‘Sri Lanka!’, my friend almost shouted at me. ‘Have you lost it?,’ he just couldn’t believe it.
‘What’s there to see in Sri Lanka? If you want to see stunning landscapes, just go to the northern side of Pakistan. Why go all the way to Sri Lanka? It’s damn expensive amongst other things.’
My friend was baffled as to why on earth I wanted to go to Sri Lanka of all the places. That I didn’t want to go to Thailand instead.
Why Sri Lanka of all the places on planet Earth? Why do I want to go to Sri Lanka? That is the question everyone asked me. And it has taken me a long while to come up with the justifications. As is the case with humans, we come up with the decision before and then think up the reasons to justify it. Likewise I decided on Sri Lanka on a hunch and now have come up with the reasons why do I want to go to Sri Lanka.
So here’s why:
- It’s a beautiful country with loads of picturesque sites of tea plantations, ancient temples, national parks, awesome beaches and breathtaking hill stations.
- Being an avid photographer, I wanted to go to a place where I can find the maximum possible subjects to shoot with little effort.
- Sri Lanka is dominantly vegetarian, so for someone like me who only eats kosher, this is the ideal setting as I won’t have to spend extra efforts trying to find food that is halal.
- The ticket is relatively cheap compared to European destinations.
- The people are polite and hospitable as opposed to gruff and rude which is the case in some tourist destinations.
- The crime rate is relatively low so I can move around without fear with my DSLR.
The only big downside to Sri Lanka is the exorbitant accommodation. Compared to Sri Lanka, Thailand is dirt cheap. Hell, even some of the European cities are cheap compared to Sri Lanka when it comes to the accommodation.
That’s because there are not many tiers. After the high-end boutique hotels, you come straight to the guesthouses and homestays. And the hotels are usually $150-200 per night. You would be hard-pressed to find one less than $50. And it doesn’t matter whether you are in Colombo, Kandy or one of the smaller cities. The accommodation rates remain sky high.
In contrast, you can find loads of terrific budget hotels in Thailand that are $15-25 per night. And they’re great value for money.
So my quest to find the ultimate budget deal in Sri Lanka goes on. Hopefully I’ll be able to decipher it and share it with my readers as well.