Sri Lanka Travel Guide

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Elephant Dance at Dehiwala Zoo

Elephant Dance at Dehiwala Zoo

Annesley Rozairo

Sri Lanka is the teardrop that falls from the southern tip of India and is becoming increasingly popular as a travel destination –and not only for sports fanatics who want to play a proper game of cricket. About twenty million people reside on this relatively small island that used to bear the name Ceylon. Although a lot of people come over to Sri Lanka to have a nice beach holiday (finished off with a touch of culture), there is definitely more to see and to do than sunbathing on one of the many excellent beaches. Hikkaduwa, for example, is very well-known for its beach-resorts and for its brooding turtles.

Colombo is the place where Sri Lanka’s hustle and bustle takes place. Although it is not such a big city, this is the place where the commercial heart beats. The northern part of the city is the fort area. There you can find - if you look real hard - the British fort, dating from the 19th century, and other remnants of the former colonial power. When you set off for Galle, which was the capital city when the Dutch ruled before the British invaded the Pearl of the Orient. Here you can visit the world heritage fort complex.

And this is only the beginning. In Kurunegala, you can feast your eyes with coconut plantations and paddy fields. The country’s hilly central part offers a perfect place for tea plantations and the accompanying towns such as Nuwara Eliya. Dense rainforests cover the south-western part and this is the area to go to when you want to see wildlife. There are several possibilities of staying over-night in national parks, such as Ruhunu and Wilpattu, for those who want to wake up with the trumpeting of an elephant.

Sri Lanka is unfortunately also known for its bloodshed. The LTTE, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, have fought 20 years for a separate country for the suffering Tamil people in the northern part of the island. Now there is a cease fire (?) and they are negotiating with the majority Sinhalese for a solution within a single country.

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