After the end of decades-long war, the teardrop island of Sri Lanka is back on the map. There has been a noticeable increase in travellers exploring Sri Lanka. And why not? With its pristine beaches, verdant tea plantations and rolling hills, Sri Lanka is the perfect escape for those needing a tonic for the soul. The perfect balance between nature and culture, Sri Lanka offers all of the wonders of a growing urban city as well as ancient ruins and unspoilt national parks.
CruMbling Temples and Lost Cities
Learn this rich history of Sri Lanka by visiting the ancient cities and archaeological sites in an area called the Cultural Triangle.
Forming the tip of the triangle is the beautiful city of Kandy, considered the epicenter of Sinhalese culture. Stroll around the peaceful Kandy Lake and admire the mist-shrouded hills surrounding the city. Just north of the lake is the sacred site of Temple of the Tooth. This important Buddhist site houses the tooth relic of the Lord Buddha brought to Sri Lanka in the 4th century.
Explore the Polonnaruwa Quadrangle – a compact group of fascinating ruins and unique structures. The archaeological treasures of the city will give you a pretty good idea of how the city looked in its heyday.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Anuradhapura was the royal capital for over 100 Sri Lankan kings. From enormous stupas (or locally called dagobas), crumbling temples and well-preserved ruins, Anuradhapura has a rich collection of archaeological and architectural wonders. Take a couple of days to explore one of the most evocative sights in Asia.
Perfect For Beach Bums & Nature Lovers
Sri Lanka has a plethora of stunning beaches and national parks that can rival those in Thailand. Consider staying at Negombo instead of Colombo upon arrival. Just half an hour's drive from the airport, Negombo is the perfect destination to chill before starting your whirlwind trip in Sri Lanka.
On your way to the East Coast, visit Kitugala, famed for rafting and jungle hikes. It is becoming known as the “adrenalin-sports” capital of the country. Fun fact. The movie Bridge on the River Kwai was filmed in this town.
Head to the East Coast and straight to Arugam Bay, a surfer's paradise. It is home to a point break that many surfers regard as the best spot in the country. From April to September, you will find surfers riding the waves. And Even if you're not a surfer, there's something captivating about Arugam Bay that will make you stay for days.
After a few days of nothing but pure laziness at the beach, hop along the south coast to Mirissa. While Mirissa is not as developed as nearby beaches such as Hikkaduwa, the biggest draw of this sleepy beach is the possibility of spotting blue whales, believed to be the biggest creature ever to inhabit the Earth.
Sri Lanka has everything for everybody. And now that the war is over, Sri Lanka is becoming THE destination to visit in Asia. It has got stunning beaches, mysterious temples and ruins, rich history and culture, delectable food, fun trains, killer surf, and abundant flora and fauna to let you appreciate Mother Nature even more.
How to get there:
You can fly to Colombo from Shanghai directly on Srilankan Airlines.
When to go:
Sri Lanka is pretty much a year-round destination. The perfect time to visit the southwestern half of the country is from December to March when it's dry and stunning. On the other hand, visit the northern and eastern side of the country from May to September.
It's best to hire a private driver and vehicle to take you around the country. You'll pass through stunning scenery along the way.