Sri Lanka is located just four hours away from Singapore. What are you waiting for?
When I first told my friends and family that I was considering travelling by myself to Sri Lanka, I was met with mixed reactions. For those who’d never been to Sri Lanka, they expressed concern for my safety and wondered aloud what is there to do in the island country. However, my friends who had visited had nothing but praises for Sri Lanka.
As an experience junkie, that was the sentence that sealed the deal. In early August this year, I embarked on an 8-day journey through the southern region of Sri Lanka. Turns out, Mel was more than right. Even though I only covered a small part of the country, there was so much to see and do that my days were filled to the brim. Here are 5 reasons why I can’t wait to go back!
1. There’s something for everybody
Whether you’re into outdoor activities like hiking and scuba-diving, or prefer more sedate holidays practicing yoga and meditation, you’ll find your groove in Sri Lanka. History buffs are also in for a treat because Sri Lanka’s rich heritage — the culture of Sri Lanka dates back over 2,500 years — means there are plenty of historical sites to explore. Some of the most famous spots include the ancient rock fortress, Sigiriya, and the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, which was founded in 1595.
2. Beautiful, varied landscapes
Imagine spending time soaking up the cool, fresh air of the hilly tea plantations before heading down towards the coast, located just a few hours’ drive away. During my short visit to Sri Lanka, I trekked through national parks (Horton Plains), visited tea plantations (Dunkeld Estate), explored a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Galle Fort), and frolicked by the beach (Unawatuna).
For an incredible two-in-one experience, be sure to visit Yala National Park, Sri Lanka’s most famous wildlife safari and nature reserve where you’ll get to see animals such as leopards, elephants, sloth bears, and crocodiles. Plus, because it’s located along the southeast coast of Sri Lanka, you’ll also be able to admire stunning views from the seafront!
3. Easy to get around
If you’re travelling in a group, it’s probably more convenient and cost-efficient to hire a driver to take you around. However, if you’re going solo (like I did), fret not. The railway network in Sri Lanka is pretty decent – I got a First Class seat from Colombo to Nuwara Eliya (the highest point in Sri Lanka) for just under SGD25. And, you can easily book tickets online. If you’re travelling to and through the Hill Country, taking the train is quite a marvellous experience as you get to admire rolling greenery unfolding all around you. A First Class ticket on Expo Rail guarantees you comfortable seats, air-conditioning, and even some light refreshments.