The island country of Sri Lanka, located South of India, is a vibrant mixing bowl of rich heritage and culture. Casually referred as The Teardrop of India, Sri Lanka has been relatively unknown to the western hemisphere, and has stayed under India’s shadow. However, the small country has started to gain some popularity and is termed to be the next Bali.
Being a budget destination where one can explore the country’s exquisite colonial architecture, get tanned sun bathing on the pristine beaches, trek petite but refreshing peaks, watch the largest ever animal on the planet, and have a wonderful time undertaking various water activities. Following are six reasons why you should consider backpacking Sri Lanka:
If different shades of blue water of the Indian Ocean blanketing white sandy beaches excite you, then Sri Lanka is the place for you. There are dozens of pristine beaches in the South Asian country that one can visit. Arugam Bay, Unawatuna, Uppuveli, Dickwella (my favourite), and Polhena are some of the most gorgeous beaches on the island nation.
Sri Lanka is said to be one of the better places on the planet when it comes to Surfing. Where Weligama in the southern coast is ideal for amateur and beginner Surfers, Arugam Bay in the Eastern coast attracts a number of semi-professional and professional Surfers from around the world. Apart from the waves, it is the cheap surfboard rentals and inexpensive Surf lessons that make Sri Lanka a great place for Surfing.
In 1948, the Brits were thrown out of Sri Lanka, but they left behind their marvellous architectural heritage. In Colombo, Galle, and Nuwara Eliya, one can see the exemplary form of British Architecture, along with Portuguese and Dutch buildings. Albeit a majority of them have turned ruins, but many of them continue to stand tall.
Whale and Dolphin Watching
Sri Lanka is one of the two countries in the Indian subcontinent from where one can spot Blue Whales – the largest animal, ever. It is graced with a couple of points from where Whale and Dolphin Spotting is possible – Trincomalee in the East (best time – May to September) and Dondra Point in the South (best time – November to March). What draws so many people is the extremely inexpensive pricing.
In beach towns like Mirissa, Weligama, Unawatuna, etc., there are bevies of beach bars and cafes. Beach parties are common in the aforementioned towns, and the pricing is set keeping the backpacking culture in mind. Buying beers separately is a little expensive, as they imported, but at parties, everything is inclusive. Sure, the party scene in this country is nothing like that in Thailand, but that can be a good thing, right?
Transportation: Transportation in Sri Lanka is extremely inexpensive. The trains and buses charge a negligible amount. On the other hand, you can rent a tuk tuk and go wherever you want to.
Accommodation: There aren’t many hostels in Sri Lanka, but you get a lot of options for home stay. It is not uncommon to find a decent room for USD 8.
Food and Drinks: If you like seafood, you are going to love Dr Lanka. Not only are they scrumptious, but also low priced. The same, however, cannot be said about the hard drinks. Coconut water, on the other hand, is cheaper than packaged drinking water (1l).
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