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Traveling at the end of the year 2023: Do you have a thousand Indian rupees? Go to Sri Lanka

Separated from India by the Palk Strait, Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon (the ancient Greek geographers called it Taproban. The Arabs referred to it as Serendib), is one of the most popular destinations for Indian travellers. Known for its rolling tea plantations, historical monuments, silky beaches, a spread of sumptuous cuisine and its ancient association with the epic Ramayana, Sri Lanka is just a hop, skip, and a jump from India, and is extremely affordable.

Sri Lanka, an island nation in South Asia, boasts a rich tapestry of culture, stunning landscapes, and a history that unfolds like a living chronicle. (pixels)

Here’s a quick guide to the island nation, a country that can be explored within a minute $1 lakh budget.

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Important cities: Colombo, Kandy, Jaffna, Trincomalee, Home, Anuradhapura, Batticoloa, Nuwara Eliya, Negombo.

Secrets Tips

Must see/do: Udawalawe National Park to see elephants, explore the ancient wonders of Anuradhapura, visit the Tea Empire of Nuwara Eliya, watch leopards in Sri Lanka’s national parks, Dondra Cape to see whales (January to April), explore Kandy, famous for its Buddha relics, visit the well-known walled city of Galle With its colonial charm, experience Tamil culture in Jaffna, hike Viharamadevi Park, explore Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Adam’s Peak. (Read also: End-of-year travel: Have it $1 lakh? The Maldives is also an affordable option )

Should eat:

• Sri Lankan hoppers: Made from a fermented mixture of rice flour and coconut milk, hoppers are also known as appa or appam.

• Kottu: Roti cut and mixed with vegetables or meat of your choice

Secrets Tips

• Kiribath: rice pudding

• Curd made from buffalo milk

• Gotu Kola Kanda: Part soup, part porridge

• Saini Sambal: A mixture of chili powder, chopped onion, salt, grated coconut and Maldivian fish.

• Dal curry: Red lentils cooked in coconut milk with other spices

• Lamprais: Typical Sunday lunch, these are the Sri Lankan version of Dutch meatballs

• Ambul Thiyal Fish: Sour fish curry

• Watalapan: It resembles egg custard

• Love Cake: A cake made with aromatic spices and coconut milk.

What to buy: Tea, textile, abaya, handicrafts and spices. Gemstones, wooden handicrafts, traditional masks.

Where to buy: Pettah Market, Galle Face Green Market, Liberty Plaza, Crescat Road, Galle Fort Shopping Road, Kandy Market, Nuwara Eliya, Tea Factory Outlets, Ella Village Shopping Centre, Negombo Fish Market.

Packages:

• Sri Lanka – Bentota with Colombo (3 nights / 4 days): $19,000+. Book on: thomascook.in

• Sri Lanka – Wonders of Asia (6 nights / 7 days): $51,000+. Book on: thomascook.in

• Sri Lanka – Shri Ramayan Anant Yatra (5 nights / 6 days): $40,000+. Book on: thomascook.in

• Sri Lanka – Bentota – Kandy – Colombo (5 nights / 6 days): $55000+. Book on: makemytrip.com

• Colombo and Kandy: (3 nights / 4 days): $19,000+. Book on: sotc.in

• Sri Lanka Fort Town Tour (4 nights / 5 days): $44,000+. Book on: Cleartrip.com

• Sri Lanka Jewels (4 nights / 5 days): $49,000+. Book on: Cleartrip.com

Return Flight (Economy Class): The return flight from Mumbai-Colombo-Mumbai starts at 10:00 $27000+. Chennai-Colombo-Chennai flights are much cheaper and start from $18000+.

Visa: Indian citizens can enter without a visa and stay for up to 30 days.

Good to know:

Currency: 1 Sri Lankan Rupee = 0.26 Indian Rupees

Language: The main languages ​​in Sri Lanka are Sinhala and Tamil. However, most people associated with the hotel/tourism industry speak English.

Local transportation:

Taxis: Many taxi services – from luxury cars to Tata Nano – operate in Sri Lanka. You can easily spot minibuses thanks to their bright colors of red, yellow and silver and the bright display of calling numbers.

Bike: You can reserve bikes through Clean City Cycle Club.

Expo Rail: Expo Rail is the first luxury train of its kind and now operates on four main routes covering more than 60 major destinations.

Air Taxis: SriLankan Airlines’ air taxi service provides a quick trip across the island to most popular destinations. The service is also available as a connecting flight from the international airport to your holiday destination.

SLTB Express is an online portal for booking Sri Lanka Transport Board passenger transport services across Sri Lanka.

Use busbooking.lk to book bus seats 24/7.

Wi-Fi: Most hotels, restaurants, and cafes provide free Wi-Fi. You can purchase Dialog and Mobitel tourist packages valid for 30 days.

Security/Safety Tips:

• You must carry an official identification document at all times – a passport is accepted everywhere.

• Avoid crowded places, gatherings and demonstrations.

• Hijackers on two-wheelers are very common. Keep your money and important documents in a crossbody belt or wear a crossbody bag.

• If your bag has a shoulder strap, do not wrap the strap around your arm or shoulder and do not try to hold on to your bag. People were being pulled to the ground by the straps of their bags.

• Do not let your credit/debit card out of your sight while making transactions.

• Only use ATMs of major banks or hotels.

• Don’t accept drinks from strangers – spiked drinks are common.

• Alcohol is not usually available on religious holidays.

• There are strict penalties for drug crimes, terrorism and all other serious crimes.

• Do not use binoculars to look, take photos, or fly drones near government buildings, vehicles used by VIPs, or military bases.

careermotto

A self-motivated and hard-working individual, I am currently engaged in the field of digital marketing to pursue my passion of writing and strategising. I have been awarded an MSc in Marketing and Strategy with Distinction by the University of Warwick with a special focus in Mobile Marketing. On the other hand, I have earned my undergraduate degrees in Liberal Education and Business Administration from FLAME University with a specialisation in Marketing and Psychology.

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