed normal to spot this tractor in the middle of downtown.


Stilt fishermen in Sri Lanka

Stilt fishing is a Sri Lankan tradition from World War II, especially on the South coast. These agile fishermen use fishing rods or lines while perched on their wooden stilts and they can hold the position for hours. Today, they sometimes make more money posing for tourists than actually fishing. We caught this scene from a tuk tuk, nearby Mirissa. Whether they are actors or real fishermen, they remain impressive.


Children back from school, Sri Lanka

During our stay in Ella, our favourite town in Sri Lanka by far, we took a long walk to little Adam’s peak, through tea plantations and back on the railway road. After visiting a tea factory, which seemed lost in the middle of endless tea plantations, we ran into this group of children on they way back from school.


Udawalawe national park, Sri Lanka

Our safari at Udawalawe is one of our best memories in Sri Lanka. This national park is much smaller than others like Yala and a bit less touristy too. It has the particularity of counting a huge reservoir where it is easy to spot animals. What we were not expecting to see was people bathing in this same reservoir, on the outskirt of the park while driving along it to reach the entrance of the park.


Nine-arch bridge in Ella, Sri Lanka

The train is one of the highlights of the country. If it is not the most comfortable way to travel, it will definitely offer the best views, like between Galle and Colombo or between Kandy and Ella. Supposedly forbidden, walking on the railway road is also popular as well among locals as tourists. This shot displays people walking on the Nine-arch bridge in Ella.


Negombo beach

We started our Sri Lankan journey with a couple of days in Negombo. The beach there is not the cleanest and is not particularly inviting if you want to lie down and sunbathe, but we enjoyed a nice walk and beautiful sunset there. It seemed to be a meeting point for locals as well. This man, diligently taking selfies, did find a pretty spot.


Temple of the tooth, Kandy

One of the most popular things to do in Kandy is to attend the ceremony of the tooth. The temple is beautiful and the ceremony was… different, to say the least. After the event, we were treated with this image of happy children, playing in front of the temple.

Feel free to let us know what you think of these pictures in the comment section!



French travel lover and expat in Texas | Translator and main writer for A Journey Away travel blog