Welcome to Asia

The continent home to the majority of the human population, Asia is the earth’s largest continent with a wide range of languages and religions. From 1 to 1800 A.D. China and India were considered the largest economies in the world and attracted many to the east. Asia consists of 48 UN member countries and 6 other states.

Colombo is Sri Lanka’s largest city as well as its capital. While beaches tend to be the real draw for a holiday in Sri Lanka, if you take a break from sunning and relaxing on the beach and head into the capital, you’ll be able to see a lot more of the Sri Lankan culture. There’s a mix of modern buildings and ancient temples, high-fashion shopping malls and pretty parks, and much more. Come explore Colombo no matter how short your time in Sri Lanka is. Once you get past the sprawling city layout and crowded city centres, you’ll find that the city grows on you, and the longer you stay, the more you’ll love Colombo.

The people of Sri Lanka are lovely, but “value destinations” often come with hidden dangers. If you are planning a trip beware of these five scams for tourists.

Travelling within Sri Lankan borders is a fairly easy task, though commercial flights are limited to daily flights between Colombo and Jaffna. Buses and trains are therefore the most popular mode of transportation between cities, with pros and cons to each. There is one option that is often overlooked, but it’s the perfect way to enjoy seeing important sites and cities in Sri Lanka. Take a tour of the country via bike and you’ll be able to cycle around historic sites and make your own schedule. Use our sample itinerary to help you plan distances and places you’ll be able to see in just 9 days on the road.

It’s sweet, it’s spicy, it’s vegetarian, it is, really whatever you want it to be. Kottu is the food of Sri Lanka, and you would be crazy to leave without taking a bite. Also known as kothu or koththu Roti, this dish is made primarily of Godhamba roti, spices and fried vegetables, with optional add-on ingredients of egg, meat, fish and cheese.

Colombo is Sri Lanka’s largest city and the commercial capital. As such, there will be much to explore here, but if there is one destination you shall not miss, it is the Pettah Market. Arranged in traditional bazaar layout, you will find each street devoted to a different type of good. Merchandise is piled high in tiny shops and laid out for purchase along the pavement. Whether you are looking to stock up on traditional goods, purchase fresh produce for the day’s meal, or just ingest the sights and sounds of Colombo, the Pettah Market is the place to be.

Right in the centre of Sri Lanka is a triangle of three cities that will make for a perfect excursion. Each of these cities holds exciting ancient ruins and monumental religious temples. The triangle is home to five of Sri Lanka’s seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which you can find among the most exciting places to visit in the Cultural Triangle.

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When headed off to Sri Lanka, depending on where you go, it can either be easy to communicate or hard to understand how much your daily purchases might be. Though many tourist areas will be privy to the English language, it may still come in handy to learn a few phrases or words in case of trouble or at the very least, to lend a respectful tone. The language to know is Sinhala and these phrases or words will help.

Anywhere you choose to dine in Sri Lanka is going to be a great experience. The cuisine of this island country is unlike any other, and with a wide assortment of places to choose from, you’ll have a hard time picking just one place for lunch or dinner! Cuisine from the Cultural Triangle tends to be based off meals and traditions from Kandy—the most populous city in the Triangle. Kandyan cuisine has a distinct flavour and traditional Sri Lankan food is a wonderful mix of taste, colour and aroma. The island’s location made it a popular stopping off point for foreign traders so indigenous spices such as cinnamon and cloves have been enriched by diverse culinary influences from around the world.

Northern Sri Lanka has been known as the Rajarata, or “The King’s Land” for millennia. Nowadays, this traditional name for this region has been surpassed in popularity by a more modern name--the Cultural Triangle. The origins of the name date back to the 1970s and the Sri Lankan government’s attempt to restore and promote the region’s great ruined monuments for the modern tourist industry – perhaps inspired by the “golden triangles” of Thailand and India.

While the capital city and coastal towns have clear enticements, don’t forget about the smaller cities, towns and villages in Sri Lanka that can capture your imagination and show you the natural beauty this country is known for. Head for the hills (literally) to experience a different economic environment, friendly, approachable people and an easygoing, relaxed culture of work and life.

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