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Sri lanka

Sri Lanka is one of the finest in the world of its size: endless beaches, warmhearted people, timeless ruins, killer surf waves, mountain covered tea plantations, mind-blowing train rides, and delicious food. Few places have as many UNESCO World Heritage Sites (eight) packed into such a small area.

Lapped by the Indian Ocean, the coast is fringed with idyllic beaches, while the interior boasts a compelling variety of landscapes ranging from wildlife-rich lowland jungles, home to extensive populations of elephants, leopards and rare bird species, to the misty heights of the hill country, covered with verdant tea plantations.

Highlights

Sri Lanka has a lot to offer. Below we made our own selection of places we think are definitely worth a visit.

  1. Hilly Kandy - Kandy is perhaps the most beautiful and romantic city in the island. Surrounded by green hills and with a large lake it is a good base for exploring the underrated terrain of the nearby Knuckles Range.
  2. Galle – this World Heritage Site is a lovely place to wander and explore the small shops. It is a city of trade and art and off course of the famous Fort built by the Dutch.
  3. Yala National Park - One of the largest national parks in the country, the terrain at Yala is varied with grassy plains and forest, rocky scrubland, lagoons and a coastline.
  4. Ancient city of Sigiriya - the magnificent site of Sigiriya is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is an iconic rock that rises 180 meters high from the central plains. On the top of the rock thought to be once the epicenter of the short-lived kingdom of Kassapa.
  5. Minnerya National Park - This national park is one of the best places in the country to see wild elephants. The park is covered with forest and wetland and also provides shelter to leopards, crocodiles and macaques.
  6. Arugam bay – it is a lovely place with a moon-shaped curl of soft sand and one of the best waves to surf. It is remote and laid-back although maybe a bit out of the common direction.

What to eat

The Sri Lankan cuisine has too many nice things to offer to make a proper selection. We did our best to keep the list short and provide you with our most favorite Sri Lankan delicacies.

  1. Chili Fish Curry – it is spicy, but marvelous!
  2. Dhal curry – this is one of the most common dishes eaten in Sri Lanka. Red lentils are cooked in a beautiful blend of spices with a few spoons of coconut milk to top it off.
  3. Vegetarian Kottu – this dish consist of shredded pieces of Sri Lankan roti, stir fried with an assortment of spices and a choice of other ingredients.
  4. Wambatu Moju – we really like this dish and couldn’t get enough of it. The eggplant is cooked to death with salt, oil, soy sauce, and sugar until it becomes fall apart tender and the sugar start to caramelize.
  5. Egg hoppers –the hopper is the national food of Sri Lanka. It begins with a simple pancake batter that is spruced up with coconut milk and a Sri Lankan palm wine. The unique part is that hoppers are cooked in a small “wok” like pan so the dough cooks thick and soft on the bottom, and thin and crunchy around the edges.
  6. Ulundhu Vadai – these are little round balls you can eat as a snack. They are made from lentils, combined with incredible spices, and deep fried to crunchy perfection.
  7. Sri Lanka Fish Cutlet Balls – these fish cutlets are a delicious treat you can eat at any time of the day.
  8. Vegetable samosas and fish or vegetable roti – samosas are deep-fried filled with potato and different spices. A healthier variant is the wrapped fish or vegetable roti. Yum!

When to go

Sri Lanka has quite a complex climate as it exists of two monsoon seasons. The main southwest (“yala”) monsoon brings rain to the west and southwest coasts and hill country from April/May to September (wettest from April to June). The less severe northeast (“maha”) monsoon hits the east coast from November to March (wettest from November to December). So the best time to visit Sri Lanka is from February to March.

What to know

Entering Sri Lanka you need a visa. Before visiting Sri Lanka you should do the following to obtain a 30-day visa:

  1. Visit the Sri Lanka Electronic Travel Authorization System (http://www.eta.gov.lk) several days before arriving
  2. Follow the online application process and pay with a credit or debit card
  3. Once approved, print out the visa confirmation

You also have the possibility to get a visa at a Sri Lankan embassy abroad or at the counter at Bandaranaike International Airport if you arrive without a visa.



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