Sri Lanka is definitely on my list, but I have not made it there yet. From what I have heard, it is beautiful and full of culture. Luckily Matt has provided this guest post to tell us about the best places to visit in Sri Lanka.
Looking for a perfect budget backpacking destination? Well, Sri Lanka might just become the next destination on your wishlist. I got to visit this beautiful country earlier this year. In this post, I’ll give you a glimpse of some of the places I visited on my trip.
Sigiriya stands for the Lion Rock and has a castle that is built at an astonishing height of 200 metres atop the rock that was formed from the magma of an extinct volcano. Referred to as the Eighth Wonder of the World and this architectural marvel totally lives up to it.
Sigiriya is easily one of the top tourist attractions of Sri Lanka. Its history dates back to King Kashyap I who built the fortress as his residence and capital, to stay at a place impenetrable by his enemies. Given the climb up to the top itself is very tiring, the thought of the construction of the fortress left me baffled.
The entrance to the rock fortress is through the Lion’s Head, (true to the name of the place). This was the mouth of a lion with its feet rested on two sides that lead to the staircases. Though now only the paws remain. The magnificence you get to witness all the way up and the stunning views from the top of the fortress make the climb worth it.
The colourful murals in the Cobra Hood Cave, the urban planning of the gardens with boulders, pools, ponds and fountains that are functional to this date, and the breathtaking views all make Sigiriya a must-visit place in Sri Lanka.
Kandy is situated at the heart of Sri Lanka and is the culture and spiritual hub of the country. One of the most popular pilgrimage attractions in Kandy is the Tooth Temple. This temple has a golden roof and preserves the sacred tooth of the Buddha. The tooth is preserved in a golden casket that can be noticed while offering prayers inside the shrine of the temple. Experiencing the temple was serene and peaceful.
Apart from the Kandy Tooth Temple, a visit to the nearby Giragama Tea Plantation to appreciate the beauty of the tea plants and get to know the process in entirety is interesting. I also picked up a few flavours of tea that I enjoyed the most from there. A pleasant evening stroll by the Kandy Lake, visiting the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden, the Dalada Maligawa Museum, and the Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha Statue are other popular tourist attractions in Kandy.
Galle Fort and Unawatuna are the two major attractions in Galle. The latter is a perfect mix of beaches and culture. Surfing at the Unawatuna is very popular, and the waves are perfect for beginners. Being one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka, this one is a must visit if you love surfing.
You could take a dip in the beach. Maybe sit on the sand and relax. You could even enjoy some good food and drinks on the many restaurants on the beach. There is also a coral reef off the shore where you could go Scuba Diving. Unawatuna was a peaceful relaxing retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the other places I visited on my visit to Sri Lanka.
Hikkaduwa is a hippy and pumped up beach where you can laze your days by the beaches and party at night, given the amazing nightlife at the beach. A less explored beach, Hikkaduwa is slightly uncrowded. This makes it a perfect offbeat destination to bask in the place without too much crowd. Surfing, snorkelling and diving are some of the most popular activities that the Hikkaduwa beach has to offer to tourists.
Hikkaduwa beach festival that happens every July or August. This is when the beach is at its liveliest, thanks to the night long DJ parties and an enthusiastic crowd. I’m looking forward to being here for the festival next year!
That’s it guys! I hope you enjoyed reading the article on the places I got to visit on my recent trip to Sri Lanka. If you are looking at buying tactical backpacks, check out this list of some of the best tactical backpacks we have found to be the best till now.
Have fun and most importantly stay safe! Have you visited Sri Lanka before, or is it in your bucket list? Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear your experiences 🙂
Mark Bennett is an American writer and traveller, whose major inspiration has been camping with his father ever since his childhood. He aims to visit 75 countries before he’s 30. You can also follow his adventures on his site Outdoorily.