The Pearl of the Indian Ocean is a precious island in the shape of a jewel. The island itself is a treasure trove of beauty, culture and history. There are numerous historical landmarks and lovingly preserved relics everywhere and there is so much to see! Here are a few tips for you so that you too can experience this lovely island without denting your savings.
Eat the local food
Sri Lankan cuisine is delicious! Primarily centred around rice and curries, all the savoury dishes are made using coconut milk and fresh, aromatic spices. A meal would typically cost you less than 5 USD and even if you go to a local restaurant, it is only 15 USD including table service. The fancier, western-style food here is what will cost you a lot but it’s not worth it, especially when the local food is out straight up to God’s food.
If you’re a solo traveller or a backpacker, many hostels and guest houses charge around 6 USD per night; you can’t go wrong with that price as you get a bed, mosquito net, shower, and a fan. Worrying too much about accommodation is not recommended because you can get amazing food and everything else you need for so cheap. However, if you’re travelling with your family or want to treat yourself to a nice vacation, investigate less travelled areas such as Kalutara; resorts are relatively easier to book. There are so many rooms, suites, and villas to choose from at places such as the Avani Kalutara Resort.
Getting around on the island
Conveniently, there is a bus from Colombo Fort Bus Station to the airport leaving every 30mins. It costs less than 10 USD and is the cheapest way to get to and from the airport. Getting from major cities to other destinations is easiest by train. It is cheap and the routes are very scenic. If you want to travel within a city tuk-tuks are your best bet! Seriously, these tiny taxis are a quintessential Sri Lankan experience that you must have.
What’s there to see?
If you have the time, go everywhere! Although the north suffered decades of civil war, they’re rebuilding and re-energizing which is an amazing feat that must be witnessed. The southern parts of the country are serene and beautiful with azure blue beaches, rainforests with magic in the air. The hill country is enchanting on its own with a different vibe and energy from the rest of the island. It truly is a beautiful country with so many diverse experiences all a few hours away from each other.