Most popular places in Sri Lanka
Ceylon as it was known before early seventies, Sri Lanka has been a much sought after country although small in area. This Island is in a strategic location just under India and never-to-miss transit for especially ships. Over the last decades much more interests in this country has allured many form all over the world, to visit for leisure, adventure, trade, cultural and historical interests etc.
Within the country which is diverse in its geographical layout and hence, climatic differences, there are important sites and traditional activities which enrich a tourist’s stay. The bustling metro and the commercial capital of Sri Lanka i.e. Colombo itself has numerous attractions. Although the business nerve center and the administrative head city, cultural and trendy activities are a high at any time of the year. Whilst being the entry point of imported goods and commodities, Colombo with high rise buildings for commerce and residencies and together with globally reckoned star hotels woos all tourists either at the time of arrival or while departing. The city is known for its national museum, the zoo and many beach hotels and resorts along the coastal belt in its suburbs. But the aerodrome namely the Bandaranaike International Airport is only an hour away. The Colombo harbour is operating with modern facilities and is also a transit point for cruise ships.
From Colombo, inland tourist destinations of any direction could be accessed. Down South are the most beautiful sandy beaches, enveloped by star hotels and resorts. The beaches are popular haunts of the visitors who revel in the variety of water sports, snorkelling, diving, surfing etc. as the sun is always there. At the southern tip is Mirissa from where Whales and Dolphins could be sighted at close proximity, a rare treat. This could be done during a particular season i.e. between October and April, December being the Peak. Whales are also sighted near Trincomalee, a port city on the East, during the early part of the year. Likewise Kalpitiya, a fishing port in the North West too is a haven for dolphins during November and March/ April.
For Beach activities such as surfing and snorkelling the two prominent areas are Hikkaduwa down mid-south from Colombo and Arugam Bay on the East. These popular spots are rife with local and international tourists aptly helped by the hotels around for comfort and accommodation, especially during the ‘seasons’. The waves are rather safe for activities during these periods.
Going inland, hills, valleys, rivers, waterfalls, jungle treks and the wildlife safaris are all over. Wherever you turn some of these are bound to be the allure. Up in the hills, the enchanting lush green Tea estates bemuse the traveller. It is here, the world’s finest a.k.a. the Ceylon Tea comes from. Mark the city Nuwara Eliya and its neighbouring areas for this cause.
The Hill Capital however is Kandy. The last Bastion of the Sinhala Kings to be captured by the British. Kandy has an amazing blend of the past and the modern and the footprints of the Colonial reign still persists in Architecture and Culture. Do not miss the Museum m that exhibits the undeniable facts of history. Also there is the Dalada Maligawa a prominent sacred site for the Buddhists where devotees flock in numbers. Beyond Kandy towards the North are the ancient kingdom sites that fall within the cultural enclave. They are, Sigiriya, Dambulla, Anuradhapura, Pollonaruwa and a few others. You come across the ruins that are of much importance historically. One could decipher the roots of the Sri Lankan heritage.
Doted within and out of the cultural triangle are many sanctuaries of the wild similar to those found in the South Western terrains of the country. Rare endemic and exotic species of flora and fauna to be found in these protected area. And with the help of excursions into these reserves, the tourists are entertained by the birds and animals in their natural habitats. Almost all itineraries would include the Elephant Orphanage where orphaned elephants for the wild are tendered. This is called ‘Pinnawella’ on route to Kandy from Colombo. Besides, in the mid-country, are the many camping sites ideal for cycling and jungle trekking beside the cool streams and within thickets that provide the shade. One such place is Kitulgala, not so far from Colombo. It is ‘the place’ for white-water rafting. There are much more to cite as popular places for tourism but this page would not suffice.