When deciding on a country to travel to, we usually look to the ones that have been highly-recommended by friends. But then, certain countries are always living in the shadow of another whilst others are the ones creating the shadow, and these are the ones that are the most commonly visited – even when the shadowed may have more to offer. It’s a funny world, isn’t it? Croatia and Montenegro. England over Wales. Choosing to visit the USA over Canada. Or flying out to India when you could be getting your kicks in wonderful, glorious, beautiful Sri Lanka. The list goes on…
Living In The Shadow Of Her Neighbour
Sri Lanka is known as the teardrop to India (just have a look at a map and you’ll see why), as well as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean. Nestled snug in warm waters, it is a haven for various marine wildlife like orcas, blue whales (the biggest animal on earth!), dolphins and turtles. There are conservation projects happening all over the island to help protect these species, and if you do your research you could look at getting involved, but if you would prefer to do the proper tourist thing and sight-see the animals then a local guiding company such as Serendivus Travel & Tours will be able to help.
Way back when, Sri Lanka was commanded by both the Dutch and Portuguese (not at the same time, obviously) and there are still beautiful examples of forts and churches scattered across the country. In the capital city, Colombo, you are able to see examples of both Buddhist and more modern architecture, as well as the Dutch and Portuguese influences upon the Sri Lankan landscape; this is the history that we were not taught about in school, and there is so much of it ready and available to explore on this island.
Show Me the Food!
Sri Lankan cuisine is very much like the traditional Indian food you’ve likely tried. Being an island, and having big ports in the major cities, fish is the main meat mostly used in place of lamb or chicken. The locals’ drink of choice is wood apple juice, made from the Sri Lankan fruit of the same name – it is commonly sold in street markets along the roadside, so you will be able to pick some up to sample almost wherever you go. Curries are of course abundant, and their famous Sour Fish Curry comes highly recommended – if you go for the food alone, it won’t be a wasted trip…
Image source: Flickr