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Thursday, 29 June 2017

Your guide to planning a holiday in Sri Lanka!

Your guide to planning a holiday in Sri Lanka!


Sri Lanka offers a compact box of sights, adventure, beaches, wildlife, heritage, culture and warm smiles. Travel destinations offer an array of holiday experience. The hospitality of Sri Lankans is well known and so is the cuisine, exotic fruits and sweets making this island an ideal recipe for fun and leisure.
The geography and culture is enough to lure you in this jewel of the Indian ocean, however
there are a lot more factors and background information you should consider before making plans for this picturesque country.



Here’s a rundown for all the travel essentials you need to know from accommodations, cuisines to visa information and how to travels.

Seasonal Effects

Sri Lanka is one of those rare places which are good to visit any time of the year. Let’s delve a little deep into the weather conditions and seasonal information.

> Best Seasons
January to April - Entire Country
July to September - Entire Country
November to December - Southwestern coast

> Beach Time
January to April - South
May to July - East

> Monsoon Showers
May to August - South & West Coast
October to January - North and East Coast

> Temperature
January to March - Warm and Sunny in the Beaches, Cooler in the Hills
April - Driest and the hottest month (11am to 3pm is direct sunlight)
May to June - Monsoon arrives, Humid
July to September - Odd Showers at times, Hot and dry beaches
October to December - Heavy Monsoon arrives but dries down till December which is warm and sunny



Beaches in January Source - https://goo.gl/QoEYjA


Warm weather days by the Beach
Source - https://goo.gl/h1DX9t




Nuwara Eliya experiencing cooler climate
Source - https://goo.gl/9ufBgi

Accommodation

There are a multitude of options to choose from including luxury hotels, mid range hotels, guesthouses, resorts, homestays to low budget hotels and airbnb’s. It is advised to reserve a place well in advance as during the peak season the bookings can get heavy. You will be spoilt for choice, some of the most sought after include -

Taylors Hill, Kandy - This is a former British planter’s house in the highlands of Kandy giving a stupendous view of the grasslands. There are pools, many sports courts, kids room, games rooms and the hotel also provides tuk tuk rides to the tea plantations. The rooms are big and spacious and this colonial era house gives you a modern yet antique feel.






Taru Villas, Tangalle - The hotel is located very close to Sandy beach, one of the premium beaches on southern coast. It’s also close to Yala National Park, a must go if you are a wildlife enthusiast. The hotel offers swimming pools, bars, lounges, libraries, personalizations in terms of dining etc.



Some other accommodations include, Cape Weligama, Tri, Kandy House, Rock wella, Amanwella etc.

Dress Code

There is no strict dress code of what to wear or what not to wear in Sri Lanka, however, it is advisable to wear cotton due to the humid weather.
> The locals may object to your beachwear so it is suggested to wear something that isn’t too short.
> Carry light woolens for the hills and an umbrella or raincoat is always good to carry on.
> Comfortable footwear is a must due to the varied terrain and similarly suitable equipment to be carried if you plan to dive or snorkel.

Festivities

Sri Lanka has a vast and rich culture and heritage which has been in existence from thousands of years. Sri Lankan culture is emulated through its history, festivities, sculptures and architecture, cuisines etc. The culture and history has been influenced by Indian and European history and heritage.

> Sinhala and Tamil New year (April) is one of the grandest celebration followed by Ramadan (End May - June)  by the Muslims, Esala Perahera by the Buddhists (End July - August) and Maha Shivratri (February) by the Hindus.



Esala Perahera Celebrations
Source -
https://goo.gl/3pYqiJ



Khana Khazana

Sri Lankan food is mouth watering and one of the best features of its culture. The food has some Indian influence on it but still manages to be unique and exotic in its own way. A variety of spices, fruits, sea foods, meats, veggies make up the cuisine.
> Must Try Dishes -  Fish curry and mixed rice, Chili fish fry, Vegetable Kottu, Sri Lankan Dhal

Popular restaurants/food spots you shouldn’t miss!
> Ministry of Crab - Lip Smacking seafood, as the name suggests, crab dishes are drool worthy!
> The Sizzle - Hot skillet Steaks and Fast food!
> The Lagoon - Luxury dining, Thai Fish curry and Prawns are a must try!
> Upali’s - Veggie delight and best hoppers in town, rice and curry is delicious and take out services available!
> Gallery Cafe - Authentic Sri Lankan cuisine!





Sri Lankan Cuisine Source - https://goo.gl/TGyjA1



Seafood is very popular
Source - https://goo.gl/e1EXyU




Getting Around

Sri Lanka is quite a populous country and the roads can often be congested with traffic. However, everything is well connected by a many means of transport.
> Charter flights can be arranged to any destination in Sri Lanka through Deccan Aviation Lanka.
> The trains are a journey in itself and are often recommended to tourists as the tracks cover beautiful scenery along with them. The trains cover major distances from Colombo. New fast services operate on the principal routes, including an intercity express service between  Colombo and Kandy, otherwise journeys are fairly leisurely.
> The on road transportation given you an option of  taxis (drivers usually expect a 10% tip here), buses which are fairly a common means to travel. Coastal town buses depart every half an hour whereas to Kandy every 15 minutes. There are also tuk tuks for small distances which charge a decent fare.





Train Journey through the Hills Source - https://goo.gl/YsVaZ5



How to Reach

Being an island nation, Sri Lanka is accessible via Air.

> The international gateway for direct flights is Colombo International Airport. Direct flights are available from Asia, Europe, Australia and Middle East.
> India - For Indians travelling to Sri Lanka or anyone coming via India, several flights fly from Chennai, Trichy, Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram.




Colombo International Airport Source - https://goo.gl/HcEjMG


Visa

As seen with many Asian countries, Sri Lanka too offers a tourist visa upon entry valid for 30 days. In order to extend your stay, one needs to visit the diplomatic missions of Sri Lanka in your home or current country.


Sri Lanka will have a lot to offer, knowing a few details beforehand only makes the trip more easier. This is a budget friendly destination and it may be small but it packs a powerful punch!




Created By - Namrita Singh

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