"Sri Lanka: An Island Full of Treasures" Sri Lanka by jungles
Sri Lanka Travel Guide: 4,207 reviews and 10,917 photos
Many of Sri Lanka's visitors come only to sit on the sands of the island's beautiful beaches, but this country has SO much more to offer than just a pretty beach. Ancient ruins, painted caves, close encounters with wildlife, wonderful home-cooked curries, friendly people, religious fervour, extravagant festivals; it's all here and easy to reach in this compact, incredibly lush tropical island.
Despite its cheap cost of living, Sri Lanka is often overlooked by backpackers and budget-minded overland travellers, simply because the only way to get there is to fly. In fact, Nick and I had wanted to visit a couple of years ago on our trip that in the end included Burma, India, and Pakistan, but we decided to give it a miss when we found out there was no ferry from India. It does seem like such a waste of money and fuel to fly; Sri Lanka and India appear tantalizingly close on the map, and there is even evidence that there was a bridge linking them in ancient times, perhaps built by the white monkey Hanuman as told in the Ramayana legend. Of course, the reason the ferry has been out of service so long is because of the political situation, which seems to be worsening. This should not stop anyone from coming to Sri Lanka, however. While the north and the east are sadly off-limits once again, the attractions that visitors come to Sri Lanka to see are all still accessible and show no signs of the conflict that has been so devastating for so many people in Sri Lanka.
In any case I'm very glad we made it back here in the end, as this island is a truly inspiring place. Since most of Sri Lanka's visitors are in the mid-range to high-end category, the most common practice is to hire a car and driver to get around. While this is certainly the easiest and fastest way to reach all the sights, it is also perfectly feasible to reach practically anywhere by public transport, though it will probably take a bit longer. Hopefully those wanting to visit Sri Lanka on a low budget will find my pages helpful.
It should be noted that in general Sri Lanka is not quite as cheap as India, though for food and accommodation you will usually get a sufficiently higher standard for the slightly higher price. A reasonable budget for Sri Lanka, using public transport and staying in low-end guesthouses, is US$15 per person per day, plus extra expenses for things such as a safari in a national park. You could probably do it for a bit less if you limit your sightseeing and seek out local restaurants instead of eating in guesthouses, but once you've made the plunge for the airfare you might as well spend a few extra dollars to make your stay more enjoyable.
- Pros:ancient sites, wildlife, great food, beautiful beaches, friendly people
- Cons:hassle in touristy areas, north and east once again off-limits
- In a nutshell:This small island has so much to offer!
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