First Time Visitor’s Guide to Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka © Tim Moffat The appeal in Sri Lanka holidays has grown exponentially in recent years. Though the country is still undergoing a time of flux, it boasts rich culture and astoundingly beautiful landscapes.

It’s little surprise, then, that this destination is peaking serious interest in travellers of all ages.

A few things to know before you go

If you’re visiting for the first time, there are a couple of things to be aware of as you plan your travels:

  • Pick the season you’d like to travel depending on weather conditions and the experience you’d like to gain. For example, if you prefer to get the most out of your travel experience by connecting strictly with locals, rather than other tourists, visit between December and May.
  • Relax. This is the destination if you’re seeking calm over raves and exhilarating nightlife.
  • Have patience in transportation. Be it train, tuk-tuk or bus – things move slowly, so be prepared to set aside more time than expected when touring.

Where to go

There are locations in Sri Lanka that truly equip travellers with an all-encompassing cultural experience; Bentota is one of those places. Teeming with history and renowned for its fishing and age-old cinnamon trade, this village is a treasure to all who stay here. Walk through picturesque paddy fields, visit the Buddhist Temple, Kande Viharaya and observe the devotees or take a dive to encounter the abundant aquatic life.

Sri Lanka © uemu For utter peace and tranquillity, add Hikkaduwato your journey. This is the perfect city for those who prefer higher class eating and lodging. Stop by the Moonstone Mines for a fascinating overview on the process of acquiring those precious stones. Strap on a snorkel and swim with the fish through the Coral Sanctuary.

Finally, don’t miss Negombo, a major city sitting on the west coast of Sri Lanka. With an extraordinarily friendly community, you’ll want to completely embrace the local traditions here. While the fish markets can be rather slippery and smelly, it’s here where you have the opportunity to observe locals as they return with their latest catches or witness the buzz and excitement that occurs in the daily fish auctions.

Enjoy your unforgettable adventure!

Images by uemu and Tim Moffat, used under Creative Commons licence


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