Sri Lanka

Known as Ceylon until 1972, Sri Lanka is an island country in South Asia, south of India. Its maritime borders stretch from the northwest in India to the Maldives in the southwest.

Home to an ethnically and culturally diverse population, Sri Lanka has an extensive history marked by colonisation and civil war. Many tourists are drawn by holidays to Sri Lanka’s tropical forests and varying landscapes, which are rich in different plant and animal species.

Sri Lanka comprises of 9 provinces with the capital of Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte in the Western Province, together with Beruwela, Colombo, Gampaha and Negombo. The Central Province is made up of the highlands of Kandy, Matale and Nuwara Eliya. There is Jaffna in the North; the cultural triangle of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya and Dambulla in the North Central region; Trincomalee and Arugam Bay in the East; Kurunegala in the North West; Galle, Weligama, Matara, Tangalle, Unawatuna and Yala National Park in the South. The cool highlands of Uva Province consist of Badulla, Haputale, Bandarawela. Each province is further divided into districts.

From the sights and landforms to food, local culture and historical sites, each area adds to the charm of Sri Lanka with its own unique flavour.

People & Culture

People in Sri Lanka

A 30-year civil war between the Sinhalese and Tamils in Sri Lanka ended in 2009 when the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam were defeated by the Sri Lankan military. Sri Lanka is now the only South Asian country rated “high” on the Human Development Index.

Things to Do

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Shopping in Sri Lanka

Shopping in Sri Lanka ranges from bargaining at a handicraft shop, to picking fresh fruit from a village stall or sussing out the best prices for the latest international fashion in this major garment exporter.

Sri Lanka’s Cuisine

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Sri Lankan Food

Rice and spicy curry dominate native Sri Lankan cuisine. In Colombo, there are restaurants that offer a spectrum of international gourmet and fusion cuisine. Stalls and eateries offering delicious, reasonably priced fare are common too.

Essential Travel Tips

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Going To Sri Lanka

Flights to Sri Lanka are served by the Colombo-Bandaranayake International Airport from most cities in Asia, the Middle East and Europe. If you are traveling to Sri Lanka from another country, plan for strategic stopovers to travel more efficiently, or sail to Sri Lanka by cruise ship via the American cruise operator Zegrahm Expeditions.

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