07 Mar 2022

3 local experiences you cannot miss in Sri Lanka


Going local adds many dimensions to your understating of what makes this gorgeous spice island so alluring. The offerings of the carved in stone tours may take care of your thirst for the new. But you have to break free to get under the skin of the places that you visit. And the way to go is to do as the locals do and come up trumps, when it comes to culture hot holidays experiences.

Sunset Drama at Galle Fort

The historic Galle fort was the heart of colonial trading wars. A small coastal garrison town established by the Portuguese in the 16th century it was wrested by the Dutch who found it very useful for their trading activities. To further protect this well-positioned port town, they expanded it and ramped up the fortifications. Galle Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site today. When you are done with the sightseeing of this historic port town with its cobbled streets lined up with shops, cafés and restaurants and souvenir shops, head out for the ramparts and join locals ooh and ahh over the fabulous glorious sunset and revel in the cooling sea breezes. Even the locals can’t get enough of this daily drama over the ocean!

Bike Night in Colombo after Dark

Forget your blues and hop on to a bike to discover Colombo’s Arcade, Pettah and Slave Island areas by night. There’s a magical feel to the place when the stars come out in attendance with the moon as she shines down on her subjects in this historic port town. As you silently whizz along on your two wheels past the landmark attractions in the city, illuminated gently in the glow of the street lamps, the play of light and shadow on their silhouettes can be a mesmerising sight. There are silent streets and bustling streets...each has its own atmospheric world to share in the dark of the night. Wrap up this adrenalin-pumping tour join the local gentry enjoying a beer or two at the Bavarian German pub overlooking the Indian Ocean.

Doing it the Jaffna way

The relatively quiet vibes of Jaffna get quite a twist when you join the locals at the vibrant Chunnakam market town. You will love the energy of the bazaars where vendors spread out their wares in attractive display, as you mingle with the jostling crowds and housewives bargain for the best produce at the vegetable stalls… or linger over some cooking vessel essential for the family kitchen. Don't be surprised to find your hands too reaching out to inspect an irresistible piece of handcrafted beauty coaxed out of the different parts of the palmyra and coconut trees. Basket ware, pottery items, clothing… all vie for attention here. Follow the queues of devotees bearing offerings at the ancient Naguleswaram Temple in Keerimalai. Taking a leaf out of local history, dip your hands in the waters of the natural spring considered containing healing mineral properties.

Take a bet you really loved the intimacy of a local take on explorations and experiences. Bet you can’t wait to return to enjoy plenty more of this on your next trip. Let a local take you in hand to lead you where the dyed-in–the wool- tours don’t. Customise, customise, customise–with a local angle and see how you get hooked on it!

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