Backpacking Sri Lanka – Travel Vlog Series

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Sri Lanka is an island in the Indian Ocean, just to the south of India. The island is home to dense jungles, pristine beaches, rich culture and delicious food.

In 2018 I embarked on my first ever backpacking expedition. I would be travelling around southern Sri Lanka by train, tuk-tuk and taxis, living out of a small carry-on rucksack. The journey would take me from the bustling capital of Colombo, to the cultural capital of Kandy, up into the island's mountains before making my way round the southern coastline.

10 Days Backpacking Sri Lanka Documentary

This series was a lot of fun to put together! I feel like I'm finally starting to find my footing with vlogging and develop a unique style. I know there's still a lot to work on but I love how I'm making progress and more importantly, you guys are enjoying my videos!

Upon completion of my Sri Lanka series, I hit a huge milestone for my channel - 500 subscribers! I literally cannot believe it. It's been a fun 7 months on Youtube and I cannot wait to start producing even better content.

As well as the video series embedded below, I have also written extensively about this trip, including some behind-the-scenes stories and images. Vlogs are harder to capture as when I'm feeling stressed it isn't exactly natural to pick up my camera and film. This is exactly why I love to write written accounts too, to include all those things you don't see: the good and the bad.

I hope you enjoy my Sri Lanka series.

Sri Lanka Series Trailer

A brief introduction to the travel vlog series.

Backpacking Sri Lanka Episode 1: A Day in Negombo

After a lengthy day of travel, we touched down in Sri Lanka. Utterly exhausted, we take a taxi to our first destination, a homestay in Negombo town where we try the local cuisine and are introduced to the overwhelming hospitality of the Sri Lankan people.

Accompanying Blog Posts

Because sometimes vlogs don't tell the full story.

- Backpacking Sri Lanka Day 1: Arriving in Negombo

Backpacking Sri Lanka Episode 2: The Train From Colombo to Kandy

The following morning we have an early start at 6am. There's no time to lose as today we endure an epic train ride from Sri Lanka's capital city, Colombo to the mountainous town of Kandy, which is the cultural city of Sri Lanka.

Accompanying Blog Posts

Because sometimes vlogs don't tell the full story.

- Bustling Colombo to Cultural Kandy Via Train
- Fast Travel: How Fast is too fast? – One Night in Kandy

Backpacking Sri Lanka Episode 3: From Kandy To Ella - Sri Lanka's Most Beautiful Train Journey

We had a brutal 6.30am start in order to reach Kandy Railway Station in time for our train to Ella. This 7 hour Sri Lanka train ride is often referred to as the most beautiful train journey in the world and so I was really excited to see what it had to offer and if it really lived up to that title.

Backpacking Sri Lanka Episode 4: The Journey From Ella to Udawalawe

After arriving in Ella, Sri Lanka by train we then had 2 nights to enjoy the beautiful mountain town with a view of Ella Rock and Rawana waterfall.

I sadly didn't film too much of our full day in Ella as it rained heavily throughout most of the day and I wasn't prepared to find out how weather-sealed my camera really was! On that day we explored Ella town and did a little bit of shopping.

The next day we took a taxi towards our next destination, Udawalawe, but had several stops on our way in order to make the most of our journey and embrace the wonderful Sri Lankan culture. We saw the majestic Rawana waterfall up close as well as a Sri Lankan elephant.

Accompanying Blog Posts

Because sometimes vlogs don't tell the full story.

- One Day in Gorgeous Ella Town
- Fresh Coconuts and Elephant Sightings from Ella to Udawalawe

Backpacking Sri Lanka Episode 5: An Eventful Safari in Udawalwe National Park

We went on a safari through Udawalawe National Park in Sri Lanka. The national park park is famous for its amazing elephant sightings with elephants often in close proximity to game vehicles. We got extremely lucky on our safari and ended up spotting a very rare sighting.

Udawalawe national park is home to a vast array of wildlife form elephants to jackals to wild boars to crocodiles. We were lucky to see so many animals in our afternoon safari in the national park.

However, our drive back from safari was not so lucky and we ran into a slight issue...

Accompanying Blog Posts

Because sometimes vlogs don't tell the full story.

- Epic Safari in Udawalawe National Park

Backpacking Sri Lanka Episode 6: Paradise in Hiriketiya Bay

From Udawalawe we journey south to Sri Lanka's southern coastline. Our destination is a small horseshoe shaped bay surrounded by palm forests called Hiriketiya Bay.

Accompanying Blog Posts

Because sometimes vlogs don't tell the full story.

- Hiriketiya Bay: Sri Lanka’s Hidden Gem

Backpacking Sri Lanka Episode 7: The Problem with Mirissa Beach

I'd heard so many good things and seen so many perfect pictures so, as you can imagine, I was expecting great things from Mirissa beach. Unfortunately, what I saw wasn't picture perfect at all...

Accompanying Blog Posts

Because sometimes vlogs don't tell the full story.

- Falling for Rotis but Having my Heart Broken by Beaches in Mirissa

Backpacking Sri Lanka Episode 8: Along the Bentota River

Our time in Sri Lanka draws to a close as we head to our final stop of our trip - the coastal town of Bentota. We are staying in a homestay on the beautiful Bentota river.

However, our last day yields an unpleasant surprise and we don't spend our final day quite how we'd like it and with only hours till our flight, things take a turn for the worst...

Accompanying Blog Posts

Because sometimes vlogs don't tell the full story.

- Off the Beaten Track in Bentota, Sri Lanka
- The Worst 24 Hours in Sri Lanka

Backpacking Sri Lanka Highlight Reel

A run-through of my favourite aspects of our Sri Lanka trip.

Ella McKendrick on Black Rock Viewpoint, Kenmore Scotland

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