Living with a host family in Sri Lanka

Sam from Australia stayed in a homestay in Sri Lanka while he was visiting relatives on the island. He stayed with host Uditha and his family for a few months. He had his own large bedroom, ensuite bathroom with a private balcony. Read all about his adventure and some handy pieces of travel advice when visiting Sri Lanka.

Sam on his bike in the homestay

How was your experience with your host?

I could not speak any more highly of this host. Highly recommended for any stay. These are genuine, honest and lovely people. I had a lovely time and could not thank the host family enough. I became a family member being invited to large family functions. Family members treated me as an older relative. Host family members assisted with transport and repairs to my motorbike that I broke! Host family son took me to his friends functions and I became a member of their group.  When I was injured riding a motorbike took me to hospital and waited whilst I was treated. These people are the salt of the earth. Host mother cooked food for me that they would not normally have in the house. Fussed over me when I was injured, my fault, and treated my injuries. We had a final farewell at the airport, they insisted they see me off. I wasn't the only one with a tear in my eye.

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Bananas from the Garden with hosts. Took four people to get this hand down.

Tell us about the homestay

The house is great. Beautiful house. Large bedroom, ensuite bathroom and private balcony. Lovely garden with extensive views. Home grown fruit. There are three bedrooms for guests. All have a private bathroom. You can have access to the kitchen but the host will cook for you. They will also provide tea or coffee at any time of asking. Electricity is very expensive. The water heater will give really hot water in 10 minutes, don't leave it on. Cold showers in this climate are good! Hosts provided transport for shopping and sightseeing. They also provided laundry services, had laundry done professionally at very moderate price.

The host stuffed me with so much beautiful food I put on a stone in weight.

View from my private balcony. Hills 30 km away. Great views.

What did you do in Kandy?

I did lots of sightseeing: Botanical Gardens, Orphaned Elephants, Adams Peak, lovely walks in Natural Environments. I also visited Trincomalee and Galle. Fabulous historical and religious sites. Kandy has a religious site, The Buddhist Temple of the Golden Tooth. A site that has Temples, churches and other places as worship, covering all religions, even a Christian Church, Tamil, Muslim, and every other religion. Full day visit a necessity.

Temple of the Golden Tooth in Kandy

Any tips or advice for other travellers?

  • Lovely people, friendly and helpful.  Smile at any Sri Lankan and they smile back.
  • Take your time. Do not allow guides to stear you to shops of their choice. Be firm, you want to look here, we will see you back at the van. If they persist go to the pub or cafe. They are looking for commissions, no matter how friendly they appear to be! Take control of your holiday. Enjoy it. You may never come back.
  • Learn to live with Chillies. My blood pressure fell to 120 over 70, chillies or lack of fatty meat? A reading I had not had for over 20 years!
  • Do not expect to get Beef, Pork or Mutton. Chicken and fish are the staples. Ancient religious beliefs are not to eat any four footed animal, many religions follow this.
  • Wine is very expensive, be aware that lots of beers are over 8% proof.
  • Seek local advice re fares in Tuk Tuk. Do not allow any tout to accompany you into a shop, walk away and come back later. Touts will expect the shop keeper to increase price by up to 50% as their commission. Be forceful.

Visiting Sri Lanka soon? Take a look at our

Sri Lanka Homestays

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