It’s time to plan about a dreamy peaceful trip to Sri Lanka heaven
Have you ever heard of Sri Lanka, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, a land of lush green tea hills, beautiful dark forest and sandy beaches where you can freely stretch on? What a dreamy picture of tropical sunshine!
Taking a train across the beautiful tea plateau in Sri Lanka
The tea processing industry in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka was established a long time ago with deep culture and history. The Indian and the British brought tea plants to Sri Lanka and developed them into a very large-scale production system during the colonial period, which lasted from the early 17th century until the country gained its own independence.
An ancient train across Sri Lanka is an unforgettable experience for tourists
Nowadays, the immense hills still remain the famous homeland of black tea, not only to serve the domestic market but also supply for a very large tea leaf processing factory named Lipton. Therefore, when mentioning Sri Lanka, travellers must have thought of going through the central highland on a very spectacular train ride. It was also my first goal to embark on a “slow living style” journey around this South Asian country.
The whole country of Sri Lanka has only one international airport, which is Katunayake Airport, located in Negombo, about 30 km to the North of Colombo. The other public transport systems are bus and train, both of which are tinged with an ancient colour as if they have existed since the British era. However, from an economical perspective, it seems to be well suited to the standard of living of the majority of Sri Lankans.
In my opinion, Sri Lanka is the country with the cheapest travel expenses. This is where you can immerse in the slow pace of life with the indigenous people.
If you travel to Sri Lanka, start a beautiful day by getting on a train at the railway station of Kandy city, the capital of the highlands in Sri Lanka. At first, you may be amazed at how the slow train is crawling but as it crosses the continuous green tea hills, the soothing feeling may come over your body and mind that you may want such moments to last endlessly.
Kandy city, the capital of the highlands in Sri Lanka
On the train, you will get a glimpse of a deep valley, the murky primeval forests and the lovely villages located along the gentle slopes. Occasionally, when the train stops at a loft platform, you can enjoy sitting by the window, looking at the continuous activities there and sometimes catch the friendly eyes of a passenger on the opposite train. Sometimes you need a while to ease out your stressful mind as well as figure out how meaningful the life.is.
Slowly drifting towards the sea
There is a town in Sri Lanka called Ella where you can take an interesting bus to the south.
The charming Ella town in Sri Lanka
The further it takes to the south, the more the villages appear. Contrary to the highland, it is a little more crowded and bustling, which reminds of the chaotic society in the developing countries.
If the central highland of Sri Lanka is the agricultural region with the famous black tea processing industry, the southern island of Sri Lanka is an important port city. Even before the British times, the Western empires had considered Sri Lanka as a critical transit point of goods for the expedition to colonize the Far East. Therefore, there is a series of ancient fortresses along with the port system from the south-east to the south-west of the island, one of which is the antique Galle town with the most famous lighthouse in the country.
The bustling street of Galle town in Sri Lanka
Galle town became well-known as an important port town since the island was ruled by Portugal (16th century). It was not until the Dutch colonial period in the 18th century that Galle town became a prosperous city having the largest port in Sri Lanka at that time. Therefore, today, Galle is a unique collection of colonial architecture, combined with a large fortress and an extremely beautiful white lighthouse on the edge of the vast Indian Ocean,
Travelling to Galle town, visitors will experience an extremely interesting slow-pace atmosphere, a bit like the ancient port cities in Asia such as Malacca, Penang (Malaysia) or Surabaya, Makassar (Indonesia), etc.
There are roads extending from the fortress surrounding the Indian Ocean coast, which are meticulously paved, leading to a chain of various charming stores including gem shops, souvenirs and small restaurants, etc. Hanging out in the old bars or coffee shops decorated in the classic style, you can sense the sophistication in the slow pace of living in Sri Lanka.
White lighthouse by the sea of Galle town in Sri Lanka
In terms of architecture, the highlight of Galle town is the blend of beautiful and peaceful spaces such as the white lighthouse by the sea, the National Maritime Museum, the Church of St. Mary built by Jesuits, illustrating the long history of this ancient coastal town.
The country of genial people
Though located right next to India with a narrow natural border, the cultural lifestyle and religious communities in Sri Lanka are completely different from the rest of the Indian continent. As a Buddhist country, about 70% residents in Sri Lanka follow Buddhism (Theravada Buddhism).
Adorable children in Sri Lanka learn the gentle and kind characteristics from their children
Maybe the religious belief is the main explanation for the characteristics of people in Sri Lanka: gentle and kind. During the journey along the length of this island nation, from the capital Colombo to the Highlands, then gradually down to the town of Galle in the southwest, you will have the opportunities to reach out to an amiable community here.
Friendly people in Sri Lanka
People in Sri Lankan may have a lower standard of living than in your country but their gentleness and hospitality are admirable and very precious nowadays. It is their hospitality that generates a great motive for tourists to return to Sri Lanka again and again. This island nation is a great place to experience the beauty of life including nature and humans, to immerse yourself in the lush nature and to integrate into a bustling but very safe society.
Basic information to know to plan a perfect trip to Sri Lanka
Visa: Australian tourists can apply for a visa at the Sri Lanka Embassy or online visa website: www.eta.gov.lk. If you apply for a visa online, you can get a visa and pay directly at the airport
Airport: The entire island nation of Sri Lanka currently has only one international airport located in Negombo, about 30 km to the north of Colombo. For more details on the flights and departure dates to Sri Lanka, please contact our Travel Consultants.
Weather: Sri Lanka has a fairly hot climate with an average temperature of 28-30 o C, the coldest winter temperature is 16 o C. Therefore, you can travel in any season of the year.
The stunning natural landscape in Sri Lanka
Transportation: The bus system throughout Sri Lanka is old, but it also meets the needs of easy travel. The railway system through central Sri Lanka plateau is a very beautiful route for tourists to admire and experience. If travelling at a short distance of less than 20 km, you can go by tuk-tuk which is cheap, easy to find and available everywhere in Sri Lanka.
Accommodation: Depending on your preferences, you can book a motel, hotel or experience a luxurious resort deep into nature reserves. For more details, you can contact our Travel Consultants.
Kima Surf Camp hotel in Sri Lanka
Cuisine: Being a part of the Indian continent, Sri Lanka cuisine has a great influence from Indian dishes. If going on a tour to Sri Lanka, you can learn from their cooking style using a lot of spices, namely curry, masala, spicy black pepper, etc. Street food in Sri Lanka is also very delicious and, however, be careful because the hygiene standards in Sri Lanka are generally not up to absolute safety standards.
Currency: Sri Lanka uses the rupee, the exchange rate of 1 rupee is about 0.022 Australian dollar.
Souvenirs: Sri Lanka is famous for its traditional wooden masks, rough gems and typical spices like vanilla, wood crafts (statues, furniture, decorations) are also elegant and sophisticated.
Recommended route: Starting from Colombo, tourists can take a bus to the city of Kandy, the capital of the Highlands; then take a bus to the tea city of Nuwara Eliya, a beautiful and elegant mountainous town like Dalat in Vietnam. From Nuwara Eliya, you can buy a train ticket to the south of the town of Ella and then continue by bus to the beaches of southern Sri Lanka, stop by the port city of Galle, then head back north to Colombo.