Sri Lanka is known for its diverse landscape from sandy beaches along its Indian Ocean coast to lush rainforest.
The administrative capital of Sri Lanka is Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, which is a suburb of the city, Colombo. Colombo has a rich history and is home to various historical buildings such as The National Museum of Colombo, where you can learn about the country’s history.
Sinhala and Tamil are the official languages of Sri Lanka. Buddhism is the major religion, and Sri Lanka is home to buildings and ruins of Buddhist heritage.
Sri Lanka has a hot and humid climate, with dry and rainy seasons. Sri Lanka’s weather is based on geography as the north and south experience the seasons at different times.
The Maha Monsoon or Northeast monsoon is between October and January. The Yala Monsoon or the Southwest monsoon is from May to July. The dry season is cooler and is the best time to visit, as there is risk of flooding during the monsoon season.
Casual lightweight clothing is recommended, however, clothing showing too much skin is frown upon outside tourist areas.
Sri Lanka has an extensive bus and rail system, which are not expensive. You can also flag down a taxi or a three-wheeler (a type of taxi) by the roadside, or rent a car from one of the rental agencies.
The culture of Sri Lanka is similar to that of southern India, and a popular dish is Curry and rice. Sri Lanka has various festivals to showcase its rich culture, history and heritage. Some of them are:
- Galle Literary Festival
- Nawam Maha Perahera: held in February in Colombo. The festival features elephants as pageants.
- Sri Lankan New Year Festival (Aluth Avurudda)
- Vesak: held in honour of the life and work of Buddha
- Esla Festival: in honour of the god Kataragama
- World Spice Festival: celebrates Sri Lankan cuisine
Sri Lanka has a vast coastline and this makes it perfect for water sports. You can surf the waves or go on a diving or snorkelling trip. The country also has lush forests and mountains where you can go on short or long treks. You can also go on an excursion to a tea plantation where you can see how the famous Sri Lankan teas is made. After which, you can treat yourself to an ayurvedic spa day.
There are many fascinating places worth visiting in Sri Lanka. Some of them are:
- Sigiriya Rock Fortress: a UNESCO World Heritage site showcasing ancient architecture and culture. You can take a tour of the fortress and enjoy its breath-taking scenery.
- Ancient Anuradhapura: featuring the ruins of an ancient city, it also has a museum where you can learn about the history of the city.
- Yala National Park: where you can view various Sri Lankan flora and fauna.
- Statue of the Reclining Buddha: a UNESCO World Heritage site, it is of religious importance to Buddhists.
- Polonnaruwa Archeological museum: home to artefacts from Sri Lanka’s past. Here you can learn about the history and heritage of Sri Lanka. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site.