Have a Traditional Meal with Sri Lankans

There is no better way to know a place and its people than to share a meal with a local family. The easiest way to do that is to spend the night at a homestay. While there, why not have a conversation, learn to wobble your head Sri Lankan style, eat with your hands and put on a sarong?!


Ride the train through the hill country

Train rides are not only for commuting. The train through the hill country of Sri Lanka is one of those memorable rides that travelers can never forget. Up and down mountains, through plenty of tunnels, in between ancient eucalyptus trees, and through the mist.

The train ride to Nuwara Eliya is one nobody should miss when visiting Sri Lanka. Get your ticket on the same day you wish to travel, to make sure you get the right one. Ask a couple of people to confirm the platform that the train will depart from and be mindful of the open doors!



Have an Ayurvedic Experience

In Sri Lanka, ayurveda medicine is based on the country’s centuries old treasure trove of indigenous knowledge base, natural environment, and cultural repertory.

According to archaeological evidence, human civilization dates back 30,000 years. Cavemen of that age domesticated many wild plant varieties and used them for food and medicines.


Experience a Poya ritual

Every full moon in Sri Lanka is a public holiday. Full moons are called Poya and every single one of them is a celebration at the Buddhist temples. Some full moons are a bit more important than others, like Vesak Poya which is celebrated as The Festival of Lights. Esala Poya is celebrated with the Kandy Perahera and the Poson Poya festival in the rocky outcrop of Mihintale.

Buddhist pilgrims worship on “Poya Day,” or full moon day, at the Kelaniya Buddhist temple in a suburb of Colombo September 14, 2008. REUTERS/Anuruddha Lokuhapuarachchi (SRI LANKA)


Eat a Sri Lankan Breakfast

The Sri Lankan breakfast is one of the best in the world. It consists of a delicious spread of roti, hoppers, or red rice surrounded by curries, sambals, dahl, and vegetable sides. Try eating Sri Lankan breakfast with your right hand as the locals do! Accompany the feast with a fresh Thambili (King Coconut Juice) and start a day of exploring on the right note.


Learn how to drape a saree or a sarong

Women in Sri Lanka wear beautifully draped sarees and men wear colorful sarongs on a daily basis. Putting on a saree is an art in itself. Sri Lankan women wear drape sarees in two styles, the classic Indian Nivi drape and the Kandyan style with a pleated tail pinned over the shoulder.