Asia

Sri Lanka

vital statistics
  • Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, Colombo
  • 20 million
  • Sinhalese and Tamil
  • Sri Lankan rupee
about Sri Lanka

Plonked in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern tip of India, the tropical idyll of Sri Lanka is an island of surprises. Most of its terrain is covered in every shade of jungle green imaginable and a batch of mountains south of the centre rises to more than 2500 metres.

With a colonial history, the rustic and crumbling architecture lends an air of mystique to most towns – the capital Colombo and the town of Galle with its fortifications, in particular, are magnets for the international bohemian set attracted by the yesteryear atmosphere.

Away from the urban areas it’s all about jungle exploration, safaris and tranquil boating journeys. Go searching for elephants and leopards in Yala National Park on the south coast before heading to the southernmost part of the island and the town of Mirissa, famed for its excellent whale watching.

Throughout the country, festivals, from the huge Esala Perahera held in Kandy mid-year to Deepavali celebrations in October and November, are a highlight of colour and energy. And then there’s the cricket... You almost hope Sri Lanka wins just for the spectacle of the celebrations. Almost.

Explore Sri Lanka By

BUTTALA, SRI LANKA

Dumbo would be proud to know that one of the world’s most unusual...

Dumbo would be proud to know that one of the world’s most unusual eco-hotels takes his...

KANDY, SRI LANKA

Strip everything away and the mind begins to clear. That’s the thinking...

Strip everything away and the mind begins to clear. That’s the thinking behind Sri...

GALLE, SRI LANKA

First came the surroundings, then the hotel – although they make such a...

First came the surroundings, then the hotel – although they make such a perfect match...

KALUTARA, SRI LANKA

Imagine spending days on a heavenly beach overlooking the Indian Ocean and...

Imagine spending days on a heavenly beach overlooking the Indian Ocean and nights in a...

YALA NATIONAL PARK, SRI LANKA

Better known for its wildlife encounters than sandy shores, the...

Better known for its wildlife encounters than sandy shores, the teardrop-shaped island of...

MINNERIYA NATIONAL PARK, SRI...

The elephants came in two by two. Hurrah! Hurrah! Then a few more turned up...

The elephants came in two by two. Hurrah! Hurrah! Then a few more turned up and, in fact,...

ULPOTHA, SRI LANKA

Journey to Ulpotha and unwind with the traditional art of Ayurveda. A site of...

Journey to Ulpotha and unwind with the traditional art of Ayurveda. A site of pilgrimage...