To many Thais, Pongpet Mekloy included, the mention of Sri Lanka will suddenly bring to mind Colombo, the capital, Ceylon tea, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy, and some other religious sites. But what about Sri Lanka’s southern coast? Hmm. Of course, there must be beaches and the sea. But what else?
From new hotel openings in Sri Lanka to the architecturally distinct Tulou buildings in China’s Fujian province – as featured in Disney’s upcoming Mulan remake – 2020 ought to be the year you rediscover destinations in Asia.
Sri Lanka was once described as one of the most scenic islands by the avid traveler Marco Polo, and even today, it sure keeps its reputation intact. This island country has a history spanning for over thousands of years and deep roots in Indian religion and mythologies. Aside from cultural relevance, its geographical location is […]
Sri Lanka is a whole world encased in a tiny island adrift in the Indian Ocean. Tea plantations co-exist with paradise beaches. Ancient temples contrast sprawling urban centres and the wildlife is second to none. If you only have a week or two to spend there you can still cover a lot of ground. Here’s what to do if you find yourself in Sri Lanka this year: 1)Fall for Galle Galle certainly wins the prettiest city award. It’s ancient cobbled streets roll into the sea and the view from the harbour will take your breath away. The architecture is Dutch…
Minister of Law and Order and Southern Development Sagala Ratnayake assured that there is no longer a risk of UNESCO removing the historic Galle Fort from the list of World Heritage Sites as the government has taken measures to properly implement the UNESCO conditions.
The Minister after an observation tour of the area on Monday told the reporters that the UNESCO had recognized Galle Fort, built by the Portuguese first in 1588 and fortified by the Dutch later, as a live world heritage site considering its ancient architectural and monumental value and has set conditions to maintain the site to keep the designation.
In the past few years the site came under the threat of being removed from the World Heritage Sites list due to the unauthorized constructions violating the UNESCO conditions in the area.
Winter offers some of the most exciting travel experiences of the year. You just need to know where to go and when.
For a far-flung winter beach break, try the volcanic archipelago of Cape Verde, off the coast of West Africa. Settle down at one beach resort, or if you have a taste for variety, try island hopping to get a real taste for this African country. If you opt for the latter, be sure not to miss Santo Antao. Covered in canyons, gorges and valleys, it is the second-largest island in the archipelago. The north-east of the island is busiest and the best spot for hikers. For something more relaxing, Sal has an impressive coast, as well as shops and restaurants.
The Sri Lanka National Commission for UNESCO has taken issue with a Law and Order and Southern Development Ministry directive to certain Government institutions to vacate historic buildings in the Galle Fort which is designated a ‘Living Heritage Fort’ by the UN agency.
The order to give up 15 buildings in the Fort was issued by Law and Order and Southern Devlopment Ministry Secretary Jagath P Wijeweera early last month. But it was done without consulting the Department of Archaeology, the Sri Lanka National Commission for UNESCO and the Ministry of Education under whose purview these listed sites fall.
Mr Wijeweera’s letter implies that the vacating order was given in keeping with UNESCO guidelines.
It may a faded gem, but Galle Fort is a gem nonetheless.
Sri Lanka looms as the new alternative to Bali, sans the over-development and the undesirables, with the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Galle Fort already one of the island nation’s genuine, if faded, gems. Dating to the early 16th century when the Portuguese established the first fort here, the historically rich Galle Fort is also the place to experience the stylish side of modern-day Sri Lanka with its array of attractive boutique lodgings, fashionable restaurants and stylish bars, and a host of enticing shops.
Take a stroll along Church Street, more or less Galle Fort’s main thoroughfare, for a sense of Galle Fort’s extraordinary 400 years of history spanning British, Dutch and Portuguese colonialism.
This morning we drove to Galle to explore the city including the lighthouse and the Old Town. We also visit the UNESCO World Heritage listed Dutch Fort, the largest intact Dutch fort in Asia. Within the ramparts and stonewalls of Galle Fort outstanding buildings remain.
From the ramparts, we could see a river inlet which was where the major tsunami destruction occurred as the area was rather low. The water flowed on the cricket ground which was next to the river. Thousands were killed in the city alone. The cricket ground is known as the Galle International Stadium, which is considered to be one of the most picturesque cricket grounds in the world. As the ground, which was severely damaged by the tsunami, it was rebuilt and test matches resumed there on 18 December 2007.
One of the hottest destinations in Asia right now, Sri Lanka continues to make it onto an increasing number of international travelers’ itineraries.
But to make the most of it, you’re going to have to let things go a little bit south.
From untouched beaches to a UNESCO World Heritage site, leopard-spotting safaris to monkey-filled jungles, Sri Lanka’s southern coastline is home to tropical surrounds, colonial digs and a wealth of wildlife.
Bear in mind weather varies dramatically throughout the country, with most travel professionals recommending January-March as the best period to visit Sri Lanka’s south.
Here, local guides and experts share their favorite destinations and travel tips.
Why head to Sri Lanka’s south?
Until a few years ago, Sri Lanka’s south made it onto few travelers’ itineraries.