The teardrop-shaped island of Sri Lanka is woven together with culturally rich food, rolling tea fields, a violent past, safari wildlife, and white-sand beaches. Although the island is
fairly small, we knew that seeing everything the island has to offer would
be a challenge.

Sri Lanka like a local 9

Tuk Tuk

One day while researching, we discovered Tuk Tuk Rental – a company that rents out tuk tuks to travelers who dream of driving their own three-wheeled machine. Tuk tuk drivers in Sri Lanka are some of the lowest paid in Southeast Asia. By renting through Tuk Tuk Rental for four weeks, we provided extra income to the local owner of our tuk tuk. We’re constantly searching out companies who are committed to giving back to the local communities during our travels.

Sri Lanka like a local Tuk tuk

Travel like a local

We quickly learned that the best way to travel anywhere is like a
local. By driving our own tuk tuk, we had the freedom and adventure that
wouldn’t have been possible had we been on a bus, a train, or in a car.

Past experience driving manual transmission vehicles couldn’t prepare us
for driving a tuk tuk. I think we both underestimated the skills required
to drive a tuk tuk. I mean, it basically looks like a giant tricycle
motorbike, right? With a few adventurous lessons from a local driver
through the backstreets of busy Colombo, we were on our way.

Sri Lanka like a local 6

A westerner driving a tuk tuk.

The clutch is in one hand, along with the gear shifter, the gas is in another, and the
brake is at the foot. Once we mastered the tricky gears, we were able to
focus on marveling at local small villages while the sun shone through the
palm tree forests.

A scene far more beautiful than what can be captured in
a photograph. An image that rushed our eyes and hearts. The locals would
get the biggest grins on their faces once they realized a westerner was
driving a tuk tuk. We even gave a few locals rides to their next
destinations! We once dropped off a young Sri Lankan boy at school who had
missed the bus.

Sri Lanka like a local 2

Everywhere we went people wanted to know who we are, where
we were from, and why in the world we were driving a local working-class
vehicle.

Our Route

Wasgamuwa National Park

Our month in Sri Lanka flew by as we covered 1,150
kilometers in our tuk tuk. With the pavement flying by below us, we headed
northeast through Sigiriya to the beach town of Trincomalee. We’ve never
experienced ocean waters so warm or so clear. From there, we drove inland
to Wasgamuwa National Park and spent time with the elephants, deer, birds, and water buffalo.

Wasgamuwa is a hidden gem in Sri Lanka that offers a different experience
from the well-known crowded parks. We were the only jeep in the entire
park! From there, we continued on to the mountain destinations of Kandy,
Nuwara Eliya, and Ella. After drinking far too much tea and cooling off
quite a bit, we were welcomed at our favorite property Living Heritage
Koslanda.

We slept in an open-to-nature luxurious treehouse and woke to the sounds of nature. Rounding out our journey, we spent some time swimming on our seemingly private beach of Dalawella, meeting friends in Mirissa, and exploring the quaint town of Galle.

We’ve never fallen in love with a place as quickly as we have with Sri Lanka. There is some sort of magic energy floating around the island. Lands so mystical and far less-traveled, this was a journey we will never forget. Driving a tuk tuk is our first recommendation if you’re planning a visit!

For more blogs about our time in Sri Lanka, check out our website:
www.theloveandadventure.com . Be sure
to follow us on Instagram @theloveandadventure

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