Everything to know before visiting Sri Lanka

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Sri Lanka is one of my favourite countries I've visited and I would love to go back and explore more of the many hikes, its nature scene and the beaches. It's a country with the kindest culture, interesting food scene and best experiences I've had. 

If you're new to Sri Lanka and need some advice, here is everything to know before visiting Sri Lanka.

Everything to know before visiting Sri Lanka

Plan your trip around the weather

Like any tropical destination, the weather may be hot all year round, but Sri Lanka has monsoon seasons, which you should look to avoid when planning your trip. Between May and September, the west and south coast experience a southwest monsoon, with lots of rain. Whilst in November and March, both north and East experience showers.

Ask your doctor about vaccines beforehand

Before you travel to Sri Lanka, speak to your doctor about the recommended vaccines. Generally, they'll say you'll need Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Diphtheria and Polio. Depending on your doctors, you may get these vaccines free or you may have to pay for them.

Currency is hard to come by outside of Sri Lanka

One thing I found particularly difficult before heading to Sri Lanka was sourcing the currency. No provider such as the Post Office or Tesco Money had it in stock as I learnt you can't often gain access to it outside the country. Because of this, we decided to take out all the money when we landed at Colombo airport and put it in a secure pouch.

Decide a price of a tuk-tuk before getting in

Tuk-tuks are the main mode of transport for being taxied around in Sri Lanka, alongside motorbikes and cars. Before you get into a tuk-tuk, ensure to bargain a price with the driver to avoid them overcharging you for the ride. You can usually negotiate a price to what the driver originally gives you.

Always bargain for prices and avoid being conned

This leads me to this, aside from bargaining for tuk-tuks, you want to do the same for anything else you buy at markets. As tourists, the locals may try to charge a lot more than needed for a piece of clothing for example. But simply, offer them a different price and if they say no, walk away. Don't let them try to persuade you if you're not confident in spending that amount of money.

Set a strategic plan over your time period

Sri Lanka is a large country and features key destinations from north to south. Due to this, you need to think strategically about where you'd like to visit on your trip, whether you're there for a week or a month. Each amount of time varies the amount of places you'd like to see. Also, you need to consider that transportation isn't accurate and this can delay moving from one location to the other.

Pack accordingly for attractions

Sri Lanka is packed with the most beautiful countryside and opportunities to hike and be in the midst of wildlife. If you're planning to head out on a long hike or explore the various terrains in Sri Lanka, ensure you pack useful clothing and accessories. For example, sturdy shoes, raincoats for when you go higher in the mountains and portable chargers.

Book any popular attractions, tours and transport in advance

When I visited Sri Lanka, I didn't see many tourists in the first half of my trip, it was only when I visited Ella and Unawatuna, the flock of visitors were high. Due to this, if there are any top tourist spots you'd like to visit or if you want to ride the iconic Kandy to Ella train journey, book in advance. 

Always ask locals for recommendations

The locals in Sri Lanka are the kindest and loveliest people I've ever met, always interested in speaking to us and helping us. I found speaking with the locals, they were incredibly helpful with suggestions on what to see and do, and places to eat. As well as recommending the best routes to take and how to get to different locations.

Eat all the Kottu

Kottu had to be my favourite dish in Sri Lanka and it's safe to say my partner and I consumed a lot during our two weeks there. We didn't realise Kottu was roti (a thin flat bread) stir-fried with lots of vegetables and it's insanely delicious. I miss it!

Show respect for Sri Lankan traditions

Sri Lanka is predominantly a Buddhist country and because of that, be aware of their customs, traditions and cultural etiquette. For example, when visiting a temple, cover yourself up and be considerate when taking photos. 

Beware of scams

Like all tourist destinations or locations on the backpacker trail, beware of any type of scam. This could be locals trying to sell you something such as gems. Or adding a new destination on your tuk-tuk route without asking you, increasing the price.

Be considerate of wildlife

Wild animals roam freely throughout Sri Lanka such as monkeys and elephants, especially in the more rural areas. When you see any wild animals, be wary and careful around them, taking relevant precautions. 

The Kandy to Ella train ride is 8 hours

The iconic Kandy to Ella train ride I wanted to do for years and when I got to Sri Lanka, I realised it was 8 hours long! Due to this, I followed the local's advice and got a car ride to Nuwara Eliya to see the wonderful tea plantations and then got the train to Ella from there. Many locals will tell you the most scenic part of the ride is between Nuwara Eliya and Ella.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What other tips do you have?

Thank you for reading <3

Where to visit and eat in Ella, Sri Lanka

 Well hello to you my reader chums! I miss Sri Lanka; the wonders of the nature scene, the kind people, the unique experiences, the hikes and the gorgeous viewpoints. I'd love to revisit Sri Lanka again and explore more of the country and go back to some of my favourite spots, including Ella.

Ella is one of the most popular spots in Sri Lanka because of its beautiful hiking trails, laidback atmosphere and prime location in nature. I loved the vibe of Ella because it was completely chill and one of the first destinations in Sri Lanka where we saw lots of tourists.


If you're new to Ella in Sri Lanka or looking for the best things to do, here is my guide on where to visit and eat in Ella, Sri Lanka.

Where to visit in Ella

The iconic train journey from Nuwara Eliya to Ella

Every person that has visited Ella is known to do the iconic journey between Kandy and Ella or Ella to Kandy. However, what I found through researching and speaking to locals is that the Kandy to Ella journey takes 8 hours. For some that's wonderful, but I also found that Nuwara Eliya is on the route and here, there are many gorgeous tea plantations to visit and experience in what they call 'Little England'. 

You can get the train route from Ella to Nuwara Eliya if you're already in Ella. Or, if you're doing the traditional tourist trail of Sri Lanka, you're likely to see Kandy before Ella. I would recommend booking a car or tour from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya to help you see the sights and then get the train from there.

Visit Nine Arches Bridge

The Nine Arches Bridge is one of the top attractions in Ella and is certainly worth the visit. What I loved most about this attraction was the route there. From the town, you can take a minor hike towards the Nine Arch Bridge and it really adds to the experience of it, rather than getting a tuk-tuk. This bridge is rather popular so I would suggest being aware of the many tourists and visiting as early as possible.

Climb Little Adam's Peak

Ella is renowned for its many hikes, from beginner level to professional. Little Adam's Peak is a hike for everyone and is recommended for all visitors to Ella. This hike is wonderful and has a lovely view of the surrounding mountains, including Adam's Peak. Adam's Peak is another hiking trail but it's for the advanced hikers with lots of experience in off-the-road hiking. We visited Little Adam's Peak just after sunrise and it was a phenomenal setting - but I wish we woke up a little earlier to see sunrise.

Walk up to Ravana Cave

 The climb to the top is pretty steep with lots of steps through the jungle and in the rain, certainly was an experience, but it was worth it in a weird way. As an ancient cave, it has a significant history and it is a unique thing to visit. I'm glad we went but the dark cave was pretty scary!

Visit Ravana Falls

I'm obsessed with waterfalls and love how Ella had plenty surrounding the town. Ravana Falls is one of the smaller waterfalls located close to the town, easily accessible if you want to see one and not travel too far. It's a fab spot to experience a touch of tranquillity. 

Hike and relax at Diyaluma Falls

My favourite activity we did in Ella had to be the Diyaluma Falls. As one of the larger waterfalls in the surrounding area, it was much further away than Ravana Falls but worth the visit, and you'll be able to spend the best part of half a day or longer here. The drive in the tuk-tuk takes around an hour depending on traffic. 

Diyaluma Falls is a huge waterfall and it takes a hike to reach. At times, this can be difficult, but worth every minute. When you arrive at Diyaluma Falls, be aware many locals will try and sell a tour to you, to take you to the main area of the falls. However, it's not needed unless you want to; you can easily access the falls by following the path. 

The Falls are completely serene featuring plenty of spots to swim, relax and soak up the sunshine. I would love to go back here and unwind for a few hours and watch the stunning views ahead of the countryside.

Wander around the town

Ella is a quaint town and despite the busy tourist appeal, it's charming to mooch around, considering the surrounding jungle and hipster-style cafes.

Where to eat in Ella

Ella Village Restaurant 

This hands down had to be my favourite restaurant in Ella and I would even say Sri Lanka, as the food was moreish in every possible way. They offer up a tapas style of food in Sri Lankan cuisine, with various dishes including vegetarian curries, dal and much more. I couldn't believe how cheap this restaurant was and the quality of every single dish.

Rainbow Cafe

Ella wasn't short of cool and Insta-worthy eateries as a tourist trail and this included the Rainbow Cafe. The menu looked too good to resist, including the delicious homemade hazelnut pancakes I had. They offered smoothie bowls and many typical brunch dishes. It's a great spot for breakfast and brunch, or to spend a few hours relaxing. We even met the owner of the Rainbow Cafe on our journey to the next destination in our taxi ride; she was originally from Ireland!

Cafe Chill

This had to be the most popular eating spot in Ella as it's located in the centre of the town, and the main strip of restaurants and cafes. It has a diverse menu with a combination of Western food and traditional Sri Lankan food, giving you the option to try something new or eat your home comforts.

Art Cafe

We found this quaint spot on a mooch around the town and it wasn't busy at all. The colourful cafe had a range of food and drinks, including fresh juices which is what we were after. I loved how the cafe has a used bookshelf to read, colourful decorations and a complete hipster vibe. 

Ice Cube Bar

Another popular hotspot, I loved this bustling restaurant on the main strip. It again, featured a huge tourist scene with popular Western dishes, however, various Asian food as well. I loved it here because it had a crowded, holiday feel to it and the noodles were delicious. 

Where to stay in Ella 

Despite the popularity of Ella, accommodation was easily accessible on a budget with plenty of cheap and wonderful options available. Whether you're looking for a hostel, guest house or hotel, there are many to suit your requirements. I stayed at Dinaro Guest, a guest house which only cost £7 a night! For that price, it was such a gorgeous spot, located nearby to the main town centre.

I hope you enjoyed this post! What is your favourite part of Sri Lanka?

Thank you for reading <3

The best restaurants and cafes in Folkestone, Kent

 Well hello to you my reader chums! I'm obsessed with going out for food, whether it's stopping in a coffee shop or heading out to dinner. Folkestone is a hub for food and drinks from outdoor dining spots, cool coffee places and superb dinner spaces.

Whether you're new to Folkestone or visiting for the day, here's my guide to the best restaurants and cafes in Folkestone, Kent

The best restaurants and cafes in Folkestone, Kent

Coffee shops and brunch spots in Folkestone

Steep Street

The book lover's paradise; I'm obsessed with Steep Street. It's a gorgeous coffee shop with endless books, old and new lining the walls. Serving up various unique drinks, the biggest slices of yummy cakes and a wide menu of delicious lunch foods, from wraps to other baked goods, it's a winner. It's one of those cafes which is always packed, so it's best to come at a quieter time.


This is my current favourite spot as it has a completely chill atmosphere about it with a natural, vegan-friendly menu. They serve up an array of hot and cold drinks, the best homemade baked goods and sandwiches. Yoke is also a yoga studio, offering incredible classes for all levels. I love it especially to go there and get some work done.


For the best brunch and lunches, Brew is the place to be. They offer a gorgeous menu of foods, suiting all palates. I especially love their French toast and vegetarian fry-up! They also offer freshly-baked cakes and many different drinks, plus a bustling atmosphere. 

Orchard Lane

If you're a fan of Swedish buns, Orchard Lane is the place for you. Located in Sandgate, this gorgeous hub makes freshly baked buns every single morning as well as quality homemade goods and drinks. The perfect pastry to start any day!


A new addition to Folkestone's Harbour Arm, Sailbox is a fab spot for brunch on the harbour, serving up a hot menu with various British classics. As a popular eatery, it's always bustling with locals and tourists, dining inside and out.

Harbour Coffee

The best place in Folkestone for croissants is Harbour Coffee. Providing an array of freshly cooked croissants and other baked goods, the harbour location adds to its glory. They offer a variety of drinks, food and amazing views.

Let's Amore 

Recently opened near the Harbour, Let's Amore is an authentic, Sicilian bakery. Run by a lovely Sicilian family, the traditional cafe serves up Sicily's best foods including arancinis, cannolis and everything in pistachio flavour. I'm honestly obsessed and cannot wait to go back.

Restaurants in Folkestone


The favourite for many amongst the locals and tourists is the wonderous Marley's. A typical British restaurant serves up quality and freshly-cooked food using local produce. Everything I've eaten here the multiple times I've visited has been heavenly. Their brunch is out of this world with various options including pancakes, fresh toast and extra fry-ups.

El Cortador Tapas Bar

Tapas is heavenly at this restaurant with various traditional Spanish dishes. I've dined here once but would happily return as I was impressed by the assortment and how fulfilling all the dishes were.

Viet Street

Vietnamese food is one of my favourites of all time and I've been craving it since returning from Vietnam. Visiting Viet Street was transporting back to Vietnam in a way with their various traditional dishes on offer. I would love to go back again and eat all the pho and spring rolls.


Lubens is a classic pizza place serving up delicious wood-fired pizza with many gorgeous toppings. This restaurant has a great family-friendly appeal as a lovely, casual place to eat. They also offer many other Italian dishes.

The Radnor Arms

As my favourite pub in Folkestone, it's an ideal place for a cosy meal out in the winter months. They service many classic pub dishes of high quality. I especially love their Sunday roasts and going in there for a drink with friends.

The Goods Yard

The hub for all kinds of food, The Goods Yard is located on the Harbour Arm. The Goods Yard offers various food stalls, from pizzas to Thai food and many bars too, ideal for a casual bite to eat or watch something on the big screen.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Have you visited any of these restaurants?

Thank you for reading <3

How to save money for travelling

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Travelling is my life; I love nothing more than exploring new destinations and experiencing different cultures. There's something incredibly mesmerising about the world and its wonders and I feel blessed I'm able to witness so much of it.

If you're new to travelling or looking to plan some exciting trips, here are my tips on how to save money for travelling.

How to save money for travelling

Set a savings goal each month

Saving money is all about being disciplined and keeping your sights set on what you really want. This starts with having a savings goal for each month. Every month, you can have the same savings goal and stick to it, sending that money directly to your savings on payday. Alternatively, you can switch up the savings goal each month, based on what's occurring within that month and your outgoings. For example, one month you may be able to afford £300 in your savings and the other month, £50. Whatever you can save will add up.

Be strict with your monthly budget

A budget spreadsheet will be the answer to all of your prayers when it comes to saving money. In this spreadsheet, outline your outgoings for the month such as your bills, food and personal expenses. Then, you can see how much you're left with and lay out how you're going to spend it. For example, 20% of your disposable income can go into the savings travel pot and the other chunk on leisurely activities. 

Any spare cash - put away

Every month fluctuates on how you spend your disposable income, depending on what you get up to, the season and life changes. However, what you can do is at the end of every month, see what's left in your account before payday. Say you have £10, £50 or £100 spare, instead of keeping it in your main account to spend, throw that 'spare' money in your savings and allow your account to top up again on payday. This means at the end of each month, you will get another boost.

Limit unnecessary outgoings

We all have different things we spend our money on, whether it's a coffee out each morning or grabbing lunch at a cafe for work. Whatever the expense is here and there, it does add up. Take a look at your regular monthly spending habits and eliminate the unnecessary things or essentially, what you can live without. This could be going out for dinner too many times or beauty treatments. Whatever it is that you can hold back on, it'll help you reach your savings goal sooner.

Embrace the cheap and free things you can do

It can be hard to feel like you're missing out on everyday life when working towards a travel savings goal. Although, it's also a time where you can embrace the free and cheap things to do in life, and be inventive with fun activities. Whether it's finding somewhere new and exciting to go on a walk, making your own pizza night or having an art evening, there are plenty of fun things to do on a budget.

Work on a side hustle

Saving is one thing but if you want to increase your income to help you save more money quicker, a side hustle may help. This could either be getting a second job to work around your current job, doing something online or selling your items. Think strategically about what works best for you. If you're someone that works online, doing some freelance work is a useful way to earn an extra bit of cash, whilst if you're more of a people person, look into customer-facing jobs. Also when it comes to selling things, put your clothes on Vinted or Depop as an example.

I hope you've enjoyed this post. What other budget tips you've had?

Thank you for reading <3

A day in Folkestone, Kent: my favourite things to do

 Well hello to you my reader chums! The UK summer means embracing our wonderful seaside towns, including Folkestone in Kent. Folkestone has improved over the last few years by introducing new restaurants, cafes, quirky shops, activities and a bustling harbour scene. 

Lighthouse clothing - yellow rain jacket

AD - This post features gifted products.

I've been dreaming of a yellow raincoat for the longest time and when Lighthouse Clothing got in touch, I was thrilled to receive this stunning jacket. It's the perfect addition to my wardrobe, especially for the uncertain UK weather. I'm impressed by how effective it is and the quality of the jacket - it's going to be a favourite item for me as I'm already obsessed. Now I can wear it for rainy seaside days!

Lighthouse Clothing offers a range of clothing including raincoats, T-shirts, dresses, sweatshirts, tops and more, for kids and adults.

Whether you're new to Folkestone or planning a day trip to the seaside town, here is my one-day guide to Folkestone, Kent.

Visit the Harbour Arm

Folkestone's Harbour Arm is the place to be, whatever the occasion with its array of new restaurants, coffee shops and gorgeous views. I love the Harbour Arm, especially in the summertime because various food and drinks stalls open, plus their cool coffee shops such as Harbour Coffee. You can spend time strolling with a drink in hand, or chill with food and a beverage, overlooking the sea. The Arm also features live music and various events.

Mooch around The Goods Yard market

The Goods Yard is an area on the Harbour Arm, packed with food and drink stalls as well as a local's market. The market sells various goods from clothing, and toiletries to furniture and is worth a browse to treat yourself. The Goods Yard is also home to the big screen, featuring many sporting events and film night evenings.

A round of mini golf

The new, outdoor mini golf is located right next to the Harbour Arm and is a lovely activity for all of the family. There are classic 18 holes and really, it's a great way to spend an hour or two in the sunshine. I loved playing this with a couple of my pals!

Wander around the creative quarter and town

The creative quarter is the hub of Folkestone's creative scene hence the name, with gorgeous shops to browse. From the Etsy shop, quirky card shop, and organic produce shop to various other stores showcasing local talents and artists. It's a lovely colourful street, bursting with joy and plenty to see, including many cafes, restaurants and bars. Surrounding the creative quarter, the town centre is also bursting with lots of shops, including the new Folkestone Bookshop. It's definitely the place to be for a spot of shopping.

Enjoy the local coffee shop scene

I'm a big fan of a quirky coffee shop, whether it's to read a book, do some work or catch up with a pal, Folkestone boasts many wonderful spots. My favourites have to be Steep Street, Yoke, Brew and Harbour Coffee. I can assure you, wherever you enjoy a coffee, you'll love the ambience of the town. 

Take a yoga class 

Yoga is one of my new favourite activities and in Folkestone, there are many opportunities to practise yoga. Yoke features a yoga studio with various classes of all skill levels and in the summer, they offer classes on the beach down at Sunny Sands. More regular classes are also available in the summer on the same beach with 'I Am Solstice Yoga'.

Enjoy a stroll along the Leas

The Leas is a beautiful area of Folkestone, overlooking the beach and boasting endless greenery and a taste of nature. Along the Leas, it's fab for a stroll, to have a picnic or watch music at the bandstand. I love spending time here as it's so peaceful and closeby to the beach and town. 

Book a show at Leas Cliff Hall

Along the Leas, you'll find Leas Cliff Hall, a venue for local productions, musicals, singers and comedians. They also do other events here, such as community markets.

Spend a few hours chilling at the beach

As a seaside town, Folkestone offers a magnificent beach scene, from the iconic pebbled shores of Mermaid Beach to Sunny Sands, there's something for everyone. Whether you fancy a dip in the sea, catching those rays or a coastal walk, the beach has something for everyone.

Lighthouse Clothing yellow jacket

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. What is your favourite thing to do at the beach?

Thank you for reading <3

Book review: The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave

 Well hello to you my reader chums! I'm a big fan of thrillers and fast-moving novels that I don't want to put down - and this book captured the description perfectly. It has been on my to-be-read pile for ages and I wish I picked it up sooner as I read it within a few days ( and could have happily read it in one sitting if I had the time). It's a book which is incredibly intriguing, packed with twists and every type of emotion.

If you're looking for a brilliant thriller to pick up right now, here is my full review of Book review: The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave.

Book review: The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave


The plot follows the family of Owen, his wife Hannah and Owen's daughter, Bailey. Owen disappears one day, but manages to smuggle a note to his wife reading 'protect her'. Hannah knows clearly he is talking about his daughter Bailey, whose mother passed away when she was a child. Bailey wants nothing to do with her stepmother. After a series of unanswered calls to Owen and Owen's boss being arrested for fraud, the police begin to question Hannah, and she realises her husband isn't who he says he is. And Bailey might be the key which can help discover why Owen disappeared. Hannah and Bailey set off together, trying to discover the truth about Owen, but as they reveal some of the pieces of Owen's past life, they realise life will never be the same again.

Characters and relationships

The protagonist Hannah I loved in many ways because she was authentically her and lived a life exactly how she wanted to, thinking of everyone around her. She was a massive success in her business before she met Owen and I love the strength and determination she has as a person. Her connection with her late grandfather also melted my heart because he really showed her what love was, in the absence of her parents. 

Bailey is a typical fiery teenager with no interest initially in getting along with her stepmother Hannah. This made sense really as before Hannah, she only remembered life with her and her dad, it's all she knew. However, after Owen went missing and the two are thrown together in search of him, it was interesting seeing their relationship develop, and see Bailey begin to trust Hannah. Hannah understands Bailey and loves her dearly, doing anything for her, and as the plot thickens, Bailey works towards that mutual feeling.

Hannah and Owen's relationship seems like a fairytale when she talks about it. Their love for each other is natural and how you expect a love story to be. When the plot goes back in time to moments before Owen goes missing, you can really tell that they are meant for each other and it's a shame Owen didn't trust Hannah enough to reveal his past.

Owen is a character that I sympathise with because everything I learn about him makes me understand what he did in a way, but also question his choices too. One thing about Owen which is admirable is his love for his daughter and the lengths he goes to protect her.

Overall thoughts

Overall, this book was a thriller with heart and raw emotion to it that at times it felt real. I felt as if the characters' relationships were real as the author has a powerful way with words, describing the depths of their emotions and what they went through. I enjoyed how at first the book leaves you in suspense with sprinkles of clues and then all at once the answers come out; it's the perfect level of pace in a novel. I was hooked from page one and could read the author's writing again and again. I also loved how the title of each chapter gave away a small clue as to what was going to happen in that chapter.

The book was superbly crafted in a clever way with twists and turns I didn't expect and really showed the lengths we go to and the risks we take to love and protect those around us.


I wasn't sure how this book was going to end, especially when all the answers were revealed. I won't give anything away, however, I will say it ended on an uplifting and positive note with hope for the main characters in the book and their lives.

I hope you enjoyed this review. What are you currently reading?

Thank you for reading <3