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Updated by Kanya Mae on Sep 24, 2015
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Kanya Mae Kanya Mae
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Things Not To Miss in Sri Lanka – Discovering Paradise Anew

A land of colourful contrasts, culture and cuisine, Sri Lanka is an island paradise where there is something new to discover on every visit. Here are some 'must experience' highlights.

1

Rice & Curry

Rice & Curry

Sampling local cuisine is all part of enjoying an enriching cultural experience and when you are in Sri Lanka that means sampling some rice and curry. Rice is a staple food, sometimes eaten at all three meals. The curries that are served with it are where the real scintillating flavours of this island kick in. Made with aromatic spices and of course the perennial favourite ingredient, chilli, these meat, seafood and vegetable curries will give your taste buds a whole new introduction into exotic gastronomy. Word to the wise, you may find even relatively mild curries a bit on the spicy side, so keep a glass of warm water handy; it is much more effective than cold water when in need of combating spiciness!

2

South Coast Beaches

South Coast Beaches

the sundrenched South Coast of Sri Lanka has for long been a magnet for those in search of a holiday full of sun, sand & surf. Home to some of the best beaches in the world, this stretch of coastline offers plenty of golden sands in which to spend your days soaking up the sun working on that perfect holiday tan or if you feel a bit more adventurous, trying thrilling water sports on the vast watery playground that is the Indian Ocean. Beruwala, Bentota, Hikkaduwa and Unawatuna have excellent beaches for you to visit, while not to be missed is a chance to visit Mirissa and Galle where you can enjoy whale watching and exploring the Dutch Fort respectively.

3

Wildlife Safaris

Wildlife Safaris

Exploring the wild side of this island nation is definitely worth experiencing as you hop aboard a jeep safari, traversing through jungles and wilderness plains where adventure awaits. The Yala National Park is the best place to spot the elusive Sri Lankan Leopard, roaming wild and free, the undisputed king of the jungle. Other parks such as Udawalawe, Wilpattu and Minneriya also provide countless hours of wildlife safaris and a chance to see everything from bears to crocodiles and monkeys to the iconic Sri Lankan Elephant.

4

Ayurveda

Ayurveda

When it comes to wellness, there is nothing quite like experiencing some traditional Ayurveda treatment and therapies in Sri Lanka. Termed as the 'science of life', Ayurveda offers holistic healing that incorporates treatments using traditional herbs and specific foods that help to bring overall wellbeing. Jetwing Hotels, Sri Lanka features properties that let you enjoy such healing, especially at its Ayurvedic resort, Jetwing Ayurveda Pavilions.

5

Cultural Triangle

Cultural Triangle

To journey to the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka is to step back in time to a period that kings ruled the land, when mighty kingdoms were forged and great wars were fought. The stunning Sigiriya Rock Fortress with its famous frescoes, Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura with their ancient ruins and breathtaking monuments and Dambulla home to an enchanting cave temple are all UNESCO World Heritage Sites for good reason and offer captivating cultural discoveries.

6

Hill Country

Hill Country

From the cultural heartland head to the hills of Sri Lanka, where misty mountains draped in emerald await to be explored. The ancient hill kingdom of Kandy is where you can visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic and witness the vibrant annual festival and parade known as the 'Esala Perahera' featuring majestic elephants, traditional drummers and dancers, fire eaters, whip crackers and more. Head deeper into the hill country with a visit to Nuwara Eliya, fondly referred to as 'Little England' for its old world colonial charm and where one can explore the lush tea plantations that cover the mountains in a blanket of green.

7

Cricket

Cricket

No trip to Sri Lanka is complete without watching or even trying your hand at the island's most popular sport, cricket. It is not uncommon to see people of all ages (mostly males though in the privacy of home gardens females tend to get involved too!) on roads, byways and at public parks engaged in a game of cricket. Visit this cricket-crazy nation during a series that involves the Sri Lankan national team or when a World Cup is in progress and you will find all talk centred around this sport as suddenly everyone becomes cricketing 'experts' with opinions they are ever ready to share with you. Take in a game when Sri Lanka play at home and just sit back and embrace the chaotic cacophony of local 'baila' music, cheering, booing, applauding, hooting, sighing and the triumphant roar of the crowd all rolled into one!