Updated: Jun 28, 2021
In an advert for Sri Lanka, you are likely to see smiling brown faces, stretches of beach, leopards in their stomping grounds and ruins left behind by ancient kingdoms. However, this is not an advert for Sri Lanka, this is the local guide, the stuff that’s not on any list. This is essentially a subreddit, curated by those in the know, of what everyone who comes here, should know.
1. Geographical accessibility – Here, you don’t have to choose between sunny climes, sleepy villages, wild life safaris or a great club scene. In a matter of a few hours from wherever you are, you could be getting surfing lessons in Arugam Bay with local surfing champs, getting cozy in a cottage with a fireplace in Nuwara Eliya, feeling hot and bothered in the back of a safari jeep in Minneriya or having a night on the town. Finding your own space or multiple is easy, a local PickMe cab will do the rest.
2. Food Culture – Everywhere you go, you are bound to have access to an array of food you’ve never tried before. The country boasts multiple restaurants that have made Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant list and a bar scene that is both progressive yet local. In Colombo, the pulsing heart of the Island, you can eat al fresco at street food spots like Hulftsdorp during Ramadhan, or pull your car up to the pavements of eateries like Plaza and Pilawoos for a Kottu that can only be described as ‘masala’. From quirky beachside bistros, top class sushi restaurants, over flowing hotel buffets, pool-side sundowners, homemade rice and curry and elite mixologists brewing local delights, Sri Lanka is the place for an eclectic menu of life-changing food moments.
3. Local guides – In Sri Lanka, everyone is a local guide, some will offer you friendly advice for free while others may need a little incentive. The key is knowing how to ask. Come from a place of knowledge and research, but open up to the locals about learning and knowing more about their country. Don’t let the adverts fool you, we are hospitable to those who are hospitable. You are bound to find an interesting story, a local secret, a tale of woe or colorful gossip depending on whom you ask. The key is to ask.
4. Learning – Sri Lanka is at the cusp of full-blown development at all levels. The people drive this by speaking up, evolving and upgrading their lives. In the face of much adversity, war and poverty, Sri Lankans have grown resilient and care about what they know and how they listen. Sri Lanka is the perfect place to learn something new. From sourcing and making indigenous food, discovering an indigenous people and their language, understanding Ayurveda or local styles of physical combat like Angampora, hiking unchartered trails or learning the history of our people, the island is a melting pot of opportunities to try something truly life changing.
5. Affordability – Various blogs and forums will tell on average, a traveler can live quite well on 50$ a day. Aside from travel, hotels and food; shopping, eating out and taking in sites are incredibly affordable. Sri Lanka boasts of malls lined with luxury brands, department stores that cater to the whole family and small shops and eateries that serve warm, large meals. Regardless of your budget, there is always a way to eat, shop and stay in Sri Lanka.
There is so much more to Sri Lanka to learn, everyday more hidden treasures are uncovered and shared by word–of–mouth. That new hiking trail, that food truck with the really good burgers, that cool spot with the view, that purely local insight can now also be found on our official Instagram/Youtube pages by searching for @sheneller or here and here.
This blog post is apart of our "This is Sri Lanka" initiative that began a little over two and a half years ago. The intent was to showcase the lesser known gems found all over the island and share a locals perspective. Over that last few years, the This is Sri Lanka initiative has seen collaboration with like minded bloggers, celebrities and companies who have banded together to create an informative and uplifting travel series about the island to showcase its many possibilities. Created and hosted by Shenelle and Shehaan, Make sure you head over to our Youtube Channel to view over 25 Cinematic travel vlogs we've created around Sri Lanka in the past year.
If you'd like to support our intiative and stay informed of next adventure do subscribe to our channel and check out our limited edition merchandise to promote Sri Lanka Tourism