20 Dec Why Sri Lanka should be top of your bucket list
Asia is home to countless incredible islands. Tropical paradise comes in the form of tall coconut trees, crystal oceans and unbelievable beaches and you can find all this in one very special country floating in-between the crazy shores of South India and the infamous atolls of the Maldives. Sri Lanka was hit hard by the Tsunami in 2004 but has made a remarkable recovery drawing in backpackers and tourists to it’s beautiful bays from all over the world, with good reason.
This is why Sri Lanka should make it to the top of your 2018 bucket list;
Island life takes on a new level of laid back in Sri Lanka’s plentiful surf towns. Here you can hire a board and hit the perfect waves to your hearts content, the locals will show you just how to ride the water like a pro and only for a few bucks too! Arugam Bay on the East coast is famous for its surf locations and Weligama in the South is the ideal spot for beginners with miles of beach to share and beautiful cafes to rest up in afterwards.
Although a relatively small island Sri Lanka is home to 26 magnificent national parks. The most popular parks include Yala, which is home to the stunning leopards who prowl its green bush. Head a little further West and explore Udawalawe National Park, famous for its herds of wild elephants. You’re almost guaranteed to see the wonderful gentle giants and their smaller friends plus the incredible nature that surrounds them.
The country’s golden sand and bordering reefs might be a big attraction for many but when you venture in-land Sri Lanka has a whole other world to explore, a luscious green one at that. Named the most beautiful train ride in the world, Kandy to Ella is a journey not to be missed. Cruise through the thick palms and miles of tea plantations as you arrive into the small heavenly town hiding in the hills. Ella is home to many waterfalls, hikes and hundreds of Instagram opportunities, including the famous nine arches bridge.
Food in Sri Lanka is a delicious mix of flavours that the island has taken from its neighbours to deliver some mouth watering plate-fulls in its restaurants and street stalls. Rice and curry is a staple, always featuring heaps of rice, a bit of pumpkin and the local coconut sambol to add spice. Samosa and spring rolls are available all day long for a tiny price and the locals love some coconut rotti or muffins for dessert. The island has a clear obsession with doughy rotti, featuring the flatbread in many of their dishes, including Kotthu. Vegetables, eggs and chopped up rotti are loudly prepared by a local on a hot plate with 2 large knifes. Prepare for a delicious mountain of Asian delicacy, you’ll work it all off out on the waves anyway.
It goes without saying Sri Lanka has some epic coastlines. From the crowded beaches of Mirissa and Hikkaduwa to the stunning bays hidden in Midigama and Tangalle, you are guaranteed to find a perfect patch of gold sand to relax your adventurous feet on. Take a short hike through the bush in Unawatuna to find Jungle Beach, a secluded and beautiful haven to watch sunset from. Grab a tuk-tuk out of town to Dikwella and experience the peace you truly seek from island life. No matter where you find yourself, you wont be far from beach perfection and a warm swim in the turquoise waters of your temporary home.
There are probably a hundred more reasons to jump on the next flight to this tropic destination but if I named them all here you’d have no surprises waiting for you when you arrive!
(Written by Charlotte Little, Author of travel blog Little Lottie. Instagram @the.petite.passenger)