Sri Lanka, a small island nation located off the southern coast of India, is a hidden gem that's often overlooked by travelers. However, this tropical paradise is a must-visit destination that offers an unforgettable experience for visitors. From its unique culture and cuisine to its UNESCO heritage sites and friendly people, here's why you should consider visiting Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka's culture is a blend of Indian, Portuguese, Dutch, and British influences. It's a rich and diverse cultural tapestry that's reflected in the country's architecture, art, music, dance, and festivals. For example, the Kandy Esala Perahera is an annual festival that takes place in the city of Kandy, where decorated elephants parade through the streets with drummers and dancers in traditional costumes. It's a spectacular display of Sri Lankan culture that's not to be missed.
Sri Lankan cuisine is a delicious fusion of spices, flavors, and textures. The food is typically spicy, but not overwhelmingly so. There is the staple rice and curry and some must-try dishes that include hoppers, a type of pancake made from rice flour and coconut milk, and kottu roti, a popular street food that consists of chopped up roti, vegetables, and meat or egg. For those with a sweet tooth, Sri Lanka's desserts are also a treat, with dishes such as watalappan, a coconut custard, and bibikkan, a spiced cake made with coconut and treacle.
Sri Lanka is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, each of which is a testament to the country's rich history and culture. These sites include the ancient city of Anuradhapura, the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, and the Golden Temple of Dambulla, all of which are stunning examples of ancient Sri Lankan architecture and art. The sites also offer visitors a glimpse into the country's Buddhist heritage, which has played a significant role in shaping Sri Lanka's culture and society.
Sri Lankan people are known for their warmth, hospitality, and kindness. From the tuk-tuk drivers to the street vendors, locals are always ready to help visitors navigate the country and make the most of their stay. Sri Lankans are also proud of their culture and history, and they are always happy to share it with visitors. Engaging with locals can be an incredibly rewarding experience, as it allows visitors to gain a deeper understanding of Sri Lankan culture and way of life.
Sri Lanka is a unique and beautiful country that offers a wealth of experiences for visitors. From its rich culture and delicious cuisine to its UNESCO heritage sites and friendly people, there's something for everyone, so why not add this stunning destination to your travel bucket list? You won't be disappointed.
Pete is a Sri Lankan born Australian with over 40 years experience in hospitality. Pete has a deep love and understanding of the culture, cuisine and hospitality industries of both countries - knowledge which he weaves into his culinary tours.