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17 Sep 2019

Experience the best of Asian Culture in Sri Lanka this Winter By Melstrove

This winter, escape to the little wonder of the Indian ocean, for a lifetime of memories and experience the best of Asian culture. Blessed with diverse resources from golden sandy beaches of the South, the scenic mountains & valleys of the Central hills, the abundance of wildlife across the country and the rich & vibrant culture, the stunning isle of Sri Lanka is waiting to be discovered.

Here are some “must-do’s” to consider, while in the country!

 

Chill at the Beach

Enjoy warm sandy beaches bordered by lush palm trees, turquoise waves lapping at your feet, the fragrant sea breeze in your hair when you dip and dive in the warm tropical waters or just relax on the soft, golden sand. Head down south to the tropical beaches such as Galle, Hikkaduwa(famously known as Hikka), Habaraduwa, Mirissa, for vibrant beach life experiences and water-based sports activities.

 

Wildlife Exploration

Spot Lankan leopards, the majestic elephants and the colorful life of birds roaming freely in their natural habitat in Sri Lanka, a country with an incredible population of flora and fauna. Wildlife sanctuaries in Yala and Wilpattu are the best places to encounter wildlife at close range, while Kumana and the Muthurajawela marshlands are well known for their diverse flora and fauna.

 

Trek through a Rain Forest or mountain

A country renowned for its biodiversity, Sri Lanka offers a stimulating trek through its jungles, where you can encounter a fascinating life experience witnessing rare and endemic plants, abundant birdlife and freely prowling animals. One such location is the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, which was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its high density of biodiversity. The Kanneliya forest is another known habitat for many endemic fish species in Sri Lanka. The Sri Pada (also known as Adam’s peak) is that boasts diverse flora and fauna and attracts thousands of pilgrims of all faiths. Encounter a fascinating life experience in which you can witness rare and endemic plants, abundant birdlife and freely prowling animals.

 

The Magnificent Rock Fortress of Sigiriya

A truly magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sigiriya is an ancient rock fortress constructed by King Kashyapa between 477-495 CE. With its beautifully landscaped water gardens, of which modern architects are still amazed, well-preserved frescoes and the palace remains on top of the rock and most remarkably the lion's giant feet - through which visitors enter the palace, Sigiriya is a must visit if you’re in Sri Lanka.

 

Visit the Dutch Fort

The Galle Dutch Fort, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the world's most extraordinary archeological sites. Built by the Portuguese in the 16th century and fortified by the Dutch, the Galle Fort is not only a historical monument, but also a bustling cultural hotspot with beautiful villas, paved roads, ancient churches and numerous festivals of literature and art.

 

Observe Asian Elephants by the herd

The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is the place to go if you want to see hundreds of majestic elephants in one place. Here, orphaned and wounded wild elephants are brought and raised by caring and trained people and occasionally, they even allow visitors to feed small elephant orphans, eager for human affection. If you are enthusiastic to observe elephants in their natural habitats then you must add wildlife sanctuaries such as the Yala, Udawalawe, Minneriya, Wilpattu, Kaudulla National parks to your travel itineraries. Of these, the Minneriya national park in particular is definitely worth a visit during the dry season from July to September as you may be able to witness the largest gathering of Asian elephants in the world on a Sri Lanka wildlife safari.

 

White water rafting

If you're looking for an adventure, head to Kithulgala for a white-water rafting spot. This special spot on the Kelani River offers three-grade speeds and is ideal for beginners and intermediates alike. Located in the very heart of nature, senses are soothed by serene calls from birds and the mysterious music of the forest.

 

Whale and Dolphin watching

Get on-board a satisfying cruise to witness magnificent whales and mischievous dolphins at play. The best months to embark on this cruise are February, March and December, and the stretch between Mirissa and Galle is the most famous area for these cruises. While friendly dolphins will definitely come out to pay a visit, during this tour you will also be able to see the Blue Whale, Bryde's Whale, Killer Whale and Pilot Whale.

 

Visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic

If Sri Lanka is the cradle of Buddhism, the Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy is most definitely its heart. In this largely Buddhist island, this temple is considered the most sacred of all places of worship and thousands of pilgrims visit it every day. Another remarkable feature of the temple is the Kandy Esela Perehara, a grand procession of elephants, dancers and drummers that takes place in July and August each year.

 

Visit the City of Tea

Acres and acres of tea stretched over the green hills, cascading waterfalls and tea pluckers swaddled in vibrant mountain clothes, plucking two leaves and a bud are amongst the most memorable sights you’ll see in the Central region of Sri Lanka and this is a must for all holidaymakers.

 

Experience Village life and Sri Lankan Hospitality

Visit the countryside of Sri Lanka and get in the action of farming during harvesting season or ploughing and planting, sit with farmers and sip on tea or have an authentic village meal as they take a break from toiling all day in the field. You can even immerse yourself in Sri Lanka’s cooking cultures by enrolling yourself for an in-house village cuisine, cooking class. What’s more, wherever you visit, you will be greeted with smiling faces, ready to assist you with the true Sri Lankan spirit.

Travel to Sri Lanka this Winter (Northern Hemisphere), not only because of its enchanting beauty but also because you will be able to tick off many items off your bucket list in this paradise island! To travel across the island hassle-free while enjoying striking bird’s-eye views, Cinnamon Air offers daily scheduled and charter flights to destinations across the country.

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