"A 'PLACE LIKE NO OTHER'" Sri Lanka by ViajesdelMundo

Sri Lanka Travel Guide: 3,879 reviews and 9,346 photos

SHORT OVERVIEW

I FIRST VISITED IN 1970, ON MY FIRST ASIAN TRIP---AND ABSOLUTELY FELL IN LOVE WITH EVERYTHING!! i.e., particularly the people, as well as the food, the fabulous diverse geography within a small area, the ancient culture with its ruins, did I mention the FOOD?

This latest trip was my 13th visit, for just 3 weeks for the wedding of my dearest girlfriend and Sister-in-Christ.

Of course, I have seen so many changes in the development of the island, through many governments, and also the effects of the 'civil war'. This latest trip was my first since the end of the war and I did not get out of Colombo, being so busy with the wedding, but the city seemed really liberated and opened up! People are out much more and the stores and roads were full at all hours of the day, every day of the week. I'm sure that many more opportunities will become available and therefore more of the former indigenous ways of life will continue to disappear. But the further you get out of the main cities, village life is there for the traveller to experience

A first-time traveller can use the services of a package to facilitate ease of getting around to all the major places of interest. The trains have not been maintained very much for several decades, and are often over-full, so unless you are familiar with that style of travel, a tour operator who can provide a charter bus, or for individuals a private car with driver may be the prudent, most efficient way to go; especially if the stay is a short one.

But in general, there is nothing to fear, and the people are the most hospitable and friendly of anywhere in the world! I have so many friends there, that I had to purchase a local cell phone to be able to make plans, without having to sit by a hotel phone!

Years ago, in my first few trips, which were by myself, I was frequently "taken home" by people I just met on the train, in a hotel lobby, or walking on the beach!! I have always had a good sense of 'discernment', but I never had a bad experience. Just the contrary! I was fed and housed by, and made friends with, Hindus, Buddhists, Moslems and Christians alike. Many of them are still friends today, over 35 years later. (Of course, there were a few who approached me with some ulterior motive, but they were easily spotted and promptly dismissed.)

I believe it is one of the few places that has managed to maintain its unique cultural flavor, outside of Colombo. But even in the capital, if you spend some time there, it will seem very different from any other place on earth. Due to being under the rule of the Dutch, Portugese and British, though, there is a blend of Western amenities which make the foreign visitor comfortable.

Also due to the civil insurgency, and the subsequent diaspora, many Sri Lankans now live overseas, making much higher incomes, and of course come back to visit and the economy reflects this cultural and economic spillover. Inflation is definitely hitting the island, but most things are still very inexpensive to the Western traveller.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:So MUCH to See and Do!
  • Cons:TOO Much to See and Do!
  • In a nutshell:Something for Everyone
  • Last visit to Sri Lanka: Feb 2011
  • Intro Updated Mar 30, 2011
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Reviews (5)

Comments (16)

  • starship's Profile Photo
    Jun 7, 2014 at 6:22 PM

    Looks like a very interesting place! Hope you have a nice trip!

    • ViajesdelMundo's Profile Photo
      Jun 8, 2014 at 6:09 AM

      oh it is! this will be my 14th trip; and this time I will be staying in hotels, etc., instead of staying in private homes, so I will have some new places to write about.

    • kingip's Profile Photo
      Jun 13, 2014 at 6:18 PM

      Waiting for your new discovery!

  • jo104's Profile Photo
    Feb 1, 2014 at 12:04 AM

    nice page intro the trains are getting better but still not high speed but the prices went up about 40%

    • ViajesdelMundo's Profile Photo
      Feb 1, 2014 at 7:43 AM

      I come from a family of men who worked for one of US first train companies, Baltimore & Ohio, so the trains always take me back to memories of childhood. Now it's Feb again, so 3 years since I was there for that wedding; the time really flies by, but getting excited about my upcoming trip. Thanks so much for all your comments and ratings.

    • jo104's Profile Photo
      Feb 2, 2014 at 2:26 AM

      my pleasure thanks for the good tips will be excited to meet you trish

  • jo104's Profile Photo
    Dec 10, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    I currently live in Trincomalee its beautiful the people are still very much recovering. I am slowly starting to build all my pages & look forward to reading yours with interest :-)

  • wise23girl's Profile Photo
    Feb 9, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    Lovely wedding photo and very good reviews...as usual. A banana leaf...my goodness.

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Sep 7, 2010 at 8:25 AM

    It all sounds magical Trish! Lovely page!

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Apr 20, 2010 at 8:48 AM

    Great tips especially about being aware of tourist touts. SL :)

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Feb 8, 2010 at 2:37 PM

    Good to know about the 'con men"

  • PierreZA's Profile Photo
    May 31, 2009 at 6:32 AM

    Thanks for all your visits and comments. I agree with you, I have to go. Was concerned, but it seems all good now!

  • junecorlett's Profile Photo
    May 27, 2009 at 10:41 AM

    Hi Trish - well done telling off the chancers. Nice page here.

  • freddie18's Profile Photo
    Jan 8, 2009 at 7:54 PM

    The Kandy Perahera on your video are amazing. The well-dressed elephants and colourful dancers. I know Sri Lanka have a lot of beautiful places and festivals to explore. I have friends who visited the country and they have good stories to tell.

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