For Sri Lanka's National Day (February 4), Việt Nam News introduces a message from the embassy.
When you need less than a day to travel from one end to the other, and yet you can dabble in at least 25 different activities, you know you’ve come to the right place.
When you have a past so mighty yet so exciting, with the most vibrant culture that makes falling in love with it as easy as riding a bike; when you can drive into an ocean full of life, catch the freshness spraying from a waterfall hitting the rocks, and hear the birds singing as they build their homes; when every day is a summer romance with sunrise breakfasts and idyllic road trips straight out of a movie; when you can wake up with elephants, play hide and seek with leopards and close your eyes under a sky full of stars; when you can smell fragrant spices cooking in different combinations from every household with age-old treasured recipes; when you feel like everyone around you is family and you’ve run out of words to express how you feel deep inside, and your heart races and warms at the same time- you just know you’ve fallen in love with it all: you know that you have indefinitely fallen for Sri Lanka!
With almost 3,000 years of history holding ancient cities in their place, Sri Lanka is renowned for all its ageless glory, evident in the remnants of palaces, Buddhist temples, monasteries and theatres, all intricately carved and modelled out of stone, laying abandoned amidst the soaring mountains and bustling cities.
|Aerial view of Sigiriya rock fortress, the eighth world wonder. Photos courtesy of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau
With an astonishing eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites held within its compact shores, Sri Lanka is indeed a marvel of wonders packed in a little island.
We invite you to escape into the serene Royal City of Kandy and the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic (Dalada Maligawa), the most venerated Buddhist temple receiving hundreds of devotees and visitors daily.
Dalada Maligawa organises the most phenomenal cultural festival, “Kandy Esala Perehera," lasting over 10 days and climaxing on the full moon in July or August every year. This cultural pageant has a wide range of ancient dance forms and visual arts, with a majestic tusker carrying the sacred tooth of the Lord Buddha.
The ancient cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa are also not to be missed. The city of Anuradhapura especially is considered one of the grandest monastic cities in Asia, established in the third century BC with the arrival of Buddhism, and where the famous ‘Sri Maha Bodhi Tree’ resides - a sapling of the original tree under which the Lord Buddha attained enlightenment.
The most popular World Heritage site, Sigiriya, is one of the most remarkable archaeological sites in the world. A stupendous rock fortress, it is covered with beautiful frescoes of celestial maidens, earning it a description as the world’s largest picture gallery.
The Dambulla Cave Temple is another heritage site. It is also the largest and best-preserved cave temple on the island. Both local and foreign visitors are mesmerized by its glorious wall paintings and the beauty of the over 150 preserved rock caves in and around the temple, which date to the first century BC.
|The Dambulla Temple is home to the 150 most well-preserved rock caves in the whole world.
Sri Lanka is a prime eco-tourism destination, with a variety of flora and fauna spread across its vast landscape of lush forestry, chilly hillocks and grassy valleys. Cascading waterfalls, blankets of tea plantations, quaint villages, icy flowing streams and rivers and cloud-covered mountain tops form just a peek into what Sri Lanka has to offer.
Take a short trip up-country to the cool climate of the picturesque city of Nuwara Eliya and its tea country, which produces the world’s highest quality black tea (Ceylon Tea).
Tea bushes cover every hill and mountain surrounding the villages. To best observe the scenic and panoramic beauty of the hill country, you must ride the train between Nuwara Eliya and Ella.
Witness a way of life largely untouched by modernity, with an exceptional array of indigenous animal and plant species just waiting to be discovered. Sri Lanka is a spectacular trekking destination with an atmosphere that is fresh and iconic.
The secret to all of Sri Lanka’s incomparable uniqueness lies with her people. The spicy food lovers, tea drinkers, and people with wide smiles are what makes Sri Lanka what it is – bold, hearty and full of life. Is it not truly a paradise on earth?
Make your way to Sri Lanka; we’re always just so happy to see you! VNS