The ASEAN countries are enjoying quite a lot of tourism spotlight, but if you want to stick to SAARC nations, you might just want to hop on a plane for a 2.5 hour flight down south to the beautiful tropical island of Sri Lanka.
Few places in the world hold such a remarkable combination of awe-inspiring landscapes, pristine beaches, rich cultural heritage and unforgettable experiences within such a compact location. The country’s span of 65,610 kilometres hold 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 1,330 kilometres of coastline – much of it unspoiled beach – 15 national parks teeming with wildlife, nearly 500,000 acres of lush tea estates, 250 acres of botanical gardens, 350 waterfalls, 25,000 water bodies, and a culture that extends back to over 2,500 years.
A quick getaway to the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean” should ideally involve stayovers in Colombo, Kandy and Nuwara Eliya
4 places to visit in Kandy
Temple of the Sacred Tooth
-It was built late in the 15th century to house Sri Lanka’s holiest artifact: a tooth of Buddha that came from India in the 4th century. The tooth has massive religious significance to Sri Lanka’s Buddhist community and the temple is quite popular with tourists and followers alike.
– Kandy was built around this scenic lake, so a walk around its rippling shores is definitely not to be missed. And while you’re walking and exploring, head over to Kandy Lake Club to check out some of their cultural dance performances which feature music, dance and fire-spinning
Perandeniya Botanical Gardens
– Not far from the centre of Kandy is a large botanical garden, 60 hectares in size. It is the largest botanical garden in Sri Lanka, with a wide range of plants and flowers, and open spaces.
Ceylon tea museum
– Ceylon, the old name for Sri Lanka, is synonymous with tea, and thus an essential stop on your tour has to be at this museum, which occupies the 1925-vintage Hantane Tea Factory, 4km south of Kandy on the Hantane road. Abandoned for more than a decade, it was refurbished by the Sri Lanka Tea Board and the Planters’ Association of Sri Lanka. There are exhibits on tea pioneers James Taylor and Thomas Lipton, and lots of vintage tea-processing paraphernalia. Knowledgeable guides are available and there’s a free cuppa afterwards in the top-floor tearoom.
4 places to visit in Colombo
– This historical area is today the financial business district of Colombo. The beautiful buildings showcase the country’s colonial past. Be sure to check out the old General Hospital and Post Office, the old Lighthouse, and a number of church cathedrals in the area.
Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple
– The bustling Buddhist temple complex includes a library, a museum and a display hall of gifts received from devotees and well-wishers over the years.
Independence Memorial Hall
– Built in order to showcase Sri Lankan independence from British rule in 1948, the monument also houses a statue of William Gopallawa, who is considered one of the fathers of the nation.
– Once the setting of a cinnamon plantation, the Cinnamon Gardens area of Colombo is now a nicer area of town that includes the Prime Minister’s office, Independence Monument, and a lot of pleasant neighborhoods and upper scale restaurants. There are also a few art galleries.
Galle Face Green Promenade
– Galle Face Green is a long stretch of green lawn next to the narrow beach and sea promenade in Colombo. Originally it was cleared by the Dutch to give the canons clear sight, but today it is a nice and peaceful place perfect for walking, running, playing football, kite flying and cricket. It is a great place to watch the sunset.
4 places to visit in Nuwara Eliya
– Situated at the centre of town is one of the nicest, and best maintained, town parks in South Asia, and a stroll around its manicured lawns is a pleasure indeed. The park comes alive with flowers around March to May, August and September. It’s also home to quite a number of hill-country bird species, including the Kashmir flycatcher, Indian pitta and grey tit.
Seetha Amman Temple
– The colourful Hindu Seetha Amman Temple at Sita Eliya is said to mark the spot where Sita was held captive by the demon king Rawana, and where she prayed daily for Rama to come and rescue her. On the rock face across the stream are circular depressions said to be the footprints of Rawana’s elephant.
– Enjoying the paved walkways, paddling a swan-shaped paddle boat (or a giant helicopter boat) or trotting around on a pony are all good reasons to devote an hour or so to Gregory Lake, at the southern end of town. There are also picnic tables, a small restaurant and a snack bar. Boat hire is from the smaller adjoining lake on the opposite side of the road from the main lake.
Hakkala Botanical Gardens
– The gardens are situated 10km southeast of Nuwara Eliya at the foot of Hakgala Rock. They were originally established in 1860 as an experimental plantation of cinchona trees. This is the tree from which quinine is derived. Today the gardens cover 27 hectares. They are divided into various sections, rose gardens, ferns, orchids etc. These sections are separated by pathways and lawns.
Bangladesh is offering a great weeklong getaway package for Eid that includes Sri Lanka and Maldives. Prices start from Tk105,040.
There’s also an amazing 4 nights 5 days package for just Sri Lanka for Tk60,000 which includes airfare and accommodation.
also promises to facilitate, for a fee, all your visa processing and other travel-related:
Contact: +880 1970000727, +880 1970000737, +880 1945050500
Email: [email protected]