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Discover The World: 17 Reasons You Should Visit Sri Lanka

Photo by Recal Media on Unsplash

So you’re thinking of visiting Sri Lanka? Here are 17 reasons why saying yes to any and every offer to go to Sri Lanka is the right thing to do. These reasons are suggested and written by both locals and tourists

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#1 The Waves

Weather you are into surfing, kite surfing, or lilo surfing waves around Tangalle are huge, which is so much fin - albeit a little dangerous. You are guaranteed to lose a flimsy bikini so make sure you hold on to it tightly! Watching anyone go in the sea is hilarious. The waves at Tangalle are definitely not for children!

Contributors: Andrea Crome from SN Travel Holidays

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#2 The Wildlife

If you love wildlife then Sri Lanka is absolutely superb. You are highly likely to see elephants, parrots, monkeys, mongoose, peacocks, buffalo, eagles, whales and lizards - all in their natural environment. Buffalos owned by farmers take them selves off to the national park to hangout with wild buffalos, then head back to the farm later, I loved that!

Contributors: Andrea Crome from SN Travel Holidays

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#3 The People

The best thing about Sri Lanka is the locals. The people are so forthcoming, honest, friendly, and unique. Always eager to tell you about their life, introduce you to their entire family, and get to know you on a personal level. Sri Lankans are incredibly happy and their smiles light up the room. In my many trips to the island, I was blessed to enjoy family lunches with my private driver who was so proud to introduce me and my family to his family, had inside jokes with hotel staff, and met the most wonderful people throughout my island adventures.

Contributors: Amanda Sloan from Thankful Cow Solutions

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#4 The Weather

Although Sri Lanka's climate can seem to be rather complicated for such a small country, due to the fact that the island is small in size also means that there is usually good weather somewhere on the island, at most times of the year. Known as a tropical country, expect to find plenty of amazing sunshine and clear blue skies practically year-round, The only time to avoid any sort of poor weather would the summer months (monsoon season) which is a bit more humid and a lot more rain. That being said, the weather is consistent if you plan ahead, you can find yourself basking in all that glorious sun anytime of the year.

Contributors: Amanda Sloan from Thankful Cow Solutions

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#5 The Culture

Recognized by UNESCO, there are officially six World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka. Some of those include the sacred cities of Kandy and Anuradhapura, the ancient cities of Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa, the golden temple of Dambulla as well as the entire town of Galle. Sri Lanka is a melting pot of stories filled with plenty of culture and history for any traveller to get lost in.

Contributors: Amanda Sloan from Thankful Cow Solutions

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#6 The Religion

Most people in Sri Lanka are Buddhists. You can see religious monuments, flags, and monks in almost every city. The best way to experience the importance of Buddhism in Sri Lanka is a climb of Adams Peak. At the top of the mountain, pilgrims pray to a footprint which is considered as the footprint of Buddha. According to the tradition, every Sri Lankan should have visited the mountain at least one time during his life. Therefore, many people start the tough track during the night to avoid the hard sun during the day. If you join the trip, you discover the religious atmosphere and see how people assist each other. Even elderly people reach the footprint with the help of other supportive pilgrims.

Contributors: Francis Markert from Drone Traveller

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#7 Yoga Retreats

Sri Lanka is home to some of the most incredible yoga and wellness retreat centers in the world. You’ll find retreats ranging from more zen and holistic styled centers to ones that incorporate a more surf and sun type of retreat. Places such as Sen Wellness Sanctuary allow those looking to experience the ancient holistic side of yoga and provides the perfect place to go. This unique sanctuary offers travelers a retreat hidden amid the unspoiled beaches of Tangalle and serves as a heavenly oasis for bespoke retreats focusing on the practices of Ayurvedic medicine.

If it’s sun and surf you are looking for, Talalla Retreat provides a retreat from your everyday life into a beach and paradise escape. This beautiful resort sits on the pristine unspoiled beach of the Southern part of Sri Lanka, hidden away from tourists and traveler. With added bonuses of a freshwater lap pool, three custom built yoga pavilions, an Ayurvedic spa, and a gourmet open-air restaurant serving the freshest healthiest meals, this place is not to be missed. Talalla Retreat offers individual surf, yoga, and wellness services and coaching in addition to weekly retreats for a pre-packaged experiences.

Contributors: Amanda Sloan from Thankful Cow Solutions

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#8 Sigiriya, Lion Rock

This is a day trip from Kandy. Created around 477-495 CE, Sigiriya is the ruins of an ancient city, with the folly of King Kasyapa perched on top of an enormous 200m high rock. This massive rock was decorated with huge colourful frescoes, and a pair of lion's paws are carved into the side of the rock about halfway up. A steep ascent from there takes you to the site of his palace, marooned on top of the rock.

Contributors: Paula Simpson from P2 & Associates Ltd

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#9 Ancient City of Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura was the capital of Sri Lanka over a thousand years ago. Today it is one of best archaeological sites to visit, with the awe and grandeur of Angkor Wat, but without the crowds and issues that come with high volumes of tourists. The ancient city is quite spread out so is perfect to spend a few days cycling around..

Contributors: Henry Gilroy from Berridale Travel

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#10 Take the train from Colombo to Ella

It's an incredible journey, as your train chugs and lurches up the hills, through narrow rock-sided gorges. You start from the bustling city which leads through a lesser populated area, villages of mud thatched whitewashed walls and children playing with wild abandon in the fields. Green patchwork squares of rice paddies lead to forests, dense with jackfruit trees, banana palms and coconut trees. Colourful parrots squawk and cavort, while white wading birds pick through the rice with high-kneed decorum, like elderly disapproving aunts.

Contributors: Paula from Saucy & Spice

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#11 Trekking

Sri Lanka is one of the best places to go trekking. The mountainous central region is cool all year round, and scenery is stunning - varying from spectacular views (e.g. Horton Plains) to beautiful tea plantations. A top place to go trekking from is Ella - where you can climb Ella rock or Little Adam's peak, both of which have fantastic views from the top.

Contributors: Henry Gilroy from Berridale Travel

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#12 The Food

The Sri Lankan food scene is booming around the world, so one should expect to fully indulge in all the mouthwatering tastes that this country produces throughout its dishes. Sri Lanka does only technically have 18 miles of water separating itself from neighboring country India, so similar foods will be about. But make no mistake that you’ll be having “Indian cuisine. Think coconut, chill, turmeric, garlic and more. They make things like egg hoppers which are thin sliced pancakes made from rice flour, coconut milk and sugar cooked and shaped like a bowl with a fried egg inside. Or try dhal curry here as it’s a traditional recipe that includes all the goodies: curry leaves, onions, garlic, lentils, turmeric, chilli and coconut milk. It’s a staple in Sri Lanka and is cheap to make, healthy and quite filling.

Contributors: Kristen Slizgi from The Luxury Travelist

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#13 Tailor-Made Escapism

  1. Safari: Yala National Park has the highest concentration of leopards in the World
  2. Kandy , Tea and the hill country: Sri Lankan tea is considered the best in the world and this area is the coolest in Sri Lanka.
  3. Ayuverda: The science of life Ayeverdic tours are very popular in Sri Lanka and is a holistic approach to health and well-being
  4. Cultural Triangle: The heartland of Sri Lanka contains several World Heritage listed sites, and because they are close together, these can easily be combined in one superb cultural tour.

Contributors: Dave Pope from Pope and Sons

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#14 Nuwara Eliya (City of Lights)

Better known as “Little England” with its Tudor style architecture and traditional high tea at the Grand Hotel. Make sure to check out the main post office building in the center of town. Located in the hill stations and tea estate region of Sri Lanka.

Contributors: Rumit Mehta from Immersion Journeys

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#15 Galle

A must see. Former Dutch trading post. Visit the old fortifications where the original settlement is located. Mixed in the Dutch history were the Portuguese and Chinese traders.

Contributors: Rumit Mehta from Immersion Journeys

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#16 Yala National Park

One doesn't often think of Sri Lanka for an epic safari, but you will be amazed at the amount of wildlife seen in Yala National Park. The second largest NP in Sri Lanka, consisting of 130,000 hectares of light forests, scrubs, grasslands, tanks and lagoons is home to many an days in this park is not to be missed.

Contributors: Brandi Mueller from Brandi Underwater

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#17 Blue Whales

See the world's largest animal. Take a whale watching boat from Mirissa several hours out into the Indian Ocean between November and April for the best chances to see these massive ocean mammals that can be up to 30m/100ft long and the largest recorded was 173 tons. For lucky visitors they will see the whales come up to breath, releasing exhaled air in a plume of mist and the tail as they dive down to deeper depths. Nothing is more amazing than seeing this endangered ocean giant.

Contributors: Brandi Mueller from Brandi Underwater

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