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The Traveller's Magazine
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Looking to get away this winter but don’t want to blow the bank? Brits will find the best destination value in south-east Asia, Sri Lanka to be more specific. Stretching your well-earned pounds has never been easier.

The Post Office have released their annual long-haul holiday report and if value is your top priority when choosing a holiday destination, Sri Lanka and Vietnam are the best choices. Indonesia came in third place, pushing Thailand out of the ring.

It’ll still cost a pretty farthing to get there though. Flights to Sri Lanka this winter cost start at £448 (return, taxes included) for trips in December and January. Once you arrive however, you can take it easy.

The Post Office report takes a look at twelve typical holiday purchases and their cost in popular holiday countries around the world. From the price of a cup of coffee (a measly 57p in Sri Lanka), sunblock, bottle of beer to the price of a 3-course meal for two, Sri Lanka offers the best value while on holidays.


For all the details, check out the Post Office Long-Haul Report 2012.

When to go:

Sri Lanka enjoys gorgeous tropical weather with both dry and wet seasons. Timing your holiday in Sri Lanka is crucial. There are two monsoons to start with, one in the south-west region which falls from May to August and the other falls from October to January in the north-east part. That being said, the sea surrounding Sri Lanka stays a blissful and balmy 27°C year-round.

  • Best time to visit the south-west: December to March
  • Best time to visit the north-east: May to September

What to do:

Get lost in ancient cities

Sri Lanka’s golden age is well preserved in its ancient cities. Ruins, temples, monasteries, statues and stupas dot the country. Walk back in time. Visit Anuradhapura, where Sinhalese kings once ruled from regal palaces. It was Sri Lanka’s royal capital. Polonnaruwa’s status as royal capital was short-lived but today has some impressive ancient ruins in its historical park. Finally Sigiriya is home to one of the most impressive archaeological sights in Sri Lanka, the Lion Fortress.


Laze with locals on the best beaches

Of course Sri Lanka has some fantastic beaches. Arugam Bay is the perfect place to go to find soft sand to lay down your beach towel. There is also great surfing here. From this bay, there are plenty of lagoons to explore nearby if you’re looking for a more secluded place to sun bathe.

Tour a tea plantation and enjoy a cuppa

Some of the best tea in the world comes from Sri Lanka. Take a trip to Ella, a sleepy town in the hill country. It’s a perfect base for exploring tea plantations, waterfalls and temples. It’s rural and secluded but the view from this place is worth the trip alone.


Spot a leopard on a wildlife safari

Sri Lanka boasts some impressive wildlife, including leopards. Take a trip to Yala National Park and if you’re lucky you may just spot one! Elephants and others are also commonly spotted here.

Is Sri Lanka on your travel bucket list?  

Imgs: james gordongarretmclarke, joseph ferris / Flickr cc.

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2 responses to “Out with Thailand, in with Sri Lanka

  1. Yeah! You can witness the ‘bloodbath on the beaches’ in the words of the United Nations! Also you can walk over the skeletol remains of the 147,000 Tamils who were massacred in May 2009!!

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