#A warm welcome
Regardless of their origins or religion, Sri Lankans cultivate a sense of hospitality. Everywhere, your hosts and contacts will try to help you or inform you as much as possible. It is rare to see someone get angry or angry; the legendary smile of the Sri Lankans is on everyone's lips. As far as accommodation is concerned, think of the possibilities offered by residential accommodation, a formula that is developing more and more in the country and that will allow you to live as close as possible to the population.
An affordable destination :
Sri Lanka remains one of the cheapest destinations on the market. Although prices have increased considerably in recent years due to higher taxes levied by the government. Not to mention the increasing cost of energy and major investments in infrastructure development since the end of the 1983-2009 conflict.
A thousand-year-old culture
The island is full of leading archaeological sites. Pagodas, monumental dagobas and exceptional sites are legion. Buddhist culture has produced architectural and sculptural treasures for more than 2,300 years in museums, national parks and sites all over the island.
Protected nature and environment
The Sri Lankan government has had the positive initiative of creating national parks, all of which have been reopened since the end of the war, where fauna and flora are protected. It should also be noted that Sri Lanka is the first country in the world to have established reserves that preserve its nature, nearly 400 years before our era! Observing animals in their natural habitat is an essential part of a trip to Sri Lanka. You can go on the elephant, leopard or bear trail, or go out to sea to see whales, dolphins and turtles.
A colourful and spicy cuisine
Sri Lankan cuisine is delicious. It is famous for its curries, assortments of vegetables and very refined meats combining spices and oriental flavours, not to mention the many fish and seafood to enjoy with your feet in the sand! Popular cuisine is very spicy, especially in the Jaffna region, but in general, it is not available to tourists because of its high chilli content. However, remember to specify: No spice.
The land of tea
Sri Lanka is famous for its famous Ceylon tea, with many varieties that can be drunk anywhere and on any occasion. The tea plantations offer an exceptional panoramic view over much of the central part of the island. Don't miss a taste, in the city or in the shops on the roadsides. The water is still boiled, so don't deprive yourself!
Sports and leisure activities, aquatic or land-based
The fine sandy beaches lined with coconut trees are one of the most popular charms of several regions in southern and eastern Sri Lanka, but also of Colombo (Mount Lavinia, Negombo) and the Kalpitiya peninsula; water sports fans will enjoy diving, snorkeling, surfing, kitesurfing, etc. Of course, there are also many canoeing and rafting opportunities on several bodies of water across the country. Hiking enthusiasts will enjoy the heights of the island where there are many routes to discover fantastic landscapes such as Horton Plains or the Knuckles. The ascent of Adam's Peak (Sri Pada), a place of universal pilgrimage, is not to be missed. Finally, it is worth noting the importance given in recent years to mountain bike tours, for which several routes have already been planned throughout the island.
Cheap crafts and natural products
Crafts are rich, even if the best is not necessarily found in tourist shops. The woodwork is very interesting, especially with regard to elephant reproductions, furniture and even sani masks representing the grimaceous figures of the Sri Lankan pantheon. There are also beautiful embroidered fabrics, batiks and many therapeutic or beauty products made from spices and plants that can be purchased at markets or in spice gardens.
© Dominique Auzias & Jean-Paul Labourdette