Sri Lanka might not be at the top of your vacation list, but it should be! This small island nation, located south of the Indian subcontinent, is a wonderful place to visit. My husband and I traveled to Sri Lanka last January and had a fantastic time. These are some of the things we did while we were there....
We began our trip by visiting the most iconic site in the country, Sigiriya or “Lion’s Rock.”
This monolithic rock rises high above the surrounding forests and is home to an ancient fortress and palace.
We hiked up the nearby Pidurangala Rock so that we could gaze on Sigiriya from afar.
Sri Lanka is one of the best (and most affordable) places in the world to ethically see elephants in the wild!
For about $35 United States dollars, we took a private tour in Udawalawe National Park where we saw....
....solitary elephants happy in their natural habitats...
....elephants living in families....
...and even a month-old baby elephant staying close to mom!
We also visited the nearby Elephant Transit Home, which researches and raises orphaned elephants.
There, you can watch the keepers give milk to baby elephants.
The Center gave this elephant, who was injured by a land mine, a prosthetic leg!
In addition to its elephants, Sri Lanka is known for its impressive railway system.
We took the most scenic route on the railway, which begins in the town of Kandy....
....climbs up into the hills....
....passes by fields of tea leaves.....
.....and finishes in the town of Ella.
Sri Lanka has some of the most beautiful (and empty) beaches I have ever seen!
When we visited Tangalle, on the Southern coast of the island, my husband and I had the beaches all to ourselves....
.....except for a friendly local dog who followed us down to the water!
With an emphasis on spices, coconuts, and fresh vegetables, Sri Lankan food is healthy and delicious!
A standard dish is rice and curry, which consists of rice, dahl (lentils), and lots of vegetable side dishes.
We also loved a dish called kotu roti, chopped roti (a thin bread), served with coconut sauce and vegetables.
A great breakfast dish is string hoppers, or nests of rice noodles, served with dahl and vegetables.
Finally, don’t forget to try the famous Sri Lankan tea....
.....and the tasty coconut juice, served fresh from the local King Coconuts!
~You can read more about the Elephant Transit Home here. ~Here’s a useful guide on riding the Sri Lankan railway. ~We had a good experience flying on Sri Lankan Airlines.