Sri Lanka is an island country in the Indian Ocean, south of India and east of the Maldives. Colombo is the capital of Sri Lanka, as well as its largest city. You will most likely land in Colombo and begin your journey there.
As a popular holiday destination, Sri Lanka is well known for its natural beauty, stunning beaches along the coastline, diverse wildlife and rich culture and heritage dating back several millennia. Interestingly, many believe that Sri Lanka has been occupied for around 125,000 years. Furthermore, archaeologists have unearthed fascinating details about the prehistoric life in Sri Lanka, including several archeological dig sites.
Things To Do In Sri Lanka
With a recorded history of more than 2,500 years, Sri Lanka has a rich cultural and natural heritage and its World Heritage Sites are among the absolute highlights in the country. With 8 recognized entries, Sri Lanka currently has the second greatest number of listed World Heritage Sites in South Asia (behind India with 30).
The most recent addition, however, is the vast Central Highlands (including three highland parks: Horton Plains National Park, Knuckles Mountain Range, and the Peak Wilderness Protected Area), which were inscribed in 2010.
Other than these, Sri Lanka has identified two prospective World Heritage Sites: Seruwila Mangala Raja Maha Vihara and Seruwila to Sri Pada (Sacred Foot Print Shrine), an ancient pilgrim route along the Mahaweli river in Sri Lanka.
Make a trip to Sri Dhalada Maligawa and Peradeniya Gardens in Kandy.
Go see the ancient temples in Anuradhapura, Dambulla, and Polonnaruwa which are very beautiful.
Visit the ancient City of Sigiriya.
Go to the Sinharaja Forest Reserve.
Visit the beautiful villages which look like England in Nuwara Eliya. There are many tea estates and Hakgala gardens too.
Go to the beaches of Unawatuna, Galle, Weligama, Bentota and northern areas.
Go for Whale watching in Mirissa and Kalpitiya.
See the wildlife in Yala National Park & Wilpattu for the best wildlife Safari experience. Go to Udawalawe to see the elephants.
Visit the Yala East Park for bird watching.
Explore the unexplored Sri Lanka in Jaffna and the islands in the Northern Province.
See Negombo’s blue sandy beaches.
Note: Please be aware that to get into many of the tourist sites in Sri Lanka, you, as a foreigner will be charged up to ten times more than locals.
Other Activities You Can Do
Surfing – from November to April you can surf on the western and southern coast. Best place for the beginners is Weligama on the southern coast. You can rent a board for cheap. Lessons are also available and prices are open to bargain.
Kitesurfing – from April to September you can kitesurf eastern coast. Best place for the beginners is Kalpitiya (Sethawadi and Kappaladi lagoons), where you can find kite schools and the best conditions for kite flying.
Snorkeling – off the coral a sanctuary near Hikkaduwa is a popular spot to see turtles.
Hiking – Horton Plains National Park offers a nice hiking opportunity to the spectacular view at World’s End.
Sri Lanka is an ethnically diverse country. Sinhalese is the primary ethnicity in the country. Tamils are the second largest ethnic group. Hinduism and Buddhism are the main religions that have influenced Sri Lankan culture. The major languages are Sinhala and Tamil. Around 10% of the population speaks English.
In addition to the cultural diversity, there are various foods and festivals native to the Sri Lankan population. As a result, cuisines like rice and curry, kiribath, roti, kottu, and hoppers are an absolute delicacy. You must try them when you visit Sri Lanka!
Currency and Money
The currency is Sri Lanka Rupee. 1 US Dollar is approximately equal to 150 Rupees. Currency exchange is available at authorized exchanges, banks, and hotels. The import and export of the local currency are limited to Rp5000. Also, the import of Indian and Pakistan notes is restricted.
You can use MasterCard and Visa credit cards. However, it may be dangerous, due to the high risk of card fraud. Major cities have ATMs, but not many of them accept international cards. Traveler’s cheques may also be hard to pay with or exchange.
Car hire service is available from several agencies. You can also rent a minibus or a motorized rickshaw. However, you need to be over 18 to do that. Cars drive on the left side of the road in Sri Lanka. Also, driving can be rather erratic here, so tourists prefer to use public transport or hire a car with a driver. In addition, this option would be less expensive.
As for electricity, Sri Lanka uses types D, M and G sockets. You need to bring a travel adapter to fit the proper socket type. Check out the above-linked page to see the photos and other useful information. The standard voltage is 230 V. Many of your devices may need a step-up transformer to match the electrical voltage.
June 11, 2016 12:00 am 2 Comments