Sri Lanka is a small country very close to the southern tip of India. Sri Lanka is an incredibly stunning island, and there’s so much to explore. Best of all, it’s really affordable and the atmosphere is really laid-back, so you can really feel like you’re on vacation.
What to Do
The capital of Sri Lanka is Colombo, and while there are fun things to explore in the city, it’s just as important to go out into the country and see other things. However, when you’re in Colombo, you definitely need to go to the National Museum of Colombo and understand the history of the country and the city. The museum was actually built in the late 19th century, so even the building has an exciting history!
If you’re a nature lover, you’re going to go crazy for Sri Lanka. There are more than 15 national parks on the island, which is only about the physical size of West Virginia, so you can imagine how many options will be right at your fingertips.
If you want to catch a sneak peek of some leopards, Yala is the one for you. Elephants your cup of tea? You have to go to Udawalawe, you’ll see some of the 400 that live there. And for bird sighting galore, Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a must-see.
Tea is a huge part of the culture in Sri Lanka, and the type that is grown in Sri Lanka, Ceylon, is said to be the finest black tea in the world. There are many tea plantations you actually visit while you’re there, and you definitely should. There is a lot to choose from but go to Dimbula if you want a really incredible experience in nature. Located in the central province, this small town sits amidst a luscious jungle, rain forest, all which affect the flavors of the teas they grow.
Obviously, there are plenty of beaches in Sri Lanka since it is an island! For gorgeous blue waters, go to Unawatuna beach. If you want to try and push your luck, head to Kalpitiya, where you can see some dolphins if you get lucky!
You can’t go to Sri Lanka without going to Sigiriya, a 5th-century rock fortress and UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was built to be the new capital and once had a palace on top of it. But, throughout time, it has been used in many ways, including as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century. Now it is just preserved to show the incredible nature of architecture and city planning throughout history.
Sri Lanka is all about street food, so don’t be scared to try some things out! Some might be familiar, like samosas, which are fried parcels usually filled with vegetables. Something you’ve definitely not seen before is a dish called string hoppers. Basically, they’re rice noodles that are molded into thick patties and eaten for breakfast, so don’t skip out on them!
Since it is an island, Sri Lanka has some crazy amazing seafood. If you’re in Colombo, you have to go to The Station, where you’ll find every seafood imaginable.