10 Reasons You Should Plan a Visit to Sri Lanka
Thinking of taking your first break soon? Some sun-searching at this time of year is a must for many people. If you don’t mind a going a bit further afield, you can find some late deals out there that will provide affordable flights to South Asia.
Blessed with a rich history and diverse cultural influences, Sri Lanka has a lot to offer the last-minute holidaymaker. Here are 10 reasons why you should visit this country – and of course, 6 of them are about local dishes!
This dish’s name derives from a Dutch word that means “a packet of food”. The contents include frikkadels, boiled eggs, eggplant and sambol – these are wrapped in a banana leaf with spice-infused rice and baked for several hours. Delicious!
2. Dhal curry
A smooth and creamy curry made from red lentils and coconut, dhal is real comfort food. Particularly tasty when made in an earthenware pot, the ingredients include onions, tomatoes and chilies sautéed with spices including cumin and turmeric.
3. Egg hoppers
Cooked in a small wok, hoppers are bowl-shaped pancakes made from fermented rice flour, coconut milk and water, and some sugar. An egg is cracked into the batter, which is shaped during frying. Garnished with a sambol of onions and chilies, hoppers are a real treat.
4. Kottu roti
This simple stir-fry, made from leftovers, is the ultimate Sri Lankan street food. It features pieces of roti mixed with shredded vegetables and pieces of meat, mixed together with soya sauce, spices, and garlic. Kottu roti is a great snack when you’re on the go.
5. Fish ambul thiyal
This peppery sour fish curry was developed through efforts to preserve fish. Cubed fish pieces are sautéed in a blend of spices, leaves, and – the key ingredient – goraka. All ingredients are left to simmer in a little water until the liquid reduces and leaves a delicious dry curry with a tart flavor. Not to be missed!
This thick dessert is basically a steamed egg custard made with coconut milk, jaggery and spices. It’s run through with air bubbles that keep the mix from being heavy. Watalappan features in the religious festivals of Sri Lankan Muslims and is hugely popular with good reason!
7. Tea plantation tours
As well as incredible food, Sri Lanka is famous for tea, so it’s well worth visiting the plantation at Nuwara Eliya. You can learn about the history of the country within the tea trade, and see why the country is the third largest tea producer in the world!
8. Easy communication
A result of the history of Sri Lanka, when it was colonized as “British Ceylon”, most of the locals speak English to at least a conversational level. You should find it easy to get recommendations for food, activities and transport.
9. Affordable transportation
It’s pretty cheap to get around Sri Lanka. With a little inquiring (see 8), you can easily find the ideal bus route, and you won’t be “tourist taxed”. Of course, it’s even more affordable (and healthy) to take a bike ride!
10. World Heritage sites
To feed the mind and soul as well as the body, take in some of Sri Lanka’s eight (yes, eight!) UNESCO World Heritage sites. With both architectural and natural attractions on offer, there’s something for wild spirits and culture vultures.
One post can’t possibly provide a proper taste of Sri Lanka, but hopefully this article serves as an appetizer. Add this inspiring country to your wish list and remember to keep an eye out for last minute flights!