Get some tips on travel to Sri Lanka, know what to expect, and have the best time ever!
The place of serendipity and stars
Image: Jeremy Thomas
The heavens unfold and the stars alignment forms the basis of many major life decisions in Sri Lanka, such as former president Mahinda Rajapaksa changing his election date based on his astrologers consult, parents drawing up in-depth horoscopes for their children, career changes and wedding planning are all impacted by the state of the stars, making for an immediately interesting exploration of this fascinating island. Serendipity means ‘happy accident’, originating from Serendib, an old name for Sri Lanka, and a perfect reflection of the happy-go-lucky spirit the island emanates.
The War is Over - Come out and Play
Image: Oliver Sjöström
The brutal 26 civil war ended in 2009, and it is perfectly safe to travel this beautiful land! Of course we recommend you remain vigilant as you would do in any country you’re touring through. Sri Lanka has now focused its attention on attracting and developing its tourism offering. As this is still developing, now is an excellent time to experience Sri Lanka, before the imminent surge of high-volume tourist flow. One can still experience the rural simplicity and natural raw beauty of the island, which can never again be explored once full-blown commercialism is in place. Although the war is over, it would be a good idea to exercise sensitivity and respect when discussing the political history with Sri Lankans, due to the severity of the damage it caused.
Patience is a virtue
Image: Roxanne Desgagnés
Patience is a virtue they say - no truer words spoken. Be aware that life moves at a really peaceful pace here. Getting from A to B, even the shortest distance can become an event - a journey - when contending with bustling narrow roads, cow crossings, flash monkey appearances and roaming elephants, of course. It is advisable to hire a private tour driver and to plan your route out instead of winging-it, it’ll save you in the long run. Embrace the experience:-).
The English Language is a Work-In-Progress
Image: Roxanne Desgagnés
Don’t be surprised by how chatty your tour drivers or any locals you interact with might be - they absolutely love any opportunity to communicate with you in English so they can learn and improve on their language skills. Lots of life questions may come flying your way as part of their learning experience. Feel free to engage them and certainly to joke around - Sri Lankans love to laugh, being one of the friendliest people you will ever have the good fortune of meeting.
Ditch Western, seriously
Image: Alexandr Podvalny
‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do’. Take our advice and ditch the Western food offerings and opt for Sri Lankan specialities (like hoppers - definitely eat the hoppers!). The island is abundant in fresh produce and seafood and the cuisine is exotic and exceptional. It may be advisable to dine at restaurants within hotels and lodgings, or of good repute. While we’re on this subject, don’t forget that you cannot drink the tap water, so do be sure to stock up on bottled or reverse osmosis water within its expiry period #justsaying.
Recommended places to stay in Sri Lanka
A highly sought-after and enchanting hideaway cushioned by golden sands and sparkling blue ocean, discover Amagi Beach, Marawila - an idyllic island paradise. If you’re in search of a beach vacation, look no further than this coastal sanctuary for romance or family togetherness and fun. Gorgeous adventures are waiting for you along the coastal area, delectable local cuisine and indulgent traditional Ayurveda therapies are amongst its top offerings in this exclusive beachfront island haven.
A luxurious lavish lagoon sanctuary in Negombo is Amagi Aria, offering you a 4 star modern hotel, refined accommodation, world class dining selection, panoramic views and close proximity to Negombo’s most desired experiences. Stay in one of the 68 guest rooms or suites, featuring a private jacuzzi on your balcony - such a treat!
The Max Wadiya Boutique Hotel is located on a sweeping, natural unspoilt beach on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, immediately conveying a deep sense of home, serenity, sanctuary and views to infinity. This all-inclusive resort introduces a ‘no watch, no wallet, no shoes and no menu’ policy, setting the scene to an uber relaxing vacation environment. Their hands-on team of exceptional staff provide a personalised and customised hospitality experience to each and every guest, making this a great place to stay in Colombo.
Introducing a stylish and contemporary beachfront boutique hotel in Habaraduwa, the KK Beach, of which beachfront stretches as far as the eye can see. KK Beach is surprisingly affordable, even though it is chic in every respect, also serving up delicious cuisine and providing superbly comfortable accommodation. KK Beach is a sister-property to Kahanda Kanda and guests have the added convenience of accessing a free Tuk Tuk service between the two and enjoy lunch or dinner there.