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Updated by Anuradha Silva on Dec 29, 2019
Headline for Top 9 Reasons Why You Should Travel in Sri Lanka Today!
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Top 9 Reasons Why You Should Travel in Sri Lanka Today!

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Whether you are a native Sri Lankan or simply a visitor to this beautiful island, traveling around is a MUST. As it is a small country, you can cover most of the best spots in a matter of days. The best part is the actual traveling (by road, rail, water or sky) will also be great due to the breathtaking scenery.

Here are some reasons to convince you (if you even need convincing!) why traveling in Sri Lanka is an absolute must!

1

Sheer beauty of its various landscapes

Sheer beauty of its various landscapes

Despite being such a small country, Sri Lanka has many different types of landscapes, such as beaches, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, mountains, rainforests, and so much more. Each landscape is equally beautiful, with the coastlines having some of the most famous beaches in the world. Arugam Bay, Talpe, Mirissa and Pasikuda are some of the most famous. However, the other landscapes should not be overlooked. Sri Lanka is home to one of the best and most scenic train rides in the entire world, which is the train ride to Kandy and Ella over the world-famous nine arch bridge. The tea plantations in the mountains are visually stunning, while lakes such as the Kandalama Lake are perfect destinations for peaceful retreats.

2

2500+ year old history and its artefacts

2500+ year old history and its artefacts

Sri Lanka has a fascinating history spanning from the reign of the kings to colonization by the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British, and the fight for independence. Remnants of such a colourful history lie scattered throughout Sri Lanka, from ancient monuments to royal residences and fortresses. Colonization can be seen in the country's railway system, and in the building architectures. Even certain words, customs, food and clothing all have colonial influences. Some ancient historical places that are a must-visit are the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Dambulla Cave Temple, and the ruins of the ancient cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa. Sigiriya is the most-visited tourist destination in Sri Lanka, and there are many hotels in Sigiriya and Dambulla nearby to accommodate the visitors.

3

Experience authentic village life

Experience authentic village life

Even though the main cities such as Colombo and Kandy are commercialised, many parts of Sri Lanka still exist as smaller villages. Village life in Sri Lanka includes close-knit communities, fresh food, and no pollution. There are some villages that are open for tourists to come and experience authentic village life, such as Hiriwadunna. The locals of such places are very friendly, and more than welcome to open up their homes to visitors.

4

Catch a glimpse of endemic wildlife

Catch a glimpse of endemic wildlife

The wildlife of Sri Lanka is wide and varied, with many species endemic and native to Sri Lanka. It is widely considered among the top locations for biodiversity in the world. Some of the more famed species in Sri Lanka include the elephants, the leopards, the sloth bears, the turtles, the whales and the deer. Visitors can see most of these animals by taking a safari through some of the National Parks such as Wilpattu or Yala which is the most famous national park in Sri Lanka. Elephant lovers can visit the Pinnawela elephant orphanage, or visit Minneriya National Park which is part of the elephant corridor. Whale watching expeditions are found in Mirissa. It is important to stay away from dodgy-looking turtle hatcheries which are very harmful to the turtles. The Dehiwala Zoo is also discouraged due to its neglect of the inhabitants.

5

Meet the friendly locals

Meet the friendly locals

The people of Sri Lanka are famous for being friendly. It can be said that hospitality is ingrained in them. Everyone will be only too happy to lend a hand whenever you are in need, and will go out of their way to ensure that you have a roof over your head and a hot meal at all times. However, as with anything, there are a few bad apples and so basic security and safety measures should always be followed.

6

Buy some unique souvenirs, arts and crafts

Buy some unique souvenirs, arts and crafts

There are some amazing arts and crafts done by local artists and artisans. A lot of the souvenir shops for tourists are expensive but you can find a good collection in one place. You can buy souvenirs at amazing prices when you buy directly from the artists. If you have discerning eye, you can find some great pieces at affordable prices.

7

It can be a budget-friendly destination

It can be a budget-friendly destination

Sri Lanka is truly a budget-friendly destination. There is something in Sri Lanka to suit any budget, from luxury 5-star resorts to hostels for backpackers. Avoid getting scammed if you are a tourist by reading up on travel blogs etc.

8

Try out the local spirits

Try out the local spirits

Despite intoxication officially being looked down upon, Sri Lankan love their alcohol. Funerals, weddings and parties are all prime drinking locations, and most bars and pubs will be filled towards the latter part of the week. Lion is the number one brewery in Sri Lanka and their beer is good enough to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with international brands, with most people preferring Lion. There are local versions of every spirit. If you want a unique Sri Lankan spirit, you should definitely try some arrack, which is much-oved by a lot of people and very easy on the wallet.

9

Experience the wide range of Sri Lankan cuisine

Experience the wide range of Sri Lankan cuisine

Sri Lankan food is an eclectic mix of various cultures, and no visitor will ever walk away without finding one dish that they absolutely love. Cuisine in Sri Lanka includes North Indian, South Indian, Malay, Sinhala, Burgher and much more. Some must-try dishes includes the traditional rice & curry dish, thosai with sambar and vade, a good old lamprais, and some sweetmeats from each community that are prepared during their respective festivals.