When you visit Sri Lanka, you’ll be provided with golden beaches, beautiful ruins, endless green mountains of tea, majestic animals in their natural habitat and warm smiles – the perfect reasons to visit Sri Lanka. The beautiful country has a very special place in our hearts and deserves a place on everyone’s bucket list as the tropical island has something to please everyone.
8 Great Reasons to Visit Sri Lanka:
1. Kind People
Sri Lankans have a sense of calm and kindness to them. Wherever we wandered, we were almost always met with a smile. They just give out this positive energy.
We booked homestays for the majority of our stay and just couldn’t believe the hospitality in Sri Lanka. Our homestay families would always make us feel completely comfortable and were always up for a good chat.
2. Ease of Travel
Sri Lanka is so small that we were able to get to each destination by bus with no journey taking longer than 5 hours. When you get to each bus station you may be overwhelmed by the chaos but there’s always someone who spots the tourist and provides a helping hand.
Sri Lanka is renowned for its train journeys so of course, we had to take one. We took the train ride starting from Kandy and stopped off at Nuwara Eliya for the night and then continued on to Ella. It’s so easy to get tickets but in peak season, don’t even think about having a seat. The best seat is the doorstep anyway so you can dangle your feet out and take in the views!
When travelling around the towns, we walked mainly to save money but there’s countless tuk tuks around and scooters to hire especially in the beach towns.
Tip: The buses and trains are very cheap. There are different prices for locals and tourists. After a journey or 2, you’ll know what’s a reasonable price so if you’re being ripped off then stand up for yourself and reduce the price.
On one occasion, we weren’t asked to pay until we reached our destination (we were the only foreigners on board and all the locals had paid) so the ticket man (what’s the official name?) could charge a ridiculous amount and we’d have no choice but to pay. Again, just stand your ground, not in an aggressive manner of course but show that you know you’re being charged unreasonably.
3. Beautiful Beaches
Towards the end of our travels in Sri Lanka, we headed towards the south coast beaches – Tangalle, Mirissa, Bentota, Galle & Hikkaduwa and they are absolutely stunning! Each are great reasons to visit Sri Lanka.
Tangalle and Unawatuna are ones you’ll mostly likely see associated with Sri Lanka on Instagram. Unawatuna for the beach swing and Tangalle for being remote with serious tropical vibes.
Mirissa is the perfect place for a happy hour cocktail and nightly entertainment.
4. Fantastic Food
Oh Sri Lankan curry, we do miss you so! They taste amazing, there’s always heaps of it and it’s cheap. It includes a plate of rice, lentil curry, coconut sambal, vegetables & a meat dish (or equivalent for vegetarians). You’ll always find western food aimed to please the masses but we recommend Sri Lankan dishes throughout your stay; you’ll miss it when you leave and I’ve never seen a Sri Lankan restaurant back at home.
Sri Lanka’s well known for hosting a large number of elephants and has two leading National Parks: Udawalawe & Yala, that host said elephants and other animals such as water buffalo, a large variety of birds, deer, crocodiles and monitor lizards (basically big ass, prehistoric lizards). If you’re lucky, you may even spot a leopard at Yala.
If you’re heading to a beach, you can have the chance to join a tour and go whale and dolphin watching. We did this in Mirissa with the company, Raja and the Whales, who were excellent – they really knew what they were doing! We also had the great pleasure of releasing baby turtles into the ocean with Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project.
6. Diverse Towns
Travel for 3 hours and you’ll be in a town that feels entirely different to your last. One day you’ll be staying up in the tea country hills of Nuwara Eliya, literally shivering through the night (the town’s known as Little England and my God, did it feel like it!) and the next day you’ll be thrown around in the back of a safari jeep searching for elephants.
7. Cultural Heritage
Sri Lanka’s cultural growth has been rewarded and recognised by UNESCO. There are now 6 archaeological heritage sites on the island:
- The golden cave temple of Dambulla
Sri Lanka has done very well to provide accommodation for all sorts of travellers; whether you are a luxury seeker or hostel enthusiast, Sri Lanka has something for everyone. We kept our living costs low by staying in homestays found on Booking.com but occasionally treated ourselves to a little luxury.
For us, all these points are reasons to visit Sri Lanka AGAIN.