This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Gampaha. To help you make friends with Gampaha before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Gampaha is a large city in Sri Lanka that is the capital of the Gampaha District. It is located quite close to the only international airport in the country, so getting to your hostel in the city when you land is easy enough. While it tends to attract a rather disagreeable local crowd, the area still has much to do and see, including many old Buddhist temples and meditation centers.
One of the prime places to visit is the Henerathgoda Botanical Gardens in Gampaha. Get a taxi here from your hostel and enter the park and gardens after paying a small entrance fee. The gardens are beautiful, with many tropical plants and trees, including rubber and orchids. You may have to avoid certain sections of the park, as the romantic setting makes it ideal for couples looking for some intimate time.
The Attanagalla Raja Maha Viharaya is a great architectural sight to see in Gampaha. As anyone in your hostel will tell you, the best way to see the temple is to walk there. The trip is short and easy, and the surrounding scenery is worth the walk. If you do this, be sure you have someone with you. The temple itself is ancient, having been built by one of the ancient Kings of Sri Lanka.
Finally, you can also engage in something a little more fun in Gampaha. If you came with friends, you should visit Splatter Paintball, a fun paintball arcade and park that you can play in for hours. One thing to watch out for here, and almost everywhere else in the city, is the difference in prices when you are identified as a tourist. For this reason, it is always better to get a local to travel with you, or teach yourself some Sinhalese (the local language). The people in the city take great joy in seeing someone struggle to speak their language.
Written by local enthusiast for Gampaha hostelsJakob Lombardi