You should travel to Sri Lanka because I said so…
Trust me. Just pack your bags and go!
Not reason enough why you should travel to Sri Lanka?
Okay, allow me to elaborate.
In November of last year I took some time off and hopped over to Sri Lanka for a three week holiday. I had no idea what to expect, was completely unaware of what I wanted to experience, did zero planning and only booked accommodation for my first night (which later, on the last leg of my flight, I found out I booked for the wrong dates).
I arrived like a blank canvas and the colours of Ceylon splattered a passionate array of Sri Lankan shades all over my soul.
I was wowed from the moment I stepped off the plane.
And if travel is like love, it is, in the end, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end. – Pico Iyer
13 Reasons to Travel to Sri Lanka
Yesterday I posted a video I made “Visit Sri Lanka“. The goal of the video was to place all the magical moments I had in Sri Lanka in a few categories as reasons why one should travel to Sri Lanka (click here to watch it or be cool and read all the way to the end).
Visit Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has wowed me with all it has to offer; its culture, adventure, nature, ocean, harmony, heritage, food, people, highlands, serenity and the picture-perfect scenic landscapes are just a few of the reasons why you need to visit Sri Lanka.
Here is the video transcribed into a short (I hope) blog post that’s filled with reasons why you should book a ticket, pack your bags and head to Sri Lanka, or Serendip, as the Persians called it…
Sounds serendipitous right?
Sri Lanka has an extremely rich cultural diversity that is heavily influenced by the island’s different religions; it can be seen in their daily lives, architecture, food, art, rituals, traditions, ceremonies and celebrations that have been handed down from one generation to another for the last 2000 years.
Whether you want a soft adventure or prefer to awaken the adrenaline within, Sri Lanka offers a lot of different hiking (trekking) trails, snorkeling, scuba diving, white water rafting, jungle adventures, abseiling, mountain biking, caving, bird watching and wildlife safaris (and I probably forgot to mention a few activities).
Mother Nature did not shy away when she distributed her natural beauty all over Sri Lanka; I was highly impressed with all the landscapes, waterfalls, animals, birds and beautiful colourful creatures.
Oh my goodness, so much goodness (and so inexpensive). Curries, fried things, steamed things, tropical fruit and other roti things; it is a spicy heaven of culinary delights.
Sri Lanka might be a small country but the heritage sites are plenty; especially if you visit spots in the cultural triangle like Polonnaruwa, Dambulla and Kandy. There are a total of 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the old colonial buildings in Kandy and Galle were two of my favourite places.
Different people, different cultures, different languages, different religions, different beliefs yet the harmony you experience when you travel to Sri Lanka is tangible.
It is official; of all the places that I have ever travelled to, the most sincere of them all is without a doubt the Sri Lankans. It is so refreshing to exchange multiple smiles every day with strangers and engage in so many meaningful conversations. The locals are probably the highlight of my time in Sri Lanka; kind, sincere and genuinely caring.
Sri Lanka equals serenity; the country is filled with moments that will still your mind.
If you are a beach bum, an avid snorkeler, surfer, diver or just an ocean lover, head to one of Sri Lanka’s white-sand beaches for some salt water moments.
In a country where humidity follows you like a shadow, a visit to the highlands is refreshing to say the least. Visit Nuwara Eliya and enjoy the cooler temperatures among the tea plantations where the finest cups of Ceylon tea hails from. To witness and talk to the workers of Sri Lanka’s tea plantations is a humbling experience.
Endless. Unsurpassed. And simply jaw-on-the-floor WOW. Sri Lanka is wrapped up in a green blanket of forests, mountains, waterfalls, tea plantations, oceanside splendour, more forests, more mountains and more waterfalls. It is the greenest place I’ve ever laid eyes on. Did I mention all the waterfalls?
Value for Money
My trip to Sri Lanka was great value for money right from the moment I booked my plane ticket (on a special) for under R6000 return with Etihad Airways from Johannesburg to Colombo. Everything in Sri Lanka is ridiculously inexpensive if you take public transport R2/$0.13), eat at local eateries (R15/$1.30) and do homestays (R180/$13 p/night). The only financial bummer is the amount you have to pay to visit some of the cultural sites (but more on that later).
Just a side note: Getting around in Sri Lanka is extremely easy (and affordable) if you use trains and especially buses. There is always a bus to somewhere, any time, any day, any place.
Sri Lanka is ideal for a female travelling solo; I did not feel unsafe at all. There is quite a big difference in people’s behaviours between the folks from the smaller towns in the highlands (more reserved and respectful) and those residing in the beach towns that is more under the tourist and/or backpacker influence (but still not something to be alarmed about). Like always, and everywhere, it is necessary to travel with a bag of logic and follow the universal rule of not walking alone at night, in dark streets or going against your instinct. During my time in Sri Lanka I did not get the feeling that anyone was trying to “scam” me.
Make sure to stay up to date with my blog posts about Sri Lanka. I wrote another post, 17 Days in Sri Lanka in 17 Photos, and also, Sri Lanka: a vacation from me to me. More blog posts will follow soon.