Popularly known as “the Pearl of the Indian Ocean”, the island country of Sri Lanka is filled with breath-taking visuals, natural sceneries, sandy beaches, rich culture and mouthwatering food. Sri Lanka is among the safest countries to travel to and has so much more to offer than what meets the eye. You will not regret planning a trip to Sri Lanka. However, here are a few things you need to know before planning to visit this beautiful and authentic South Asian country.
The Country of Tea Lovers
The landscapes and climate of the South Asian country of Sri Lanka are perfect for harvesting the best quality tea, making it the fourth largest tea producer in the world. Sri Lanka has used these factors to its benefit by retaining its title of “Best in Class” as a producer of High-quality Tea.
Previously known as Ceylon, this is a haven for tea lovers. So when you plan your trip to Sri Lanka, try to take full advantage of this opportunity to enjoy a hike in their tea plantations in the hills like Nuruwa Eliya or sample a hot cup of freshly brewed black, white or green tea.
There are Tons to see
Though the size of the island is quite small, there is an abundance of sites to see in Sri Lanka for all types of tourists. From stunning waterfalls like Baker’s Falls, Diyaluma Falls, Ramboda Falls, etc. to mountain ranges that are a hiker’s dream to the more classical choices of cultural attractions for avid travellers UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Sigiriya, Sri Dalada Maligawa, Dambulla Royal Cave Temple and Golden Temple, and the ancient Cities of Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura.
If you feel like exploring the wildlife of Sri Lanka, then opt for a safari trip to any of the famous national parks like Udawalawe, Wilpattu, Yala, etc. Keep in mind that there are a lot of grounds to cover so make sure to reserve at least a few weeks for your trip.
Plethora of Activities to Try
The unique atmosphere of Sri Lanka caters to all kinds of travellers. Love the beach or surfing? As an island country, Sri Lanka is surrounded by many beaches and water bodies that offer a wide range of water-based activities like surfing, kitesurfing, waterboarding, kayaking, sailing, whale watching and so much more.
Prefer hiking or other outdoor activities? It has you covered too. Go chase waterfalls, hike along the tea gardens or set camp under the moonlight. And even if you are the type to just relax and are looking for a breather, the spas in the resorts here are perfect for melting your stress away.
The land of natural beauty
Sri Lanka is a small island country which is popular for its natural beauty, lush green forest, physical diversity, tropical climate, sublime sand-sprinkled beaches and instagrammable waterfalls. The island features a wide array of fascinating geographic features like lagoons, wetlands, rivers and jungles filled with different types of wildlife.
The island is blessed with almost 1600 km of palm-fringed coastline which makes it the ideal destination for a beach getaway. The beauty and allure of most of its hotels and resorts heavily rely on the scenic beauty of their surrounding landscapes. The visuals of this country are not just soothing to the sight but also to the soul. So, while you are there try to soak it all in.
Different Climate in Different Parts of the Country
Sri Lanka is a tropical country with exposure to an abundance of sunlight and blue skies throughout the year. However, the temperature fluctuates from region to region, and even between morning and evening. So, pack some light warm clothes and keep them on hand if you feel a bit chilly. Sri Lanka also has two monsoon seasons, December to March in the northeast region and June to October in the southwest region.
Despite this, you can visit any part of the country at any time if you don’t mind light rainfall. It may rain one night and be sunny the next day, so it rarely imposes any issues. However, these light drizzles are unpredictable so the best weather forecast would be looking out of the window before going out. People prefer avoiding rainy seasons while visiting the country, but those are the times when it is less crowded.
Tap Water is NOT Safe
When you visit Sri Lanka there is a 60-70% chance you will catch hot and humid weather, so you have to drink lots of water to stay hydrated. However, make sure that you don’t drink tap water there.
Although the water here is generally chlorinated and claimed to be safe to drink, the surface inland waters in urban areas are contaminated by many unknown micro-organisms introduced from the domestic sewage and industrial liquid waste disposed into waterbodies. So it will be safer to keep store-bought mineral water bottles with you at all times. Also, steer clear of ice unless you are sure that the water was boiled or purified beforehand.
First Plan then Pack
As mentioned above, Sri Lanka is an island country that features an astonishing range of diversity despite its small stature. There are stunning beaches where you can enjoy many exciting waterbased activities, a green mountain range where you can try your luck at hiking, spas and ayurvedic centres where you can relax and destress, and religious monasteries where you can visit to enrich your spirituality and connect with the history of the region.
It is impossible to cover all the grounds in a short trip. That’s why it is highly recommended that you plan your itinerary first and decide on the activities you want to take part in and then pack accordingly. For example, the mountains here are over 2000m and the temperature there is considerably lower than on the grounds. So make sure to pack warmly for the colder days. And don’t forget to bring a multipurpose shawl which can be used for covering up when you visit the temples, used as a beach blanket or another piece of clothing to keep you warm. Bring your trekking shoes for hiking and sandals for the beach.
Be Respectful of the Surroundings
Now, this is an important one to keep in mind. Although the people and government of Sri Lanka are very welcoming towards tourists, they are still reserved and conservative when it comes to general etiquette. For starters, no matter what you wear at the beaches (Disclaimer: you do have to wear something, public nudity is banned.), you must keep your legs and shoulders covered in other parts of the island. This is particularly mandatory for temple visits. Before entering temples ask for permission, especially if you belong to another religion, and remove your shoes and headgear. In some temples, men are required to remove their shirts and enter them barechested.
Furthermore, do not be disrespectful towards any image or stature of Buddha as people have been deported because of that in the past. Don’t wear clothes with Buddha’s image on it, hide your tattoos featuring Buddha and never turn your back on any image or statue of Buddha. Other ways to avoid being disrespectful to their culture are to not show any public displays of affection, ask for permission before taking pictures of someone or in the temples, and eat with your right hand.
If you are excited about visiting this fascinating tropical island country of Sri Lanka, then hurry up and plan your next trip right now with British Bangla Travel Ltd.