When we visit Sri Lanka there are so many places to go: we always plan a tuk-tuk-trip inside the island, some kite-surf on the ocean and a safari!
...tourism & adventures
What to do when you are in Sri Lanka? For such a small country, there is actually a lot. It is almost 4 times smaller than Romania with almost even population (source); it is such a rich cultural place. So everything depends on what adventure do you seek?
- If interested in sigh-seeing:
The island has an intense history left to inspire us and teach us about the past. The heart of the island is full of touristic sights. The capital has been moved several times over the years so it is a path to discover the history of the country by a stop in all ancient cities. Each will strike you with the technological advancement of the past civilizations that lived there several generations before ours.
Each year as a tradition we make a visit to a sacred city marking the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka: Anuradhapura. We drop by the oldest tree in the world certified today. 288 years B.C. Buddhist monks brought from India a branch of the tree under which Buddha got his enlightenment!Road-trip in Sri Lanka? Leaving by tuk-tuk from Colombo → Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte → Dambadeniya → Kurunegala → Puttalam (Wilpattu National Park) → Anuradhapura → Polonnaruwa → Kandy trough Ella Rock and back to Colombo by train. Surely if discovering history while visiting ancient cities, you will find many more sites charged with knowledge of the past.
Such a peaceful experience is when you decide to avoid the crowd to the castle in a rock. So you go climb the rock next to Sigiriya. You pass by the reclining Buddha on the way up. On top you find pure peace and quiet while admiring a 360°view over the whole Dambulla area. You may even notice that huge elephant walking in the tropical forest nearby. He is huge, you cannot miss it.
- If passionate about water sports like we are:
→ SURF: The whole south-cost Est and West are good for surfing on waves for those that may be curious to learn to surf, it may be the perfect destination because the season is all year long.
→ KITESURF: There are perfect conditions for learning or improving your kiteboarding skills on the Kalpitiya lagoon (special attention in a different article). The season is divided in two parts: high- from April to October (average wind 35 knots) and low- from December to February (average wind 20 knots).
→ Windsurfing is always available where kite surfing is too.
→ Scuba-diving is also an option…
- If curious about the local particularities:
Please don’t go visit the elephant orphanage. First ask yourself how did those baby-elephants become orphans in the first place? Yet, it is a tropical country you get a lot of safari options. If you want to see the elephants, there are several national parks like “Willpatu”; “Angammedilla”; “Wasgamuwa” where you can see numerous animals and birds or swimming with the dolphins or the whales. Check those tea-plantations could also be a good plan. Climb a peak of 10.000 stairs to see the sunrise is also a notorious activity for all those romantic souls… Finally, or firstly ride a train between Colombo and Kandy should be on the bucket-list.
Useful NOTE! about local guides & touristic agencies
Where there are tourists, there are people interested in making money out of them. Unfortunately in Sri Lanka it is the same as everywhere in the world. Touristic guides and touristic agencies offering guiding services do have tendency of asking for a higher commission. They would have partners in restoration and hotels in the touristic areas they are offering visits, so they will bring you there as recommendation and the bill may be higher than what the menu says.
This is how the world works as we know it! To spare yourself of being swindled, simply avoid such services. You still get the best experience out of this exotic destination for a budget of your level.
We have more information available:
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