PHOTO: 5 reasons to visit Sri Lanka – and more reasons to revisit!
5 reasons to visit Sri Lanka – and more reasons to revisit! Actually I can think of 100 reasons! I liked it so much I went back twice in 3 months and plan a return visit over the winter. Join me in discovering this magical island.
What to do in Sri Lanka
- Visit The Highlands and the Tea Trail
- Beaches of Tangalle – My favourites
- Whale Watching – boat from Mirissa
- Galle – Explore this fascinating Port Town, Gallle Fort and shop
- Unawatuna – Hop on a train and explore
- Yala National Park – Wildlife including Elephants and Leopard
- Sigiraya – Ancient city ruins and rock fortress
There is something for everyone! The wild rugged coastlines of Tangalle, my favourite area and a favourite for Sri Lankans wanting to get away from Colombo city life. Find some super new hotels popping up or rent a gorgeous villa.
Lovely beaches in Mirissa too and this is the Whale watching area. Weligama and Unawatuna are popular. Unawatuna is a bit too touristy for me, but lots of people love it!
New luxury hotels are popping up near Tangalle and I was keen to take a look at the new Anantara Tangalle Peace Haven Hotel. We Enjoyed a terrific Italian lunch looking out over the view below.
PHOTO: Tangalle beaches unspoilt and untouristy
How to get around in Sri Lanka
- Hire a car and driver – the easiest option of not the cheapest
- Hire a self drive rental car – be careful – you need to organise a special driving licence. A reputable hire company can help with this licence. Make sure you book from a reputable rental company at the airport. make sure you are fully insured.
- Trains – Expore inland on a slow train – perfect for perfect photos
We took a car and driver to explore the South of Sri Lanka and fell in love with the area.
PHOTO: Protecting the Turtle eggs in Tangalle
A favourite activity for us was Whale watching at Mirissa. We spotted one Whale and lots of Dolphins. Our hotel arranged a private boat, definitely worth it and so much nicer than cramming onto a tourist boat.
PHOTO: Dolphins offshore Mirissa
CULTURE AND HISTORY:
Sri Lanka has a fascinating history and you will enjoy discovering all it has to offer.
Galle is a fascinating melting pot of different cultures all living together in harmony. The more time I spend there, the more I am fascinated by the cultural history and the way in which this still impacts on modern life and politics.
PHOTO: GALLE has an abundance of Colonial buildings
Impressive Buddhist Temples are everywhere, even the smallest towns will have a beautiful Temple. A hotchpotch of Christian, Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist peoples all add diversity to the life here. Add the Colonial influences of the Portuguese, Dutch and English and the result is a fascinating mix.
PHOTO: Galle Fort
Post conflict, this is a good time to invest in the island, the luxury hotel market is arriving with luxury hotels! I visited the Anantara at Tangalle and a Shangri La is being built in the same area. Luxury villas are popping up too.
PHOTO: Traditional fishing boats outside Galle
Near Galle is Koggola Lake, a good spot to spend a morning tootling around in a boat watching the birds fishing and visiting the Spice Island and Cinnamon island. Slightly touristy but still interesting and a good place to stock up on Cinnamon powder, Cinnamon and a plethora of pure Spice oils, Spice soaps and all sorts of healthy potions. Then visit the Turtle hatchery on the coast.
Take a train! Such a great way to see the country!
PHOTO: The train station Unawatuna
PHOTO: Rice paddy fields inland Sri Lanka
Hire a Bicycle
Be adventurous and hire a bike! Explore the hinterland passing Water Buffalo and Rice paddy fields as you cycle along. Every village is home to a magnificent Buddhist Temple and little shops so you can buy everything you need as you go. Sri Lanka has more dogs than any other country I have visited, every house seems to belong to a dog who will be lying in the street. Most are friendly so just pedal around them!
PHOTO: Explore Inland
The people of Sri Lanka are very friendly and will be welcoming wherever you go on the island.
Take a sea plane up to the Tea Trails would be my advice. The drive is long and the roads so twisty! Seriously … take a sea plane! BUT do not miss out because the Highlands are magical. Taste tea, hike and explore this beautiful area. The drive takes HOURS! You have been warned.
PHOTO: The Highlands
The Highlands are a perfect place to escape and hike.
PHOTO: Ladies collecting Tea leaves in The Highlands, Sri Lanka
We stayed in a beautiful Bungalow in the Highlands! So… those are my five reasons to visit Sri Lanka and more reasons to revisit. I hope will have many more after my next trip .. Sri Lanka is calling me back again.
Next trip I really want to see the Leopards Wildlife reserves and hope to explore with Sparklink holidays.
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Rich in culture, heritage and history, the island of Sri Lanka, also known as the Pearl of The India Ocean, Sri Lanka is also the epicenter of Theravada Buddhism in the world.
A temperate country, Sri Lanka has been blessed with a wide variety of Flora and Fauna and boasts of some very unique species that are endemic to the country and is also home to the Wild Life Reserve with the highest density of Leopards in the world. Conquered by the Portuguese, Dutch, and the British in the past, the influence of colonialism is evident in the architecture of certain parts of the island as well as in certain traditions observed by the populace of the country and this provides a rich mix of culture that entrances visitors to Sri Lanka. Although small in terms of Land Mass , Sri Lanka is home to 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 15 National Wildlife Parks, 350 waterfalls and 8 regions where ancient Kings established their kingdoms throughout history.
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