Why to stay in 108 Palms Beach Resort?
We used the hidden symbolism to give a clue for everybody who „knows“… This most sacred Buddhist and Hindu number was sacred form the antiquity time.
There are many interpretations of the number 108 symbolism:
- It is the product of all numbers in magical triangle 1 22 333.
- It is the product of night planets and 12 signs of the Zodiac (108 = 9 x 12).
- It is the symbol of four quarters of Moon in each of 27 lunar status and constellations (108 = 4 x 27).
- Number 108 is divisible by 9 and the sum of the digits is also 9. (Number 9 is like the highest possible numberal also sacred.)
Yes, whales are swimming to our region regularly in March-April-May. To observe them is one of the biggest attraction, which is fortunately not mass attraction yet. The boat for max 5-6 persons starts by the sunrise, about 6AM. The whales are usually 10-15 km from the coast (20-30 min by boat). The boat can get to the distance 10 m from the whales, which some of them are 12-15 m long. In this time is also almost 100% chance to see doplhins. The boats return back to the resort about 8AM, the right time for breakfast. Price starts from 20 USD per person.
Virgin northeast coast
In the last years the number of visitors in Sri Lanka increased sighnificantly. 90% of visitors is heading south and only 10% is coming from the region Sigiria – Dambula – Anaradhapura – Polonaruva in to 80 km distant area of the virgin beaches Trincomalee – Uppaveli – Nilavelli, which are leading to the north. This area is exeptional for its long season, which takes from end of December to the end of October (the northeast monsoon is from November to the end of December).
Wrote about us
Discover the beauty and mystery of the island state Sri Lanka. Visit the paradise on the Earth, which was mentioned in the oldest written epos Rámájana from the 3. centrury BC. Head to the center of the island with most than 40 watherfalls in the region of tea plantation Nuwara Eliya, known as „ Little England“, its colonial history and Buddhist and Hindu temples.
On the island you can find also eight places declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. From the great choice you can visit Golden Temple of Dambulla – cave temple, monumental Sigiriya Rock, ancient city of Polonnaruwa – the former capital, old town of Galle and its fortifications, Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, first royal city Anuradhapura, National park Yala, where hundreds of wild elephants live.
To the pearls of the island belongs also Pinawala Elephant Orphanage, sacred Adam´s Peak , spice garden in Matala or botanic garden near to Kandy in Peradenia. While travelling on Sri Lanka you can discover rice fields, tropical forests, long unspoiled beaches and local fishermen sitting on the stake in the sea waiting for its spoil. If you are lucky, during the March till May period you can see whales.
For the sports and romantic lovers there are atractive sunrise trekkings. From adrenaline expericence the island offers rafting, kite surfing and surfing, primarily in Arugam Bay in the north coast. Golf players can check their handicap in The Royal Colombo Golf Club, Victoria Golf Club in Kandy or Nuwara Eliya Golf Club, which all belongs to the more than 120 years old british colonial golf courses. The youngest course Eagles is only about 10km far from Trincomalee - the most beautiful natural harbour in Asia. The 18 hole layout is a great challenge also for experienced players.
Supporters of a healthy lifestyle and Eastern philosophies like local ayurvedic therapies. Sri Lanka and India are the cradle of this more than 4000-5000 years old holistic healing systém. We recommend to addict this clearing and curative stay under the supervision of local specialists.
Unihabited beaches in the Robinson Crusoe style, beatiful swimming, organic ayurvedic diet and massages, all this you can enjoy in 108 Palm Beach resort in Salli-Sampaltivo region, only 8 km from Trincomalee. Resort is located on 10 000 m2 straight on the beach between the palms. You will be welcomed by professional Czech staff. You can enjoy the opportunity of trainig yoga with famous yogi Murugal. Local cuisine is great. Sri Lanka offers excellent specialities, meals with vegetables, fisches and seafood, rice and curry. You will be enchanted by unsurpassed taste of local papaya, rambutan, mango or lichi. Delicious feeling will bring excellent brandy Arak, which is to drink with coconut milk, and world famous green and black Ceylon tea.
Sri Lanka is inexhaustible source of options for recreation, activ relaxation and discovering local history. Most of the visitors of the island found out soon, that one stay is not enough and they desire to come back repeatedly. Some of them decided to move here. For example, famous author Arthur C. Clark, was the only foreigner to get a honorary citizenship after 30 years and wrote most of his sci-fi novels here.
Sri Lanka is a real gem between the islands of Indian ocean. It has magicalso for those, which love precious stones. From local extraction comes sapphires and ruby. International recognition get especially blue sapphire.
Never before was a better chance to discover new destinations, live new experiences. Why not on Sri Lanka and why not just now! Welcome in the world of real and by tourist not fully apreciated exotic!
The tea scents from afar
Members of the woman club Cosmopolitan Executive Helas Ladies Club met over a cup of a wold famous Ceylon tea Dilmah, to listen the story about love for tea and the country of tea plantations, elephants, beatiful beaches and rich history – Sri Lanka.
Two different human stories and one common love. Two destinies meet on the island, which is for centuries known as the home of the finest tea in the world. About the Ceylon tea narrated most competent person – Ivo Moravec, owner of representation brands Dilmah in Czech Republic. His path in Sri Lanka intersect with a story of a man, which travelled all Asia to fall in love with this country – Marek Němec, the owner of company Siam Travel.
„We met with narration about Sri Lanka to give joy before the outbreak of holidays. Let´s have a nice tune in to a period, which waits for us,“ stated the meeting Helena Kohoutová, founder of the woman club Cosmopolitan Executive Helas Ladies Club. About travelling she says: „Travelling is more and more important for me, because it helps me to found new ideas for my work and to get necessary insight. I´m thrilled that what was not possible before, also the frequency of my holidays, it is possible and so easily accessible now. Skype for business and Office 365 are my technological helpers and allow me to keep in touch with my team and my family.
Traveling is actually hiding the oportunity to see the world from a different perspective and inexhausible possibilities of inspiration. Especially with a good tea in a hand.
The love to both travelling and tea is common to both guests. Storytelling opened Ivo Moravec, who dedicated to all present the secret of the quality of tea.
„All our teas are processed and packed within few hours, which is a big diference from the standard production, when the tea get to stocks in Europe and America first. There is the tea blended and packaged, making tea to wait for its packing months to years,“ explains Ivo Moravec.
Hand-picked Ceylon tea Dilmah is in contrast packaged straight in its own tea gardens in Sri Lanka. So it never lose its intense aroma and freshness. Moreover, it is not mixed, allowing it to stand its variety of flavors. The Ceylon tea is known for its great variations, that can offer thanks to tohe unique geology and climate of the island. Different places of origin, altitude and soil properities grow different profiles of tea.
„Pay attention to glass cylinders in tea shops, that people open up and sniff them. This way the tea completely loses its original scent,“ says Ivo Moravec.
Dilmah is a family company and Ivo Moravec confessed admiration for its founder, Merril J. Fernando from Caylon. According to Ivo Moravec, Fernando´s relationship with the tea is almost fanatic and his professionalism contributes 60 years of experience. He is a pioneer for tea packaging at the place of the origin and also the first manufacturer who supplies fresh tea to customers without an intermediary. Dilmah tea is truly ethical tea, which goes beyond Fair Trade. All proceeds from the package remain in Sri Lanka and in addition to benefits for plantation workers funded more than 300 local charitable and environmental projects.
The meeting participants also had the opportunity to taste the tea cocktails and learn about tea gastronomy - the possibility of cooking with tea are in fact surprisingly varied and may also serve as a marinade for the affliction or an ingredient for smoking meat, which will reveal new dimensions and delicacy already known meals.
From Sri Lanka is seen to India and in scenic exotic landscape you can forget the vastness of the Asian continent, which crisscross traveled Marek Němec, owner of Siam Travel. Why did he finally settled in Sri Lanka?
„Sri Lanka will not offer you the best beaches, most beautiful landscape, most amazing sights or most smiling people,“ says Marek Němec about the island. „But when you put it all together, you get a perfect harmonious combination of all these things.“
Sri Lanka is officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. It is an island country on the island of Ceylon, which was also until 1972 the official name of the state. The origin of the word Ceylon is derived from the Sanscrit Sinhala – Sinhalese is also called the main ethnic group on the island. Sinha in Sanscrit means „lion“ and the full name can be interpreted as the „lion blood“. In Sri Lanka, however, the lions have never lived and is predicted that the terms of reference for the Lions man, hero from local legend, who became a granfather of the first king.
Marek Němec came first time in Sri Lanka in 1996, when there was raging civil war between the majority Sinhalese Buddhist and minority Hindu Tamils. The island still captivated him, and therefore by tourist almost untouched region began to build between 2001 and 2005 his own resort, which wanted to fulfill his dream of an exotic paradise. His work has survived two serious strokes of fate. The first was the tsunami in 2004, that swept resort, killed 35,000 people on the island and let half a milion of people homeless. The second was renewed fighting, which continued until the final defeat of the radical organization Tigers of Liberation Tamil Eelam in 2009. However the soldiers fought among themselves and left the resort be. Europeans are in fact due to hundred-year colonial tradition (first was the island ruled by the Portuguese, then the Dutch and finally the British) still in respect because of the British rule, which lasted until 1947, and it is evaluated rather positively.
„Already during the truce the country has opened and foreigners could buy land and invest the money," says Marek Němec. "Now it's all quiet and peace and the number of tourists is growing. Quickly go before tourists find the beauty of the hidden parts of the island, "he encourages.
In Sri Lanka you will found in a small space 8 relic of UNESCO, 2500 meters high mountains and 6,000 elephants. The landscape is varied and in addition to rainforests, ebony groves and romantic beaches you can admire the graceful vast plantations of Ceylon tea.
Wild nature and wild life
As the sun is setting behind the distant horizont, the elephants begin to emerge from the vegetation and slowly heading toward the shimmering waters of the lake. It is September, the dry season is coming to its end and many water sources had disappeared long time ago. Minnereiya tank keeps the water even during the dry months and now the unprotected water trough flourishes, and still attracts herd of elephants from afar and near.
These gentle, charismatic giants are meeting here every year at the same time, their quantity sometimes exceed 300. Seeing so many of them at once – how they are playing, swimming, looking for a mate – is a breathtaking spectacle. This is happening very close to the centre of a quite small, densely populated and compact island at it is a symbol of how elephants are important for indigenous people.
Elephants may be one of the most celebrated representatives of diverse fauna in Sri Lanka, but in fact they represent only one type of the "cluttered scenery." For example, Sri Lanka is the best place on earth to glimpse incomparable leopard, and the only place where this big cat is the largest predator in the system – Sri Lanka´s king of the jungle. It is thrilling to watch leopard with his conspicuous spots, how elegant is, with a strong body and graceful moves – try it in Yala National Park in south-eastern parched zone.
The last member of the „big three“ in Sri Lanka is a sloth bear – shaggy, messy autochton of the dry zone of the primeval forest. His elongated snout and saber clutches are ideally developed for collecting termites from their knolls. In May and June they plunge on the trees - fantastic even though a strange view – to feed the sweet yellow fruit from the Palu tree. Wasgamuwa National Park is one of the best places on the island where you can meet a sloth bear.
Furry, scaly and winged creatures
Various primeval forests in Sri Lanka abound dizzying parade of various furry, scaly and winged creatures. Here you will find five kinds of deers, starting with mouse deer, which is only 30 cm tall, but is armed with elongated canines, to Samara - big majestic creature whose males have antlers impressively long.
Civets, mongoose and porcupines are three kinds of small beasts that remble overland, while in the trees dominate primates. Widespread toque macaque is typical monkey - active, acrobat and a little mischievous. In Polonnaruwa live around the ruins of ancient temples and palaces, where the brood frolic on thousands years old ancient ruins. The Grey Langur - members of the monkey tribunal king Hanuman from the Hindu poem Ramayana, inhabit dry lowlands and are often seen in large knots, feet curled up together.
Often in the early morning we hear the echo from the upper slopes of the central hills, this is the „bear“ monkey screaming, a subspecies of purple-faced langur. Red slender Loris is a unique primate endemic to Sri Lanka. Mainly nocturnal species is extremely difficult to spot.
You can hear the bloodcurdling scream of spot-bellied eagle owl, also known as the Forest Eagle Owl or Ulama / Devil Bird. This is the largest and one of the dozen of rarest owls in Sri Lanka.
The bird life in Sri Lanka is amazing, thats why orhithologists and amateur bird watchers from around the world come here. They can experience a dazzling encounter with the flamboyant peacock impressing a fiale, or they can watch the osprey which plunges from his place on the partly sea-flooded tree, then dives to catch fish.
In decayed tree we can see nests of horbills. They clogged the nests carefully so they can feed the offspring only thrue a small slits.
In the Sinharaja Forest Reserve and other humid parts of the forest you can find more flocks of birds looking for food, catching some minor bugs in the flight, pulling the larvae from the trees or drinking sweet nectar from flowers.
In a small area, the island is teeming with diversity of creatures.
The underwater world is a kaleidoscopic parade
On the breezy tropical night starts the coastline, lit by the light of the full moon, slowly tremble. Suddenly, between the grains of sand, shucks first, then second and then another and another small rounded body and twinkle in the night. These creatures are the leatherback sea turtles. Immediately start running down the beach toward the ocean. Here begins their fight for life.
Further away from the coast is the variety of species no less extraordinary. The undersea world begins kaleidoscopic parade of fish and corals. Electric blue, bright purple, shining yellow and everything in between can be found in underwater coves. You can explore the sunken wrecks that once plunged into the depths of the ocean. You can search for treasure in any season, because conditions are favorable on at least one side of the ocean.
Above the sea whale disrupts the water line. When you stare eye to eye to such a large creature, and you sense that he perceives you, it's like looking back in time. The blue whale is the largest animal on the planet, from November to May you can see them from the southern coast of Mirissa. Likewise humpback whale and sperm whale. While from the north-west coast of Kalpitiya peninsula you can watch dolphins swimmig in the clear waters - and some lucky few will manage to swim with them.
From sand dunes to cloudy virgin forest, from frog tree to an elephant
Sri Lanka is a small island with nice simple shape. Palm-lined beaches, thick forests in the inland with majestic mountains. Monsoon winds blasted the island twice a year. Monsoon direction and rain are responsible for the distribution of eco-regions, which are characteristic for this island - and for such a compact island is this diversity obvious.
Most of the lowland is part of the dry zone, with tall evergreen monsoon forests, consisting of arches of green trees, which penetrate the blue clouds above them. Two parts of the island, one in the north-west in Mannar and the other south-east in Yale, are classified as dry parts. And despite the lack of water in these areas, this place provides sanctuary to surprisingly large number of animals.
Oddly enough, these include the large mammals in the south-east and seabirds in both of these regions. Flocks of these birds here prowl for food in the shallow salt lagoons.
To the south-west rains nourish some of the finest tropical rainforests in Asia. Exuberant vegetation and luxurious growth is characteristic of this region, where the branches are laden with ripening fruit, juicy leaves and lianas, that intertwine from tree to tree.
Sinharaja Forest Reserve - part of the World Heritage site, comprises the largest lowland tropical forest in the state and provides visitors with the possibility of excursions, admiring butterflies, birds and lizards.
The hillsides of central mountains are covered with esmerald green forests. This is a place with countless waterfalls, wheather single or cascade falling into the valley. The vegetation is doing well here, including orchids, which completely rob our imagination with their incredible creations.
One of the most remarkable aspects of this biodiversity - from the sand dunes to the tropical forests, from the frog tree to elephants - is the fact that everything is available here. All ecological zones are boundless. There are 12 national parks and 52 protected areas which cover 12% of the entire area of Sri Lanka. And that means that visitors are not restricted to one single territory, which would be crowded by tourists. For Sri Lanka is its diversity and natural richness a blessing. Nature lovers in this paradise truly come into their own.
Sri Lanka - Asian miracle
Pandering beaches, tempting water sports, breathtaking landscape, gracefull water lagoons, fertile soil, different types of primeval forests, impressive mountains, plentiful rivers with waterfalls, colorful life of wild nature -most species live here permanently - a unique ecosystem, fascinating heritage of the ancient cultures and cities, colorful cultural experiences from art objects to stunningly festivals, charming and hospitable people of different ethnicities, cultures and religion.
Very popular for tourist are Ayurvedic spa. Sri Lanka is becoming one of the most popular destination for enjoying honeymoon or getting merried.
No wonder, Sri Lanka is an Asian miracle.
From Gondwaland further
It started at the beginning of time. One hundred and sixty six million years ago, Sri Lanka was much further south than now. Was associated with India and Madagascar in the middle of the continent, which was called Gondwaland. India and Sri Lanka were driffting, still connected, north to get joined Asia - thus arose the Himalayas. Later was separated the limestone bridge that bound Sri Lanka and Asia, this made spacing of 30 km.
Pearl, teardrop, mango
And so was born the island with its typical shape, described as the "pearl on the necklace of India", equated to tear, mango or pear. All of these comparisons are much better grasped when viewed from above.
Human history on this island is dated back to the Stone Age - which is approximately 125,000 BC. Artifacts that were found here, including stone tools, are thousands of years old. Prior to 15 thousands years ago here on the plateaux they grew barley and wheat. The first people who came here, settled the coast, plains and mountains. The oldest traces of modern humans in Asia were discovered in caves and are dated back to the 3rd century BC. 3rd century BC was crucial because of the begin of Buddhism, which is the basis of civilization that have subsequently arisen.
According to legend, in the 6th century BC Prince Vijaya was banished from his kingdom in India, arrived in Sri Lanka and became the first king. First Sinhalesse kingdom was built around the town of Anuradhapura in the 3rd century BC. Between the 5th and 14th centuries AD, invasions from South India displaced the main city in remote locations. From 1505 to 1948, the island was occupied and colonized by the Portuguese, Dutch and British. Since 1978 is Sri Lanka Democratic Socialist Republic.
Sri Lanka is a country of many ethnicities, many religions and many cultures. It is thanks to waves of immigrants from different places. The main ethnic group there are Sinhalese and Tamil. Then there are Muslims, Malays and Chinese.
Regardless of what their social status, people in Sri Lanka are very open and friendly. Which is reflected in their ever-smiling faces, happy to help those who are not familiar with the local life style. You'll find that Sri Lankans are very charming and hospitable people.
Beaches and undersea life
Sri Lanka is blessed with 1,330 kilometers of coastline with beaches - straight or full of coves, with silver-white sand and coconut trees providing shade.
Beaches on the west are Negombo, Mount Lavinia, Bentota and Hikkaduwa, on the southern coast of Unawatuna, which was on the Discovery Channel voted one of the ten most beautiful beaches in the world, Weligama, Mirissa and Tangalle, on the north-west coast of Nilaveli, Passekudah, Kalkudah and Arugam Bay, which is on the list of 10 most visited places in the world for surfing. The bonus is the climate, because Sri Lanka is a destination where you can travel throughout the year. The monsoon rains are twice per year, but always on the other side of the island and at another time.
Quiet sapphire-blue water (except during the rainy season) of the Indian Ocean are the perfect constant temperature of 27 °C. Diving and snorkeling are very popular due to extensive coral reefs along the island. There is a lot of species of fish, among them lack of barracuda and shark and 5 species of turtles. Because the island was for many years the commercial center, near its shores we can explore sunken shipwrecks.
Water sports and adventure activities
Popupar water sports are surfing - American and Australian surfers discovered in 1960 opportunities of Hikkaduwa and Arugam Bay - wind-surfing, water skiing, sailing or try banana boat rides. Outside the sea, you can try white water rafting on the Kelani Ganga river, which is an engrossing experience. You can also go on a trek, climb mountains or ride a mountain bike.
In Sri Lanka, we find seven UNESCO world heritage sites. Six of them gives testimony about civilizations older than 2,000 years, while the seventh is a natural place that boasts higher biodiversity outside the Amazon rainforest. Two of these sites – Anuradhapura, probably the largest and most important city in Asia and the ancient city of Polonnaruwa with large statues of Buddha. Jetavana Dagoba in Arunadhapura (3 cent. BC), which was 120 meters high, was the third largest building in the world. Now with its 75 meters is still the largest brick building in the world.
Anuradhapura is a place of Sri Maha Bodhi Bo-tree, grown from the tree, under which Buddha sat when he reached his enlightenment. It is the world's oldest documented tree. In Polonnaruwa visit one of the largest stone book in the world, Gal Potha ( "stone book"), is 8.2 meters long and 1.4 meters wide.
The most fascinating and popular of the World Heritage is Sigiriya, called the eighth wonder of the world. It is a huge rock on which one of the kings had built a magnificent palace. The stone facade was covered in sensual frescoes of heavenly girls, and it is described as the largest picture gallery in the world. Some frescoes are still preserved. There is also a remarkable complex of water gardens, which proves the sophistication of the water system in Sri Lanka. Sigiriya still attracts crowds of tourists and is considered one of the oldest touristic attractions in the world.
Another place from the World Heritage is Dutch Fort in Galle, which is considered the best-preserved fortress in South Asia. Its 14 massive towers and a system of streets with preserved Dutch bungalows is one of the most unique attractions in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka is one of the smallest, but also one of the most biologically varied Asian country. In fact, the country is on the list of Conservation International as one of 34 "biodiversity-most attractive" places in the world. For example, Sinharaja Forest Reserve is the country's last place of the original rainforest and is seventh place protected by UNESCO.
Thanks to the influence of Buddhism in Sri Lanka esteem is raised for all living things. Udawattakelle and Kandy are probably the oldest protected wild territories in the world. There are 12 national parks and 52 protected areas, which occupies 13% of the whole Sri Lanka.
National Park safari offers a chance to see some of the 92 species of mammals in Sri Lanka (16 endemic) - elephants, leopards, sloth bears, samburu, deer deer, civet, giant squirrels, monkeys, macaques, gray langur and more.
Yala National Park is the place of the world's highest concentration of leopards. Uda Walawe National Park is famous for its elephants.
Sri Lanka is one of the best places in the world where one can catch a glimpse of a blue whale. When whale watching very often see dolphins are regular visitors on voyages from Mirissa on the south coast. The island beaches also attended by five of the seven species of turtles that live here.
The island is also a paradise for ornithologists. Permanently live here 233 species of birds (33 endemic). Migratory birds are able to increase the number of species up to an incredible 482. There are 171 species of reptiles (101 endemic, including two kinds of crocodiles). Fortunately, it is only five kinds of the 83 species of snakes deadly. On the island also live 244 species of butterflies and 120 kinds of dragonflies.
With its biodiversity and different eco-systems, Sri Lanka is number one in eco-tourism. Definitely worth seeing places are the Sinharaja Forest Reserve and the Knuckles mountain range, also national parks Yala, Udawalawe, Bundala, Horton Plains, Minneryia and Kaudulla and stone buildings Ritigala and Pidurangala.
Festivals and celebrations
Civilization in Sri Lanka gave the island a reference impressive Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Christian festivities.
Every full moon there is a public holiday, known as Poya. The most important is that in May - Vesak - which reminds the Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death. Definitely worth seeing are illuminated pandal (bamboo skeleton), completed by painting depicting passages from the Buddha's life.
The festival, which is mostly focused on tourists, is the Kandy Esala Perahera, which takes place in Kandy and lasts for 10 days in late July and culminates on Esala Poya. Perahera meens procession - and this is actually what is happening, procession of magical drummers, dancers and elephants in finery. The reason of the festival is a relic that is carried by - the sacred Buddha's tooth.
Hindu festivals include Thai Hongal - harvest festival, Maha Sivarathri ( "the Great Night of Shiva") - the most important festival of the year is Shaivites who form the main group of Hindus in Sri Lanka - and Deepavali ( 'Festival of Lights').
New Year in Sri Lanka is celebrated mostly on 13 and 14 April. This feast does not apply to any religion and is celebrated by everyone here.
Internationally known holiday Galle Literary Festival held in late January, it is four days long celebration, which invited famous writers who are reading to the audience.
Festivals on the beaches are filled with music, street artists performances, there is also a festival of kites, surfers and other activities. In short, magical experiences on the beach, which uplifts your spirit and satisfy your eyes! Come, discover and watch!
Sri Lanka is a place where you regenerate not only your body, but also your soul. Ayurveda is the world's oldest holistic system of healing and is practiced for many centuries. Nowadays it is very popular among tourists. Fortunately, Sri Lanka is a specific destination for Ayurvedic treatment, there are a large number of spas, that offers a wide range of holistic treatments.
Sri Lanka is most associated with tea - to be precise, it is Ceylon Tea. It is the third country in the world in the export of tea. If you want to buy the best tea - whether black, green or white, visit tea plantations and see how the leaves are processed before coming to your home. Sri Lanka is also a big planter of spices such as cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.
There is a large selection of handmade products made of silver, brass, wood, leather or reed. In Sri Lanka you will find 45 of the 80 kinds of precious stones - rubies, sapphires, moonstone, topaz, aquamarine, amethyst and over all zircons. If you visit the largest shopping center in Colombo, which is air conditioned, you get into a magical world full of colorful clothing and shoes made for export.
Weddings and honeymoons
Sri Lanka became one of the most popular places in the world for your wedding and honeymoon experience. More and more visitors want to organize a wedding in typice Sri Lanka´s way. It is a magical place for a lifelong promise.
A World Heritage site by UNESCO
In Sri Lanka, you can found 7 places, which became protected areas as part of UNESCO's World Heritage. It is the same quantity as Egypt. And here's a little miracle too. Six of these locations refers to a civilization older than 2,000 years and seventh place is a natural heritage - the place with the highest biodiversity on earth except the Amazon rainforest.
There is colossal buildings and monuments, but also ancient ruins. Also royal palaces reaching into the sky. World heritage sites show the rich history of civilization on this island. The largest and most interesting sites are formed by a triangle of three places: Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Kandy. They are living link with his Buddhist monks and other believers who are in a hypnotic trance, chanting their prayers - all these are the building blocks of the cultural heritage of Sri Lanka.
Thanks to these links are visitors taken back to the history of Sri Lanka and its crucial moments. Sri Lanka link will take you on a unique spiritual path that will lift you up and pleasantly refreshes your senses. Thanks to the compactness of the island is very easy to visit all the places of the mentioned triangle within a short time.
Holy city of Anuradhapura
It is located in North Central Province, 206 kilometers from Colombo. Holy city of Anuradhapura is simply miraculous place. It contains some of the oldest archaeological treasures in Sri Lanka. This stunning place is an impressive reminder of the ancient civilizations.
One of the largest monastic towns ever, originated more than 4 century BC, gained its importance with the arrival of Buddhism. First Buddhists transformed this place on one of the main places of Buddhist pilgrimage and education center. Anuradhapura great kings have experienced a Golden Age of Sri Lanka.
The fame of the town dates back a long way, we learn about it from ancient writings of Greece, Rome and China. But because of constant raids from South India, Anuradhapura glory began in the 10th century AD decline.
The center of the ancient town is the Mahavihara, the oldest monastery in the city. Believers still go to meditate here. There is the Sri Maha Bodhi, a tree grown from the original tree from northern India, under which Buddha sat when he reached enlightenment. Thuparama Dagoba, was built in the 3rd century BC and was the first dagoba built in Sri Lanka. If you stand in front of Jetavana Dagoba - built of red bricks, the third largest building in the world, you can experience incredibly powerful moments. Abhayagiri Dagoba is still covered by vegetation, while more familiar restored Ruvanvalisaya Dagoba is lifting up the night. Stunning Kuttam Pokuna or "double-bath", with its well-preserved stone stals, is the only surviving relic of the Brazen Palace - formerly the nine-floor building with thousands of rooms.
Anuradhapura is directly on site Among the three water reservoirs known as Basawakkulama, Tissa Wewa and Nuwara Wewa. Part of the original irrigation system is still operating.
Medieval capital Pollonaruwa
In the 12th century AD, this place was one of the most modern centers in South Asia. Currently, the well-preserved ruins give the evidence to the strength and size of the artists of the time.
Located 142 km from Colombo, Pollonaruwa is the second oldest city on the island. Many of the still-preserved ruins reminds Parakramabahu the Great, the last of a line of kings-fighters who helped the city to its glory.
The heart of the ancient city are Royal Palace and Council Chamber. Nearby is Vatadage or memorial house, which is beautifully decorated with a circular structure similar to Stonehenge. On the next place we find Gal Pota (stone book) - 9 meters long piece of granite inscribed with stories. Lankatilaka shrine and the amazing statue of Buddha Gal Vihara are top sculptures of Sri Lankas art. On this site you will also find many Hindu temples.
The grandeur and beauty of Polonnaruwa is very inspiring. You can meet monkeys, lizards and a many different birds. Its beauty admired also the pop group Duran Duran, which shot the clip Save a Payer here in 1980.
Golden temple of Dambulla
It is located in the center of the island, 148 km from Colombo, on the main road north to Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa. The cave temples are a masterpiece of Buddhist art. They are filled with murals showing sections of the Buddha's life and there are statues of Buddha in various positions.
In the first century BC. the caves provided protection to the king, who fled before the invaders from South India. The king left there to build these temples as gratitude for the shelder.
Altogether there are 5 caves. The second cave Maharaja Vihara is the largest and most beautiful, is long more than 50 meters, 7 meters high and almost 25 meters deep. Spiritual energy in Dambulla is palpable and Buddhist art that is presented here has no precedent in Sri Lanka. A further bonus is the magnificent view down from the cliff.
Partly hedonistic palace offering pleasure and partly holy place. Sigiriya is one of the most fascinating archaeological treasures of Sri Lanka and one of the biggest tourist attractions. In fact, there is a opinion that it is the oldest tourist attractions in the world, whose first visitors made on its walls graffiti, which are described as the first interactive book in the world. Located north of Dambulla, 196 kilometers from Colombo. The entire complex consists of huge rock higher than 200m, on top are theo ruins of the palace and at the base stretches complex of gardens for pleasure.
Only two decades in the 5th century Sigiriya gained greater importance, by the fight between two brothers. King, who won, had a son Kasyapa. Because of his fear from the return of the defeated one, let Kasyapa built the walls and moved the capital to Sigiriya.
Megalomaniac, but still spiritual Kasyapa, had very good taste. In the Gardens of delight are several pools, canals and fountains from which water gushes even after 1500 years. On the way up along the cliffs are known Sigiriya frescoes, containing 21 topless virgins, which are intended to illustrate the divine nymphs, but certainly were modeled by Kasyapa's mistresses. The part of the main entrance are the Lion's paws, where every visitor had to pass the open mouth of the lion.
Sacred city of Kandy
Surrounded by lush vegetation of the mountains in the northern part of the island is the royal city of Kandy.
It was the last independent territory in Sri Lanka, which has survived two centuries of raids colonizers from Portugal and Denmark, but fell under British rule in 1815.
Home to the holy relics of the Buddha's tooth is the Dalada Maligawa - the Temple of the Tooth. It is an experience that no visitor can miss out. It is said that the Buddha´s tooth was stolen from his funeral pyre and smuggled into Sri Lanka in the hair of a princess. This relic is extremely significant. Every year is celebrated in July or August Feast of Esala Perahera (Perahera means procession), which is a fascinating spectacle, full of elephants, dancers with fire and drummers.
Everything takes place around a beautiful lake, which is at the center of the city with views of the surrounding hills, where are plenty of temples. Experience the pulsating rhythm of the drums and the colorful dancers is simply a cultural obligation.
Or you can go for a walk in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Peradeniya, 6km south of the city. Kandy is also the best place in Sri Lanka to study meditation.
Old Town of Galle and its Fortifications
In the 17th century was the Dutch fort in Galle the best preserved fortresses in South Asia. Located 173 km south from Colombo. Enter the imposing stone bastions and in the moment you return in time. Straight streets are lined with houses from the period of Dutch colonization and there is no car traffic. There are several museums and old shops that resemble curiosities from the time of Dutch colonization. Of all the buildings is probably the most interesting Dutch Reformed Church, containing ornamentation reminiscent of the Dutch founder of this place. In the fort you will also find the most exclusive boutique accommodation in villas reminiscent of the glory of the colonization period.
The first fortification in Galle was established by Portuguese, but in 1640 the fort was conquered by Dutchmen. Another increase came at a time when the British conquered the place. The port has long been an important trading place, but with the construction of a dam in Colombo, the Galle importance diminished.
Sinharaja Forest Reserve
Humid, mysterious and full of life, this is the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, the last vast rainforest on the island, located 120 km south-east of Colombo. Over 11,000 hectares stretches from the wet zone to the southern hills. Sinharaja is an ecological treasure. With its overwhelming number of species of fauna and flora is on top of worldwide biodeversity.
There are 130 bird species, including 33 endemic species of Sri Lanka. There is also a rich variety of reptiles and thousands of species of insects, many of which have been not scientifically discovered yet. Mammals are represented by a purple-faced langur with (endemic monkey species) and a giant squirrel. Sinharaja is also home to the elusive jaguar.
It is better to visit the forest by foot, which gives you a true jungle experience. Places where to start are the Deniyaya on the east and Kudawa on the west.
Fingers are enjoying wonderful sand.
Aquamarine blue waves of the Indian Ocean are gently spreading the gold coast.
Sipping fresh coconut int he shade of rustling palms.
(Not too long) basking in the early morning or evening sun.
A freshen up in the vast sea surface with a reflecting sunlight.
Some of the pleasures offered by the beaches of Sri Lanka.
Where are the beaches of Sri Lanka, you will be spoiled by many options. Beaches with a total length of 1,340 km line the island, from the already long-established tourist destinations on the southern coast, extensive beaches in the deep south, to the less frequently visited places in the north and east. No matter the season, at every moment you find beach just waiting to welcome you in its warmth of the sand.
Most visitors head for Sri Lanka's south coast beach destinations, mostly south of the Colombo. Each destination has developed its own distinctive character and has its own unique places to see. Let's start with Nekombo (37 km from Colombo), only 6km from Bandaranaike International Airport, has an excellent outdoor opportunities for those who want to take a short trip on the island and can not be too far from Colombo.
The city has a long turistic history and a wide beach, but also attracts visitors who enjoy sailing along Dutch canals, colorful fish markets and bars where it lives after dark. Equally suited for visitors of the capital is a visit to Mount Lavinia beach - just 12 kilometers south of the city center. Beaches invite you to an early evening stroll or a holiday, then you can enjoy dinner at one of the many different restaurants. In recent years this place has become popular for its nightlife with the best ranked party in Colombo.
Down the coast, visitors leave conurbation and begin to feel more relaxing character of the south-western coast.
Wadduwa - (35 km from Colombo) is a favorite weekend spot for people living in Colombo and you will find some of the finest hotels on the coast.
Kalutara (42 km from Colombo) hosts numerous star hotels, more typically stunning beach and majestic three-storeyed Buddhist Temple, which is the only hollow stupa in the world. The road finally connects with the shore, just after you cross a railway track in Paygale, from this moment starts a breathtaking view of unspoiled beaches.
Bentota (62 km from Colombo) has one of the most beautiful beach resorts of this coast, with large additional star hotels, exclusive boutiques and stunning gardens Bevis Bawa - brother of the most famous architect of Sri Lanka. Besides picturesque beaches is here also river Bentota Ganga, where tourists can take a boat cruise or water sports.
Beaches further from Bentota are Induruwa and finally Hikkaduwa (98 km from Colombo) - one of the most famous beach resorts on the island. Hikkaduwa is famous for its possibilities for diving and coral reefs, as well as for surfing and nightlife.
The historic Port of Galle (116 km from Colombo) - with its UNESCO protected world heritage site - Dutch fort - and fashionable hotels with small beaches. Further south from Galle is famous Unawatuna beach (120km from Colombo), which is still the most popular place of those who want the beach, sand and sun. Unawatuna has been voted one of the top 12 beaches in the world and provides wonderful diving, relaxing atmosphere and nightlife. Accommodation in host families are suitable for independent travelers. For those who want luxury accommodation is better to stay in the Galle harbor and visit Unawatuna during the day.
During the entire length of the coast from Negombo to Unawatuna you have countless opportunities for water fun and beach activities, meet the highest standard of service and accommodation and still remain close to the capital and the airport. The best time to visit the southern beaches is from November to April, while monsoons are on the east coast.
For those who like to travel a little further and enjoy to discover new places and hidden beaches, it is ready deep south of Sri Lanka.
In scenic Weligama Bay (143 km from Colombo) you will found fischermen sitting on a perch in the sea and punting catamarans. For those looking for something special is here Taprobane Island, to which it is possible to wade from the bay.
Just behind Welligama is Mirissa (155 km from Colombo), which many consider the best beach in the deep South, which has preserved the feeling of affection and has a beautiful caves. It is a popular spot for surfers, a convenient place for sports and leisurely travelers.
At the end of the shoreline is Tangalle (195 km from Colombo), which boasts stunning deserted beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see. You also have the chance to see turtles at Rekawa and visit the stone church Mulkirigala with its murals and an unforgettable view of the landscape.
For a truly spotless and clear experience of the beach there is no better place than the east coast. Nilaveli and Uppuveli (271 km from Colombo) lies to the north of Trincomalee and is providing hospitality for its stunning extensive sandy beaches.
On the coast is Pigeon Island - a place for divers with its vibrant coral gardens and shoals of tropical fishes. Visitors can here also discover the hot springs, the fifth largest natural harbor in the world (in Trincomalee) and lots esteemed Buddhist and Hindu temples.
Near to Batticaloa are the beaches Kalkudah and Pasekudah (346 km from Colombo), which are the least frequented on the East Coast. Altogether it's a total of about six kilometers of beautiful sand, calm aquamarine sea, protected by a coral reef offshore.
And finally on the East Coast is Arugam Bay (314 km from Colombo) - a very well established surfing resort with pristine beaches. Nearby is also a national park Lahugala, which is home to a wide range of tropical birds and herds of elephants.
Northern Sri Lanka has its own characteristic beach experience, with islands scattered off the coast of Jaffna (396 km from Colombo), unspoiled beaches lined with palmyra trees, renowned shoal Casuarina Beach and wild and unforgettable sand dunes on Manalkadu. On the north-west coast is Kalpitiya (150km from Colombo) with its pristine beaches and azure sea, during the season home of dolphins and whales, and which is also home to the famous Bar Reef - the largest coral reef in Sri Lanka.
The best time to visit the spotless north and east coast is from May to September.
Wherever you choose to spread out your towel, make sure that you carry enough water to drink and some sunscreen. Even on a cloudy day, the tropical sun is extremely strong. Remember, that dehydration can be a major problem after you've spent some time on a tropical beach. And finally, please, respect the beach environment, do not thow garbage and do not buy illegal souvenirs made from coral and tortoiseshell.
Deep blue adventures
Scuba diving places are Negombo, Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna, Weligama, Mirissa, Tangalle, Pigeon Island and Bar Reef near Kalpitiya. You can meet countless species of exotic reef fish and some of the 138 specific corals of Sri Lanka, but you have also the opportunity to dive to some shipwreck by the coast. If you prefer to stay afloat, but still love marine life, take boat trip to see dolphins and whales in Mirissa, Trincomalee and Kalpitiyi. For those who like to surf the main places are Hikkaduwa, Mirissa and Arugam Bay.
Whether you are looking for five-star beach resort, relaxed surfer's paradise of diving to shipwrecks with brightly colored tropical fish, on Sri Lanka you will find yourself the right beach. Surprisingly, from all these beaches you can get daily to the capital. By path that reveals the many different faces of the island's diversity - all in all, quite an amazing experience.