Experience Sri Lanka

Posted by Crooked Compass

Sri Lanka and the world was rocked by the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks which stopped tourism in its tracks leaving many locals suddenly without work and without an income to support their families. On the 13th June 2019, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs announced via the Smart Traveller website, that they had lowered their travel caution advice which was wonderful news for Sri Lanka, their local tourism economy and also for budding travellers keen to continue planning their travels there. At Crooked Compass, we are always mindful of our traveller's safety and this is paramount when we are putting together our small group tours and private touring journeys. We pride ourselves on supporting the local communities we visit and in the wake of any natural disasters or turbulent times, this becomes paramount more than ever.

Ella, Sri Lanka || Photo Credit: Daniel Klein

The tourism industry is critical to the survival of many Sri Lankan locals, it is the cornerstone of the local economy. To give you an idea Sri Lanka is an island off the mainland of India and is about the same size as Tasmania which is an island off the mainland of Australia. At 65,610 km² it has a population close to 22 million people compared with Tasmania that has a population of around 520,000. So what can we do to help - the simple answer is to visit! Sure the thought of travel will deter some prospective travellers but even when there was a civil war going on (1983- 2009) tourism flourished with travellers keen to visit this small but beautiful and fascinating island.

Mirissa Beach, Mirissa, Sri Lanka || Photo Credit: Daniel Klein

In this weeks blog post we would like to explore some unique and very authentic Sri Lankan experiences and hope that you will consider this as a wonderful destination for your next journey. Read on to find out more…

Elephant Crossing || Photo Credit: Jayakody Anthanas

Amazing Anuradhapura

Why not visit Anuradhapura at night and get the truly authentic local experience. Late evening the weather is pleasant and cooling without the hoard of tourists. Or why not explore the unexplored side of Anuradhapura with a lively and informative walking tour along with a cup of herbal tea along the way. Or perhaps cycling is your thing, let us organise a bike tour and take in the beautiful sights on two wheels.

Anuradhapura || Photo Credit: Clay Lear

Picturesque Polonnaruwa

Why not meet a monk and experience a meditation session within a private site of the Polonnaruwa archaeological site. Or take in the history and culture with a private walking tour, learn the story of the local area with a local! Maybe cooking is your thing, let's be honest we all love to cook in an exotic location. Meet a farmer and his family for a cookery demonstration using spices and prepare your favourite curry then sit down to enjoy your hard work in a meal together. Or what about the chance to visit a rice mill and learn about how these paddy fields are processed to feed the rest of the country.

Sri Lankan Buddhist Monk || Photo Credit: Denish C

Soulful Serene Sigiriya

Why not join our elephant experience, it is sure to be an afternoon to remember washing these gentle giants and feeding them seasonal fruits. No riding though, it is against the way we do things at Crooked Compass as we support animal welfare and the practice of riding is an area of strong concern for us. Another great experience is the chance to interact with the local children and have some fun - learn how to make “Vesak” Lanterns or kites or what about a game of cricket.

Elephant Washing || Photo Credit: Magnus Franklin

Visit Lunugamvehera National Park

Largely unknown and rarely on the tourist radar this national park offers the chance to see a plethora and variety of wildlife in their natural habitat. 21 fish species, 12 amphibians, 33 reptiles, 184 birds and 43 mammal species have been recorded in the park. The teak plantations which are found within the park boundary are frequented by elephants, whilst other areas are home to domestic feral and wild buffalo and palm squirrel, giant squirrel, porcupine, palm cat, wild boar, mouse deer and spotted deer. Sloth bear and leopard are present but found in low densities so keep your eyes peeled.

Leopard in Lunugamvehera National Park || Photo Credit: Garuika

Looking for a more Sri Lanka experience or want more info on the above? Make this experience yours, Contact Us today for more travel inspiration!