Sri Lanka Trip

Sri Lanka – What to See

Colombo – the capital and largest city in Sri Lanka

Kandy – the last capital of the ancient kings’ era of Sri Lanka. It is the home of the Temple of the Tooth Relic, one of the most sacred places of worship in the Buddhist world. It was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1988

Dambulla Cave Temple, also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla is a World Heritage Site (1991). Dambulla is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. There are a total of 153 Buddha statues, three statues of Sri Lankan kings and four statues of gods and goddesses. The latter include Vishnu and the Ganesha.

Sigiriya also known as Lion Rock is an ancient rock fortress located near the town of Dambulla. It is one of the best preserved examples of ancient urban planning and a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site.

National Parks – among many Yala, Minneriya, Horton Plains offer also safari rides. Pigeon Island offers a coral reef snorkeling experience

Other – elephant, bird and turtle orphanages and sanctuaries

Sri Lanka – How to get around

Sri Lanka has an extensive road network for inland transportation, and it is rather easy to rent a car or hire a car and driver in any bigger city.

Buses are the principal mode of public transport. Service is provided by a state-run company and privately-owned buses and it is quite an experience to board a bus, even for a short destination.

The rail network of Sri Lanka consists of main lines, coastal lines, and up-country line.

It is highly recommended to buy the train tickets and seats in advance, especially for higher class trains and train through Horton Plains, since the ticket offices tend to sell far more tickets than there is room in the train, so one may end up not being able to get on the train even if they have a ticket.

The best option for shorter distances is a taxi, some of them have meters, or tuk-tuk, a three-wheeler waiting on nearly every corner.

Use your best bargaining skills and agree on the fare before you get in. Tuk-tuks and taxis waiting outside hotels and tourist sights expect higher-than-usual fares. Walk a few meters to get a better deal.

Srí Lanka – Food & Drink

Sri Lankan cuisine has been shaped by many historical and cultural factors and the food may vary based on the area you are in. Given that majority of the population is Buddhist, the meals are mostly vegetarian, but in some places, you may find also grilled or stewed chicken, fish or mutton.

Food is quite spicy and traditionally served on a plantain leaf and eaten by hand.

Typical meal is Rice and Curry. It is comprised of boiled or steamed rice with lentil, vegetable or fruit curry, served with chutney and fresh salad. Every chef has their own recipe, so one may never eat the same rice and curry twice.

Roti is a simple flatbread usually made of wheat flour. It is also a main ingredient of Kottu, which is a spicy stir-fry of shredded roti with vegetables or egg.

Very popular are ‘short eats’, variety of snacks that are eaten on the go, mainly for breakfast or in the evening.

They may include vegetable/fish roti – a flatbread with a filling rolled into a triangular shape and baked, patties and pastries – filled with vegetables, fish or minced meat, egg rolls, which often contain potatoes and vegetables.

Many restaurants along the coast offer grilled or fried fish and sea food.

The national drink is of course tea, but very popular are fresh fruit juices, mixed with water or yoghurt (lassi). A refreshing option is also a coconut water served straight in the coconut shell, that can be bought anywhere on the street.

Alcohol is not commonly sold in restaurants or stores. It is available only in licensed bars in in big cities and tourist resorts or in special stores. Popular is local beer Lion or quite potent liquor Arrack that is made from the sap of palm trees.

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