25 things to do in Sri Lanka


1. Drink a freshly cut sweet Sri Lankan coconut by the beach

sri lanka coconut

It’s dubbed the King Coconut and the juice is called thambli

coconut me

2. Sample their cloyingly sweet cakes

sri lanka cake shop

It’s available at the bountiful local sweet shops dedicated to selling sweets (cakes).

sri lanka cakes

It’s very, very sweet, crumbly and tasty!

eat sri lanka cakes

3. Eat Kothu Roti

cooking Kothu Roti

It’s a Sri Lankan dish made with roti, meat (beef and chicken), vegetables and egg. It’s spicy!

Kothu Roti

4. Share your table with a local

eat with the locals

5. Haggle with tuk tuk drivers

sri lanka tuk tuk

Get on a tuk tuk with cars zipping by a scant 2 cm away!

tuk tuk sri lanka

6. Look at gemstones


7. Visit a temple


8. Take a photo of one of their gigantic Buddha statues


9. Drink faluda


It’s a sweet local drink made with fresh milk, rose syrup and vermicelli, basil and tapioca seeds.

sri lanka drink shop

10. Try Nannari Sherbet

Nannari Sherbet

It’s a refreshing drink made with Indian Sarasaparilla root said to have medicinal properties.

sri lanka drink shop maker

11. Marvel at a Sri Lankan elephant’s…tusks


12. Eat at a hotel with your hands (hotel means curry house in Sri Lanka)

local hotel

13. Drink Ceylon tea from a street vendor

ceylon tea mug

14. Eat seafood on the beach

dig in

15. Drink their local coconut arrack

sri lanka arrack

It’s traditionally mixed with ginger ale – go for Old Arrack or VSOA.

ginger ale

16. Taste “short eats” from the many stalls

sri lanka street food

There’s samosas, deep fried rolls, and more!

short eats

17. Take a photo with a soldier

soldier last

18. Visit Pettah

Pettah market

Pettah is a famous local market with everything from cell phones to shoes.


19. Buy something you don’t need e.g. 10 hammers for 20 cents

buy stuff you don't need

20. Drink wood apple juice

woodapple juice

21. Try the watalappam


Wattalappam is a Sri Lanka dessert of coconut custard made with eggs, coconut milk, cashew nuts, cloves, nutmegs and spices.

wattalappan eat

22. Eat their local “Maldives fish” from a street vendor

sri lanka maldives fish

It’s deep fried and savory!

street fish

23. Visit the beach on a Sunday

beach sunday

24. Go fly kite at the beach

fly kite

25. Pimp your blog!


Spare some change for the people living on the streets…

sri lanka poverty

…and leave a smile on their faces! πŸ™‚

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31 thoughts on “25 things to do in Sri Lanka”

  1. ken: I was there on a vacation! =D
    I’ve never been to Sri Lanka before and the air tickets were cheap so I thought, why not? Impulse purchase, this one. πŸ™‚
    fufu: Yup, Sri Lanka is a nice place and you can get by easily on RM 100 per day or less (not inclusive of accomodations) for food and transportation and other expenses. It’s a cheap destination and it’s an island in the ocean! =D
    shaoweii: Haha! Hmm…come to think of it, there were a couple, but they were dressed in army fatigues and carrying assault rifles, didn’t think it would be very wise of me to hit on them. πŸ˜‰
    Kristin: Yup, those cakes are among the most amazing things I’ve ever eaten! It’s crumbly (all of them, none are soggy – it’s like a cross between a cookie and a cake) and it’s VERY sweet. I wager one piece has enough sugar to give 10 men diabetes.
    e: Yeah, I felt really sorry for that mom with her brood of kids, some of them naked on the streets. She was asking me for some spare change so I gave her a couple of hundred LKR notes. RM 30 or so coz I felt bad about her situation. :S
    cynthia: Haha! The shopping that I did will never, ever be posted on sixthseal.com – perhaps only if I revive “that other blog” with super secure password protection. I’m too old to be pulling that kind of shit anymore. πŸ˜‰

  2. A very colourful vacation. Just a few comments…
    1. The train at the seaside were quite high off the ground compare to our local trains. Or are our train stations and railroads elevated?
    2. A railroad track running next to the sea? Hmmm…
    3. What’s in your track bottom pants? You looked like you stuffed chickens in them!

  3. Cheers: Hmm…I suspect it might have been the Ceylon tea/Maldives fish stall. I drank unboiled water there before drinking the tea. Or it could have been one of the hotels I went too. Heh! I can’t be really sure myself. πŸ™‚
    KL Chong: Their trains seems to have a higher clearance and it runs right beside the beach…sometimes just barely 10 meters from the surf! No kidding, it’s so close to the water it’s puzzling, but then again it’s an island in the middle of the ocean so I guess they don’t have much in the way of real estate. πŸ™‚
    Oh, the track pants, I had a lot of stuff zipped up in there – main culprit being my wallet. LKR are in large denominations and they’re HUGE notes so it made my wallet bulge although it doesn’t really amount to much. πŸ˜‰
    xes: Yeah mate, it’s an awesome place to go! πŸ™‚
    Sri Lanka, it’s cheap and it’s fun too. The nightlife isn’t half bad too, but some places are decidedly dodgy. πŸ˜‰
    kysepak: Yes, your constructive comments have been filed under “Recycle Bin”. πŸ˜‰

  4. eiling: Heh! I don’t make it a habit to weigh myself, but I wager it’s A LOT OF KILOS! πŸ™‚
    I’ve put on a lot of weight in the past few months, mostly from sitting in chairs for up to 12 hours a day and eating very, very unhealthy food. πŸ˜‰

  5. awesome post! i think my parents might freak out if i decided to go to Sri Lanka for a holiday, though. it sucks being a girl.
    i love those sweets, btw. it’s like indian delights (from turkish delights? hahaha…)! and i have a terribly sweet tooth. hurhur.

  6. well, no i reckon its not what your used too. But those were some geat pictures.Particulary” go fly a kite at the beach. Barring any other problems, Breast cancer in friends, fingerwave test, broken backs ( seriously, Dianna ( well she is almost 70) broke her back today. she already had steel rods in there) I want to be at atlantic beach NC. Not flying a kite. But walking into the surf, casting a line, walking backwards, and ploping down in the sand with a beer. and waiting. After I dont catch any thing, go have a nice fried shrimp dinner. then back to the beach or the pier at night. Waiting. then go back to the rented place about one. Shit, I dont know about you, but I am kind of tired of drama in my life ( me 50) I love every miniute. But after about two days, even I would be bored as hell. But at least I dont have acne anymore ( well a little on my back, maybe, and I got my hair, though is going silver. Frankly, I dont give shit about “manscaping”. I shaved my chest and privates one time, and it was so itchy, people thought I had fleas, I scratched so much for a month. I just trim the pits and the crotch and watch the fingernails, and particualy the toenails ( dammit, who ripped this sheet? Not me , said the guy with toenails like horses hoves) Ps, over there, (pacific ) do they run all the advedisements for persciption drugs, ( no not hardon pills) then list a bunch of side effects, that make you think the cure is worse than the problem. and you cant get it anyways, cause is 90 usd to visit an md? Sigh. Well hope we are not that much different. Thanks, HB. Hope you are well. God Bless

  7. Daphne Maia: I think it’s generally pretty safe if you stick to the “good parts” of Colombo during the night. The hotel district for example – Hilton, Holiday Inn are all very safe with multiple military checkpoints.
    Yeah! Those sweets are awesome, it’s more like crumbly sweets instead of cakes, the texture is like nothing I’ve ever had. I wish I bought more back home, it’s awesome stuff! πŸ™‚
    Cheong Hao: Yeah, this is the final Sri Lanka post – decided to compile everything into one exhaustive list instead of do multiple posts of what I did over there. The cakes especially was very memorable…it’s a few cents for each slice and it’s so rich four pieces made me full! πŸ™‚
    tom r: Yeah, I tried doing the back, crack, sack thing too and it itched like hell when the hair started growing back. It’s good to have a beach where you live, my hometown is landlocked, we only have a river. Over here there are beaches but you have to drive quite a distance to get to them. There just something very therepeutic about beaches…the waves washes everything clean. It’s like a new start. πŸ™‚
    I wish you all the best, my friend.

  8. here is question, all kidding aside, HB. I live at an altitude about 3500 feet higher than my sister’s family. When I go there, it is too hot, and the atmoshere seems, well, murky sea level. Yet when the come up here, average elevation 5300 ft, they are lethargic, want to sleep. and when we go up higher, it gets worse ( ie 5800. WhenI fly, gotta wear o2 over anything approching 10thousand do you think it makes that much differnece? sorry the units are in old english units and not metric. old habits die hard. a km will always be 3/5 of mile Stataute (5280) vs nautical (6200). perhaps the next generation wont have to think 28.8gm =1 oz. but pi will= 3.114, or does it? shit, im just along for the ride.

  9. tom r: Yeah, I can understand the altitude thing, but just from this time when I scaled a 4,101 meter mountain and got altitude sickness coz I went up too fast. I felt disorientated and sick and I thought I was lost and was going to die. Nothing seems familiar, panic attack setting in. Quite an interesting experience. πŸ™‚
    foodcrazee: Your email? I’ll check later, bro! πŸ™‚

  10. what were you doing with the gun? trying to pull the trigger? haha! the soldier seems scared of you by the way his body is moving away from you when the picture is taken.

  11. dylan: Haha! I was just putting my hand on the trigger. The safety was on, but I got the impression the soldier was distinctively uncomfortable with me doing that. πŸ˜‰

  12. Marlboro Guy: Yeah, kinda but it’s made with fresh milk instead of evaporated milk and there’s a lot of interesting stuff in there – tapioca seeds, and other stuff. It’s cremier and sweeter. πŸ™‚

  13. Simon Seow: I think it actually came from Arab – the etomology behind the word alcohol anyway. Not sure about arrack, could be India/Pakistan/Sri Lanka. πŸ™‚


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