Pristine Beaches, Endless Sea, Green Mountains, mesmerising train journeys, Colonial Architecture, Bustling Capital with Sources of Entertainment are the attributes which describes Sri Lanka- The Paradise Island or ‘The Wonder of Asia’.
A week or 10 days is the perfect span to visit this beautiful country and have a flavour of its diverse land.There are many beautiful places stretching from North to the South. The must visit places are Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Adam’s Peak, Mirissa, Galle and Colombo.
Start with Kandy, the second largest city of Sri Lanka which is a 3 to 4 hour journey from Colombo. A night or 2 is enough to visit this beautiful hilly place. The main attraction is Temple of Tooth and the Kandy Lake.
Depending on the time of the year you are travelling there, you can experience the world famous Perahera Festival which happens generally in the mid of August, I was lucky enough to experience it. The whole city is decked up with lights and the famous procession with decorated elephants takes place at around 7 in the evening, but reach a bit early to take a good position to view it, many local people lend their terraces and balconies at a little cost to view the procession. There are a lot of local food stalls to savour the delicacies.
The next morning one can take the amazing observation salon train which goes up north to Nuwara Eliya and Adam’s Peak. The journey is a must as it has spectacular views of the tree plantations, waterfalls, mountains and greenery all around. Adam’s Peak is a long climb but very well worth as it offers amazing views which in itself is a treat to eyes. The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is also a good experience to be with elephants and feed them, an hour away from Kandy.
On the other end , Sri Lanka has beautiful beach town Mirissa and the colonial town Galle in the South which are undoubtedly the jewels of this island country. Tranquility is what defines Mirissa, the beaches are so clean and lively that gives a perfect gateway to the sun, sand and ocean lovers. It’s amazing to see the way traditional fishermen get their catch, also the amazing aroma of spices in the food by the beach side restaurants, the chilled drinks and amazing lighted up party places in the evenings.
On the other hand the nearby colonial town depicting the old history and architecture being done by Portuguese, Dutch and British rulers takes you back in time. The port, Light House, Old Fort and artistic lanes makes it a must visit. There are some mind blowing cafes and restaurants which serve different cuisines and delicious desserts. One can spend hours sitting at the shore and gulping in the feel that this place has to offer. I would suggest to spend a night there inside the old town, they have many old architecture houses which are being converted into hotels and guest houses.
One can got to Hikkaduwa beach, just 25 minutes from Galle to visit the famous Turtle Hatchery which is also a good experience in itself.
Now comes the bustling capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo. A beach city in itself with a lot of diverse activities and places to offer. The city is big with a lot of people, unlike the other cities in Sri Lanka. It has some great places to stay with great views and also great Restaurants that offer Authentic Sri Lankan food and the food from all over the world.
The colonial architecture can be easily seen in the Old Buildings, Town Hall, Dutch Hospital etc. There are a lot of cultural and places of worship like The GangaRamaya Temple, architectural places like Dutch Museum and Independence Square near Colombo Fort and fancy sea facing places to chill out in the Galle Face Green. In the night, Colombo has a lot to offer in terms of entertainment, be it huge casinos or nightclubs or movie theatres.Cricket being the most widely played and loved game in the island, if you are lucky and there is a match, you can get to experience it and see the craze for it. There different modes of transport to commute in the city, the best being TukTuks and Private Taxis as the public transports are overcrowded and very slow.
The people are very friendly and open with smiling faces, ready to help always.
So if you are looking to escape from your daily life and replenish yourself, this Island Paradise is the place to choose for a week or 10 days of relaxation with a combination of some amazing places and diverse experiences to live. Give it a chance and it won’t disappoint you. Get Set Lanka.