Take a break from work and visit Sunny Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka was once called the pearl of the Indian Ocean, and is surrounded by warm water and white sandy beaches. It is situated just south off the southern most tip of India.
Almost all Sri Lankans speak excellent English as Sri Lanka was once under the British Empire. Everybody is laid back and quick with a smile. There are many races in Sri Lanka and the main religion is Buddhism.
Although Sri Lanka is a very traditional country, it is still fairly liberal, tolerating topless bathing and skimpy clothing. There are no restrictions on meat with beef, pork and chicken freely available. Fresh seafood is the norm as being island means there are plenty of prawns, crabs, mussels, lobster and of course, fish. Liquor is also freely available, except on Poya Days which is one day every month.
Food and accommodation is cheap by most standards. A good meal will set you back only a few US dollars and you can get 3-4 star bed and breakfast for as little as 20 USD a night. Cars are left hand drive and you can rent a car for as little as 300 USD a month.
Down South – The Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna and Bentota beaches are superb for surfing, sun bathing and snorkelling. The corals are not as fantastic as Trincomalee, but they are still full of life. You can also see turtles feeding on the seaweed on the reefs. There are many five star hotels along this coast offering good hospitality and good food. You can also do a bit of whale and dolphin watching off the coast if you are lucky.
Trincomalee – Pigeon Island off Trincomalee in the northwest is the best place for snorkelling with beautiful and colourful coral and a huge variety of exotic fish. The sand is pure white and the beaches are secluded, offering good sun bathing spots. You can go topless if you wish, as the beaches are very private. There are many 3 and 4 star hotels offering accommodation here. The Nilaweli Beach Resort is the best, and a stones throw away from the coral.
The Cultural Triangle – In the heart of Sri Lanka has a lot of famous ruins. Sigiriya is famous for it’s fortress atop a gigantic boulder. There are the world famous frescos painted on the sheer face of this amazing boulder. With a palace on top of it. The rock temple at Dambulla and the ancient ruins of palaces and temples in Anuradhapura and Pollonnaruwa are beautiful as well as thought provoking. There are lot’s of guest houses and hotels scattered in this area with Habarana Lodge and Habarana Village being the more popular. The fantastic Kandalama hotel, set in the rock is an amazing bit of eco friendly architecture offering 5 star service and is in a beautiful and secluded spot just beside the lake.
Wild life and Bird Watching -If you love wildlife then you can visit the Yala National Park – which borders the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Here you can see wild elephants and wild boar and plenty of birds such as fishing eagles. If you are lucky, you might see a leopard or two. You can visit the Sinha Raja Forest. This densely packed rain forest is full of flora and fauna. In addition to these, there are many wetlands and nature reserves spread across the country that are excellent for bird watching.
Kandy – This was the hill capital in the times of the kings in Sri Lanka and is renowned for its beauty and majesty. This is in the heart of Sri Lanka, and the entire city is draped across a mountain range. The Dalada Maligawa – Temple of the Sacred Tooth – houses a relic of the remains of Lord Buddha, and it’s golden pergola is very famous. The main town is a bustling hive of activity. There is a lot of accommodation spread throughout the heart of Kandy.
Nuwara Eliya – This beautiful town is on the highest plateau in Sri lanka. It’s normally very cool because of the altitude. The town is a fantastic place to visit with beautiful gardens and spectacular colonial houses. The Tea Factory Hotel is situated just on the outskirts of the town. This hotel is a converted tea factory and is a fabulous 5 star experience.
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