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Solo Experiences in Sri Lanka

Whether you’re here alone or with friends and family, Sri Lanka has a way of adopting you and making you feel at home. Maybe it’s the friendly people or maybe it’s the culture steeped in history, either way there’s always something to intrigue the soul here.

If you’re travelling in Sri Lanka alone, here are a few things you mustn’t miss out on.

1. Nature

Sri Lanka’s flourishing biodiversity is one of the country’s closely-protected treasures.There are hundreds of endemic animal species as well as plants spread out around the country, and its climate accommodates a wide variety of flora and fauna to thrive. If you’re in Sri Lanka, one thing you mustn’t miss out on is visiting the island’s nature parks, rainforests, or bird sanctuaries. The land animals most commonly associated with Sri Lanka includes the Asian elephant subspecies Elephas maximus and a variety of Old World monkeys, all of which could be seen across the country.

2. Beaches and the Ocean

As Sri Lanka is an island, there’s bound to be tons of great beaches all around. This is, in fact, true. Sri Lanka’s beaches are not only beautiful, but also quite active. You can surf, snorkel, swim, and even bump into a few sea turtles now and then. If you’re worried about shark attacks, you shouldn’t be. Though they are already relatively rare across the globe, there are no incidents of shark attacks close to Sri Lanka’s shores. Of course, this doesn’t mean there’s a lack of sharks, though. Places like Trincomalee are positively teeming with them, especially along the coral reefs, where you could find blacktip reef sharks. Whales and dolphins are plentiful in Sri Lanka’s waters, and that’s just another reason to pay it a lengthy visit.

3. Villages

The city has a lot to offer tourists, of course, but the villages is where you can find heart. Keeping to the old ways, you could still find in rural areas mud huts and thatched roofs, woodfire stoves, and traditional Sri Lankan clothing (sarong, redda hatte). The air is unpolluted and greenery is abundant.

It’s a quiet sort of escape from the hustle and bustle of the cities and towns. If you’re keen on exploring Sri Lankan culture, dropping by a few rural villages is highly recommended.

4. Street food

Sri Lankan cuisine is a combination of various other cuisines in the region as well as authentically Sri Lankan styles. A chunk of the local cuisine was built on the influences of the country’s minorities, such as the Malays and Tamils, which is why some of these dishes bear a striking resemblance to South Indian and Malaysian foods. The foods available here are variegated and there’s something to fit every palate, even the more sensitive ones. For example, appa (hopper), a type of local pancake, is served with an egg in the centre and a type of ground-up chilli paste, but kiri appa (milk hopper) is actually closer to dessert and is quite easy on both the tongue and the stomach.

5. Peraheras

A perahera is a grand progression involving dancers, elephants, monkeys, instruments, and more. They only take place on certain nights of the year, but is filled with colour and light, and is near-luxurious.

If you happen to be in the country during the season, it’s worth catching a glimpse of these progressions. The twirling fire dancers, traditional music, fairy lights, and densely embroidered Kandyan costumes do not disappoint!