Last year we spent a mere 24 hours in Colombo and fell in love. Looking back I have no idea what we actually fell in love with because there is so much more to Sri Lanka than just Colombo. None the less we were adamant that we needed to return again next year. Now it’s very common for us to say this and then end up booking a completely different trip in favour of seeing somewhere new to us. But thankfully we stuck to this promise. This year we went back for a week in Sri Lanka and were completely blown away.
From the epic hills lined with tea plants to the gorgeous beaches with towering palm trees Sri Lanka has so much to offer.
So, these are my reasons why you need to visit Sri Lanka…
The landscape is diverse
It doesn’t matter what floats your boat; hills, city or beach, Sri Lanka has all of these. During our weeks holiday we took in the crazy sounds of Colombo, the gorgeous hill views of Ella and enjoyed the sandy beach of Mirissa. Each destination was beautiful in it’s own way and the one thing that remained the same about each was the lush greenness of the landscape.
The hill country was home to neat rows of tea plants staggered across the hills, tall trees and think forests with of course plenty of hills. The beaches were all lined with hanging palm trees and soft sand that curves around the splashing waves of each gorgeous beach. The city of Colombo was a contrast in buildings only, the lush green trees continued even in the heart of the city.
I knew our trip to Sri Lanka wasn’t going to break the bank unlike some of our other recent travels *cough* Maldives | Dubai *cough* but I wasn’t expecting it to be quite this cheap. We ate out for every meal and often it would come to barely £10 for two of us. Beer was often £1 for a huge bottle of Lion and cocktails even came in at £2.50 during happy hour!
It wasn’t just food and drink that were cheap but a decent guesthouse with a private ensuite room and breakfast was around £23 a night. Train travel was also insanely cheap if you were happy to queue and purchase your tickets at the station.
The people are so friendly
Every local we met on our trip was super friendly and happy to just chat with you about their country. They were keen to make sure you’d seen the best bits and tried the best food. At no point did it feel like we were being harassed or pestered to buy something or do something which is often a common thing in Asia.
It felt really safe
Now I say this as a female traveller who was travelling with her husband for the entire trip but I’d like to think I would be saying the same thing if I had of travelled solo.
During each of our destinations; Colombo, Hatton, Ella, Mirissa and Galle I never felt like I was unsafe. Of course I took all the precautions I would anywhere but I never felt like I needed to grip my bag tighter or watch my pockets constantly. I was happy wonder frequently with either my phone or camera in hand as I recorded and photographed our trip. I felt like I could speak to locals in the streets without some elaborate scam taking place while I did so. I’d like to hope this feel continues all over Sri Lanka.
Life is laid back
Coming from the fast paced life of Dubai one thing that I really enjoyed and noticed instantly was the laid back, slower way of life. There was no rush for anything, which at times could be frustrating when you wanted the bill but on the whole it was relaxing and welcomed. There was no two hour limit on your table in the restaurant and most bars and cafes had bean bags for you to just chill on while enjoying your time there.
The nature and beauty of the country also helped with this, being away from the big cities and corporate life meant you felt more relaxed instantly. I find nature tends to always have that affect on me.
The food is delicious
As many of you may know I suffer from IBS and therefore have a very restricted diet. Something I am not good at keeping to while travelling but the Sri Lanka food was so good for my stomach. Not once did I have a flare up or issue from the food despite some of the curry dishes having some spice too them too. We tried lots of different dishes while in Sri Lanka ranging from chicken and vegetable rice noodles to kottu rotti.
My favourite apart from the rottis has to be the amazing fresh seafood available in the south of Sri Lanka. We had amazing grilled prawns, calamari, crab and more. Like most Asian countries we also ate fresh fruit everyday and probably a few too many king coconuts.