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Sri Lanka Holidays, the untold matters
Sri Lanka Holidays, the touring holidays in Sri Lanka, the enlightening and rejuvenating tropical vacation affords opportunities for everyone: Sri Lanka holidays has something for everyone within 65,525 square kilometers, or to put it another way, within few hours of drive from one tourist attraction to another tourist destination. Sri Lanka is replete with attractions of great beauty, man-made as well as natural:beaches, wildlife parks, highland resorts, ancient kingdoms, ancient Buddhist temples and ancient rainwater reservoirs that extend lifeline to the modern nation.The island has no less than 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Where do you begin Sri Lanka Holidays?
Almost always you would begin at Colombo, the capital, home to one and only international airport (CMB), commercial hub, main harbor and emporium of Sri Lanka. Most of all, beginning the tour in Colombo affords you all the opportunity of visiting Sacred Kelaniya Rja Maha Vihare (Sinhala: Kelani Buddhist shrine with stupa). Viewing the murals at Kelaniya Royal temple is to enlighten yourself of the of some important episodes of the Buddha related to Sri Lanka, arrival of Buddhism to Sri Lanka from Northern India, destruction of Kelaniya Royal temple by the marauding Dravidian invaders from Southern India, reconstruction of Kelani temple, destruction of the temple by Portuguese in the 16th century, reconstruction of Kelaniya Royal Temple Temple by King Kirti Sri Rajasinghe (1747-1780), the great Buddhist revivalist in the 18th century, renovation of the temple by business tycoon Mrs. Helena Wijewardhane and family in the twentieth century.
Then again, Colombo, in its own right is wonderful tourist destination. Modern buildings, plush hotels, colonial buildings, Buddhist temples, Portuguese, Dutch and British built churches, parks, sheltered and shaded roads and avenues of Cinnamon gardens and surroundings all brings about a memorable experience. The international class hotels at Colombo, including the Hilton Colombo is located very close to the Galle Face Greens, a promenade which stretches for a half kilometer along the coast in the heart of Colombo.
What would you eat, where would you dine during Sri Lanka Holidays?
If you are on a Sri Lanka Holidays tour package with a tour operator, of course you will be advised and guided. Sri Lanka's spicy food is of great wide range of varieties of rice as well as local vegetables and English vegetables. All green tropical vegetables of Sri Lanka are nourishing and of super digestive virtues. English vegetable such as carrot, beetroot, leeks, potato are brought into Sri Lanka by the British colonialists in Sri Lanka (1815-1948) and first grown in Little England Nuwara Eliya of central highlands. Added to the rice and curry is a range of sweets made of coconut palm milk, Kitul palm honey and rice flour. To top all these, is the finest dessert in the world, Curd made of pasteurized buffalo milk poured over with Kitul palm honey.
Now, that, if you are backpacker on a shoestring budget, it would do a world of good to stay away from cheap food in the wayside unclean restaurants in Colombo. Even at comparatively clean restaurants, it would be better to stay away from much hyped up fast-food called Kottu. Kottu is cooked dishes of meat once again fried with torn pieces of roti-Indian flat bread like pan cakes- raw dough there, over-baked here. Every tiny strip of roti bread already cooked in oil is once again splattered with oil in the second cooking-frying. Sheer madness! Kottu is what the Portuguese fed their African salves - Kaffirs- brought to Sri Lanka in the sixteenth century: mix up all crumbs of bread and roti with the remaining bits and pieces of meat and whatever else, all else remaining.
First off all, you don't cook the same food twice.Then again, chopping, scrambling and mixing up already cooked food, even if its on a burner, is done for animals. Of course, you have learned that at the kindergarten.
Once Hilton Colombo had a Kottu gala with 1000 kg of Kottu. That much for the hype of Kottu.
How do you tour during Sri Lanka Holidays?
If you are on a Sri Lanka Holidays tour package with a tour operator, of course you will be traveling in air-conditioned and comfortable coach or air-conditioned and comfortable vans (Toyota, Nissan or Mitsubishi etc.) or air-conditioned and comfortable cars (Toyota, Nissan or Hyundai etc.).
Now, that, if you are backpacker on a shoe string budget, you can travel by public transport: government owned large buses or by businessmen owned smaller air-conditioned Japanese buses. Government owned hardy Asohk Leyland ply the highways of high traffic with dare-devil speeds. But then within few minutes, you would get used to the speed having felt driver has it in control. No, that’s lie. The steering wheel and thereby the bus is an extension of his hands, more or less, If I may say so. That’s when everything goes fine. On regular conditions they do. Toyota air-conditioned buses (Toyota coaster, Mitsubishi coaster etc), though comfortable, is not of course, a better option either. They too drive a bit fast and the smaller air-conditioned cabin loaded with passengers seated and standing wouldn't be too good for health, especially if somebody is having a serious tropical flu.
Do you have to pay exorbitant entrance fees during Sri Lanka Holidays?
Exorbitant, no. A tad bit higher, yes. Sri Lanka has a two tier system of entrance fees for tourist destinations for the tourists: one level for the local tourists and another, of course the higher level for the foreign tourists.
Of course, most of the tourist guide books on Sri Lanka, which at their best, partial to anti-government element of Sri Lanka, are vociferous on the matter. But these books have failed to indicate there are no 2 tier hotel rates: Sri Lankan tourists are made to pay the same level of hotel rates that the foreign tourists pay.
The cost of entrance fees could easily be minimized by purchasing a cultural triangle ticket for USD 50 which incorporates the entrance fees at the World Heritage sites of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Dambulla, Sigiriya and Kandy of Sri Lanka Holidays.
Choose your beach
Sri Lanka Holidays beaches are for all seasons. South Western coastal belt and Southern Coastal Belt serve the main tourist season during October to April while Eastern Coast serves the secondary tourist season during April to September.
South Western coastal belt and southern coastal belt
South Western coastal belt and southern coastal belt of Sri Lanka are replete with palm fringed well sheltered and shaded beaches. The gateway to the southern beaches begins at Kalutara, 42km south of Colombo, and thereon an endless string of exquisite beaches stretch to Hambantota in the deep south of Sri Lanka. Among the popular beaches are Wadduwa, Beruwala, Bentota, Ambalangoda, Hikkaduwa, Dodanduwa, Galle, Unawatuna, Koggala,Weligama, Mirissa, Polhena (at Matara), Dikwella, Tangalle, Ambalantota and Hambantota. In the backdrop of the plethora of beaches, the Sri Lanka Holidays tourists enjoy the luxury of choosing a beach that would best suit the individual needs.
Kalutara beach 42km south of Colombo and Wadduwa beach have a number of mid-range and top-end tourist hotels. Tangerine Beach Hotel, Siddhalepa Ayurveda Health Resort, Royal Palms Hotel and The Blue water Hotel are among the finest hotels in the beach stretch from Kalutara to Wadduwa. Bentota beach (62 km south of Colombo) is a gorgeous palm fringed broad swath of sand. Bentota is a well-planned, up market beach resort that his home to an array of hotel accommodation ranging from luxury hotels of international standing to budget guest houses. Bentota beach and Bentota lagoon coupled with Bentara River that flows into the Indian Ocean causing an estuary, a narrow strip of land called Paradise Island afford a multitude of watersports. Paradise Island can be accessed by boat across the river or from the Bentota beach. Some of the finest hotels at Bentota are built in this wooded estuary.
Gorgeous tropical beaches continue south of Bentota. Immediately south of Bentota are Kosgoda and Induruwa beaches home to turtle hatcheries. Among the top-end beaches at the beach stretch of Bentota are Bentota Beach Hotel, Hotel Serendib, Taj Exotica, Lihiniya Surf Hotel and Saman Villas. Bentota is an ideal bay beach resort for families.
Hikkaduwa beach, further south of Bentota, is a down-market beach resort that is open to nightlife during the season. Hikkaduwa is also a famous surf beach well secured by an off-shore coral reef. While the northern end of Hikkaduwa is the main base, Wewala and Narigama beaches, 2km south of Hikkaduwa too are fine surf beaches. Scuba diving at Hikkaduwa is supported by PADI instructors.
Unawatuna is a spectacular sandy bay beach that could be enjoyed at any period of the year. Unawatuna is a very safe for swimming in view of the reef protecting the beach. Though Unawatuna isn’t crowded as Hikkaduwa, it has become a busy beach since its rise to popularity recently. With the turn of the events, Mirissa beach has taken the place of Unawatuna as the undiscovered beach of the south of Sri Lanka. Then again Mirissa beach too is becoming popular at a rate and already established as the favoured base for off-shore whale watching during Sri Lanka Holidays. Halfway between Unawatuana and Mirissa is Midigama surf Beach ideal from beginners. Further south from Midigama, are still more beaches for surfing: Weligama, Mirissa and Dickwella. Tangalle located 195km south of Colombo is home to a string of very pleasant secluded beaches. While the Tangalle main bay beach, a serene stretch of palm fringed pristine golden sand, is close to the town, the coastal villages of Medaketiya and Goyambokka are home to exquisite tropical beaches too.
North Eastern coastal belt
The beach stretch of Uppuveli and Nilaveli at Trincomalee are the finest beaches of the north-eastern coast of Sri Lanka. Pigeon Island, the most famous spot for diving and snorkeling in the eastern coast can be accessed from beaches of Nilaveli. However the infrastructure for the benefit of tourism is still being developed, the accommodation options at these beaches at Uppuveli and Nilaveli are limited as yet. However, the matters are taking a swift turn with the rise of Sri Lanka Holidays and soon these beaches will be studded with luxury hotels.
South-eastern coastal belt
The best surf in Sri Lanka is at Arugam Bay, 3km south of the fishing village of Pottuvil. The best surfing at Arugam Bay, an international class surfing bay beach, is during the period stretching from April to Septemeber. With water temperatures of 24 to 28 centigrade throughout the year, the surfers at Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka Holidays enjoy the luxury of surfing without wet suits.