If you have had the opportunity to go through my earlier post on Sri Lanka – Sun, Sand & Sri Lanka!, you may perhaps not need many further reasons to visit the island paradise :). Nevertheless, for Indians who live right next to Lanka, I find it astonishing that it still doesn’t exist in some of our must visit lists. Here is my list of top five reasons why you should be visiting it ASAP –
1. Inexpensive Flight Tickets – Sri Lankan airlines is perhaps your best friend here with return airfare from Mumbai being as low as 11-12k INR (app. $200). The fares may drop even further if you fly out from some major cities in South India (Kochi, Chennai, Trivandrum & Bangalore). That may be close to airfares within India itself. Some food for thought.
2. Hassle – Free Visa process – The visa process is so hassle free, I’d rate it even better than the On-arrival ones. All you need to do is fill up a simple online form and fees and you’ll perhaps have the visa in your inbox in a few minutes/hours. Sounds incredible. Doesn’t it?
3. A favourable currency conversion – Scared of the hole the currency conversion will burn in your pocket while you are travelling abroad? Well, this one will come as a respite. The Lankan rupee has been depreciating for a while now, and though it’s a concern for the authorities there, it’s an opportunity for tourists. I mean it’s a deal clincher when you realise that the 1000 rupees being charged for a boat ride are actually equivalent to only 400 Indian rupees! You don’t get that luxury often. Do you?
4. Ideal for almost everyone – For cultural explorers (the cultural triangle in central SL) and adventure seekers ( a friend told me there are facilities for night diving as well) and for those who simply wish to relax on the beach and have a good time. ( Just sit at the Unawatuna beach and gulp down some ginger beer). Above all, they are just opening up to tourism. The sites, beaches, etc. are just perfect, with not too many tourists and yet good facilities available. (The acco can be good value for money).
5. An ongoing Cricket World Cup and an in-form(??) Indian cricket team :)