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Fall in love with Sri Lanka this August!

Sri Lanka solo holiday

One Travellers Daniel Adams who has put this stunning holiday together has kindly written a guide on all things Sri Lanka! With our first ever Sri Lanka holiday heading out with much loved Tour Manager Jana in just a few weeks we thought we'd whet everyone else's appetitie for this remarkable holiday!


Ian and Daniel, who between them speak over 11 different languages(!) removes all barriers; you can be sure that every detail and every request is passed onto the hotels, airlines, tour Managers and anyone else that helps to fulfill the requests that mean so much to you as a traveller, no matter how small. This defines One Traveller and what we do and why we do it, we always strive for that true personal touch and from the feedback of our travellers, we continue to provide this.


Enjoy readings Daniels hardwork below; it's remarkable that an Island that is only about 25% larger than Wales can host such a wonderful and diverse environment!


Sri Lanka solo travelling guide


Sri Lanka’s diversity, cultural heritage and friendly locals with infectious smiles make it easy to fall under the island’s enchanting spell.


The Sinhalese arrived in Sri Lanka late in the 6th century B.C., probably from northern India. Buddhism was introduced in around the middle of the third century B.C., and a great civilization developed at the cities of Anuradhapura (kingdom from circa 200 B.C. to circa A.D. 1000) and Polonnaruwa (from about 1070 to 1200). In the 14th century, a south Indian dynasty seized power in the north and established a Tamil kingdom.


Occupied by the Portuguese in the 16th century and by the Dutch in the 17th century, the island was ceded to the British in 1796, became a crown colony in 1802, and was united under British rule by 1815.


As Ceylon, it became independent in 1948; its name was changed to Sri Lanka in 1972. Tensions between the Sinhalese majority and Tamil separatists erupted into war in 1983. After two decades of fighting, the government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam formalized a cease-fire in February 2002, with Norway brokering peace negotiations.


Did you Know?


Since 1948 Sri Lanka has been a full member of the Commonwealth.To complete this you will require the information below:


Sri Lanka was the first Commonwealth state to have a female prime minister. Sirimavo Bandaranaike served for three periods of office: 1960–65, 1970–77 and 1994–2000.


Scholarships are awarded by Sri Lanka to citizens of other Commonwealth countries under the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan.


Sanath Jayasuriya was Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World in 1996, as was Muttiah Muralitharan in 2000 and 2006.


Sri Lanka has the highest population density of elephants, almost 6,000!


Language


Sri Lanka has three main languages, Sinhalese, Tamil and English. English is spoken in many areas and compulsory in schools with some older style words used that we have long forgotten in our language.


Geography


Sri Lanka is an island off the southern tip of India covering some 25,300 square miles (65,600 sq km), making it 25% larger than Wales. The country lies north of the equator between 5.55‘ and 9.55‘. This means that all year round darkness falls between 6.30pm and 7.00pm. The country’s time zone is GMT +5.5 hours.


The coastline extends some 830 miles. The country is two thirds low, flat plains and one third mountains in the south-central interior. The highest point is Pidurutalagala at 8,200ft and there are natural deposits of limestone, graphite, mineral sands, clay and phosphates.


Climate


Due to its location close to the equator temperatures in Sri Lanka are constant throughout the year. In Colombo and Beruwela for your beach stay the daily maximum temperatures will be between 28 and 32 degrees with a drop of just 4 or 5 degrees in the evening. You may wish to bring a lightweight umbrella to shield yourself from the sun, particularly in open spaces, as it protects your head and shoulders much more efficiently than a hat.


As you head up country the lakes provide cooling breezes and evenings are a little cooler at around 22-24 degrees. In tea country you will be at 6,500ft, so temperatures will be 15-23 degrees for three days. We recommend you bring one or two warmer items such as a fleece and long trousers for this time.


Wildlife


Some 20% of the country is a dedicated national park and is home to 92 species of mammals! There are over 440 bird species, 242 butterfly & 117 dragonfly species, 190 reptile species (mainly lizards, crocodiles and turtles), 102 amphibian species and 107 species of fish!


Vegetation


Forest covers 29% of the land area; vegetation is rich and luxuriant, with a great variety of flowers, trees, creepers and flowering shrubs. The flora of Sri Lanka was described by Linnaeus in 1747 from specimens collected by a fellow botanist. Among the many species of trees are the rubber tree, palm, acacia, margosa, satinwood, Ceylon oak, tamarind, ebony, coral tree and banyan. Flowers and shrubs include the orchid and rhododendron. There are about 3,300 species of plants, 1,227 of which are native.


What to try


Tambili – Orange King Coconut (just 40 pence and a very refreshing drink - you’ll be hooked!)
Red banana – A whole new taste
Papaya – so juicy and delicious
Buffalo curd and treacle – great for breakfast
String hoppers – Sri Lankan style noodles
Potato curry – in a rich, creamy mild coronation sauce
Devilled cashew nuts – Spicy but nicey!
Ayurveda – Massages with essential oils to relax, nourish and enrich the skin. At excellent prices!


What to buy (do save some space!)


Batik – Beautiful cloths and sarongs
Handicrafts – Beautiful teak wood carvings and paintings
Shoes – Kandy has great shops and markets
Spices – For flavourings and health benefits
Gemstones – The blue sapphire in Lady Diana‘s (now the Duchess of Cambridge’s) engagement ring was gifted from Sri Lanka and the sapphires and gemstones mined here have exquisite quality.


We hope this has given you a nice insight to this incredible country; if you want to join our Sri Lanka holiday this year you can read more on Sri Lanka.





- 21st February 2014