Sri Lanka is hands-down my favourite place on this planet, ever. If I could only stay in one country for the rest of my life (which for me is kind of a big deal because I don’t like to be anywhere longer than a month, max), this would be it. The people, the culture, the diversity, the landscape, the noise, the smells, the food- everything is just out-of-this world perfection!
I don’t think a single blog post can really put into words how amazing this place is but either way, here are 5 of my favourite things to do in Sri lanka:
Yala national park
Yala national park is located in the South East of Sri Lanka, right next to the Indian Ocean. The park is a combination of a strict nature reserve and a national park covering nearly 130,000 hectares of land. It is divided into 5 blocks, with 2 open to the public and is home to 44 varieties of mammal and 215 bird species but I went there because I wanted to see a big fat elephant. I loved this park in particular because they treated the animals so well and really encouraged visitors to learn more about the wildlife and what they can do to help preserve it. Also they let me sit on the big fat elephant and feed it… The best time to visit Yala is between February and July when the water levels of the park are lower, which encourages the animals to come out into the open.
The food-OH MY GOD THE FOOD
If- for some unforeseen, unexplainable circumstances- I was ever to become stranded on a remote desert island, living off only two foods for the rest of my life, cream curd with sweet honey and roti would be it. After about 6 months, I would probably have lost all of my teeth and would be living in extra-stretchy harem pants but quite frankly, I’m gonna say it would be worth it. The Sinhalese people definitely know how to cook and manage to achieve the perfect blend of sweet and spice whilst still using some of the most natural ingredients. If you visit Sri Lanka I would also highly recommend trying jackfruit curry, hoppers, milk rice with Onion Sambola, kottu, dhal curry, Kukul mas curry, wood apple… the list is endless… Oh my god I am so hungry right now.
Adam’s peak (also known as Sri Pada) is believed to be the first place where Adam set foot on earth after being cast out of heaven due to the large foot print (ish) outline at the top of the peak.The mountain is located in the South of the central highlands and can be reached by 6 different trails (yes, they all involve climbing up-hill so don’t wear your flip-flops). This place is really busy from December to May as good weather conditions make it easier to climb, so be prepared for it to be busy. It is also a particularly important pilgrimage site for Buddhists, who believe that the footprint mark at the very top of the mountain is the left foot of Buddha. The view from the top is breathe-taking (and so is the walk up and down) so do not go here without your camera or you’ll regret it later on!
Kandy is the second largest city in the central province of Sri Lanka and is surrounded by flowing green hills and tropical plantations. It is home to one of the most scared places of worship- theTemple of the Tooth Relic as well as the Royal palace of Kandy, Lankatilaka Temple and the Peradeniya Botanical garden which are all highly recommended to visit. The city itself is heavily populated with locals and tourists which gives it a hustle and bustle vibe intertwined with sweet smelling food everywhere! It is very cheap and easy to hire out a guide or driver for your visit to Kandy and hotel prices are also next to nothing. If you’re thinking of doing exactly that, then take a look here:www.travel-srilanka.eu
Head to the beach
There are so many beautiful sandy beaches dotted all around Sri Lanka but for me personally, the best ones are found on the east coast. This part of Sri Lanka was left the most devastated after the 2004 tsunami and the long-running war between the Sri Lankan army and the Tamil tigers. It is quite amazing to think that parts of these parts of Sri Lanka have seen so much devastation but yet are now some of the country’s most beautiful jewels! Arugam bay, Trincomalee and also Marble beach are a few of my favourites, particularly if you can get there early morning when fisherman are suspended on their little poles way out in the ocean, an amazing sight!