Travel Tuesday | Sri Lanka

A country smaller than England, yet home to over 20 million people, 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and more than 3000 years of rich history and culture. Sri Lanka has green rain forests, never-ending beaches, incredible history and beautiful wildlife to draw you to the island, which lies off the coast of India.

On the surface, tourists may initially be interested in the nearly 1600km of pristine coastline around the country with different areas catering to different holiday makers; the East coast beach of Arugam Bay is a hotspot for surfers, while Southern beaches such as Tangalla and Beruwala provide coral reefs for scuba divers as well as palm fringed, havens for relaxation to get your tan on. Also surrounding the coast is 26 species of cetaceans, or dolphins and whales, making Sri Lanka a key location for whale and dolphin watching.

 Sri Lanka photo

Wildlife in this country is varied and rich, from elephants, to rare amphibians to nearly 433 different species of bird. There are many safari trips available for tourists, allowing for an up-close and personal interaction with the native wildlife, and Sri Lanka is included in the top 5 biodiversity areas in the world for its amazing collection of flora and fauna. There are approximately 91 species of mammals that call Sri Lanka home, including the incredibly cute and slow sloth bear, the rare and endangered Red slender loris, big cats like Leopards, and Sri Lanka Asian elephants, which you can take for a ride, or a wash in the river as park of an Elephant Back Safari, and experience available all over the country.

 

The history of this beautiful country is something that cannot be overlooked when visiting Sri Lanka, as it boasts some of the world’s oldest cities, such as the Kingdom of Anuradhapura, which is a sacred city for Buddhists around the world. The Sacred City of Anuradhapura is one of the eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country, and home to many ancient sites, such as royal palaces, jewelled temples (or dagobas), bathing pools and pleasure gardens among many other sights. Among the beautiful and distinctive dagobas are Thuparama, a shrine of a relic of Buddha, and 1st century Abhayagiri and 3rd century Jetawana, each standing at approximately 120 metres high and some of the tallest structures in the ancient world, second only to the pyramids of Giza. Many jewels, coins, artworks, sculptures and religious artefacts have been excavated from the dagobas, and other ancient sights in the city include the Isurumuniya Rock Temple, Kuttam Pokuna (or twin ponds), which are two ancient bathing pools, and Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, a Sacred Fig tree planted in 249BC and is the oldest living human-planted tree in the world.

 

Of course, food is of importance on any trip, and in a country with such a rich culture and history, and located in South Asia, it’s no surprise Sri Lanka has an eclectic cuisine influences by many different cultures due to trading, immigration and colonisation. Because only 30km separates Sri Lanka from the coast of India, there are many similarities in cuisine, and food from the southern Indian state of Kerala has a lot in common with Sri Lankan food, such as the use of coconut milk and seafood in curries. The national dish is ‘rice and curry’, a simple description that features on almost every menu you will read in the country that in fact consists of a personal banquet of small dishes made from vegetables, chicken or fish, and served with chutneys and poppadoms.

Sri Lanka is blessed with year long blue skies and hot sunny days. Meaning you will certainly need to take a pair of sunglasses with you. Whether it’s men’s sunglasses or women’s sunglasses you are after, we have got you covered. We would suggest taking a pair of these FCUK Sport Wrap sunglasses with you.

Will you be heading to the sun, sea, culture, history and wildlife of Sri Lanka this Easter?
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