Sri Lanka - The Charmed Land

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Sri Lanka Tips

Climate and seasons recommended for visiting
Sri Lanka, which lies close to the equator, is characterized by tropical climate and is blessed with many deposits.
There are two Monsoons in Sri Lanka: between May and August, when 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 moment 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 Candy and Nouralia 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 on 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 also can offer plenty of dishes that suit all tastes and palates. Basic food is made of curried rice, but you will find here a vast selection of fruits and vegetables throughout the year, combined with many fish and seafood - all food here always contains the coconut oil and milk that gives unique aroma to the local menu.
Sri Lanka's meal – is typically based on rice, with number of curry vegetable, 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 of all the ingredients with rice brings 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.

Fruits
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).
Desserts
Traditional desserts of Sri Lanka are based mostly on coconut milk. "Watlapah "is a pudding made of coconut milk, eggs and sugar. Grated coconut mixed with sugar, cinnamon, and different spices used to fill a kind of delicious pancake.
Yogurt made of buffalo's milk is sold in any "kada" (local grocery) in pottery; usually it is mixed with natural honey. Delicious, cheap and healthy!
Snacks for the day: You can taste the "Roti" - a kind of pita 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 wok-shaped pan.
Another snack is "Wada "- ground lentils with spices, deep-fried into little balls and served with onions and chili red.
Another option - whole steamed chickpeas mixed with onions, coconut and spices.

Seafood
"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.

Drinks
Local non-alcoholic soft drink that fights thirst very well is "Tamily", made of milk (in fact - water) of young orange coconut that can be opened with the help of sharp knife using – 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 "Lain" is definitely of a good quality.

Island Transport
It is strongly recommended to avoid a trip when it is dark. The combination of rickety roads condition, weak lighting and pedestrians used to walk in complete darkness - are a checked recipe for a danger, especially for a driver who has no skills to drive on the island.
Some roads, especially in Nouralia and Horton plains, require a high driving skill and experience at the wheel.
For these reasons, the ideal way to travel in Sri Lanka for those whose holyday lasts up to three weeks is with a vehicle and personal driver / guide. You can hire self-drive vehicles, but rather at a glance the overall movement to discourage the idea: a stream of bicycles, motorcycles, ox-carts, Cars, buses and trucks are mixed together, when traffic laws are only a recommendation, roads condition requires a skilled driver who knows the roads well.
Buses
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 done quietly- that is so typical of Sri Lanka's state.
Intercity buses – are air-conditioned, with a limited amount of transported passengers. Most of them are express and almost don't take any passengers from the road. You should refrain from traveling at night because of the roads and lighting.

Trains
Train in Sri Lanka is a special experience. There are long lines for three departures:
• third class - compresses people unlimitedly, some of them hanged on the carriage between heaven and earth. Despite additional carriages received from China the local government has a difficult plight of the lines on weekdays - mostly to/ from 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 saved seats.
Special train is the train from Colombo to Badola. By appointment there is an advance 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 from horizon to horizon.
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, 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" (Full Moon Festival in June), because the trains and stations are overfilled and passages are long delayed.

TokTok
TokTok known from East Asia referred here also as Trawler and is convenient transportation option in crowded cities. It is Important and even necessary to check the price before getting on the TokToak. Local drivers may charge the foreign tourists a price that can be five or ten times higher than when they charge locals. You can haggle politely, and listen to driver 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 would have to wait or stop many times, the price will change despite the price arranged in advance.
Traveling to Colombo from Fort area to Ambalipeteia area (Central Hotel) costs about 500 rupees ($ 5).

Links
Buddhism www.boddhism.org.il

Yoga and meditation www.yoga.co.il
                               www.meditation.co.il

Art www.artsrilanka.org

Tourism - The official website of the Ministry of Tourism Sri Lanka www.srilankatourism.org

Weather www.weather.yahoo.com

Local Medicine www.ayuryeda.org.il

The books about Sri Lanka
"A VILLAGE IN THE JUNGLE"
Written by Leonard Wolf. The book describes the daily life in the village of early 20th century.

"RUNNING IN THE FAMILY"
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.

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

"A FIELD GUIDE TO THE BIRD OF SRI LANKA"
Written by Saarrt Kotagmaah. The book describes the variety of birds in Sri Lanka, in English and Sinhalese.

"TREKKERS GUIDE TO SRILANKA"
Walking routes in a different levels of difficulty throughout the jungles, beaches, temples and cities on the island.

"SAVAGE SANCTUARY" Islanders
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 PERSONAL ODYSSEY"
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.

"JULY"
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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