Just south of India, Sri Lanka hosts a diverse landscape and unique history, with ancient ruins that date back more than 2000 years! In the center of the country, visit Kandy for some Buddhist landmarks and culture and heritage tours. You can also go sailing off the coast of Negombo on the west coast, or do some elephant watching at a sanctuary just outside Colombo.
“On several days we had no option but to have a buffet lunch & a buffet dinner leading to many eating & spending more than they’d wish too. Whilst this may be unavoidable ocassionally, whenever possible there should not be no more than one buffet per day.”
“Would love to see the game parks move to electric vehicles and limit numbers. Train journey - need to reserve as didn’t see much due to overcrowding. Not down to explore but as tourism expands going to be a problem”
Imagine walking among ruins that date back more than 2,000 years, followed the next day by a trip through the rainforest or a relaxing lie on a sandy beach. All of this is possible if you plan a holiday to Sri Lanka, an island country with incredibly diverse landscapes and a rich history. A trip to Sri Lanka will introduce you to welcoming people, eight UNESCO World Heritage sites, and tantalising dishes taking inspiration from Indonesian and Indian cuisine.
Experience the artwork of the Dambulla Buddha caves
Ride the train from Kandy to Ella (often called the world’s most scenic train route)
Watch for wild elephants at Uda Walawe National Park
See Sri Maha Bodhi, a sacred fig tree that is over 2,200 years old
Climb Adam’s Peak, a sacred mountain in the heart of the jungle
Sip on green tea at a plantation in Ella
Brush up on your history before visiting Sri Lanka. In particular, get familiar with the country’s civil war, which only ended in 2009. Be respectful as the country is still healing, and avoid engaging in political chat with a local.
Sri Lanka has only recently seen a huge leap in tourism, so some areas of the country are still unequipped for tourists. If travelling outside high tourist areas, be prepared for little English, unpaved roads, and fewer convenience stores.
Hygiene standards are much laxer than you are used to in Sri Lanka. To avoid food poisoning, skip the street food in favour of sit-down restaurants - and don’t drink the tap water. Check with your country’s travel authority about any recommended vaccinations, such as Hepatitis A, before travelling.
Wondering what kind of electric adapter you’ll need for Sri Lanka? You’ll actually need three! Three-pronged UK sockets, two-pronged European sockets, and rounded three-pronged sockets (used in India and Nepal) are all common in Sri Lanka.
Hoppers are the go-to snack in Sri Lanka, and they absolutely cannot be missed. Made of fermented batter (usually rice flour or sourdough), the bowl-shaped dish is pan-fried and served with curry, relish or an egg.