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22 Random Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Sri Lanka

We have been very busy the whole month of June. From work, events, celebrating Eid Al-Fitr and of course travelling. Last June, we headed to Sri Lanka for our holidays which usually coincides with our wedding anniversary.

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A quiet dinner by the beach at The Fat Crab

Sri Lanka is not a very common holiday destination for most and we were not sure what to expect. Most of the info we got were off the internet. The common knowledge most people have is that Sri Lanka is a war torn country and the term ‘travelling to Sri Lanka’ is always answered with a reply of “No, no.” 😛




 

And so we decided to pack our bags and discover Sri Lanka for ourselves. Here is a list we made about “22 Random Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Sri Lanka.”

  • Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon until 1972

  • Sri Lanka was first colonized by the Portuguese followed by the Dutch and lastly the British

  • Sri Lanka was a major exporter of coffee until a fungal disease in 1869 destroyed most of the coffee plants. Now they are a major exporter of tea instead

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    Ann doing quality controls on tea leaves in a factory

  • Sri Lanka gains full independence from the British in 1948

  • The Sri Lanka Civil War was between 1983 – 2009 and the country is now opening up tourism as well as investments in the country




 

  • Jaffna was declared independent by the rebellion group LTTE during the Civil War

  • Sinhala and Tamil are the 2 official languages in Sri Lanka

  • Sri Lanka was one of the worst hit countries of the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami and casualties were estimated to be more than 35 000

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  • The capital city of Sri Lanka is not Colombo but  Sri Jayawardanapura Kotte

  •  The shape of Sri Lanka is like a pearl or the drop of tear. This is the reason Sri Lanka is known as Pearl of Indian Ocean




 

  • The first woman Prime Minister in the world comes from Sri Lanka. Her name is Sirimavo Bandaranaike

  •  Sri Lanka has a total of 8 UNESCO heritage sites and the Dutch Colony in Galle is one of our favourite places

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    Hanging out taking photos at Galle Fort

  • Currently there are a lot of Chinese investments as well as the Chinese people working in the construction industry in Sri Lanka

  • The Poya Day, full moon day is a public holiday in Sri Lanka celebrated by the Buddhists. There are 12 – 13 Poya Days in a year. All shops and businesses are usually close. So do plan your travels and necessities

  • One of the cheapest mode of travel in Colombo is via Uber

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  • Train rides are a cheap mode of transport to see the country but it can get very crowded and accidents do happen 🙂

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    We survived a train derailment in Sri Lanka

  • The word Sri Lanka literally mean “Resplendent Island” in Sanskrit. Resplendent means, “attractive and impressive through being richly colourful or sumptuous”

  • The world Sinhala means “Blood of A Lion”

  • Sigiriya means “Lion Rock”

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  • Although Sri Lankan crabs originated from the country, they can be very expensive. However, they are very tasty to eat! Colombo even has a restaurant named the “Ministry of Crab”

  • Sri Lankans eat lots of rice with curry and another popular meal is the Hoppers; a pancake made from rice flour and coconut milk shaped like a bowl

  • Sri Lankans are super friendly people. We were invited to a house during the Ramadan Iftar (Breaking of Fast) and of course we gladly oblige




 

So here are some of the random things we experienced while travelling Sri Lanka. The country is still opening up to tourism and there are still loads of room for growth. The seafood is fantastic and the people are super friendly. We will update our blog soon with more travel stories of Sri Lanka.

Do you have any Sri Lanka experiences or stories to share? Comments below.

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