Travel Tips For Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is one of the best countries that I have been fortunate enough to visit on a few occasions. The sense of colonial past, stunning landscapes, super friendly locals and fantastic food, all come together to make it the ideal place to travel.
Since the end of the civil war in 2009 tourism has shot up because people now feel more comfortable to holiday there. Due to this increase in holiday makers there has never been a better time to visit Sri Lanka. Here are some much needed tips for any first time traveler to Sri Lanka. I wish I had know these before I visited for the first time!
This is of course essential for any successful holiday. One of the first things you need to consider is the visa. If you’ve already booked your holiday then you need to apply and get your Sri Lanka visa today. It’s so easy to do online from the comfort of your own home!
I was advised by a travel buddy to use E-visums.co.uk and I was so glad I did. The whole process was super easy – much the opposite of other visa nightmares I have had.
Every holiday should make you slow down and forget about the pace of life back home. In Sri Lanka, you should prepare to go slow. The infrastructure in the country is rapidly improving and there are loads of transport options to choose from, but the winding roads and steep hill slow down all modes of transport – so get ready! You can expect to be going around 15 miles an hour in some areas in very hilly terrain.
Relax Relax Relax
Remember that a trip to Sri Lanka is for relaxation not raving. When you head outside of the beach resorts and capital city Colombo you will notice that most of the accommodation are guesthouses run by families. This means it’s absolutely perfect to meet local people but less likely for you to meet solo travellers – so immerse your self in the local culture and have a relaxing time.
Sri Lanka is quickly becoming a hotspot for honeymoons, so there are plenty of options for couples. Those of us out there that are looking for something similar to Khao San Road in Bangkok will be disappointed. The beach bars and restaurants are a fun place to hang out but have a very mellow approach which I love!
If you find yourself with a bit of money to spend then you should always treat yourself. There are plenty of luxurious hotels and resorts for you to choose from. Some of the more well know international chains are now moving in too. I however prefer to opt for the home-grown luxury. There are some great mini-chains of boutique hotels that will offer better value for money and still keep you in touch with the local culture.
If you want to get away from the crowds then you must head north. The northern province of the country use to be out of bounds for tourists, now that it’s open it is a prime destination for those looking to get off the beaten path.
The northern region was one of the last places to open up to tourists but it is proving quite popular. You will however notice that there aren’t as many huge hotels or massive groups of people visiting, you get a sense that you’re part of a small group when you’re there
The north is also ideal for people dreaming of a secluded sandy beach, hidden temples and superb colonial port villages.
If you love trying new cuisine then Sri Lanka will be a paradise for you. Forget whatever healthy eating regime you’ve been sticking to back home and leave it at the airport. It would be a crime to go all the way to Sri Lanka and not eat as much as possible – I guarantee that as soon as your plane takes off bound for home you will be missing it already.
One thing that surprise travellers who have visited Asia before is the lack of street food, but do not worry because the best local food in Sri Lanka can be found in small guesthouses. For breakfast I would always recommend the flour crepes. For lunch it is impossible to ignore the rice and curry, then when you feel hungry again it’s time to treat yourself with Kottu Rotty which is flatbread, eggs and veg all stir fried together. Make sure you let your chef know if you don’t want the food to be spicy because sometimes it can get a little hot!
Have you been to Sri Lanka before or are you planning to go? I would love to hear all about your tips, experiences and things you are looking forward to seeing there. Just pop your thoughts in to the comment box below this article – I am really looking forward to reading everything you’d like to share.