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Sri Lanka Travel - Best Holiday Destination


Endless beaches, timeless ruins, welcoming people, oodles of elephants, rolling surf, cheap prices, fun trains, famous tea and flavourful food describe Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka at a Glance

Set in the Indian Ocean in South Asia, the tropical island nation of Sri Lanka has a history going back to the conception of time. It is a spot where the first soul of Buddhism still twists and where nature's magnificence stays bottomless and untainted.

Few places in the world can offer the traveller such a remarkable combination of stunning landscapes, pristine beaches, captivating cultural heritage and unique experiences within such a compact location. Within a mere area of 65,610 kilometres lie 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 1,330 kilometres of coastline - much of it pristine beach - 15 national parks showcasing an abundance of wildlife, nearly 500,000 acres of lush tea estates, 250 acres of botanical gardens, 350 waterfalls, 25,000 water bodies, to a culture that extends back to over 2,500 years.

This is an island of magical proportions, once known as Serendib, Taprobane, the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, and Ceylon. Discover refreshingly Sri Lanka!

  • Official Name: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
  • Coastline: 1,340km
  • Area: 65,525km
  • Currency (code): Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)
  • Independence: 4 February 1948
  • Administrative Capital: Sri Jayewardenepura
  • Commercial Capital: Colombo
  • Highest Mountain: Pidurutalagala, 2,524m
  • Highest Waterfall: Bambarakanda, 263m
  • National Parks and Nature Reserves Area: 8,000sq.km
  • Population: 21,128,773
  • Languages: Sinhala (official and national language) 74%, Tamil (national language) 18%, other 8% Note: English (a link language commonly) is used in government and spoken competently by about 30% of the population
  • Electricity: 230 . 240 volts, 50 cycles AC. If you travel with a laptop computer bring a stabilizer
  • Agriculture & Products Rice, Sugarcane, Grains, Pulses, Oilseed, Spices, Tea, Rubber, Coconuts, milk, Eggs, Hides, Beef, Fish
  • Industries: Processing of rubber, tea, coconuts, tobacco and other agricultural commodities, telecommunications, insurance, banking; clothing, textiles, cement, petroleum refining.
  • Flag Description: Yellow with two panels; the smaller hoist-side panel has two equal vertical bands of green (hoist side) and orange; the other panel is a large dark red rectangle with a yellow lion holding a sword, and there is a yellow bo leaf in each corner; the yellow field appears as a border around the entire flag and extends between the two panels

International Testimonials

Sri Lanka continues emerge as one of the world’s best tourist destinations with accolades from various travel guides and travel magazines including Lonely Planet and National Geographic Traveller.

Lonely Planet named Sri Lanka as its best tourist destination for year 2013 while National Geographic Travellerfeatured Sri Lanka in its UK edition highlighting 21 must-see places. Sri Lanka also topped the best 13 locations selected by British Airways and the Air service resumed direct flights to the island from March 2013.

With many UNESCO heritage sites, beaches, wildlife parks and hill country resorts bottled up in to a small space Sri Lanka is undoubtedly one of the best holiday destinations waiting to be discovered and celebrated.

Reasons to Visit Sri Lanka

Diversity

Sri Lanka is a small miracle partly due to the compact physical diversity of this pearl-shaped island - but, as we shall see, this diversity extends to virtually every aspect of life. Fringed by variously-shaped sublime beaches, from straight expanse to rocky cove, the island possesses a coastal plain containing a host of geographic features such as lagoons, wetlands, rivers and various types of wildlife-rich jungle.

The plain ends in the central area where the land starts to ascend into mist-shrouded mountains, covered in forests of wind-stunted trees (in fact there are seven different types of forest in Sri Lanka), plains known as patanas, and rolling tea plantations. In addition, the hillsides are invariably punctuated by dramatic waterfalls.For its size Sri Lanka has perhaps the largest number of waterfalls of any country.


People

Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural society, a reflection of the island’s encounter with successive foreign immigrants. But it all began with indigenous people, the Veddahs, hunter-gatherers who exist today.

The main ethnic groups are the Sinhalese and Tamils, both originally from the Indian subcontinent. Then there are Muslims, who settled in the island from the time it became an ancient trading centre. Similarly, Malays and Chinese were also attracted to the island.

Whatever their situation in society, the people of Sri Lanka possess a warm and friendly nature reflected in persistent smiling faces and eagerness to help those unfamiliar with aspects of local life. You’ll find that Sri Lankans are very hospitable and take pride in inviting people to their homes, however modest they may be. So don’t be surprised if a driver or guide, or indeed virtually anyone encountered, requests the pleasure of your company. And don’t decline, as Sri Lankan hospitality is taken very seriously!


Cultural Heritage

Sri Lanka’s cultural depth is recognized by UNESCO, which has declared six archaeological World Heritage Sites in the country:

The sacred city of Anuradhapura
The ancient city of Polonnaruwa
The golden temple of Dambulla
The ancient city of Sigiriya
The sacred city of Kandy
The old town of Galle and its fortifications
The seventh World Heritage Site in Sri Lanka is an ecological example, The Sinharaja Forest Reserve.


Sri Lanka Festivals

Sri Lanka having a history as long as many ancient civilizations, positioning in the crossroad of the East and the West, and being a multicultural society, celebrates a wide variety of festivals, ceremonies and events.

Sinhala Hindu New Year Festival
Esala Kandy Perahara
Vesak Festival
Patti Pongal
Christmas
Ramazan Fastival


Ayurveda & Spas

Sri Lanka has always been a place that refreshes not just the mind and body, but also the soul and spirit. And for thousands of years, the most popular method used to restore and rejuvenate tired bodies and weary souls has been Ayurveda – the oldest and most holistic medical system available in the world

Sri Lanka has been a centre of spiritual and physical healing for 2,000 years. Ayurvedic programmes consist of a range of herbal treatments and various types of baths and massages, together with cleansing and revitalization techniques such as yoga, meditation and special diets.

Sri Lanka now has a number of spas, mainly on the west coast, which not only provide Ayurveda but also other Eastern and Western therapies, such as Thai massage, hydrotherapy, herbal baths, reflexology and beauty treatments. For those seeking spiritual nourishment, meditation courses are also available.


Sri Lankan cuisine

Sri Lankan cuisine has influences from colonial powers, foreign traders and the Kerala region of India. Key ingredients are rice, coconut and especially spices, reflecting the island's history as a spice producer and trading post over several centuries.

Sri Lankan cuisine centers around boiled or steamed rice served with a curry of fish, chicken, beef, mutton or goat, along with other curries made with vegetables, lentils or fruit.

Dishes are accompanied by pickled fruit or vegetables, chutneys and sambals, especially coconut sambol, a paste of ground coconut mixed with chili peppers, dried Maldive fish and lime juice.


Wildlife of Sri Lanka

Wildlife of Sri Lanka includes its flora and fauna and their natural habitats. Sri Lanka has one of the highest rates of biological endemism (16% of the fauna and 23% of flowering plants are endemic) in the world even though it is relatively small.

The mountains and the southwestern part of the country, known as the "wet zone," receive ample rainfall (an annual average of 2500 millimeters). Most of the southeast, east, and northern parts of the country comprise the "dry zone, which receives between 1200 and 1900 mm of rain annually.

There are number of National Parks with verities of Animals, Forests and Climates. Some of them are Yala National Park, Udawalawa National Park, Willpathu National Park, Horton Plans (Highlands) and Sinharaja Rain Forest.


Adventure and Special Interest Sports

With over 1,600km of coast, Sri Lanka is an ideal location for wind-surfing, water-skiing, surfing, sailing,scuba-diving (including wreck-diving), snorkelling, speed-boating and banana-boating. Prime water-sports sites are located in the Negombo region on the west coast, Wadduwa, Kalutara and Beruwela on the south-western coast, and Bentota, Hikkaduwa, Galle, Unawatuna, Koggala, Tangalle and Hambantota on the southern and south-eastern coasts. Water-sports providers are run by local and foreign professionals and rent state-of-the-art equipment.

The Kitulgala has fast headwaters and rapids ideal for white-water rafting (from November to April only), with names such as Virgin’s Breast, Head Chopper, Killer Fall, Rib Cage and Slot and Drop.

Varied landscape, wildlife, and archaeological sites offers excellent opportunities for trekking. Nature trails of exceptional interest include the Sinharaja rainforest, the cloud-forests of Horton Plains, the Knuckles (mountain range), and Hakgala Strict Natural Reserve.In addition, para-gliding, rock climbing, cave treks and mountain biking are possible.

Travel in Sri Lanka by Air, Train, Sea or Road


Travelers can be travel by Air, Sea, Train and Road in Sri Lanka. Now most of the Road and Train tracks were upgraded and some Highway Road also available. There are Domestic Air Travels available and Hot Air Balloon also available in Sri Lanka. Once you leave the Colombo, you can enjoy many scenic drives around the coastal line or in the hill country. Sri Lanka is beautiful and even though small in size offers visitors many travel options.


Road Travels

Traffic drives on the left. Flashing lights mean that the driver is asserting right of way. Avoid remote areas and travelling at night. There are Taxi Services/Car Hire available with Air-conditioned Cars, Vans and Minibuses. Chauffeur-driven cars are less expensive and recommended.

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Train Travels

Trains connect Colombo with all tourist towns, but first-class carriages, air conditioning and dining cars are available on only a few. New fast services operate on the principal routes, including an intercity express service between Colombo and Kandy, otherwise journeys are fairly leisurely.


Air, Cruise and Boat Travel

Domestic Air Travels, Hot Air Balloons, Cruise Travels and Boat Tours are available around the Sri Lanka. You can enjoy many activities like Heritage Tours, Whale & Dolphin Watching, River Tours, Deep Sea Fishing, etc. with these tours facilities.

Sri Lanka Weather

Due to the location of Sri Lanka, within the tropics between 5o 55' to 9o 51' North latitude and between 79o 42' to 81o 53' East longitude, the climate of the island could be characterized as tropical.

The central part of the southern half of the island is mountainous with heights more than 2.5 Km. The core regions of the central highlands contain many complex topographical features such as ridges, peaks, plateaus, basins, valleys and escarpments. The remainder of the island is practically flat except for several small hills that rise abruptly in the lowlands. These topographical features strongly affect the spatial patterns of winds, seasonal rainfall, temperature, relative humidity and other climatic elements, particularly during the monsoon season.

The Climate of Sri Lanka is dominated by the above mentioned topographical features of the country and the Southwest and Northeast monsoons regional scale wind regimes. The Climate experienced during 12 months period in Sri Lanka can be characterized in to 4 climate seasons as follows.

1. First Inter-Monsoon Season - March - April
2. Southwest Monsoon Season - May - September
3. Second Inter-Monsoon Season - October - November
4. Northeast Monsoon Season - December - February

Hotels & Other Accommodation

Sri Lanka Hotels are the perfect places for the recluse who wants to enjoy and relax while staying amid the scenic country. The Sri Lanka Hotels that are the most sought after ones, are the peaceful beach resorts.

The amazing part of Sri Lanka Tourisn is the stay in the Sri Lanka Hotels and people with varied budgets and needs can choose from all the various categories. Depending on one's mood, one can go for up country Sri Lanka Hotels or the beach hotels of the southern province or other hotels in the major cities.

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Food and Restaurants

Food is a highlight of Colombo, much more so than you might imagine. You won’t go hungry here with a wide selection of restaurants, fast food outlets and coffee shops serving a range of Sri Lankan, South Asian, Eastern, Western and fusion cuisine. For a true taste of Sri Lankan cuisine, try one of the smaller eateries serving local hawker-style favourites like string hoppers, lamprais, koththu roti and Biryani. Sumptuous pastries are not limited to high tea here in Sri Lanka: patties, Chinese rolls, Seeni sambal buns, chocolate éclairs and crème buns also known as short-eats, are a favourite any time of day and can be found at local cafes and coffee shops.

There is a wide selection of restaurants in Colombo and Major Cities with most adjusting the level of spices to suit the local palate.

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