10 Reasons Why Sri Lanka Should Be in Your Travel Bucket List
The Pearl of the Indian Ocean is not a prime destination for holiday-goers or backpackers, and that’s exactly what makes it even more worth the visit. This country, once ravaged by war and conflict, now shines with diversity, stunning colonial architecture, captivating heritage sites, unspoiled beaches, and natural wonders. Here, we give you ten reasons why Sri Lanka should be in your travel bucket list:
1. The rich cultural heritage
Via Asia Tourism
History buffs will truly enjoy exploring Sri Lanka’s prized heritage sites that stood the test of time. The country is currently home to six archaeological UNESCO World Heritage Sites:
- The sacred city of Anuradhapura, the greatest monastic city of the ancient world, which is now rife with renovated monuments and preserved ruins.
- The ancient city of Polonnaruwa, which served as the second capital of Sri Lanka after the destruction of Anuradhapura. It’s where you can find the ruins of the lavish garden-city created by King Parakramabahu I in the 12th century.
- The golden temple of Dambulla, the best-preserved cave-temple complex in Sri Lanka that has been a sacred pilgrimage site for 22 centuries. It houses 157 sacred statues and Buddhist mural paintings covering an area of 2,100 square meters.
- The ancient city of Sigiriya, where the ruins of the capital built by King Kassapa I sits. Slip your feet into your trusty hiking shoes, as you’ll be scaling steep slopes and staircases to fully explore this heritage site.
- The sacred city of Kandy, a famous pilgrimage site, where the site of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic (the sacred tooth of the Buddha) can be found.
- The old town of Galle and its fortifications, the epitome of a fortified city built by Europeans in South and Southeast Asia. It was founded in the 16th century by the Portuguese.
2. The sumptuous local fare
Sri Lankan cuisine has something to offer to everyone. It’s a delicious combination of local flavors and foreign influences — a result of being colonized by western countries for years and years.
Sri Lankan dishes that are sure to fire up your taste buds are lamprais (a wordplay that combines the two Dutch terms for “lump” and rice”) — rice and accompaniments cooked in plantain leaves; kottu — Sri Lanka’s take on the hamburger that is lightly spiced and served with a curry sauce; hoppers or appa — Sri Lanka’s version of the pancake, which is made with a batter that’s a slightly fermented mix of rice flour, coconut milk, and a bit of sugar; and, of course, Sri Lanka’s wide selection of curries.