Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sri Lanka is equipped with 14,000 rooms in 250 hotels to cater to half a million tourists

The present capacity of the leisure sector will be sufficient to meet the current requirement but these hotels need to be refurbished. Considering the target of 2.5 million tourists by 2015, the present capacity of accommodation will not be sufficient, a senior tourism official said.
Read Full sotry

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ideas for your next trip to Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, you can discover the splendid cultural heritage sites and the ancient temples, witness the dramatic landscapes and the spectacular countryside of the tea highlands, experience wildlife at the largest national park and have a memorable experience at relaxing beach resorts. 

Ancient Glory - Cultural Sites: 
The remains of the ancient cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa feature enormous dagobas (dome-shaped structures) and statues of the Buddha. Dambulla has an awesome stairway, while Sigiriya is a rock with the remains of a palace on the summit and sensual frescoes. These four World Heritage Sites are situated within a compact area called the Cultural Triangle. Visit Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Kandy 


Eco-tourism - Wild-life Parks: 
There are 14 National Parks in Sri Lanka which offer the chance to see some of the 91 mammals (16 endemic) - elephant, leopard, sloth bear, sambhur, spotted deer, hog, mouse- and barking-deer, wild boar, porcupine, ant-eater, civet cat, loris, giant squirrel, and monkeys such as the macaque, purple-faced leaf monkey and grey langur.. The largest of the parks is Yala, where jeep safaris provide close encounters with leopards and also abundant bird-life. The best park to see elephants is Uda Walawe
Yala (Ruhuna) National Park 
Uda Walawe National Park
Wasgamuwa National Park 
Horton Plains National Park 
Gal Oya National Park
Sinharaja World Heritage Forest

Sea, Sand and Sun - Beaches
Beaches totalling 1,340km fringe the island, from the long-established tourist destinations of the southern coast, to the vast beaches of the deep south, and the less-visited expanses of the north and east. No matter what time of the year, you can find a beach that is in season and just waiting to welcome you to its warm sands.
Ambalangoda | Arugam Bay | Batticaloa | Bentota | Beruwala | Hikkaduwa | Kalkudah | Mt. Lavinia | Negombo | Nilaveli | Trincomalee | Unawatuna | Weligama

Natural Wonders - World Heritage Sites
Sri Lanka.s cultural depth is recognized by UNESCO, which has declared six archaeological World Heritage Sites. 
Sacred City of Kandy
Sacred City of Anuradhapura 
Ancient City of Polonnaruwa 
Ancient City of Sigriya 
Golden Temple of Dambulla: 
Old Town of Galle and its Fortification
Sinharaja Forest Reserve

Places you should not miss to visit: 
Cultural Triangle - Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Dambulla, Sigiriya 
The hill country - Royal capital of Kandy, home to the Dalada Maligawa
Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage
Pinnewela Elephant Orphanage
Aquatic Sports
wind-surfing, water-skiing,  
surfing, sailing, scuba-diving (including wreck-diving), snorkelling, speed-boating and banana-boating. 
In addition, there are plentiful freshwater opportunities in rivers and .tanks. (reservoirs), such as kayaking and canoeing, and most adrenaline-pumping of all, white-water rafting. 

Trip to Sinharaja Rain Forest

Trail Map of Sinharaja    
Travel Information

Singharaja Forest Reserve is the most famous rainforest of the country. This tropical rain forest is a living heritage. Bio diversity of the forest is very high and a large proportion of the flora in this forest is endemic to the country and some endemic to the Singharaja Forest itself. This is a very good place to see many endemic birds such as Ceylon Lorikeet, Layard's parakeet, Jungle and Spur Fowl, Ceylon Wood Pigeon, Grey Hombill, Spotted wing Thrush, Rufous and Brown- capped Babbler, Ashy-headed Laughing Thrush, Ceylon Blue Magpie, White Headed Starling, Ceylon Hill Mynha, Legge's Flowerpecker. The clear cut roads in to the jungle provide easy access to the forest. This important forest is a Man and Biosphere Forest reserve and it is considered as a World Heritage Site.

Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa for culture tourism

The 400ft Dagabas as tall as the pyramids and the remains of ruined cities, large man made lakes of a great highly advanced civilization older than the recorded history at Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa.

Anuradhapura sacred ancient city was founded in the 04th century B.C and it is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1982. It has the largest number of ancient monuments of the great Sinhala civilization which flourished in this region.

Places to visit:
Isurumuniya, Sri Maha Bodhi, Ruwanweli Saya, Thuparama, Abayagiriya, Moonstone, Jethawanaramaya, Samadhi Buddha Statue, Twin Ponds, The Jethawana Musume.

Pothgul vehera, Palace and audience hall of King Nissankamalla, Palace and audience hall of King Parakramabahu, Siva Devala, Watadage, Thuparama, Alarakaramaya, Lankathilaka, Pabulu Vehera, Kiri Vehera, Gal Viharaya, Lotus Pond and the Thiwanka Pilimage.

Trip to Arugam Bay - surfing destination Sri Lanka

Located in the dry zone of Sri Lanka’s South-East coast, shrouded by the wide spread wetlands, lagoons and jungles encompassing a variety of flora and fauna lies Arugam Bay, a fishing village two and a half kilometers south of Pottuvil. The area belongs to the Ampara district.
Arugam Point at the Arugam Bay in Sri Lanka be...Image via WikipediaOverall humid climate prevails at Arugam Bay. A slight breeze sweeps by from the North-East. Usually, showers are expected in September and October.
 The surfing season is at its peak between June and October. This is when many holidaymakers and surfers hit the beach. Diving is also a favourite pastime with visitors because the area comprises many ship-wrecks that are a challenge to explore. You can also catch sight of wild elephants in the long, deserted beach leading down to Crocodile Rock.
Fishing and farming are the main occupations at Arugam Bay. Farmers cultivate paddy while raring cattle to produce dairy products. Ullae situated towards the corner of the bay is an ideal fishing harbour. Therefore families of fishing communities tend to settle down in temporary palm huts on the beach to earn their living. Most of them are Tamil Christians and Hindus. However there are a few Sinhalese fisher families as well.
The area is rooted with our ancestry and evidence of its remains lies hidden in the jungles of the area. Excavations of a 2000 year old temple, Modu Maha Vihare, which lies within the boarders of Pottuvil, is one such example. Despite being shadowed by the three decades of terrorism and struck by tsunami, Arugam Bay has emerged today as one of the country’s leading tourist destinations offering its visitors a variety of entertainment and activities at an economically friendly price. The area even received the Best Destination Award at the World Travel Market World Responsible Tourism Awards in 2007 for its contribution to biodiversity conservation.
Things to do at Arugam Bay:
* Wind- surfing
* Rafting
* Diving
* Fishing
* Swimming
* Underwater photography
* Canoeing
* Bird watching
* Sun bathing
* Strolling
* Bicycling
Enhanced by Zemanta

Beaches of Sri Lanka - Sea, Sand and Sun

In Sri Lanka, a beach is always less than 70 miles away. No crowds, even on weekends.
Plenty of free parking.

Bentota- The beach, coral reefs, river and ecology makes a water sports paradise.
Beruwala- Ancient Sea farers of Arabia used this natural bay.
Negombo- Closest Beach to the Airport
Mount Lavinia- Closest beach to Colombo and has a colonial touch in the
Kalutara- A great Beach and River with water sports and adventure facilities.
Ahungalla- A fine beach in down south with lots of facilities.
Ambalangoda- An important ecolological mangove environment and mask dancing
makes Ambalangoda a special beach city.
Hikkaduwa- A beach with entertaining night life and Scuba Diving
Galle- A world heritage city with a fine Dutch Fort.
Unawatuna- One of best best places in Sri Lanka with Scuba Diving Locations.
Mirissa- A fishing town and a great place to relax
Koggala- A great beach in down south where you can see stilt fishing
Weligama- A fine location for a relaxing beach holiday
Matara- A great beach city with a star shaped Dutch fort
Tangalle- A fishery harbor town with scuba diving and a long beach
Hambantota- A great fishery harbor and a beach with wild life around.

Trincomalee - The eastern beach city has one of best natural harbors in the world
Nilaweli- A great long wide beach with great Scuba diving location
Arugam Bay- This eastern bay is great for surfing and Scuba Diving
Passekudah- A fine beach in the east coast
Kalkudah- A finest beach in east coast on the way to Batticaloa
Batticaloa- One of Sri Lanka's largest lagoons and beaches in the east coast.

Kalpitiya- Less famous but a great scuba diving location with a lagoon.
PuttlaM The lagoon and Beach in this town with a Dutch Fort.
Marawila- This is a calm and quite beach for a relaxing beach holiday.

Download Free Travel Guides on Sri Lanka

National Parks and Wild Life Reserves 
Serendib Magazine - "Best for blue" 
Gathering of elephants 
Primates of Sri Lanka 
Pink Dolphins 
Sri Lanka National Parks and Reserves de Silva Wijeyeratne, G. (2008). Sri Lanka National Parks and Reserves. 2nd Edition. Sri Lanka Tourism: Colombo. 56 pages. 
Sri Lanka National Parks and Reserves Part 2 de Silva Wijeyeratne, G. (2008). Sri Lanka National Parks and Reserves. 2nd Edition. Sri Lanka Tourism: Colombo. 56 pages. 
Sri Lanka Wildlife Itineraries Part 1: de Silva Wijeyeratne, G. (2008). Sri Lanka Wildlife Itineraries: A Guide for Eco Travellers. 1st Edition. Sri Lanka Tourism: Colombo. 34 pages. 
Sri Lanka Wildlife Itineraries Part 2 : de Silva Wijeyeratne, G. (2008). Sri Lanka Wildlife Itineraries: A Guide for Eco Travellers. 1st Edition. Sri Lanka Tourism: Colombo. 34 pages. 
The Endemic Birds of Sri Lanka de Silva Wijeyeratne, G. (2010). The Endemic Birds of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Colombo. e Edition. 44 pages. A5. A photographic guide to the endemic birds of Sri Lanka with descriptions and illustrations of each species. 
A Pictorial Guide and Checklist of the Birds of Sri Lanka de Silva Wijeyeratne, G. (2010). A Pictorial Guide and Checklist of the Birds of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Colombo. e Edition. 66 pages. A4. A lavishly produced checklist with photographic plates facing the checklist pages. Photographs of 281 species. The checklists contain a map of key birding sites in Sri Lanka, a booklist, a discussion on the uses of a checklist and the nomenclature, taxonomy and the status of birds as used in the checklist. Twenty one columns of tick boxes. 

Trip to Ella Sri Lanka - Ravana Ella

The Ravana Ella cave lies 4,500 feet above sea level on the foundation of a cliff in Uva. This beautiful tourist location is at a 7 miles distance from Bandarawela. The spectacular Ravana Ella falls is a little more distant from here and is known to be one of the widest falls of Sri Lanka. The grandeur of the Ravana fall is its wild look amidst wilderness. Ravana Ella pours itself down to the Ella gorge. The water finds it course down in three stages for 9 metres and then curves itself in a stream.
The Ravana Ella has its roots connected to the times of the famous eastern epic, Ramayana and it has been named after the brawny daemon ruler of Lanka, Ravana. It is said that after kidnapping Sita, Ravana had hidden her at the caves behind this waterfall when Shri Rama was drawing close to Lanka with his army to rescue her.
Ravana FallsImage by mahesh_f via FlickrThe cave came to be known as Ravana Ella cave. The place was then a thick afforested region in the midst of wilderness. Rama's queen is believed to have wandered around here while she was confined. She also bathed in a pool that accumulated its eddying water from these Ravana Falls.
It originates from the dense Wewatenna highland and amasses its water from a tributary of River Kirindi. Posited on the Ella-Wellawaya Road, the Ravana Ella falls is about 30 foot high and is perceptible from the main road.
Its beauty lies in the fact that it is located in a strikingly beautiful backdrop of mountains and valleys and its water gushes down over many stairs. The place is a favoured stop to rest for pilgrims.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Trip to Hikkaduwa - Beach and the Coral Reef

The Hikkaduwa beach is situated 98 km from Colombo towards the south of Sri Lanka.

Galle Beach, Sri LankaImage via WikipediaThis fun coastal town 14kms from Galle was the first in the 1960’s of Sri Lanka’s beautiful beaches to be discovered by tourists. Snorkelling and diving in the clear waters are the major past-time along this stretch and is the most environmentally friendly way to see the colourful fish that dart around. The coral sanctuary found on
the coast of Hikkaduwa is a large shallow expanse of water enclosed by a reef, decorated with layers of multi coloured corals, which is home to countless number of colourful fish.
Off the beach there is a collection of tiny islets surrounded by beautiful coral formations.
Plenty of beach front accommodation and a reputation as the second best surf spot in Sri Lanka by the international board-riding set are the reasons for many tourists to visit Hikkaduwa.
The beaches are fine, wide and swimming is safe here. The impressive coral reef runs just offshore and is still populated by exotic fish and sea turtles.
There are many shops selling Masks, Gems, Jewellery, Batik, Antiques and curios etc. along with several Buddhist replicas and items, all which add spice to life at Hikkaduwa.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Trip to Kandy

Kandy, is still very much a focal point of Sri Lankan culture and home of the Dalada Maligawa, one of Buddhism's most sacred temple grounds containing the palace of Sri Lanka's former king and the holy of holies, the repository of an actual tooth relic of the Lord Buddha.
Temple Dalada Maligawa in the city Kandy in Sr...Image via Wikipedia
Enhanced by Zemanta

New York Times rank Sri Lanka as the best place to visit in 2010

New York Times on its article on "The 31 Places to go in 2010" ranked Sri Lanka as the No 1 Place to visit this year.
It says "The island, with a population of just 20 million, feels like one big tropical zoo: elephants roam freely, water buffaloes idle in paddy fields and monkeys swing from trees. And then there’s the pristine coastline. The miles of sugary white sand flanked by bamboo groves that were off-limits to most visitors until recently are a happy, if unintended byproduct of the war."
Read the full article

Volunteer vacation projects in Sri Lanka

For such a small island Sri Lanka has many riches that continue to lure travellers; here you find waterfalls, beaches, excellent bird watching, fascinating culture, jungle and national parks. Volunteers can experience the amazing way of life in this beautiful island country of Sri Lanka by joining one of these volunteer vacation holiday projects. 

Teach English 

Volunteer to teach English and experience living in a local community in rural Sri Lanka

Volunteers live with a local family in the village to be immersed in the local Sri Lankan culture. For such a small island, Sri Lanka has many riches that continue to lure travelers, such as the waterfalls, beaches, excellent bird watching, fascinating culture, jungle and national parks that you can find here in abundance.
The project is based in the village of Mahavilachchiya, which borders the Vilpaththu National Park. It is about one hour by car north of Anuradhapura, the largest and oldest of Sri Lanka's ancient cities.

Working with Elephants 

Volunteer to monitor elephants and experience the rich culture of one of Asia's finest islands 

Working alongside field scientists cataloging and conducting surveys in the forests, on the grass plains and in the water holes; you will help wildlife conservation whilst discovering the spectacular waterfalls, beaches, bird watching, fascinating culture, forests and a variety of national parks that Sri Lanka contains. You will help the endangered Sri Lankan elephants by aiding human-elephant conflict resolution and the effort to develop sustainable conservation strategies to protect the elephants. You can also be a part of the ground work in establishing the first Trans-Climatic Zone National Park in Sri Lanka.
The project is located in the central province of the island of Sri Lanka in the Matale District, yet a number of field bases will be established in the future. Presently the main base is situated on the southern boundary of the Wasgamuwa National Park in the Matale district. Our locations are extremely remote, which means you will be at least two hours from the closest internet café. There is no electricity and only patchy mobile / telephone signals.
More Projects from ifre >>

Why visit Sri Lanka

It may well be that each of Sri Lanka's attractions is surpassed
somewhere on Earth; Cambodia may have more impressive ruins, Tahiti
lovelier beaches, Bali more beautiful landscapes (though I doubt it),
Thailand more charming people (ditto).  But it hard to believe
that there is any country which scores so highly in all departments -
which has so many advantages and so few disadvantages, especially for
the western visitor." 
For a country of that size (about the size of West Virginia or
Ireland) things one can do are amazing: surfing, wind surfing, scuba 
diving, rock/mountain climbing, searching for ancient ruins, wildlife, 
corral reefs, gemstones, spices, rituals, ...