I’ll happily admit that up until a few weeks ago I didn’t really have any interest in visiting or travelling around Sri Lanka.

Sure a few of my surf buddies had raved about the waves out there, but other that that it hadn’t really appealed.

But following my 10 day whirlwind tour of Sri Lanka (I’ve been back a few times since then now too!) has now firmly gained a place amongst my favourite travel destinations in Asia and I was stoked with all the good times I had out there.

So what makes Sri Lanka so special and why should you pencil it into your travel plans?

Well here are 6 reasons I love Sri Lanka…and why you should book a flight out there right now!

 

why visit travel sri lanka backpacker asia

Nom Nom Nom!

The Food

I’m pretty sure that the food in Sri Lanka was my highlight of travelling there – it was just incredible! From dhal to coconut roti and hoppers it’s a feast not only for the taste buds but the eyes too…especially when it’s all beautifully served up on a lilly pad!

Although Sri Lanka lacks the street food culture of much of Asia there are heaps of awesome little restaurants and buffets style places to eat where you can sample a huge array of local cuisine. And if you’re veggie like me you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Be prepared for a serious food baby throughout!

 

why visit travel sri lanka backpacker asia

The Locals Are Heaps Friendly!

The People

Every local Sri Lankan I met during my trip was full of warmth, generosity and smiles – it reminded me a lot of The Philippines in that respect.

The country is full of interesting characters and they’ll form a huge part of your adventure there.

Our driver for example was a total legend – stoked to chat about the history and culture of his country and he genuinely wanted us to have a great time there! He even grabbed us a round of coconuts for when we returned from a wander around some temples in the midday heat.

Legend!

 

why visit travel sri lanka backpacker asia

Wish You Were Here?!

The Beaches

Ok admittedly my beach time on my first visit to Sri Lanka was limited but I was instantly at home! Palm trees meet white sands and clear, warm waters.

From the first time you set foot on the beach you know you’re in an island paradise.

And the sunsets?!

Geez the sunsets on the beach are postcard perfection!

I can’t wait to get back and explore more of the coastline – from stilt fisherman to world class surfing waves…the beach will certainly be the focus of my next trip!

If it’s the reason you’re heading there get in amongst the waves and learn to surf in Sri Lanka!

 

The Vibe

I’m the first to admit that travelling in South East Asia can be a pretty big bombardment on the senses and a little chaotic…it can be very full on, especially if you haven’t travelled to that part of the world before.

Sri Lanka on the other hand felt really laid back and certainly wasn’t the vibe I was expecting…totally in a good way!

It seems to be a country very much on island time and even Colombo wasn’t the crazy city I had envisioned – whether you love beaches, cities, culture or relaxing Sri Lanka has a great balance for all styles of travel.

 

 

why visit travel sri lanka backpacker asia

Another Bucket List Tick!

There’s So Much To Do!

I was caught off guard by how much is going on in Sri Lanka and you’ll have no worries packing your trip full of epic activities.

Hot air ballooning at sunrise, tuk tuk safaris, climbing Sigiriya the mountain fortress, surfing, temples, tea plantations, whale watching, more temples and elephant safaris are just some of the amazing things to experience in Sri Lanka.

I managed to pack a lot into my short trip there but there is still so much to see and do…I can’t wait to spend longer exploring and tick even more off my to do list!

Check out my Top 10 Things To Do In Sri Lanka Post here!

 

why visit travel sri lanka backpacker asia

Some More Friendly Locals!

The Wildlife

And talking about elephants…Sri Lanka was packed full of wildlife!

I don’t think I’ve ever travelled anywhere with so so many wildlife interactions on a day to day basis!

Whether you’re watching monkeys swing through the trees as you stroll around some temples, dolphins playing in the bow way of your boat trip or even some casual wild elephants drinking out of the lake at your hotel it seems Sri Lanka is home to creatures of all shapes and sizes…so keep your eyes peeled and your camera ready!

 

The bottom line is I’m stoked on Sri Lanka and even though I’ve only scraped the surface travelling there it’s a country that is high on my hit list to revisit and explore more of! 

So if you’re currently debating whether to visit or not stop thinking and start booking – and also check out my post on the top things to do in Sri Lanka and my top 10 places to visit in Sri Lanka to help you out too!

…and I’m sure my video round up will help seal the deal too!

Have you visited Sri Lanka?

What were your favourite parts?

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PLEASE NOTE; My trip to Sri Lanka was in partnership with The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, but all opinions are honest and my own.

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25 Responses

  1. Sarah

    I was literally just thinking about booking a quick weekend there from Hong Kong – seems I might just do that after that epic dolphin pic! Thanks for the info as always!

    Reply
    • Chris

      hahahaha you totally should Sarah! I think the dolphin and whale watching has moved further along the East Coast for the next part of the season (well the Sail Lanka boat has anyway) so check out if the whales will still be around, I’m sure the dolphins will be though!

      Reply
  2. Laura

    Hi Chris, I’m setting off on a rtw trip in October with two weeks in Sri Lanka as the first stop – so excited! Just wondered if you had any advice on what tourist visa you need and any rough intinaries or must see places? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Laura,
      Stoked to hear about your trip – where else are you heading?
      Visa wise most nationalities can apply online on the Sri Lanka government site for a tourist visa (I actually went in on a Media Visa which is totally different!) so check that out. Itinerary wise I’ll be putting together a mini guide in the next few weeks so keep an eye out for it!

      Reply
      • Laura

        We’re starting in Sri Lanka, India and Nepal then over to SE Asia and winging it from there! Hopefully going for a year or longer. Thanks for the advice – I’ll keep an eye on the blog for suggested intinaries and must see places 😀

      • Chris

        Hey Laura,
        Sounds like an awesome adventure, you’ll have a blast! And a year?! Amazing! Hopefully the blog can help you out heaps!

    • Chris

      hahahaha cheeky bugger! You’d love it there…maybe even et you back on a surfboard!?

      Reply
  3. Dilni

    Glad to hear comments like this about Sri Lanka. Please visit Arugambay next time you visit here. You will find the best waves there.

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Dilni,
      Don’t you worry, the wave sou Arugam Bay are firmly on my to do list!

      Reply
  4. Suzie

    Hey Chris! What are the hostel situations like in Sri Lanka? Is it touristy enough for me to meet many travellers there? I’m a solo female thinking of going for a couple of weeks on my way to Australia. Thanks! Just found this site and love it! :-D

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Suzie,
      Stoked you like the site and are heading to Sri Lanka, I’m actually heading back again this month too! I was on a press trip for that visit so I wasn’t staying in hostels en route, but from what I saw and my backpacker buddies have said it’s pretty easy to find hostel and guesthouses and meet fellow travellers. Two hostel chains I’ve been recommended are Hangtime Hostel and Hangover Hostels so check them out online. If you’re looking for some surf check out La Point Surf Camps too – I’m grabbing some waves with them on my next visit!

      Reply
      • Suzie

        Awesome!! I was thinking Sri Lanka on my way to Byron Bay so I might bump into you at some point!!!! ;-) I’ll be sure to pester you!!! And buy you a cold beer! ;-) Thanks Chris!

      • Chris

        It would be an awesome stop over Suzie! I just bought at London-Maldives-Sri Lanka-Brisbane flight with STA for £619 so it’s not hard to fit it in budget wise either. You can open up that flight to have a longer stop in Singapore to explore Asia too if you wanted!
        I’m in Byron from the end of June so if you head that way let me know…I can never turn down a cold beer!haha!

  5. Asanka Miah

    Great list Chris!
    You can also include train ride through the tropical countryside in your list, as it’s my personal favourite thing which I like to do in Sri Lanka.

    Reply
    • Chris

      Sounds amazing Asanka! Unfortunately I didn’t get to do one of those but it’s on my to do list!

      Reply
  6. ADeS

    Appreciate the love for Sri Lanka but please do not list elephant safaris as an exciting thing to do here – the animals are mistreated in that trade, to keep up with the crowds that come to see them. It will cost you a bit more but go see them in one of the national parks – Kaudulla, Minneriya and Uda Walawe are the best for elephants – if possible. Avoid Pinnawela Elephant orphanage too.

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Ades, I totally appreciate your views on the elephants, I was actually referring to Uda Walawe which is where I headed on an elephant safari in the National Park rather than an orphanage or like wise – but thanks for pointing it out! :)

      Reply
  7. Bhadrajith

    Hello Chris,
    Happy to see this type of post about Sri Lanka.
    Yes it is, you can meet very hospitable people here.
    Sri Lanka possess an unblemished history and culture which is not second to any other nation in Asia. There are many example still remain for today for visitors to explore about the ancient hydraulic engineering and architecture.
    You can experience verity of eco-systems, beaches, climates, views and yummy foods. The country is so rich of beautiful nature.
    Despite its small size, Sri Lanka possess high level of biodiversity and wildlife resources, and is rated among the 34 biodiversity hotspots in the world. So Sri Lanka has the highest rates of biological endemism in the world.

    Reply

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