If you are like Peter Answers and love to visit exotic locations then Sri Lanka is for you. But you already know that, don’t you? What you really want to know is will you ever get to visit Sri Lanka?
Before we discuss the possibilities of you ever visiting Sri Lanka it would be good to learn a little bit more about the country.
History of Sri Lanka
Did you know that up until 1972 this little island in the Indian Ocean was called Ceylon? Not many people today know that but it wasn’t so long ago that it carried a different name. Sri Lanka is situated only about 20 miles off the southern coast of India and the island boasts a population of about 20 million people. The natural beauty of Sri Lanka’s tropical forests, beaches and landscape, as well as its rich cultural heritage, make it a world famous tourist destination. If you are lucky enough to visit Sri Lanka then make sure you bring the appropriate dress – Sri Lanka climate is tropical and warm.
People have populated the island of Sri Lanka since ancient times – Paleolithic human settlements have been discovered at excavations in several cave sites in the Western Plains region and the South-western face of the Central Hills region.
From 1983 to 2009, there was an on-and-off civil war, predominantly between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a separatist militant organization who fought to create an independent state named Tamil Eelam in the North and East of the island. This has in turn resulted in ethnic cleansing of Muslim and Shinhalese from the area which Tigers claim to be Tamil Eelam. Both the Sri Lankan government and LTTE has been accused for various human right violations. However, number of notorious atrocities committed by LTTE, including suicide bombing, forced conscription of child soldier and ethnic cleansing of non Tamil cause many countries to classify LTTE as a terrorist organisation.
On May 19, 2009 the President of Sri Lanka officially claimed end of the Civil War and the defeat of the LTTE following the death of its leader and much of its senior leadership.
Where to stay in Sri Lanka
Hotels in Sri Lanka are abundant and of a range of classes from very meager and inexpensive to high-end and luxurious. It all depends on what you want to get out of your stay. If you are looking for a book to read to recommend some good hotels then I would suggest Cool Hotels: India, Maldives, Sri Lanka, it is a very nice read and offers some good suggestions no matter your budget. With more than 500 ravishing full-color photographs, Cool Hotels brings you to the best hotels in India, the Maldives and Sri Lanka. The super-deluxe establishments included here are all at the cutting-edge of hotel design and management. Each property has been hand-picked according to a set of criteria that includes a strong design aesthetic, architectural integrity, and a sense of individuality a million miles away from the cookie-cutter approach of chain hotels. Many of these properties have never been featured in guides before, and many have recently opened.
What to do in Sri Lanka
When visiting Sri Lanka I suggest three things – eating, going to festivals and watching a cricket match.
Sri Lankans have added western influences to the customary diet such as rice and curry, pittu (mixture of fresh rice meal, very lightly roasted and mixed with fresh grated coconut, then steamed in a bamboo mould). Kiribath (cooked in thick coconut cream for this unsweetened rice-pudding which is accompanied by a sharp chili relish called “lunumiris”), wattalapam (rich pudding of Malay origin made of coconut milk, jaggery, cashew nuts, eggs, and various spices including cinnamon cloves and nutmeg), kottu, and hoppers (“appa”), batter cooked rapidly in a hot curved pan, accompanied by eggs, milk or savories. Middle Eastern influences and practices are found in traditional Moor dishes. While Dutch and Portuguese influences are found with the island’s Burgher community preserving their culture through traditional favorites such as Lamprais (rice cooked in stock and baked in a banana leaf), Breudher (Dutch Christmas cake) and Bolo Fiado (Portuguese-style layer cake).
Every year on or about April 13 Sinhala and Tamil people celebrate Sinhala and Tamil New Year Festival, and Muslims celebrate Ramadan. Esala Perahera is the grand festival of Esala held in Sri Lanka. It is very grand with elegant costumes. Happening in July or August in Kandy, it has become a unique symbol of Sri Lanka and no visit would be complete sithout seeing it. It is a Buddhist festival consisting of dances and richly-decorated elephants. There are fire-dances, whip-dances, Kandian dances and various other cultural dances. The elephants are usually adorned with lavish garments, and the good news for visitors is that it is very rare to be trampled! The festival ends with the traditional ‘diya-kepeema’. The elephant is paraded around the city bearing the tooth of Buddha.
While the national sport in Sri Lanka is volleyball, by far the most popular sport in the country is cricket. The Sri Lankan cricket team achieved considerable success beginning in the 1990s, rising from underdog status to winning the 1996 World Cup, as well as the Asia Cup in 1996 and 2004. Sri Lanka remains one of the leading cricketing nations in the world, with the national team reaching the finals of Cricket World Cup 2007, where they lost to Australia. When you schedule your trip don’t forget to include a cricket match.
So will you ever get there?
So will you ever get to visit Sri Lanka? Well, peteranswers feels as though unless you already live in the Eastern hemisphere that the answer will be no. It is just too long and exotic a trip for you to be taking in this bad economy. However if you already live in say, something like the Philippines, then I foresee a trip to Sri Lanka in your future!
And that is Peter’s Answer!