Sri Lanka was not originally among countries I always dreamed to travel to, like Jordan, Italy, France or Norway, for example. The country appeared on my travel bucket list more by a chance. First, one of my best friends entertained the idea of visiting Sri Lanka, but this was just around the time the peace agreement between the government and Tamil Tigers had been signed and I did not consider visiting the country safe, yet. Several years later I moved to Abu Dhabi and researched Sri Lanka for my list of “safe-and-easy-to-reach” travel destinations. And after talking about the country with my fantastic colleagues who either were born on the island or already visited the country, it was decided. The visit was only a few-days long and I have seen only the southern part of the island. But being there with a fantastic group of friends and having great time makes me want to come back and see more. Why?
Musím sa priznať, Srí Lanka sa medzi mojimi cestovateľskými snami, kde dlho trónili Taliansko, Nórsko a Jordánsko, objavila viac menej náhodou. Už dávnejšie … pokračovať v slovenčine.
1. Green rainforests, moody mountains and beautiful beaches
The nature is really amazing. You can take advantage of beautiful long beaches, take dip in the dark blue sea or venture inland and hike through the rainforest and up the mountains which offer breathtaking views.
2. Island of elephants and peacocks
Lots of animals share the island with people. The largest one is the elephant, which now lives mostly in national parks. Various travel agents can organise a safari trip to any of the parks to see the elephants in their natural habitat, along with leopards, buffaloes, antelopes, monkeys, crocodiles, turtles and other animals. These parks are also good for bird-watching. What particularly surprised me were peacocks. They were almost everywhere, even outside of the national parks.
3. History and colonial architecture
Walking through the historical streets in the centre of Galle in the southern Sri Lanka sets your imagination wild. You suddenly see people living during the colonial era in 17-18th century in the houses built in the distinct architecture with ornaments, calling through small windows their children playing on the uneven surface of the pathways of the narrow streets. You also see them in their best Sunday attire walking from the church through the city centre or to the lighthouse on the ramparts watching the distant the sea for ships from Europe which bypassed the Cape of Good Hope on the way only to unload merchandise and load tons of spices and sea for their European customers.
4. Culinary experiences
You cannot leave the country without tasting the hoppers (either with honey or with egg, or as noodles), the curries and any of the so many varieties of fruit. A must!
5. Ayurvedic spa and wellness
Imagine lying on a bed in a room offering a breathtaking sea view, listening to the sound of the sea waves mixed with the palm tree leaves rustling in the wind as you fall asleep and wake up on the occasional shrieks of peacocks looking for a mate. I have really enjoyed the amazing atmosphere, fauna, flora, architecture, delicious local cuisine and the kind hospitality of the natives. You can complement it with a traditional ayurvedic treatment this island is well-known for. Although, I have to admit, I have not tried the ayurvedic treatments yet. It somehow did not fit in the five day trip. Surely later. 🙂