Why everyone needs to visit Sri Lanka at least once
Even if just for the tea
I spent three weeks in Sri Lanka, and I will never stop talking about it. It is a Buddhist country rich with history, culture and beauty. For my first visit to Asia it was pretty spectacular and I really truly think everyone ought to go there, scroll down to hear why.
There are so many animals
Sri Lanka is bursting with wildlife. Whether it is a herd of elephants casually crossing the road whilst you are speeding along in a tuktuk or a baby monkey clinging to its mother as we visited the cave temples in the hills, they are everywhere. A highlight for us was going to Tangalle’s Rekawa beach at night and managing to be taken by the turtle conservation group to see a mother sea turtle laying her eggs.
Sri Lanka also has a ton of national parks, Yala and Udawalawe being the best to note. Home to many elephants, water buffalo, crocodiles and even leopards you can spot some of the big five here for sure.The guides are amazing, spotting even the tiniest of chameleons.
The food is incredible
In Colombo, the capital city, you can find curry buffets for 300 Sri Lankan Rupees, which is about £1.50. The markets are bustling with fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices around every corner.
Cooking classes are everywhere and when staying at guesthouses a Sri Lankan mother will no doubt cook her family and you a curry that night.
And cocktails are really cheap
You can say goodbye to £8 cocktails and say hello to 4pm-10pm happy hours with alcoholic drinks costing maximum £4 along the beaches of Unawatuna and Mirissa.
Actually, everything is really cheap out there
The budget was pretty amazing, for accommodation that night, 2-3 meals out and a major activity like going to an elephant orphanage, ancient cities or even safaris it evened out to around £25-£30 a day for three weeks. You can barely get two meals for that much in Europe let alone a whole day. Transport was a complete breeze also, we never paid more than £2 or £3 for two or even three hour long buses and trains.
And then there’s the tea
So much tea is grown in Sri Lanka and you can visit cute tea rooms, vast lush tea growing plantations and even remarkably industrial tea factories to see and learn how it is made first hand. The central regions of Sri Lanka are the hill regions and they are completely unlike to anywhere else in the country, with even cold temperatures in places such as Nuwara Eliya which is over 1500m above sea level – we even had to wear jumpers there in summer.
It is so beautiful
There is so much untouched land and natural beauty in Sri Lanka. The train trips are actually an experience in themselves as you climb through the mountains or steam along the coasts you are spoilt with breath taking scenery with your legs hanging out the train door.
There are some amazing hikes and adventures
Sri Lanka has some pretty crazy hills and mountains. In Ella you are met with the famous Mini Adam’s Peak, which sounds like a lot but, it is a walk in the park compared to the main attraction of Ella Rock itself. As you make your way along the train track (yes on the actual tracks themselves) you come to the foot of a tea plantation which you have to fend through before almost hoisting yourself up the hill itself. But hey, the work outs good and the views were so worth it, in the end!
One of the major highlights of Sri Lanka is Sigiriya. This rock was made from molten lava of a now dormant volcano and was once the royal palace and the King’s home, unreal. With tiny and bloody rickety staircases up this rock it is pretty petrifying but the small ruins that remain at the top such as the King’s baths and walls alongside the views are incredible. Talk about a cool place to live, your majesty.
It is rich with both historical and religious culture
Kandy, also known as the cultural capital, was rich with culture. The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is believed to be home to Buddha himself’s tooth and hundreds of Sri Lankans bring beautiful flowers at ceremony times and sing in the temples. Dancing and music is also deeply embedded into their culture and we were lucky enough to see the Kandean dancers do their fire dance, where they lick and walk over flames in order to show the strength of man.