It’s no wonder that Lonely Planet recently named this island-nation the “hottest destination on the planet to visit”. And they weren’t talking about the weather! There are so many reasons that it simply, must be on your bucket list. Pull up a map of Sri Lanka and start planning your next adventure. There’s the Sri Lankan wildlife. If you are lucky (and there’s a good chance you will be), you’ll spot a plethora of wildlife from your safari truck in one of the national parks. Elephants, deer, crocs, buffalo, wart hogs, monkeys, shrews, heaps of bird life and even leopards. You can be forgiven for feeling like you’re in Africa. Secondly, there’s the varied landscapes. You will see pristine beaches, wooded forests, savannah-like plains, lowland forests, wetlands, rocky plains, tea plantations plus more. For a relatively small island – about the size of Tassie – there’s a vast difference of landscapes across the regions.
Next, there’s the food. OMG (as my teenage daughters would say), this place is for foodies. Hotels have the choice of local dishes and western style. The quality of the local produce and in the hotels is very high. They must hire all the best chefs. Be sure to try the local fish ambul (curry), a Sri Lankan specialty. Personally, I was addicted to the dhal and naan bread. (Is it wrong to have it for lunch and dinner)? Make sure you try the egg hopper for breakfast. It’s like a very light pancake which you mix with egg and all sorts of local condiments like ground coconut, chilli and onion.
Apart from the food and the Sri Lankan wildlife, Sri Lanka also has history galore – ancient history and colonial history. The Portuguese, Dutch and Brits all had a role in her development. However, it’s the people that make this island a must-visit. Whether they are Singhalese, Tamil or Moor they will greet you with a smile and want to converse with you. They are also very proud people. And when they work out you are Australian, a discussion on cricket is mandatory.
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