What is Sri Lanka? Ceylon, Serendib, Taprobane, Pearl of the Indian Ocean and The Teardrop of India. It is a member of the South Asian Association for Regional Corporation (SAARC). A country that gained victory from a 30 year-long civil war and now, is the proud owner of Nelum Kuluna; The Tallest Completed Tower in South Asia. From the sandy beaches to the cold mountains and widespread jungles, the country promises you an island life experience unlike any other.
Is Sri Lanka the hidden gem of South Asia? Well as you look through Google Maps you might find Sri Lanka separated by the Palk Strait, looking much smaller than the large Indian terrain. But with its 9 districts, 21 million population and unique culture, the Map of Sri Lanka is now becoming a highlight everyone wants to explore!
A mixture of urban and modern to Asia’s very own version of the Te Fiti Island in Moana, here are some things you certainly wouldn’t find online on Sri Lanka.
As odd as this combination may seem to some, for us Sri Lankans it is a daily bread we know the meaning of all too well. You can’t have a traditional Sri Lankan meal without its local spice. A single meal is never complete without a vegan’s pick of veggies in it. A sweet tooth is nothing less than a wattalappam enjoyed during its ‘season’. And greasy fries is a treat we are all digging right now!
Just like how these dishes make it work, the diversity in culture in Sri Lanka is a beautiful blend of Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, and Christians. You could be traveling from the North to the South, to the East to the West, yet there isn’t a single place where you wouldn’t be at the receiving end of this diversity. Sometimes this is so unique that even amongst the places where people of a particular religion are quite prominent in its presence, you will still find a blend of faiths like a painting with colorful strokes.
The beauty in the country is in fact this diversity that has shaped its culture.
Sri Lanka also has had foreign influences that have shaped its music, traditions, architecture and even language. From the Portuguese to the Dutch and the British, even today their traces remain. Most houses for sale in Colombo especially in Colombo 7, still use British architectural styles in designing. While in areas like Galle this goes to a whole other level than the houses for rent in Colombo.Thus putting Sri Lanka in a much more unique platform than any other colonized nation.
When one side of the world is celebrating the Lantern Festival in February, Sri Lanka celebrates its own version of a Lantern Festival in May commemorating the enlightenment of Lord Buddha. In April with the Sun moving from Pisces to Pies, Lankans celebrate the beginning of a New Year. Though it is mostly specific to the Sinhalese and Tamils, it is a festival enjoyed by all regardless of race. Honoring the Tooth Relic, a festival is held in August of every year for ten days straight with elephants and performers recreating a parade started over hundreds of years ago.
Certain festivals are also shared with the rest of the world. From Deepavali to Eid Ul Fitr and Christmas, the diversity in the country has Sri Lankans embracing them all!
Is Sri Lanka a good place to travel? Of course! A vacation in Sri Lanka is never better than when it is in the season of celebrating. So if you are ever thinking of visiting, plan a trip to Sri Lanka to fit the festive schedule to enjoy the best stay in the best seasons!
One thing about Lankans is that when we are in the festive mood, our holidays in fact have no expiry less than a month!
How does the rest of the world see Sri Lanka as? Not that is matters, but we sure do love our holidays! This also probably explains why the first thing we go through in a new calendar is the holidays!
Blame it on the influence of colonization in the country, but the weather is a topic that the Lankans share all too well with the British. Not to forget sipping on a cup of tea with a hint of Ginger, whenever we feel like it! After all, it is what the British introduced to the country during their colonial stay!
Situated close to the equator Sri Lanka doesn’t necessarily experience the 4 seasons like most countries do. Yet it has its own designated areas where it shines bright in its own season!
What is the Sri Lankan weather like you ask?
Hop on a train and travel to the hills in Nuwara Eliya to enjoy a touch of the chilly winter. Get off and move to the East or the North to enjoy the scorching sun and natural hot springs. Down South, you’ll find some of the most amazing beaches to ride the waves or chill while you get that natural tan. Welcome the urban city life in the West that is home to some of the most luxurious hotels and restaurants along with skyscrapers that are working their way to the top!
Even though most of the time in the city your climate experience is limited to either rain or shine, as the year ends the climate gets cold and during the months of February to May, a pair of sunglasses, an umbrella and sunscreen is a must!
The fun thing about the Sri Lankan weather is, it is based on where you are in the country and of course which time of the year it is!
Sri Lanka certainly doesn’t lack at all in nature. And this has made a great contribution in putting the country as one of the best islands to visit in 2019.
If one were to ask ‘is it safe to travel to Sri Lanka?’ It certainly is! As a female travelling solo or a bunch of friends backpacking together, Sri Lanka is probably safer than other places in the South Asian region. Sure, it did experience its hardest hiccup after 10 years in April, with the Easter Sunday attacks affecting Sri Lanka Tourism largely, its ability to recover was incredible. But today, not only has the economy boosted through the past quarter but now it is very much safe to travel to Sri Lanka too!
So look up on Travel Information and the Best Places to Visit in Sri Lanka to enjoy the most out of your stay here!
What are some things to do in Sri Lanka? Well, from the long stretches of jungle and wildlife to the waterfalls flowing from meters above and the amazing hiking trails for an explorer’s thrill; what you are looking for, you will certainly get! However to enjoy the best views it is always recommended that you take public transport like the train or bus. This will definitely be an experience unlike any other.
For the best or the worst!
Traveling towards the mountains, Ella otherwise known as The Lovely Mountain Town Ella in Sri Lanka, is a hiker’s dream paradise. From the long hiking trails to the mountains waiting to be climbed up, it is a place that is sure to get rid of all that stress and pressure built up living a busy life!
The hike to Little Adam’s Peak on a day trip, exploring Ravana’s Cave, the famous Nine Arch Bridge, Ravana Waterfall, and Flying Ravana – Sri Lanka’s first-ever Mega Zipline are some of the many things awaiting the tourists and local visitors at the site. Yet to enjoy it all one full day’s trip is hardly enough! Instead, extend your stay for at least 3-4 days and find temporary living amongst the bungalows in Nuwara Eliya, villas or annex for rent.
Moving towards North you would be able to witness a postwar land working its way towards development and progress. A few kilometers down from Jaffna, Trincomalee is famous for its natural hot water springs and many other historical sights. In the past, the area was Sri Lanka’s first harbor that attracted Indians and other nationals into the country.
Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa are also significant ancient cities in Sri Lanka with a long history of the kings that ruled. The architectural constructions and the Sigiriya Rock Fortress bear witness to the amazing knowledge and intelligence our ancestors possessed. It is also a religiously important location with a deeply embedded Buddhist culture and temple constructions directed by the past kings. These are so well preserved even until today that including these, a total of 8 places in Sri Lanka have been recognized as World Heritage sites by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
In the Southern areas of Mirissa, Hikkaduwa, Galle the long stretches of sandy beaches not only promise fun and tan, but also gives you the opportunity to explore the sea life residing deep below. From scuba diving to whale watching and riding on glass boats, if you are looking to explore the unknown these are perfect places to visit!
The National Park in Yala, the Wilpattu National Park, Kumana National Park are some of the many open wild spaces that brings Africa home to this little paradise. Enjoy your ride on the Sri Lanka Wildlife Safari Tours as you get as close as possible to your subject for that Instagram worthy shot. Who knows you might even encounter a closeup of Tuskers knocking on your windows or monkeys messing around!
In most countries, many only look forward to visiting the suburbs while avoiding the city. This is generally because the city only has to offer a hustling and bustling life. But in Colombo Sri Lanka, this is so much more different. Even when you are in the city living in an annex for rent in Colombo, you wouldn’t feel too far away from nature, especially because of this island essence.
What are the must-see things in Colombo, Sri Lanka?
The list could definitely go on. To start off the recently opened Lotus Tower is an absolute must-see especially if you are one for killer views. Galle Face Green, Gangaramaya Temple, Viharamahadevi Park, The Pettah Market, Dehiwala Zoo, The National Art Gallery are some others that stand out in the ‘Colombo Sri Lanka travel list’.
One thing great about Colombo is that as long as you are on the coastal sides, you will definitely get to enjoy an amazing sunset, bask in a couple hours of tanning and take a stroll through the roads beautified by natural waters and green-lit trees.
In fact this is so carefully thought through that you would hardly find any rooms for rent in Colombo, homes, or lands, in a bad spot! However, this depends on how much effort you put into finding the best places to stay in too.
While there are hardly any lands for sale in Colombo that aren’t surrounded by some form of nature, you might come across those that are a complete opposite. So do your homework beforehand!
Sri Lanka has a lot to offer to anyone and everyone that visits. But it is up to you to know where to visit, how to get there and the best things to look forward to, to make the best out of this trip!