1. The food
“Money cannot buy happiness, but it can buy egg roti which is basically the same thing” – Anonymous. What is egg roti you may ask? Picture a warm piece of half baked bread, fresh out of the oven, stretched around a scrambled egg cooked to perfection and topped with a healthy dollop of homemade dhal. Basically heaven in your mouth.
Sri Lankan food is very similar to Indian food. Lots and lots of curry, rice, and bread, although it tends to be much spicier. A typical breakfast includes “shorteats’ (basically all shorts of breads study with veggies, fish, etc), string hoppers (rice noodle disks), and various curries to dip you string hoppers in.
Lunch and dinner tend to be very similar and consist of rice, varies curries, and the occasional fish dish depending on where you are. Another famous Sri Lankan dish is called Koththu which is chopped up roti bread mixed with vegetables, scrambled eggs, and seafood/chicken if you prefer. I could have eaten this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and still not get my fill of koththu – my new mission is too find somewhere in America that makes it, so if you know of such a restaurant PLEASE comment below!
2. The People
For me personally the local people are what made this trip so incredible. Traveling as a solo female can be daunting, but I can honestly say that I did not have a single bad experience with anyone while here.
I cannot count the number of times I had people come up to me and ask if I needed help with directions, or where I was from, or even just to say hi. When riding the buses, locals would wave at me from the streets (making me feel like white the celebrity I must say). While in Galle, my friend and I attended a local festival where people not only let us skip in line for rides, but also gave us free Sri Lankan food because they claimed they wanted us to truly experience their culture. The sheer kindness and selflessness I witnessed from the Sri Lankan people will never cease to amaze me.
3. The Culture
I have experienced American culture (food, sports, workworkwork) , Swedish culture (shy, relaxed, skol), and many other Europeans cultures while traveling; however, none can to compare Sri Lanka’s. 70% of the people living in the country practice Buddhism which I had little to no experience with before traveling to the country. Buddhism is such a loving religion and it really reflects on the culture in Sri Lanka. The people are very respectful and humble, spending hours a day mediating, praying, and giving offers to their Buddhist Gods.
4. The Landscape
From the stunning mountain ranges, to the lush forests and mesmerizing untouched beach, photos will never be able to portray just how unbelievably beautiful this island truly is.
5. The Wide Range of Activities
So what exactly is there to do in such a small country? Lots! Want to give surfing a go? You can do that here on the south east coast.
White water rafting? No problem. Head over to Kitugala.
Climb a mountain? Adams Peak is your place.
Go on a Safari? Check out one of the many amazing national parks!
Relax and unwind on a beautiful beach? Gallen in the south can fulfill all your needs.
Explore some amazing ancient Buddhist Temples? Head to the middle of the country where you can visit all the ancient cities that are sure to take your breathe away.
6. The Price
Entire meals for under a dollar, hotels starting at just dollars a night, and bus/train rides for mere pocket change? Count me in.