Rugby fans will make easy conversation in Sri Lanka, which brags the oldest rugby club in Asia. The country's national rugby team made it to finals in 2010 and is a source of great pride. Just make sure you're routing for the right team.
Recent and far-reaching historical events are quite easy for visiting tourist to witness. A good number of military soldiers patrol cities like Colombo, a remnant reminder of the 30-year long Civil War that ended in 2009 with the defeat of the LTTE (aka Tamil Tigers). Despite the civil war and intense flooding, the local economy has improved quickly enough to claim the best performing Asian stock exchange 2009-2010. These historical, political and economic juxtapositions make Sri Lanka an intriguing country to visit.
If one visits to escape the cities, however, it is recommended to avoid Colombo and visit the less crowded Kandy by grabbing a picturesque train ride to more nature-oriented areas. A country with high biodiversity, Sri Lanka boasts magnificent elephants, leopards, boars, crocodiles, peacocks and much more endemic fauna. Finally, walk barefoot on one of the many coastal beaches situated in the north and south.
Highlights from Sri Lanka
Hints and Tips for Sri Lanka
- Beginning January 2012, visitors must sign-up for a 30-90 day ETA (online visa) at US$20.
- Many parks and sites will charge foreigners much more than locals.
- Watch out for scammers (often one or two persons) offering to take you to a special festival or some nearby location. Such scams are frequent, sometimes involving taxi drivers who overcharge on the return trip.
- Credit card fraud occurs with more frequency here, so it is advised to use cash as much as possible.
- Mosquito repellent is recommended to avoid Dengue, Malaria or Chikungunya.