Sri Lanka - The Charmed Land

Trips & Vacation Packages


Sri Lanka Tips

Climate and seasons recommended for visiting
Sri Lanka, which lies close to the equator, is characterized by tropical climate country and it is blessed with many beautiful sceneries.
There are two Monsoons in Sri Lanka. Between May and August in the western and southern parts are under the influence of monsoon. Region's dry season is from December to March.
From October to January the Northern and Eastern parts of the island are rainy. Dry season lasts there from May to September. It means that at any given moments there are sunny beaches and places to walk.
The average temperature of beaches is 30-25 degrees, making it possible to travel at the rainy season.
In the highlands of Kandy and Nuwara Eliya, the average temperature is 22-16 degrees, and the nights are cold.
Amounts of rainfall in the south reach -3500-4000 mm per year, compared with the dry region that gets "only" 1000 mm per year.
Tropical vegetation accompanies the traveler wherever he goes. The various forms of green, which is the dominant color of the island, are giving a feeling of natural greenhouse throughout the year.

Food and Drink
Sri Lanka has always been a source of spices, and it can also offer plenty of dishes that suit all tastes and palates. Basic food is made of rice with curries, but you will find here a vast selection of fruits and vegetables throughout the year. Combined with many fish and seafood, all the food here always contain the coconut oil and milk that give unique aroma to the local menu.
Sri Lanka's meal – is typically based on rice, with number of curries of vegetables, fresh fish or dry fish ("Carol") fried with Chili or red onion.
Please, do not be ashamed to imitate the natives, who eat with their hands. Just mixing and crunching all the ingredients with rice brings a real taste. If you try to taste each of the components of the dish separately, the dominant taste would be too strong for the Western palate.

When you go to buy bananas in Sri Lanka, remember that there are more than 20 different types of bananas: small, large as an arm, red, sweet, salty and even some that are intended only for cooking. Each type has its unique name.
Throughout the year you will find in Sri Lanka delicious variety of healthy tropical fruits, including papaya, mango, pineapple, Carrambolla and guava.
Less familiar fruit Rambutane (kind of lichee, but hairy on the outside), Mangos (another one from lichee's fruit family), giant Fruit of Jack and Durian - are all delicious. For those who prefer more standard fruits, can find here apples, grapes and citrus, some of them are imported (mainly from Australia).

Traditional desserts of Sri Lanka are mostly based on coconut milk. "Watalappan "is a pudding made of coconut milk, eggs and sugar. Grated coconut mixed with sugar, cinnamon, and different spices are used to fill a kind of delicious pan cakes.
Yogurt which is made of buffalo's milk is sold in any "kada" (local grocery) in pottery; usually it is mixed with natural honey. It is delicious, cheap and healthy!
As snacks for the day, you can taste the "Roti" - a kind of bread made with flour and coconut rice. They are often served with spicy curry on a side, and sometimes it is cute and mixed with eggs, vegetables, or fried chicken on a wok-shaped pan.
Another snack is "Wade " which is made of ground lentils with spices, deep-fried into little balls and served with onions and chili red.
Another option is steamed chickpeas mixed with onions, coconut and spices.

Traditional food
"Hapha" is a type of pancake made of rice flour and eggs, madden in a metal bowl over a high flame, served with an egg ("Bitara hapha") or honey ("Fannie hapha"). Another common breakfast of Sri Lanka is the "Shring Huphasa "- a kind of noodles served with curry and coconut.
Most widespread seafood you can buy on the beaches, the fish is served fresh just from the Indian Ocean, rich with different types of fish and other marine habitants. Shrimps of all sizes, many huge lobsters at the beaches and mangrove lagoon. Tuna, pot mulatto and others are prepeared in a variety of cooking methods.

Local non-alcoholic soft drink that fights against thirst very well is "Tambili" (king coconut water). Young orange coconut that can be opened with the help of sharp knife is a wonderful solution to the hot climate.
Mineral water and soft drinks are available everywhere, including excellent ginger drinks.
Coffee can be found mainly in hotels. Ceylon, the world's largest tea manufacturer, is specialized, of course, on tea. You can try all the flavors, and excellent milk tea.
Popular alcoholic drink is local arrack made (of course) from coconut.
And for beer admires - the local beer "Lion" is definitely with a good quality. 

Island Transport
It is strongly recommended to avoid a trip when it is dark. The combination of rickety roads condition and weak lighting are the main reasons for not to walk in complete darkness. It is very dangerous especially for a driver who has no skills to drive on this island.
Some roads, especially in Nuwara Eliya and Horton plains, it is required a high driving skills and experience.
For these reasons, the ideal way to travel in Sri Lanka for those whose holiday lasts up to three weeks is with a vehicle and a personal driver / guide. You can hire self-drive vehicles, but if your avoid driving by yourself is better because there are streams of bicycles, motorcycles, ox-carts, cars, buses and trucks on roads. As traffic laws are only a recommendation for roads’ safety, it is required a skilled driver who knows the roads well.

There are two main types of buses: local and intercity. Local bus is not air conditioned. It stops occasionally at each station, compresses the passengers without limitation. Everything is not done quietly- That is so typical nature in Sri Lankan state.
Intercity buses are air-conditioned, with a limited amount of transported passengers. Most of them are express buses and almost those don't take any passengers from the road. You should refrain from traveling at night because of the roads and lighting.

Traveling by a train in Sri Lanka is a special experience. There are long lines for three departures:
•The third class - Compresses people unlimitedly. Some of them hanged on the carriage. Despite additional carriages received from China to the local government have a difficult plight of the lines on weekdays - mostly from/to Colombo.
• The Second class - There are marked seats and it is quite comfortable.
• First Class - Exists only in certain lines, you can enjoy an air conditioning and reserved seats.
Special train is the train from Colombo to Badulla. By an appointment there is an advantage to sit in a half- transparent carriage that gives a panoramic view. During the journey train passes through spectacular green landscapes of jungles and tea plantations all over the area.
In the train you can buy local food and fruits from local peddlers that offer its products to everyone.
The train station in central Colombo is called "Fort". Near the entrance you will find a branch of the Sri – Lanka's Ministry of Tourism and the officials will be happy to provide an answer to every question, including train times, ticket prices and guidance to tourists passing the station.
You should refrain from traveling on national holidays or days of "Poya" because the trains and stations are overfilled and passages are long delayed.

Tuk Tuk
Tuk Tuk which is known from East Asia referred here also as a three wheeler and it is convenient transportation option in crowded cities. It is important and even necessary to check the price before getting into the Tuk tuk. Local drivers may charge the foreign tourists a price that can be five or ten times higher than when they charge from locals. You can haggle politely, and listen to the driver’s complaints about fuel price and the condition of the roads, just like every taxi driver in the world.
You should know that if the driver has to wait or stop for several times, the price will change into higher amount. Tuk tuk chargers per kilometer is around 0.4 US$ in Sri Lanka.


Yoga and meditation


Tourism - The official website of the Ministry of Tourism Sri Lanka


Local Medicine

The books about Sri Lanka
Written by Leonard Wolf. The book describes the daily life in the village of early 20th century.

Written by Michael Andagy. It describes Michael's returning to Sri Lanka in the 70s after a period he was outside the island, who experiences the changes of his homeland.

Description of the discovery of archaeological sites by a British researcher in the first half of the 20th century.

Written by Saarrt Kotagmaah. The book describes the variety of birds in Sri Lanka, in English and Sinhalese.

Walking routes in a different levels of difficulty throughout the jungles, beaches, temples and cities on the island.

Written by R. L. Aspeteal. The writer spent long time living with the islanders Wadaot that have been guarding the lifestyle and tradition for thousands of years.

A picture Book of Michel Fernando, one of the most famous island photographers. The book describes the natural world and cultural diversity of the Ceylon Island.

Written by Karen Roberts. The book tells the story of two neighbors, Sinhaleseese and Tamale growing together in the shadow of civil war.




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