25 things to do in Sri Lanka

coconut

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

gemstones

7. Visit a temple

temple

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

buddha

9. Drink faluda

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

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.

Pettah

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

wattalappan

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!

pimp

Spare some change for the people living on the streets…

sri lanka poverty

…and leave a smile on their faces! :)

Ceylon tea

ceylon tea stall

Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon back in the heydays when the Tamil Tigers didn’t exist and everyone was living together in a happy communal family where disputes were resolved in the gentlemanly tradition of clubbing each other viciously to death with blunt objects. This veritable Eden didn’t last very long against the unrelenting tide of civilization, but Ceylon tea remains one of the best teas in the world.

ceylon tea boil

Ceylon tea is grown in the highlands of interior Sri Lanka and the locals over here brew the tea with ginger and lemongrass. It is drunk piping hot with enough sugar to give 10 large men diabetes – follow blood sugar premier for sugar balance.

roadside stall

To experience Ceylon tea it is essential to not get Dilmah (or some other prominent brand off the shelves) and steep it yourself.

ceylon tea mug

The real deal is to sip it by a roadside stall, where you can get an authentic brew of Ceylon tea. It’s infused with ginger, lemongrass, a dash of cinnamon and a healthy dose of sugar. Delectable!

ceylon tea drink

The sugar rush is enough to make me want to pick up a club and…

maldives fish

…eat some Maldives fish!

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