As the travelers are travelling around the world with nothing but their own company, the world is becoming a safe haven for those who want to explore the world, all by themselves. Sri Lanka is also one of the countries which is much safer and offer various places to discover. The country is predominately a Buddhist country and also may remind you of places of its neighboring country, India.
As the country boasts of ancient civilization and heritage, it has its own culture which requires you to dress conservatively and appropriately. The locals are friendly, respectful and helpful and they will be more than happy to suggest you nice hotels to stay and restaurants to have yummy food.
ABOUT THE COUNTRY
With crumbling temples, ruins and sacred Buddhist sites, Sri Lanka is also the best place in the world to have coconut pancakes and banana fritters drenched in generous amount of honey at a road side food joint. A standing testimony to ancient civilizations, this is the land where Sinhalese dynasties set their foot upon along with their first capitals.
A home to incredibly constructed temples, Sri Lanka is a country that supports massive artistic and architectural endeavors.
A country with 3000 years old history and eight UNESCO World Heritage sites was previously known as Ceylon. Despite of reported political turmoil and civil wars, it is a land that dazzles and never seizes to seduce you. Sigiriya, Kandy, Yapahuwa, Polonnaruwa, Dambulla, Buduruwagala and Anuradhapura are the oldest cities of the country.
PLACES TO VISIT
Not only temples but the country also has plenty of beaches and waterfalls that lure the globetrotter. Negombo beach is located in the North of Colombo is also known as the Commercial city of Sri Lanka. Its past successors –the Dutch, the Portuguese and the British have left a legacy such as various remarkable colonial architectures and Dutch canal which makes Negombo an interesting site bustling with various activities.
Take a day off to Sigiriya, near Dambulla, which is also known as the Lion’s Rock. The rock fortress is situated in the Matale district of Sri Lanka. Climb the iconic stairs that have endured the tough weather conditions but still standing with pride. Slip past the enormous hornet nests to reach the apex of the oldest remaining place constructed in 5th century. Wander into a mythical world of legendary tales while ascending to top of the citadel.
Your expedition to explore the country will remain incomplete if you will not pay a visit to the Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy. Located amidst the serene oasis of tea plantations, its impeccable architecture reflects in the lake. The temple is sacred to the locals as it has a tooth which is enshrined in a caskate that belongs to Lord Buddha. Locals and tourists gather around in the evening to offer prayers and eat food. There are other important temples that are a must-visit for every tourist. Gangaramaya temple, Vajiramaya temple, Raja Maha Vihara temple, Isipathanaramaya temple, Koneswaram temple, Kandaswamy temple and Murugan temple to name the few.
POPULAR BEACHES TO VISIT
Sri Lanka is no less than a natural beauty. Those who want to witness the day passing by on the beach or want to indulge in various sports activities, there are plenty of beaches in the country which you can visit. Unawatuna, which is one of the best beaches in the country is famous for its calm and blue waters. One can also spot a whale shark if the day is your lucky day.
Head to Bentota, if you are looking for a complete beach holiday! The beach has various good resorts that specialize in authentic Ayurveda spa and medicine centers. Perfect for those who wants to escape from the hustle-bustle of the city and want to feel rejuvenated, the beach is an ideal getaway.
Mirissa attracts people from all over the world. Famous for its views of aquatic wildlife in its natural habitat, it is ideal for both ecological purposes as well as for holidays. If you want to spot dolphins and whales visit the place in December. There are many centers that also offer various Ayurveda therapies. To stay in plush resorts, Dickwella is the beach to go. This is one of the best secluded Sri Lankan beaches which offer serendipity.
MARVEL AT THE WILD ELEPHANTS IN NATIONAL PARK
The country has number of National Parks that are home to various species. Depending on the city and place you are staying, you can visit these national parks to enjoy the natural habitat of animals in the wild. Yala National Park has some 40 reptiles and animals and for over 200 bird species. Those who love bird watching can go to Bundala National Park or join the throng of tourists at Uda Walawe National Park, whilst Sinharaja Forest Reserve plays home to some of the rarest bird species.
FOR HOW LONG SHOULD YOU STAY
A week is enough if your purpose to visit the country is a beach holiday combining it with Kandy. For a couple of week itinerary where you want to explore the main attractions and UNESCO sites, spend 3 nights in Galle, 2 in Rekawa, 3 in Tissa, 3 in Kandy and then 3 in Bentota.
HOW TO GET A VISA
Just like any other country, Sri Lanka also required its visitors to carry a valid visa permit. Although the process is not so complicated for this country, one can simply fill an ETA application online form for Sri Lanka with personal details. After the verification process, you can simply receive online Sri Lankan ETA via your e-mail. A tourist visa allows double entry and is valid for 30 days.
FROM THE AIRPORT
You can pre-book a cab from the airport, which is a very simple, easy, reliable and safe service for all the tourists, especially women travelers. Or you can hop on a bus which runs to the Colombo City Centre which costs about 150 LKR and allows 2 pieces of luggage. For anywhere else, take a taxi. A cab to Negombo Beach will take 30 minutes and cost about 862 LKR. For Bentota, Galle or Kandy the fare is about 4500 LKR.
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