Backpackers, nature lovers and foodies rejoice – because I have a hot new contender for the best travel destination for not only 2018, but of all time. You’ll want to keep on reading but if I was you, I’d pop open a Skyscanner tab now and start searching for your flights because this is one country you do not want to miss.
Sri Lanka is the new ‘Jenny on the block’ and I can list so many reasons why it should be on everyone’s 2018 travel bucket list. So fuel your wanderlust and book that first flight of the year to the land of endless tea plantations and palm tree dotted beaches. I am certain that you’ll be as hooked as I was.
Sri Lankan food is healthy, fresh and so DAMN TASTY.
I find myself rating each destination that I travel to based on how much I enjoy the food. Alike most people, I usually get to the two-week mark when I start to crave a home cooked meal and a gigantic green smoothie. Although this was not the case with Sri Lankan food. In fact, I have been searching long and far for a decent Sri Lankan restaurant in Australia and am tempted to go back purely for the food.
The diversity in destinations is unreal.
I was constantly comparing the size of Sri Lanka to Australia in awe of just how much there was to do and see in such a compact country. I can guarantee you that it will feel like you are going to four different Asian countries in the one – and you can have this euphoria within 30 minutes of driving from point to point. Pristine beaches, National Parks with Elephants and Leopards, endless tea plantations, historical rock fortresses, cave temples, mountainous ranges…you name it, Sri Lanka’s got it.
Sri Lankan people have hearts of gold.
There were so many little memories that wouldn’t have been so special if it wasn’t for the people. Some of the best experiences with the locals came down to our tuk-tuk rides. Whenever we had a good tuk-tuk trip, we would grab their number so they could be our driver for the period of our stay. This gave us this opportunity to build a relationship and learn a lot more about their culture and lifestyle. We were even invited into one of their homes to meet their family and get to know one another over afternoon tea. Oh and my Dad also got to drive the tuk-tuk!
Sri Lanka is affordable and suitable for almost everyone.
Sri Lanka is one of those places that caters for pretty much any budget and anyone. So whether you are looking for a luxury getaway, family friendly trip or want to do the whole Nomadic Matt ‘Travel for under $50 a day’ then you can be certain that your expectations will be met and most likely exceeded.
It’s definitely a solo traveller friendly destination.
No matter where you go, you should always exercise with caution, but I am positive that Sri Lanka is a safe destination for solo travellers, whether male or female. I will admit, I did have moments of uncertainty when we were catching the first public bus out of Colombo but it was very evidently just a sense of curiosity.
The seasons are pretty top notch.
Sri Lanka is generally a year round destination for travel which is super exciting considering its neighbouring countries don’t share the same perks. If you have ultimate flexibility I would highly suggest travel in January – April or mid-July-September, this way you can avoid the two monsoon seasons and get the most out of your trip without having to don your best raincoat. Here’s more information on the seasons and weather in Sri Lanka.
There are now direct flights from Australia.
Sri Lankan Airlines has recently introduced direct flights from Melbourne to Colombo so now there is no need for any stop overs out of Australia. I say Hallelujah! Flights depart once a day and the total flight time is just under 11 hours – which is absolutely amazing! For all you other non-Aussies, there are plenty of flight choices for you guys. Go hop on Skyscanner and have a look for yourself.
You will never be bored or underwhelmed.
Sri Lanka is the country that just keeps giving. Want to try your hand at surfing? Head to Arugam Bay. Been dying to see Elephants in their natural habitat? Go on a safari in Udawalawe National Park. Fancy sipping on fresh, local tea, all day, every day? Make your way to Ella.
I spent a month travelling around Sri Lanka, and although it’s size may be deceivingly small, there is still so much that I haven’t seen. It really is an incredible, diverse and beautiful country that deserves to be explored. If you are lucky enough to head over to Sri Lanka this year, please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions about itineraries, things to do, places to stay…I LOVE ALL THINGS SRI LANKA and I will be super pumped/jealous for/of you. For now, I am going to let the photographs do the rest of the talking.
All the love in the world,