Sri Lanka Overview
Sri Lanka, like a jewel, this lush green island is a haven of palm fronds, endless sandy beaches and coastal villages along the Indian Ocean. The interior elevates to undulating hill country with clear air, fascinating tea estates and picturesque waterfalls. Ancient cities, temples and statues lie nestled within the beautiful groves of these hills.
With it's Buddhist roots stretching back to 247BC, Sri Lanka has the longest history of Buddhism in the world and boasts the classic sites of Anuradhpura, the 5th century capital of Sri Lanka, rock carvings of Isurmuniya Viharaya and the Dambulla Cave Temples. The Temple of The Tooth at Kandy and the famous Buddha figures carved out of rock at Polonnaruwa are now world heritage sites. In contrast, the golf courses at Nuwara Eliya are amongst the finest in Asia, and the sights and sounds of the local stilt fisherman and working elephants provide unforgettable memories.
All this, along with the tranquil beach resorts of the Indian Ocean, give a breathtaking sweep of holiday possibilities that few countries can match.
- Because there are many waterfalls in Sri Lanka, hydro-power provides most of the country's electricity via power houses near the waterfalls.
- Sri Lanka, along with Malaysia, provides 70% of the world’s rubber. In 1876, 700,000 rubber plant seeds were stolen from Brazil and taken to London for planting. Two thousand of these seedlings were grown in Sri Lanka and later spread to Malaysia.
- Sri Lanka is the world’s largest tea exporter.
- The spice cinnamon originated in Sri Lanka and was discovered by the Egyptians.
- Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon before 1972.
- The majority of the population in Sri Lanka follows Buddhism, which arrived in Sri Lanka in 3rd century BC.
- The national flag of Sri Lanka, the Lion Flag, is considered to be one of the oldest flags in the world.
- To most people around the world nodding your head up and down means yes and moving it back and forth means no. It is the complete opposite in Sri Lanka!
- Sri lanka was the first country in the world to have a democratically elected head of state who was a woman.
- Sri Lanka is home to 242 species of butterflies, with 42 species being endemic.
- Colombo (capital busy city) & Cinnamon Gardens and The Forth
- Dambulla Temple – the largest cave monastery in the Sri Lanka
- Peradeniya Botanical Garden (spreads over 147 acres)
- Evening cultural show - Kandy
- Thirsty?...Don’t forget to try the country’s best tea Ceylon Tea, a Toddy drink (natural palm Juice) and Arrack, Sri Lanka’s best beer.
- In Colombo visit Mt Lavina restaurant where you will find the best seafood in town with sea views.
- Don’t forget to try fresh Indian Ocean king prawns.
- Try the local cuisine! Kothu rotti is made of bits of rotti, onion, tomatoes, chillies and your choice of meat. However be careful, local cuisine can be spicy!
- Forget about tap water and drink bottled water only.
- In Colombo, visit the Buddhist Gangarama Vihara temple filled with Buddhist art. Make sure you take off your shoes & hat before you go in. Woman should cover the legs and arms and men should avoid wearing shorts.
- Make sure you buy alcohol before full moon days. There will be no hotel bars, night clubs, casinos or local stores selling alcohol in respect to these religious days.
- Stroll around Colombo city; you will find handicrafts on sale. One of the the best shops in Colombo for local handicrafts is Lanka Hands at Bauddhaloka Mawatha, where you will find jewellery and Sinhalese masks.
- Pop into the Colombo National Museum, where you will find the ancient paintings which reflect the 4th century BC.
- Keep some cash with you if you want to take pictures at certain sites, where fees maybe applied.
- Indulge in a local treatments like foot and head messages, which the region is famous for.
- Take an exciting ride in a Trishaw for a short journey around town. The three-wheeled chariot is the mainstay of Sri Lankan transport.
SRI LANKAN AIRLINESA daily service from London Heathrow to Colombo. There are a range of pre-departure facilities such as online check-in or choose your seat.
General Facilities include:
- A choice of video and audio channels on the personal seatback TV, including special programming for children.
- Complimentary food and drinks with an option reserve your meal.
Economy Class - seat pitch approx. 32”; luggage allowance 30kgs
Business Class – seat pitch approx. 48” (19.5” wide); luggage allowance 40kgs. Each seat is electronically operated with an adjustable footrest, headrest, and lumbar-support, and own reading lamp.
To Colombo via Dubai - flights from six regional airports: London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, and Glasgow. There are a range of pre-departure facilities such as online check-in, choose your seat and print your boarding card.
General Facilities include:
- “ice” entertainment system – personal seatback monitors provide up to 1200 channels to choose from (international movies, TV programs, music, video games) in all classes.
- Dining - choose from regionally inspired dishes with locally sourced ingredients and free drinks in all classes.
Economy Class – seat pitch approx. 32-33”; luggage allowance 30kgs.
Business Class – seat pitch approx. 48-60” / lie-flat beds approx. 79” long; luggage allowance 40kgs. Priority check-in & baggage handling; complimentary chauffeur-drive service (mileage restrictions apply); executive lounges in the UK and Dubai.
First Class – seat pitch approx. 69”; luggage allowance 50kgs. First class passengers enjoy individual private suites on selected aircraft; personal mini-bar; exclusive cabin crew service; dining service with fine wines and champagne.