Category Archives: Sri Lanka

Travellers, Here’s what NOT to Miss in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, affectionately called ‘The Pearl of the Indian Ocean’, is truly unique! The diverse landscapes in the form of rainforests, plains, highlands, and beaches amaze one and all.

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The vibrant cities have a magic of their own. In fact, there are quite a few absolutely not to be missed attractions and activities at the destination. Here, take a look!

Jungle Beach

Jungle Beach is the ultimate spot for relaxation. The soft sands and views of the deep blue ocean draw people in hordes. It’s also a treat to enjoy refreshing beverages under the bright sun. Those who are looking for ‘Me-Time’ must walk further into the beach, where it’s delightfully secluded. With almost no waves or currents, the waters of Jungle Beach are considered suitable for swimming.

Kandy Esala Perahera in Kandy

The Kandy Esala Perahera in Kandy is one of the oldest and biggest Buddhist festivals of the nation. It encompasses dancers, musicians, and jugglers who showcase their talents and skills in a graceful manner. The extravagantly decorated elephants startle everyone. This 10-day festival comes to an end with the time-honoured diya-kepeema ritual – a water cutting ceremony which is conducted annually at Mahaweli River in Getambe, Kandy.

Yala National Park

Tourists who want to spot wild animals should head to Yala National Park. It is home to 44 varieties of mammals and 215 bird species. Lucky visitors can spot leopards, elephants, sloth bears, jackals, peacocks, and crocodiles. The best time to visit Yala is from February to July when the water level of the park is very low, encouraging wild animals to come out in the open. It is advisable to carry water, first-aid, and snacks.

Take a Guided Tour of Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya is the most important location for tea production in Sri Lanka. It grows a tea that is acknowledged by connoisseurs as among the finest in the world. One may join guided tours to learn about tea production. Formerly, Nuwara Eliya grew coffee but the weather played spoilsport. Consequently, tea was extensively cultivated in the same region and it flourished.

Ride the Train

This is a marvellous experience! Train rides in Sri Lanka make people feel as if they are stepping back in time. This old mode of transport chugs through hills and valleys at a slow pace. The scenic beauty grabs the attention of foreigners and locals alike. Journeying in trains is affordable as the rates are attractively low. The train ride from Ella to Kandy is an outstanding one.

Best Place in Sri Lanka to Enjoy Wildlife

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If you’re a wildlife enthusiast, Sri Lanka will delight you no end. Despite its small size, the country is one of the world’s top five biodiversity hotspots and promises a blissful experience for nature lovers and wildlife buffs. Here is a quick rundown of some of the most popular national parks in Sri Lanka.

Wilpattu National Park

Sprawling over an area of 131, 693 hectares, it is Sri Lanka’s largest national park and is believed to be one of the best places in the country to spot leopards. One of the highlighted features of Wilpattu is the abundance of lakes and ponds, which are scattered throughout the park. So apart from wildlife safaris, the park also offers opportunities for fishing, camping and bird watching. Elephants, sloth bears, leopards, spotted deer, and mongoose are some of the animals that can be spotted here.

Yala National Park

One of the most visited and the second largest national park in Sri Lanka, Yala is home to a tremendous variety of flora and fauna. The park has a very high density of the leopard population and is home to over 215 bird species, six of which are endemic to Sri Lanka. Other animals and reptiles you might spot here include sloth bears, sambars, wild pigs, golden jackals and crocodiles. Visitors are also enthralled by its historical and cultural significance; two important pilgrimage sites, Sithulpahuwa and Magul Vihara, are located inside the park.

Uda Walawe National Park

Uda Walawe National Park boasts a variety of eco systems including grassland, scrub jungle and riverine forests. It is considered to be amongst the best places in South Asia for sighting elephants in their natural habitat. There are plenty of walking trails here that allow visitors to explore the region at a leisurely pace. The park may not be very rich in terms of wildlife, however, the stunning landscape more than makes up for it. Meandering rivers, beautiful waterfalls, a number of bird species and of course, lush greenery make the park worth exploring.

Top Attractions in and around Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

Nuwara Eliya, often billed as “Little England”, is said to be like a toy town. Located in the hill country of Sri Lanka, it is packed full of beautiful places. The town lies in the heart of tea plantations and has numerous attractions. In fact, you may well require more than a couple of days to explore it in entirety. So we recommend you to set at least two days aside for this scenic hill town. Have a look at our recommendations.

Victoria Park

Victoria Park is one of the most popular places in Nuwara Eliya. The park, located in the heart of the town has various garden areas, a playground for kids, and various varieties of plants.

Victoria-Park

Different species of birds also flock here. It is often said to be “one of the nicest, and best maintained, town parks in South Asia”. It is a good place to take a stroll, exercise, unwind or spend romantic time with your partner.  You will have to buy entry tickets for the park. The price of these tickets is different for domestic visitors, foreigners and kids. The park has free Wi-Fi hotspot services too.

Pedro Tea Estate

As mentioned previously, Nuwara Eliya is surrounded by tea plantations, where you can go on tours and also sample fabulous tea.

Pedro-Tea-Estate

Pedro Tea Estate is one such popular place, where you can treat yourself to some of the finest quality of tea available in the region. The estate is easily accessible by rickshaws and public buses. You can go for a factory tour and see tea processing and packaging, apart from the regular tea estate tours. The equipment used in the factory is simple and it is fun to watch the tea-making process. It is a family-friendly place and there is an entry fee for adults.

Gregory Lake

About two kilometres from the town centre of Nuwela Eliya, lies the beautiful Gregory Lake. It is probably one of the most picturesque sunset points in the area and the highlights include, long walkways, motorboats, paddle boats and a beautiful houseboat.

Gregory-Lake

There are several rides for the kids, while different food stalls dish out appetising food.  It is a beautiful and serene place to spend long leisurely moments with your partner and family. We would recommend you to visit before sunset in order to catch the mesmerising sunset. There are entry tickets for adults, while kids can enter for free. Boat rides cost LKR 200 for adults and a hundred for kids.

Three Popular Tourist Destinations in Sri Lanka

When it comes to culture and heritage, Sri Lanka easily remains one of the most popular destinations in South Asia. There are various places of interest in the island country, which attracts tourists from all around the world. With abundant natural landscapes, tea plantations, temples and markets, buying flight tickets to this beautiful country, is worth every penny. Have a look at our pick of top tourist destinations in Sri Lanka.

Sigiriya

Sigiriya

Sigiriya, or the Stone Lion, situated atop a rock plateau stands on the site of the erstwhile palace of King Kasyapa built in the 5th century.  The fortress is one of the most unique and mysterious ancient sites in Sri Lanka and has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. There are beautiful ancient frescos here that date back to about 1500 years. This beautiful and mysterious site is a famous pilgrimage site for the Sri Lankans.

Kandy

Kandy

Kandy holds a vital place in the history of Sri Lanka. In 1815, this was the last place where the power was handed over by the King of Sinhala to the British Empire. Kandy is also a popular place for the Buddhists, as there are numerous Buddhist heritage sites here. The highlight of the trip to this beautiful place is Dalada Maligawa, or the Temple of the Tooth, which is said to contain the tooth of Gautama Buddha in a well-guarded casket. If you are a history-buff, this place is a must visit.

Colombo

A trip to Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, requires lots of planning. Colombo’s strategic location on the coastline lures a large number of tourists every year. The city is modern and has state-of-the-art infrastructure, including restaurants, luxury hotels, shopping centres, al fresco cafe options and a good transport system. There are various tourist attractions in the capital which were mostly constructed during the colonial era. If you want to experience the flavour of the native culture, you should definitely plan a trip to Pettah; a traditional bazaar. Haggling is common here and you will be able to shop for things at a much cheaper rate.

Exploring the Cultural Heritage of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

srilankaLocated in Sri Lanka’s North Central Province, Anuradhapura is a wonderful tourist spot. The pleasant city is home to a number of archaeological and architectural wonders. Mammoth dagobas, ancient pools, soaring brick minarets and age-old temples depict the city’s rich history and culture. Although many of these structures are now in ruins, Anuradhapura is still considered one of South Asia’s most notable historical destinations and draws history buffs from all over the world. Here is a quick look at the top tourist attractions in this ancient Sri Lankan town.

Abhayagiri Dagoba

Dating back to the 1st century, Abhayagiri Dagoba is one of the greatest historical structures in Sri Lanka. The brick monument soars 75m above the forest floor, and looks stunning due to its gorgeous architecture and colossal size. The monument complex also has some interesting bas-reliefs, and a large slab with a Buddha footprint.

Bodhi Tree Temple

This sacred Buddhist temple is home to an over 2000-year old Bodhi tree. It is a popular pilgrimage site for Buddhists and is frequented by monks and worshippers in large numbers. April and December are particularly busy months. Make sure you leave your luggage at the hotel, as tourists are not allowed to carry anything inside the temple complex.

Ruwanwelisaya

Ruwanwelisaya is just a short walk from Bodhi Tree Temple, and is one of the oldest and most voluminous stupas in the region. Visit the place to see different ancient images, sculptures and smaller stupas built in all four corners of the complex.

Archaeological Museum

Another must-visit site in Anuradhapura, this museum has a superb collection of historical artefacts, carvings and gems and religious objects that were found at various sites in the region. Many interesting sculptures, scattered across the museum’s grounds, are also worth checking out.

Top 3 Luxury Hotels in Sri Lanka Creating a Sense of Opulence for Sybarites

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With its breathtaking natural attractions, rich culture and enigmatic mythological enchantments, Sri Lanka never ceases to charm its guests. Hospitality is another highlight which entices travellers to board flights to this tear-drop nation. And when it comes to luxury accommodation, there is no dearth of choices. While there is a long list of luxury hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka, there are few that always sit at the top. Let’s check three popular ones!

Ceylon Tea Trails

Often considered to be the first tea bungalow resort in the world, Ceylon Tea Trails is a spectacular property rested at an altitude of 1250 metres in the breathtaking Ceylon tea region of Sri Lanka.  The hotel features four bungalows that are connected by walking trails through gorgeous Ceylon tea Gardens. Each bungalow is unique in its own way. A conventional day of the guest starts with a hot bed tea served by the butler. After you are awake and ready for the meal, the chef suggests you the dishes prepared with freshest ingredients and home grown vegetables and herbs.  Western or typical Sri Lankan, the food is always great in this hotel. Do not forget to try the afternoon cream tea; they say it is worth missing your flight!

Amangalla

Situated in the port of Galle, Amangalla is a perfect accommodation for any luxury traveller who is booking tickets on flights to Sri Lanka to visit this part of the country. The hotel is within the walls of the 17th-century Galle Fort which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Accommodation options here have been categorized into five parts – individual bedrooms, Chambers, the Garden House, normal Suites and finally, Amangalla Suite. The suites, with a colonial style décor and meticulous perfection, are packed with top-rated modern amenities and facilities. High quality materials have been used for all the rooms. For example, the floorboards that grace the rooms are of Burma teak, looking pristine for more than 300 years. Apart from the luxurious rooms, the hotel offers excellent food with warm service.

Reef Villa & Spa

Majestic Indian Ocean in the backdrop, golden sandy beaches, lush tropical garden and a large swimming pool – these are just few of the many charms that keep the guests fascinated at the Reef. Reef Villa & Spa is located in the seaside hamlet of Wadduwa and ranks high among luxury travellers as well as romantic couples. Honeymooners who are booking air tickets to visit this part of Sri Lanka should definitely stay at this property to make this trip the most memorable one. The suites are palatial, the food is heavenly and the service… well, experience it yourself!

Top Three Hotels in Colombo – Not Just another Accommodation

Colombo packs in a myriad of tourist attractions and other sightseeing options. Travellers who are booking tickets on flights to this city will find that the city is not only incredibly rich in colonial heritage; it also blends a perfect punch of modernism. A large number of tourists visit this city every year and take advantage of abundance of accommodation options available here. For those who are looking for staying at one of the top hotels here, the city leaves them with a number of choices. Colombo has hotels that are ranked among the best luxury hotels in Sri Lanka. Here is a quick peek at just three of the top hotels in Colombo that often rank high on popularity chart among travellers.

Casa Colombo

Casa Colombo by Indi Samarajiva/ CC BY

Casa Colombo by Indi Samarajiva/ CC BY

Once a lavish mansion built by one of the wealthiest Indian trading families at the time, Casa Colombo has everything a discerning traveller booking tickets Colombo flights could ask for. There are twelve suites in the hotel and all of them have been designed keeping in keeping the uniqueness and aesthetic appeal in mind. The style is historical hipster; Casa Colombo manages to blend the contemporary and old world charm with panache.
Location: 231, Galle Road, Bambalapitiya, Colombo

The Park Street Hotel

Situated just 3 kilometres from Bambalapitiya Railway Station, The Park Street Hotel is one of the few remaining properties of its kind in Colombo. The hotel boasts a 250-year-old colonial bungalow that has been perfectly designed into a beautiful twelve room boutique hotel. There are three categories in the rooms – Saleh Suite, Beghum Suite and Deluxe Room that rank high among most tourists who invest on tickets aboard Colombo flights. Each room and suite at Park Street Hotel exudes distinct charm and opulence.
Location: No.20, Park Street, Colombo

Paradise Road Tintagel Colombo

With 10 individually designed luxury suites, heavenly dining and legendary hospitality, Paradise Road Tintagel Colombo draws a number of luxury travellers. It also takes pride in being the accommodation option for the Royal Highnesses Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall on their visit to Colombo. The rooms have everything you can expect in a luxury hotel room, the dining is always great and the service is peerless.
Location: 65, Rosmead Pl, Colombo

Experience Extravagance Unlimited at Avani Bentota Resort & Spa

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A fair share of holidaymakers grabbing air tickets aboard flights arriving in Colombo strongly believe that Avani Bentota Resort & Spa is one of the most luxurious resorts in the city. Located on the expansive sandy stretches of Bentota, this property is set right in the heart of the metropolis allowing the visitors to feel the golden sand between their toes and warm sun on the skin. This world-renowned property was built with an inspiration from ancient villages thus creating a unique home-away-from-home ambiance offering a spectacular beach-side setting. This accommodation option is a prominent choice that triggers the sale of air tickets on flights bound for the destination.

This lush property features five different categories of elegantly furnished and intricately designed guestrooms that let visitors’ fall asleep amidst the melodious sounds of the azure ocean. The different categories of rooms include Standard, Superior, Deluxe, Suite and Avani Suite and all rooms feature Avani’s signature comfort and warmth as well as a plethora of facilities and amenities to ensure utmost comfortable stays for holidaymakers. Each room is well equipped with air-conditioner, a terrace or balcony, DVD player and IPTV for the entertainment of the guests. Wake up late and treat yourselves to a lazy breakfast on your terrace which is complementary for the guests.

Avani Bentota Resort & Spa without doubt steals the crown when it comes to fine dining in Colombo. The property pales almost all other resorts when it comes to dining and ensures that it serves some of the most authentic local as well as international fares to rule the heart and soul of out-of-state epicureans netting air tickets on flights to the city. The different eateries with-in the property includes Bentota Restaurant that serves zinging-fresh local seafood in the form of prawns, lobsters, fragrantly-spiced noodle and rice dishes. Visitors may even settle back in their favourite seat at one of the two bars and order some fresh juices or hard drinks from an extensive range of beers, spirits, wines and cocktails.

The hotel even holds its own reputation amongst different estates in Colombo in terms of recreational facilities. Tourists spending a hefty sum on tickets onboard flights arriving in Colombomay choose to pamper themselves at the lavish spa and wellness centre. Swimming in the outdoor pool, work out at the state-of-the-art gym and relaxing at the sauna are just some of the many other activities to keep the visitors entertained and engaged for days.

Sri Lanka – An Affordable Indian Ocean Beach Destination

Sri Lanka is a beautiful country that is known to represent a breathtaking cultural and natural amalgamation. Travellers, from all parts of the world, seem keen on Sri Lanka holidays. European tourists, too, find the island nation a staggering assemblage of all that is remarkable and beautiful. What further makes this Indian Ocean destination a hit among people is its affordability! While Sri Lanka always finds itself a prominent component of luxury holidays to Indian Ocean destinations, there is still means and ways to accomplish low-cost vacations in the island.

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Budget vacationers will find Sri Lanka a much pocket-friendlier destination, with several options for cheap accommodation. Beach Hut, Arugam Bay; Siesta, Tangalle; Surfing Life Guesthouse, Midigama; Paradise Beach Hotel, Negombo; and Ivory Inn, Mt Lavinia, Colombo are some of the many budget-friendly hotels that can be found all over the country. All these hotels are highly recommended and are usually among the favourites when it comes to affordable accommodation in the country. The quality of these lodging units is not bad and they may still remind of any top class resort.

Tourists can further save some money by dining in at cheap joints. There are plenty of low-priced eateries that are found all over the place. Colombo has a host of such options that do not dig a hole to the pockets of budget travellers. Destinations like Kandy and Galle also feature few economical restaurants that are high on quality. However, it is important that tourists eat only at places where locals tend to flock.

When it comes to transportation within the country, it is not a bad idea to take trains instead of flights whenever possible. Train tickets are very cheap and travellers may end up saving a lot. However, tickets must be booked well in advance. Holiday season can be very busy in Sri Lanka and it can get real messy for tourists who wait till the end to make bookings for train journey.

Several national parks and main temples charge hefty entrance fees. Once can avoid such places to trim down the holiday cost.

Luxury Holidays to Indian Ocean Destinations – Top Resorts at Top Destinations

Indian Ocean is a wonderful region of several island nations. The region is pretty popular with luxury travellers as it boasts several top class islands that attract vacationers from all corners of the globe. The coastal charms of countries like Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Mauritius are truly splendid and push holiday makers to spend money on air tickets and hotel deals. Opulent resorts at each of these destinations are hugely popular as they allow travellers to experience luxury holidays to Indian Ocean destinations. Take a fleeting look at top two luxurious properties at each of the above mentioned destinations.

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Sri Lanka

Paradise Road the Villa Bentota and Saman Villas are among the top holiday resorts that can be found in the country. While the Villa Bentota, south of Colombo, offers around a dozen individually designed rooms and suites, complete with all amenities and services, Saman Villas is a top Sri Lanka beach resort that’s located atop a cape facing the Indian Ocean. Both these resorts feature almost every conceivable facility for guests, who are booking air tickets to Sri Lanka and seeking accommodation at either of the two.

Maldives

For many, Cocoa Island Resort is the best luxury resort in the country. Tourists who opt for the resort are greeted with azure waters and white velvety beaches. All sorts of amenities are available at the resort rooms, which are inspired by dhoni boats. Taj Exotica Resort and Spa is another top address for luxury in Maldives. The villas are all palm-thatched, and the interiors are done in true traditional style. Holiday makers who invest on flight tickets keeping in mind both luxury and tradition might not find a better option than this.

Mauritius

The Oberoi Mauritius is one fine luxury resort that’s located close to the capital city of Port Louis. Guests will love the natural tones of luxurious rooms that are replete with all facilities. On the east coast of Mauritius, the Four Seasons Resort at Anahita is yet another favourite of sybarites’ spending money on luxury holiday deals. The resort is surrounded by beautiful green gardens and beaches. A top golf course lies adjacent to the resort.