A visitor to this little island will always have dozens of attractive places to visit and things to do while on holiday. Although these sightseeing destinations are remarkable, not everyone experiences the country as the locals do. Immerse in the culture, wander off the beaten path, and gain the real Sri Lankan experience.
1. Mingle with the locals
Sri Lankans are some of the friendliest people and are always willing to spark a conversation! A stranger’s random interest in your travel itinerary may seem unusual, yet it is simply good old-fashioned curiosity. Whether it is a shopkeeper, tuk tuk driver, or a friendly local in the public bus, every conversation will be interesting. Be inquisitive and ask questions! Apart from sharing their own personal stories, most Sri Lankans will happily talk about the country and the best local haunts.
2. Shop somewhere else
Although the bright malls in Colombo city are the primary shopping destinations, the local market in Sri Lanka has loads to offer. Step out onto the streets of Pettah or Maharagama, which are an explosion of sound and colour. These smaller shops have varieties of affordable and unique things, provided you don’t drown in the sea of busy shoppers! After all, bargaining with a friendly shopkeeper over fifty rupees is the essence of a Lankan experience.
3. Be an explorer
It’s time to be adventurous and explore Sri Lanka by foot. As long as one has GPS, it’s hard to get lost in Sri Lanka. Leave the air-conditioned cabs behind and step into a tuk tuk or public bus. Within Colombo, the public bus routes are incredibly easy, so hop on a bus and explore a different part of the city. The roads are filled with tuk tuks and drivers who know all the local routes. Visit lesser known attractions such as a quiet Hindu temple tucked away in the city or a small restaurant loved by the locals.
4. Everyday Sri Lankan experiences
Get a taste of what it is like to live on this beautiful island. Enjoy a spicy rice and curry meal at a local kadey and leave the forks and spoons behind! Eat this delicious meal with a Sri Lankan’s most used utensils – their hands. Religion is a vital part of Sri Lankan culture, and there’s always something festive going on, whether it’s the lanterns of Vesak or bright lights of Christmas! Witnessing a loud and vibrant perahera on the roads is an once-in-a-lifetime experience. Most importantly, Sri Lankans simply love to have fun! Party with the locals and dance along to baila music, even at a cricket match if you’re lucky! After all, no one parties like the Lankans do.