Lonely Planet knows Sri Lanka. With our 11th edition we help you board the train to the lush tea plantations of Ella, show you where the spotten leopards hide, lead you to Sigiriya's mysterious ancient ruins and when your adventuring is done, reveal the nation's most-secluded beaches. Lonely Planet guides are written by experts who get to the heart of every destination they visit. This fully updated edition is packed with accurate, practical and honest advice, designed to give you the information you need to make the most of your trip. In This Guide: Complete national-parks table leads you to the best elephant-spotting Detailed research on safe travel Unique Green Index directs you to sustainable listings
I've just spent three months travelling round Sri Lanka with both the Rough Guide and the Lonely Planet guide. I have to say, that the Rough Guide proved, on almost all counts, to be the much better option.
Obviously neither guide is perfect - the Rough Guide is excellent on the South coast, but not so good when you travel further north, and both guides fail to give much useful information (or the correct information!) about how to travel around by public bus. However, the Lonely Planet guide is pretty inaccurate throughout. Many of the maps are wrong, for instance, and it fails to actually give a balanced view of whether place is worth visiting. Even if some people might consider the Rough Guide to be too negative, I found that it was quite fair in its judgement of many places - or at least you didn't arrive with inflated expectations that were disappointed, if you'd been reading the Lonely Planet!