Sri Lanka Travel Guide

Seductive beaches and tempting water sports, magnificent landscapes featuring lazy lagoons, fertile wetlands, ecologically-wondrous types of forest, imposing mountains, bounteous rivers and waterfalls, an abundance of wildlife – much of it endemic – unique ecosystems, inspiring heritage sites from ancient cities to colonial forts, a vibrant culture including fine arts and crafts and grand festivals, and a people of diverse ethnicity and religious persuasion, charming and hospitable.     Contemporary tourist attractions such as luxurious Ayurveda spas and broad-based shopping opportunities have evolved, and Sri Lanka has become one of the world’s most popular destinations to get married and enjoy a honeymoon.

Set in the Indian Ocean in South Asia, the tropical island nation of Sri Lanka has a history dating back to the birth of time. It is a place where the original soul of Buddhism still flourishes and where nature’s beauty remains abundant and unspoiled.

Few places in the world can offer the traveler such a remarkable combination of stunning landscapes, pristine beaches, captivating cultural heritage and unique experiences within such a compact location. Within a mere area of 65,610 kilometers lie 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 1,330 kilometers of coastline – much of it pristine beach – 15 national parks showcasing an abundance of wildlife, nearly 500,000 acres of lush tea estates, 250 acres of botanical gardens, 350 waterfalls, 25,000 water bodies, to a culture that extends back to over 2,500 years.

This is an island of magical proportions, once known as Serendib, Taprobane, the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, and Ceylon. Discover refreshingly Sri Lanka!

Things to Do in Sri Lanka

12 Things to Do in Colombo

Sri Lanka’s Capital Colombo, a port city, with a rich colonial heritage, on the Western coast is a potpourri of races, religions and cultures. Colombo displays the best and worst the country has to offer. The city is a contrast itself, with mansions, lush gardens, fine dining options, shopping malls packed with expensive designer brands standing next to urban slums; diesel fumed congested roads and street markets.

Despite its small size just 37.31 km² Colombo offers a varying selection of experience ranging from taking a tuktuk ride, a visit to Pettah market and eating Kottu to playing a round of golf and having high tea at one of the colonial style hotels overlooking the Indian Ocean.

With many boutiques filled with international brands and local art and fabrics Colombo is the best place to do the last minute shopping and then it’s best to retire to Galle face, Colombo;s playground for some Kottu or Wade.

1.Play a Round of Golf at The Royal Colombo Golf Club
The immaculately manicured greens of the Royal Colombo Golf Club have attracted golfers for 129 years, a slice of golfing history.

2.Enjoy a City Tour
Hop on board the exciting open deck double decker of the Colombo City Tour to witness the charm of Colombo

3.Eat Some Seafood on Mt Lavinia Beach
Mt Lavinia is one of Colombo’s more laid back suburbs filled with great seafood restaurants on the golden beach and is named after Lovinia, the gypsy dancing girl who had a secret romance with one of Sri Lanka’s governors.

4.Do Some Last Minute Shopping
One of Sri Lanka’s best kept secrets is the shopping opportunities in Colombo –sleek department stores and cool shopping malls are filled with designer clothing, shoes and handbags, plus handicrafts, home furnishings and more.

5.Indulge in a Massage at One Of Colombo’s Spas
Featuring serene surroundings and expert masseurs trained in everything from Swedish to Shiatsu.

6.Take in Some Art
The Colombo National Museum has some terrific examples of ancient paintings, sculptures and sketches dating back to the 4th century BC, while if it’s something contemporary you want, the city has a thriving arts scene, with many creative painters exhibiting in local galleries.

7.Visit a Temple
The Gangarama Vihara is one of the most venerable temples in the country, decorated with wonderful brass work, stone carvings, and other Buddhist art. Also a place of learning, it houses a museum, complete with residential hall.

8.Visit Dehiwala Zoological Garden
Beautifully landscaped 30 acres in which a rich collection of mammals, birds, reptiles and fishes live in harmony with Nature.

9.Get Wet and Wild at Leisure World
Sri Lanka’s first amusement and water park features log flumes, roller coasters, and many other thrilling rides for kids and adults.

10.Sample the Nightlife
Colombo has a buzzing scene, with chill-out bars, casinos if you want to try your hand at roulette or baccarat, or cool clubs where you can party until dawn.

11.Eat Some Kothu Rotti
The quintessential Sri Lankan snack consists of sliced-up bits of rotti, expertly blended with your choice of chicken, beef, egg, onions, tomatoes and green chillies. Unmissable.

12.Go For a Ride in a Trishaw
These motorised three-wheeled chariots are the backbone of Sri Lankan transport – just remember to hang on for dear life!

The Landscape

Sri Lanka is filled with romantic landscapes, governed by rising mountains, lush forests, ocean like tanks and gushing waterfalls, that it was considered the lost paradise by many a globe trotters, who fell upon the country. The golden beaches of the country had been praised for their picture postcard views since eternity. The dusk and dawn and many human activities connected to these times of the day creates a vibrant picture along the coasts of Sri Lanka.

The central highlands of the island are filled with pictures of stirring mountains carpeted with lush green tea gardens, roaring waterfalls mingling with the clouds and landscapes shimmering in sunlight and disappearing under the rising mist. Travelling towards the top of the country to the North Central Valley of the Kings, mountains covered with lush tropical forests disappears under the glare of the sun giving way to acres of light green carpets of paddy dotted with towering ancient white stupas and fed with oceans like reservoirs locally known as wewa. Giant statues of Lord Buddha rises above the forest line while ancient palaces stand abandoned to the forest, waiting for a master, who long departed from life.

Travelling further north the landscape changes drastically, North of Sri Lanka is a world apart from the rest of country. Colorful Hindu temples replace the white pagodas while sari clad damsels roam the streets on bicycles.

On the western coasts of the country is Colombo, a capital city of the island, which displays a rich colonial heritage. A potpourri of races, religions and cultures, Colombo parades the best and worst the country has to offer.

Sri Lankan Visa

A Sri Lankan visa is an endorsement on a passport or a similar document to facilitate the legal entry of non Sri Lankans into the country and to regulate the period of their stay and the conditions governing such stay.

What are the Types of Sri Lankan Visas?

There are four kinds of visas which permit a person to enter and/or stay in Sri Lanka.

Visit Visa

A Visit Visa is an entry permit signifying the consent of the Sri Lankan Government for the admission of a foreign national to the country. The Visa contains details of the period of time and the condition/s of the stay.

There are two sub-categories which come under visit visas :-

1. Tourist Visit Visa

A Tourist Visa is issued to bona-fide tourists who want to enter Sri Lanka for sightseeing, excursions, relaxation, visit relatives or yoga training for a short period of time.

2. Business Purpose Visa

A Business Purpose Visa is issued to foreign nationals who visit Sri Lanka for business purposes for short period of time. This visa may be issued for single or double journeys.

Things to Do in Sri Lanka

 

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