7 Reasons Why You Should Book Your Flight to Sri Lanka
If you ask anyone who has ever been to Sri Lanka the question; ‘what do you love most about Sri Lanka?’ You’ll be sure to get a whole range of different answers. It’s almost impossible to give just one answer to that question! There are absolutely tonnes I love about this South Asian gem. From the moment I stepped off that plane at Bandaranaike Airport, I had a very good feeling, I knew this island paradise was going to be unique like nowhere I’d been before.
I could literally name hundreds of different reasons to book a flight to Sri Lanka. However, I doubt a list of one hundred reasons would make for an interesting read. I initially attempted to narrow my reasons down to five but found it impossible, so before you lies a list of seven reasons why you should get yourself to Sri Lanka.
Often when myself and Olivia are deciding upon which country to go to next, food is a factor in the decision. Sorry, did I say often? I meant always.
I heard rave reviews about Sri Lankan food before heading there. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some curry and rice. From the first taste in Colombo to the very last taste at that same restaurant in Colombo one month later, I was in culinary heaven. It wasn’t just rice and curry that Sri Lankans had to offer though, much much more in fact. Including, but not limited to; crispy stuffed Rotthis, light and crunchy Egg Hoppers, fresh, delicious seafood, soft and fluffy cakes and flavoursome curry filled pastries.
It’s got to be said though, the very best food that we tasted was in the guesthouses, made by the owner, their wife, sister or whoever else. One guesthouse we had to pleasure to eat at was Mansala Safari Resort in Udawalawe. We sat at the large wooden table in anticipation after being told dinner would be served at 7:30 pm. The owner brought out bowl, after bowl, after bowl of fragrant, delicious smelling and looking curries. Spicy Daal, creamy Pumpkin Curry, mouth watering Aubergine Curry, that’s just to name a few. I was in dreamland, my stomach wasn’t thanking me afterwards though when I was that full I was nearly sick.
The food really did live up to all expectations and more.
What can be said about the people of Sri Lanka? They’re probably the friendliest, happiest, cheerful people I’ve come across. It wasn’t just a handful of people who the latter was describing. It was literally the majority of the people who we had the pleasure to meet. Their happiness is infectious. For people who do not have a lot in their life, it really does make you think, why isn’t everyone this happy back home??
I never got bored of seeing a smiling face looking at me, waiting to get my attention, followed by a chirpy and polite “hello sir, how are you?” More than often followed by asking where I’m from in broken English. 99% of the time, mostly the tuk tuk drivers would then start excitedly talking to me about cricket when they thought they had found common ground after I told them I’m from England. Unfortunately, I’m not a huge cricket fan, but I did my best to humour them, usually, by just agreeing with what they were saying.
The Sri Lankan people are extremely proud of their country and rightly so, it’s beautifully diverse island. I lost count of how many times I got asked: “do you like Sri Lanka?” To which my reply was always “I love it!”. I’m sure they know every tourist would reply to that question in a positive manner, you’d have to have had a really bad experience, or be extremely miserable not to.
Polite, friendly, hospitable, more than willing to help at every opportunity, the list could go on and on. What’s not to love about the Sri Lankan people. They certainly add another positive aspect to the already fantastic country they live in.
The Hikes & Walks
From scaling the many steps leading to Adams Peak to strolling around Galle Fort, every walk and hike were worth taking in and savouring.
By far the most memorable and unique of the lot was Adams Peak. After begrudgingly climbing up the approximately 5500 steps, we were rewarded with incomparable, out of this world views of the sunrise above the clouds. It was truly as though we had climbed to the heavens.
Talking about views, another hike that springs to mind is the one through Horton Plains National Park to the famous Worlds End. Beginning the walk at … The thick fog and mist were out in full force on that chilly morning. By the time we reached Worlds End, luckily for us, the sky had cleared and the incredible view was visible as far as the eye could see, from the tea plantations in the valley to the rolling green hills beyond.
Whenever someone asks me “how was Sri Lanka?” One of the first things I always mention is the hikes were out of this world. If you love hiking, you’ll feel at home in The Hill Country region of Sri Lanka. Just to name a few of the hikes you can get stuck into; Sigiriya Rock, Adams Peak, Worlds End, Little Adams Peak & much, much more!
For such a small country, Sri Lanka sure does have an extremely diverse set of wildlife. From Elephants to Eagles, Cheetahs to Blue Wales, there just wasn’t enough time in one month so see everything Sri Lanka has to offer in terms of wildlife.
One of my biggest regret from our month long Sri Lankan adventure was that we didn’t get to see Blue Whales. It is one animal I would absolutely love to see! We were in the right place to see the whales, unfortunately at the wrong time. We didn’t think it was worth the money to pay for a whale seeing trip in Mirissa when it was out of season and the chances of spotting them were low. If you do get the chance to see these animals in the high season, do it!! It looks absolutely fantastic.
Luckily for us, we did get to see appreciate some of Sri Lanka’s wildlife in person. Udawalawe National Park was the place where we experienced the majority of wildlife spotting. The national park is famous for the Elephant population which lives within the park’s boundaries, however, there’s a huge array of other animals that can be spotted there. We saw lazy Crocs blending into the mud of a riverbed, an Eagle tearing apart its prey in the tree tops, herds of timid Water Buffalo, just to name a few.
Certainly one of the first images which come into my head when I think of Sri Lanka is a deserted white sand beach lining a turquoise, glistening ocean. Well, this was experienced on numerous occasions during my month in the country I’m very happy to say.
My favourite beach of the lot, I can confidently say was Kalkudah Beach, on the east coast of the country. My only regret was that I didn’t get to laze around on more of the countries east coast beaches. 2km of beautiful golden sands. For the majority, Kalkudah beach is free from development. That is what I daydreamed of prior to visiting Sri Lanka. It was one of the best decisions we made to visit the east coast. The east coast wasn’t in our original plans and it would have been a huge mistake to get back on that flight to Australia without heading east. I imagine the deserted beaches won’t remain deserted forever and tourism and development will soon take over.
Although much more developed than the east coast, the majority of the south coast beaches did not disappoint either. Tangalle was a deserted, golden sanded paradise. Unawatuna is home to Dalawella Beach and a rope swing made for the perfect travel picture. Mirissa offered a bohemian vibe and fresh delicious seafood. All different in their own right, but equally as spectacular.
This one of a kind country really does have something to suit every individual. Whether you’re landmark spotting in the hustle and bustle of the capital, Colombo. Exploring the deserted beaches on the east coast. Trekking up the many steps of Adams Peak or to Worlds End in The Hill Country. Sampling delicious seafood and waking up from a horrendous Arrak hangover on the south coast beaches. Elephant spotting and catching a glimpse of the elusive Leopard if you’re lucky at one of the national parks. Climbing the sacred Sigiriya Rock. Getting your fill of delicious curries anywhere you can. I could go on and on.
It won’t be difficult to find something you enjoy while in Sri Lanka, that I can assure you. If you like all of the previous I mentioned, then you’re probably going to find that one month in Sri Lanka, just isn’t enough to see and do everything.
The Train Journeys
Safety on the Sri Lankan trains is definitely not the highest on the agenda. In fact, their number one priority is to pack as many people can they can onto the train and sell as many tickets as possible. It can definitely make for an uncomfortable journey when you’re on a cramped, sweaty carriage, stood up for 3 hours. Reserved tickets can be bought to ensure you get yourself a seat, but it was often the case for us that the reserved tickets were sold out. Also, the unreserved tickets are much cheaper!
Although some of the journeys had my legs aching for a few hours after exiting the train, the views along the way more than makeup for that. The train journeys through the hill country offer some of the most amazing views of the rolling hills covered in the rows and rows of tea plantations. If you manage to get yourself a window seat, you will have one of the journeys of your life. Just make sure you don’t drop your camera when you stick it out of the window for a picture, as I witnessed someone do regrettably for them. If you don’t get yourself a seat at all, no need to fret. Head to the nearest door and wedge yourself in for the rest of the train ride.
Have you needed more reason to book that flight? It is 100% something you will not regret. There are not enough adjectives to describe the ever more popular Sri Lanka. That brings me onto the next point. Tourism is growing in Sri Lanka and doesn’t look like slowing down, so that is also another reason to get there before tourism takes over.
For more information and destinations in Sri Lanka Click Here.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the comments section.
Are you planning on a trip to Sri Lanka? If so, what are you looking forward to the most?