Authored by JJ
Since I started travelling four years ago, I have been lucky enough to experience truly varied cultures and places, many of which I hold dear. Sri Lanka, however, has always had a special place in my heart and I’ve made it my mission to convince everyone else of its merits.
Despite a troubled past, Sri Lanka and its people are well on their way to a full recovery. More than that, they are very welcoming to people who wish to experience the beauty of their country and perhaps contribute a bit to stimulating the local economy.
I had such a great experience in Sri Lanka that I even decided to start my own blog about the country and inspire as many people as possible to visit! You can find the blog at takemetosrilanka.com.
With friendly people, incredible food, and stunning locations throughout the country, there are plenty of reasons to choose Sri Lanka as your holiday destination. You’ll love Sri Lanka for the following reasons, and it’s for these reasons that the country will inspire a second trip!
Why Sri Lanka Inspires for a Second Trip
Its Historical Sites are Inspiring
Sri Lanka might be relatively small but it fits a wealth of history and natural beauty within its borders.
For example, Pidurangala Rock Temple (which you can see in combination with Sigiriya Rock Fortress in one day). Or the Ancient City of Polonnaruwa, which is simply breathtaking. Being that the site is massive, a good way to explore is to rent a bike; I had a wonderful experience cycling around, imagining how the city might have looked like at its peak 800 years ago.
Of course, it’s incredibly important to practice respect when you are visiting such places, as many of them have both cultural and religious significance to locals. Depending on where you will be staying in Sri Lanka, some of the country’s historical sites might be a little bit hard to access, unless your budget allows for private car hire.
However, this just gives you even more reasons to travel to the country again! Planning for these visits can be somewhat frustrating but there are plenty of resources online, where you can find planned historical itineraries so you don’t have to do all the legwork.
Photo CC Patty Ho
The Train Journeys are Stunning
There are plenty of beautiful train journeys throughout Sri Lanka, however one of the most remarkable is the journey from Kandy to Ella.
I’ve talked about this journey to pretty much anyone who will listen and I still can’t get enough. After all, it was this journey that convinced me that train journeys can actually be exciting and not just a time to listen to music or read a book!
Take a look outside the window at any time and you will see tea plantations covering entire hills, waterfalls splashing down right beside you, mountains covered in trees, and everything in between.
The views almost everywhere in Sri Lanka are extraordinary and if you want to soak it all up in one go, this seven-hour journey is the best way to do it. And yes, seven hours might sound like an incredibly long time, but it truly isn’t!
While you’re in the train, you may well get to meet locals, snack on food from one of the many vendors wandering around the wagons, and even drink some delicious tea!
The Food is Always Delicious
One of the things I love about travelling is satisfying my taste buds with the best each country’s cuisine has to offer. In Sri Lanka, this wasn’t hard to do at all as almost every meal I had was simply delicious.
Getting a curry and rice from any local place will make you rethink about what Asian cuisine means as the authentic local ingredients are more flavorful than anything you can get from an Asian store back home!
Aside from the cooked meals, the selection of fruits in Sri Lanka is so varied that I felt like a kid again. Drinking juice from fresh pineapples, water from fresh coconuts, and eating things I’ve never seen before like dragon fruit was very fun.
You just have to be a little bit careful with it. For instance, if you can’t handle spicy food, then you should try to get mild versions of whatever curry you want to eat. Hygiene may also be an issue in some places so you have to be on the lookout for it.
Photo CC by Patty Ho
You Can Spot Wildlife in Diverse Habitats
Sri Lanka is absolutely full of wildlife across its many national parks, jungles, and sea. There is something for everyone here and taking a safari in one of the parks will allow you to view a lot of different animals in safety.
For instance, Yala is one of the best places in the world to spot the elusive leopard at a natural habitat. The massive national park is home to pretty much every kind of animal you can think of including birds, reptiles, and giant mammals.
The country is home to a lot of elephants and watching the majestic creatures in their homes is a humbling experience. I would urge you to go to Kaudulla, my personal favorite, as there are far fewer tourists than Minneriya, its more popular counterpart.
If you want to head over to the sea, there are plenty of opportunities for whale and dolphin watching too. In fact, Sri Lanka has the largest blue whale colony in the world and seeing the world’s largest animal ever right in front of you is awe-inspiring.
It’s Cheap, Safe, and Beautiful
While there are many Asian countries where you will find cheap accommodation, safe travels, and beautiful landscapes, very few of them combine all three in the same way as Sri Lanka.
The country is stunning from one end to the other whether you are looking for mountainous adventures and long hikes or relaxing sunbathing in one of its many picturesque beaches.
Everywhere you go in Sri Lanka, you will also find cheap but solid accommodation and food for any budget. Eating a great meal in Sri Lanka and sleeping in an air-conditioned room will cost almost nothing when compared to many European countries and the experience will be more authentic too.
As a solo female traveller, I never felt unsafe. There were some instances where men repeatedly tried to talk to me or stared uncomfortably but it was never dangerous. While I wouldn’t want to walk in the streets of Colombo alone at night, I wouldn’t do that in any city anywhere else in the world either.
One of the Most Magical Places in Asia
Whether you are on a tight budget or are willing to splurge on just about anything you want, Sri Lanka will undoubtedly have something for you.
Even as a solo traveller, I found so many things to love about the country that I can’t wait to go back!
OUR FAVORITE TRAVEL GUIDES TO SRI LANKA: CLICK PHOTO↓