A Traveler’s Guide To Sri Lanka: How To Get Around The City
While travelers travel the world with nothing but their company, the world is becoming a safe haven for those who want to explore the world on their own. Sri Lanka is also one of the countries which is much safer and offers various places to discover. The country is predominantly a Buddhist country and can also remember the places of its neighboring country, India.
As the country boasts of ancient civilizations and heritage, it has its own culture which requires dressing conservatively and appropriately. The locals are friendly, respectful and helpful and will be more than happy to suggest you nice hotels to stay and restaurants to eat very good.
ON THE COUNTRY
With dilapidated temples, ruins and sacred Buddhist sites, Sri Lanka is also the best place in the world where coconut pancakes and banana pancakes soak in a generous amount of honey in a roadside food venue. A permanent testimony of ancient civilizations, this is the land on which the Sinhalese dynasties have set foot together with their first capitals.
Home to incredibly built temples, Sri Lanka is a country that supports massive artistic and architectural efforts.
A country with 3000 years of history and eight UNESCO world heritage sites was formerly known as Ceylon. Despite the reported political unrest and civil wars, it is a land that dazzles and never catches you to seduce you. Sigiriya, Kandy, Yapahuwa, Polonnaruwa, Dambulla, Buduruwagala and Anuradhapura are the oldest cities in the country.
PLACES TO VISIT
Not only temples but the country also has many beaches and waterfalls that attract globetrotters. Negombo beach is located in the north of Colombo and is also known as the commercial city of Sri Lanka. Its past successors – the Dutch, the Portuguese and the British have left a legacy like various notable colonial architectures and the Dutch canal which makes Negombo an interesting site full of various activities.
Take a day off in Sigiriya, near Dambulla, which is also known as the lion rock. The rock fortress is located in the Matale district of Sri Lanka. Climb the iconic stairs that have withstood difficult weather conditions but are still standing proudly. Pass by the huge hornet nests to reach the pinnacle of the oldest surviving site built in the 5th century. Stroll through a mythical world of legendary stories as you climb the top of the citadel.
Your expedition to explore the country will remain incomplete if you don’t visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy. Located in the midst of the serene oasis of tea plantations, its impeccable architecture is reflected in the lake. The temple is sacred to the locals in that it has a tooth which is kept in a caskate which belongs to Lord Buddha. Locals and tourists gather in the evening to offer prayers and eat food. There are other important temples that are a must visit for any tourist. Gangaramaya temple, Vajiramaya temple, Raja Maha Vihara temple, Isipathanaramaya temple, Koneswaram temple, Kandaswamy temple and Murugan temple to name a few.
POPULAR BEACHES TO VISIT
Sri Lanka is nothing but a natural beauty. Those who want to watch the day go by on the beach or want to engage in various sports activities, there are many beaches in the country that can be visited. Unawatuna, which is one of the best beaches in the country, is famous for its calm and blue waters. You can also spot a whale shark if the day is your lucky day.
Head to Bentota if you are looking for a complete beach vacation! The beach has several good resorts specializing in authentic Ayurvedic spas and medicines. Perfect for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and want to feel rejuvenated, the beach is an ideal vacation.
Mirissa attracts people from all over the world. Famous for its views of the aquatic fauna in its natural habitat, it is ideal for both ecological and holiday purposes. If you want to spot dolphins and whales, visit the place in December. There are many centers that also offer various Ayurvedic therapies. To stay in luxury resorts, Dickwella is the beach to go to. This is one of Sri Lanka’s secluded beaches that offer serendipity.
MARVEL IN THE WILD ELEPHANTS IN THE NATIONAL PARK
The country has a number of national parks which are home to various species. Depending on the city and place of residence, you can visit these national parks to enjoy the natural habitat of animals in the wild. Yala national park has around 40 reptiles and animals and over 200 bird species. Bird watchers can head to Bundala National Park or join the crowds of tourists from Uda Walawe National Park, while Sinharaja Forest Reserve is home to some of the rarer bird species.
HOW LONG SHOULD I STAY
A week is enough if your aim to visit the country is a beach holiday combining it with Kandy. For an itinerary of a couple of weeks in which you want to explore the main attractions and UNESCO sites, spend 3 nights in Galle, 2 in Rekawa, 3 in Tissa, 3 in Kandy and then 3 in Bentota.
HOW TO GET A VISA
Just like any other country, Sri Lanka has also required its visitors to have a valid visa permit. Although the process is not that complicated for this country, you can simply fill out an online ETA application form for Sri Lanka with personal details. After the verification process, you can simply receive Sri Lanka’s ETA online via email. A tourist visa allows double entry and is valid for 30 days.
You can book a taxi from the airport, which is a very simple, easy, reliable and safe service for all tourists, especially women traveling. Or you can hop on a bus that takes you to the center of Colombo, which costs around 150 LKR and allows 2 bags. Elsewhere, take a taxi. A taxi to Negombo Beach will take 30 minutes and costs around L62R 862. For Bentota, Galle or Kandy the fare is around 4500 LKR.