Sri Lanka – The island looks like a pearl on the map. The lush green mountain country and the beautiful beaches are what you will notice when approaching Sri Lanka. In this article I would like to tell you a little about the country, the people and the animals and pass on my personal experiences and experiences.

Our 12-hour flight with Quatar Airlines went from Vienna via Doha to Colombo. Arriving in Colombo we were already friendly greeted by our travel guide and then brought directly to our hotel. Already the first contact to the locals was very pleasant, a very friendly and helpful people.

The lush green mountain country and the beautiful beaches are what you will notice when approaching Sri Lanka. In this article I would like to tell you a little about the country, the people and the animals and pass on my personal experiences and experiences.

Our 12-hour flight with Quatar Airlines went from Vienna via Doha to Colombo. Arriving in Colombo we were already friendly greeted by our travel guide and then brought directly to our hotel. Already the first contact to the locals was very pleasant, a very friendly and helpful people.

Facts about Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is an island state in the Indian Ocean and has about 20.8 million inhabitants. Already in ancient times this country was given the most beautiful names. But also the current state name Sri Lanka has a poetic meaning: “radiantly beautiful country”. Dream beaches more beautiful than in the South Seas, tea plantations and rice terraces, sausages, wide rivers, a mountain country with jungles, waterfalls, national parks rich in game and botanical gardens with the most beautiful plants of the tropics, all this awaits you on Sri Lanka. Such a varied landscape is hard to find anywhere else.

As a holidaymaker you look into the smiling faces of countless people who live in the poorest conditions. A country without a social system, without a health system, where everyone is responsible for themselves. You meet people who are already well over 70 years old and are still working to make a living. And exactly these people are those who look incredibly happy.

One country, many ethnic groups and three languages. Religion has a strong influence on the country. The majority of the natives are Buddhists. Visits from countless temples are possible and also recommendable. Rock temples and huge Buddha statues are worth seeing in any case, for this reason a visit to at least one temple should be on the itinerary. Sri Lanka consists of many ethnic groups, the Singhalese make up the majority of the population, besides there are the Tamils and some other ethnic minorities.

Sri Lanka is known for the production and export of tea. Everyone in this country knows Ceylon Tea. Tea is the country’s largest source of income, closely followed by tourism.

When is the best time to travel?
The island can be visited all year round, you just have to know when and where. If you plan to visit the south or west coast, you should choose the months November to March. On the east coast, the best time to travel is from April to October. Since Sri Lanka has a monsoon season, you should pay attention to this. We spent our time on the west coast, but at the end of August, beginning of September, which you can imagine was not very clever. We had some monsoon days, but also some really nice days. So it wasn’t too bad for us.

Accommodation
As I am always very tricky when travelling with my accommodation, I always choose it very carefully. I read tons of hotel reviews and reviews. For this I prefer to use Holiday Check. We spent our days in the Hotel Heritance Negombo. A 5 star + hotel with all the luxury you could wish for. But I would like to tell you more about the hotel in a separate article.

Heritance Negombo, Sri Lanka – Hotel Review Click Here

Excursions
When I travel, I always want to get to know as much as possible about the country and the people. For this reason, there were also some trips to Sri Lanka. We used the first two days to relax in the hotel before we went on the first excursions.

The first trips led us to Kandy, to an elephant orphanage, to a botanical garden, to a tea plantation including tea factory and to the tooth temple at Kandy Lake. The trip alone was a huge adventure. There are no traffic rules, everyone drives as he likes and the faster one wins. The whole thing is just a horror for us Europeans. But when you are right in the middle, there is nothing left but to hope… When booking our excursions, it was also pointed out not to drive with private taxis, but only with the buses of the tour operators, as they are insured in case of an accident.

The Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage
In the Pinnawela elephant orphanage abandoned and injured elephants find a new home. They are cared for here until the end of their lives. The small and large elephants can walk freely around the area and are cared for by their mahouts. The Mahouts are the keepers of the elephants. On arrival at the elephant orphanage, each elephant is assigned a young mahout, who remains at the elephant’s side until the end of his life. If a mahout dies in front of the elephant, the animal never gets used to another human being again. Rescued elephant babies are raised in the elephant orphanage with milk powder and a bottle. We also didn’t miss swimming at the nearby river. Getting very close to the animals was a great experience.

The Botanical Garden
On this day we also went to The Island Herb Garden. Here we were shown the most different herbs and spices, we could test and try different things. At the end of the little walk through the garden, we had a small presentation of the products which are sold here. Also ayurvedic massages were offered to us. A foot massage I indulged myself here. At the beginning very exciting, but at the end this short excursion felt like a coffee trip. So we were quite happy when it went on again.

The tea plantation and tea factory
The tea business has a long tradition in Sri Lanka. The largest and most important cultivation areas of the country are located in the central highlands. Here women pick up to 20 kilos of the still bright green tea leaves every day. In the corresponding factory the exact processing of the leaves was explained to us and with a guidance by the factory we could make ourselves a picture of it. Of course there was at the end in the tasting room also a Ceylon Tea for testing. Here we as tea lovers have of course also slammed and covered ourselves abundantly with black tea. The taste is simply incomparable with the varieties available in this country.

The tooth temple at Lake Kandy
Embedded in a beautiful hilly landscape Kandy loves. Kandy is the holiest city on the island. Here is the famous tooth temple. Crowds flock here every day to pray and donate their flowers. You are not allowed to enter any temple with shoes on. These are taken from you at the entrance, if you want them back, you can buy them back at the end of your visit. As with all temples around the globe, you have to cover your knees and shoulders. Once one has made it through the controls at the entrance, one flows together with the Asians into the interior of the temple and is initially speechless. The temple guards the most precious sanctuary of Sri Lanka, a canine of Buddha, which could not be visited. Only the shrine in which the tooth is kept can be seen. Here the believers lay down their flowers all day long.

The Sigiriya Rock Fortress
A reddish-brown rock, resembling a Table Mountain, rises out of the jungle of the centre of the island, visible from afar. Sigiriya, this rock crowned the luxurious castle of King Kassapa about 1500 years ago. The ascent turns out to be an absolute nerve test. The almost unbearable heat and the spiral staircases and narrow footbridges at dizzying heights demanded a lot from me not only physically. But stubborn as I am, I have to climb the summit, where a breathtaking view over the jungle compensated me for all the exertion.

The Dambulla Rock Temple
On the way to the Dambulla rock fortress we made a short stop at a stall loving at the roadside. Here we tested ourselves in little by the native and incredibly tasty fruits. Red bananas as well as the king coconut did it to me very much. To stand in the middle of Sri Lanka at a roadside and drink a king coconut: CHECK!
The Dambulla rock temple is still inhabited by monks. The way to the famous caves is madly strenuous with large heat. Over 350 steps and paths lead up a steep path. At the top we collect our shoes before we went inside the temple. Five caves, painted by monks and decorated with Buddha statues, can be visited here.

Sri Lanka was a great experience and I am definitely at least one insight richer. Every now and then it doesn’t hurt to go beyond your limits, because you are usually rewarded with something unforgettable!

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