Sri Lanka is a green jewel of an island which fuses together Western and Asian influences from throughout the ages. Steeped in rich cultural and archaeological heritage, Sri Lankan’s are proud of their history and traditions. It bears the hallmarks of a country which has seen colonization and integrates some of the modern learnings and trades with their deep-rooted historical beliefs and practices.
Sri Lanka’s ancient artifacts and temples have been very well preserved throughout time by the peaceful inhabitants of this island. The amazing tea plantations which were founded during the British Empire are still a flourishing part of their economy and play a vital part to their bustling tourist trade. Sri Lanka is home to a varied mix of religions with Christians, Buddhists and Muslims able to coexist side-by-side within the same communities and praying in their respective places of worship.
The food has heavy Indian influences with ‘curry and rice’ on almost every menu across this land. The mountainous landscape provides a large variety of options for tourists who are keen to experience different things within a limited time frame. You can go trekking in the lush mountains and kite surfing one day, then elephant riding and sunbathing the next. The locals are pleasant and the booming tourist based economy means that its safe to wander off the beaten track. As it’s only a short hop from the relentless summer sun in UAE, this low-cost tropical haven is the perfect destination for a long for anyone living in the UAE.
( Wearing Mochi )
It is our second time to visit the country and the beau and I decided to visit the southern part of Sri Lanka due to its rich wildlife and where the biggest national parks are located.
The first time we visited Sri Lanka, we tried to be spontaneous and rented a car and drove from Colombo, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya and Mirissa with no hotel booked prior to our trip, it was definitely fun, however, the chance of getting a good hotel is less because when we visited it was peak season. This time we tried to plan ahead. There’s a direct flight from Dubai to Mattala airport, we opted to stay in Shangri-la Hambantota because the hotel was very close to all the places we wanted to visit and the hotel, the hotel offered an amazing tropical experience as it was surrounded by countless coconuts and animals roaming around. Whilst at the hotel, we tried the Ayurvedic massage, I’d say massage is something I love to try in every country.
( Post Ayurvedic massage at Shangri-la’s Chi Spa )
Went to visit the local artisan village where wood carvings and paintings are being created.
Went to visit the local flea market and some fruit stand along the street, it goes without saying that a selfie is called for.
( Wearing Faithfull dress, Soraya Henessy Bucket bag and Chloe Sunnies )
Also visited the rice field making sure my Asian friends have ample supply of red rice this year.
We also visited Uda Walawe National park, it was created for wild animals displaced by the construction of the Uda Walawe Reservoir on the Walawe river. It is an important habitat for water birds and a herd to 250 Sri Lankan elephants. We also spotted wild fox, countless peacocks, buffalo and deer.
We left the hotel at 5am in the morning and managed to watch the the sun rise as we arrive at the park.
Our stay was generally spent lounging around the beach, no swimming necessarily as the waves are far too strong to grace, however, the weather and view was enough to keep us staying close to the waters.
Have you been to Ceylon, which part of the place is your favorite?