Top 10 Tourist Sites in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's sights are scattered all over the island, but the southwest coast, the central ancient city, Kandy and the mountains are the most popular ones. From seashores to mountainous areas, from religious sacred sites to refreshing tea gardens, from ancient cities of world cultural heritage to places where wild animals gather, the types of scenic spots are also very diverse. Top 10 Tourist Sites in Sri Lanka list some famous attractions for your reference.


1. Lion Rock of Sigiriya

Lion rock is an aerial palace built on the orange-red rock, which is known as the eighth wonder of the world. It is the summit of Sri Lanka's "Golden Triangle of Culture" and a precious world-class heritage protected by UNESCO.



Originally, the huge boulder was built to look like a huge lion. But only the lion's body remains and the lion's head has already been weathered and fallen. There is the Lion Rock Museum, Royal Garden, murals, mirror wall, cobra cave and other landscapes in the scenic area which are full of features.


2. Temple of the Tooth Relic

Located on the north shore of Lake Kandy, the Temple of the Tooth Relic is home to Sri Lanka's most important sacred Buddhist relic, the Dental Relic of Buddha Shakyamuni. The temple has two floors. The structure is complex, mainly including the Buddha hall, the drum hall, the long hall, the chanting hall, the great treasure, the inner hall, etc. The most important building is the central hall.



The security level of the temple is very high. All tourists must go through strict security checks. Men and women can enter after separate security checks. Visitors should take off their shoes and wear long clothing that covers the arms and knees.


The ticket office provides free audio guide equipment. The relic is placed in a box and the altar is always 3 meters from the door that visitors can reach. Everyone's time in this sacred room is also limited. You should not miss the Temple of the Tooth Relic


3. The Elephant Orphanage

The Elephant Orphanage was built by the Sri Lanka Wildlife Agency in 1975. It mainly adopts young elephants that are homeless, fall into pits or traps, or escape from the herd of elephants, especially those that are seriously injured or ill. Since the creation of the elephant hospital, the number of orphanages selected has grown steadily.


Young elephants who fell into the trap, were seriously injured, lost their way, were wounded and sick in the war, are eligible to live in the orphanage. The living elephants are well taken care of. To reduce the financial burden on the government, elephant orphanages are regularly open to tourists. Some trained elephants will put on shows to attract tourists and solicit donations.



Visitors are free to feed the elephants and have "zero distance contact" with these elephants. Nowadays, the Elephant Orphanage has become a well-known site for tourists to visit. The highlight is that you can see groups of elephants rushing to the river for a bath.


4. Mackwoods Tea Factory

Mackwoods Tea Factory is the most famous tea factory in Nuwara Eliya, which is one of the largest and most famous tea factories in Sri Lanka. This high mountain black tea brand has a history of 160 years, and it has several hills in the tea garden. The tea garden tour is free and the tea factory staff will explain the tea making process. You can enjoy authentic black tea for free. The chocolate cake is very popular and goes well with tea black.



5. The Old Town of Galle

Galle is a seaside town in southern Sri Lanka. It is not famous for its beaches but for its castles, which have been listed as a World Cultural Heritage. During the Dutch colonial period, in order to show Sri Lanka's indestructible rule, the Dutch built a castle in Galle, covering an area of 360,000 square meters in a standard European style.



In addition to the castle, Galle has other vestiges from the colonial era. In addition to the castle, Galle is a small coastal town in Southeast Asia, with beaches and a blue sea. Galle Fort is not large, so the best way to see is to slow down and take a leisurely walk.


6. Horton Plains National Park

Horton Plains National Park is an important ecotourism area and a world natural heritage in Sri Lanka. It is also the only national park in Sri Lanka that allows tourists to go hiking. Horton Plain is a beautiful, peaceful and special place. It is covered with pristine meadows. There are different types of wild animals, which is very suitable for hiking.



The sunny season is from January to March. 6 am to 10 am is the best time to visit the Horton Plains National Park. At the Horton Plains National Park, you can see the villages under the mountain, the tea plantations in the distance, and even the south coast. There is a big difference in temperature and the sun is scorching at noon. You have to wear long clothes and pants early in the morning and in the evening. Don't forget to apply sunscreen.


7. Golden Temple of Dambulla

Dambulla Cave Temple is located in central Sri Lanka, 149 kilometers northeast of Colombo and 60 kilometers north of the ancient capital Kandy. It was built in the 1st century BC and is a place pilgrimage to Sri Lanka. Dambulla Cave Temple is a typical Sri Lankan cave temple, located on the slope of a stone mountain.



The temple is carved out of the rock. There are various stone Buddha statues and other carvings in the temple. Frescoes are all over the temple. The Buddhist Caves, comprising five holy churches, are the largest and best-preserved cave temples in Sri Lanka. They have great religious and artistic value and have witnessed to the charm of Buddhist art.


8. Mirissa Beach

Mirissa is the latest batch beach to open on the south coast of Sri Lanka, so you can still see the large coconut groves on the beach. The development project has not affected the natural landscape. The water is very clear and the reefs near the coast are good places for snorkeling. The most attractive is going out to see whales and dolphins.



9. Negombo Beach

Negombo is a fishing port on the west coast of Sri Lanka, famous for its huge fisheries, bustling fish market, and long, narrow beaches. Negombo beaches cannot be compared to many other beaches in Sri Lanka in terms of clear water and fine sand. The sea water has turned yellow due to the discharge of sewage from the estuary.



Negombo Beach stretches from the north of the city along street until it is submerged in a narrow long palm grove. Nowadays, the beach is also more neat, especially in front of the grand hotel, which is also quite charming.


Even if foreign tourists do not stay, they can enter the beach from the front of large hotels. As for living and experiencing the colorful local customs, it is recommended to visit the Negombo Beach Park. The sunrise and sunset at Negombo Beach are not to be missed.


10. The ancient city of Polonnaruwa

The ancient city of Polonnaruwa is located in the northeast of Sri Lanka, 216 kilometers northeast of the capital, Colombo. In 933 AD, Polonnaruwa became the capital of Sri Lanka. In the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, you can find not only the relics of Brahmanism from the Kolas period, but also the remains of the mythical garden city built by Parakrama I in the 12th century.



In 1982, UNESCO inscribed the ancient city of Polonnaruwa as a cultural heritage and inscribed it on the "World Heritage List". It is very similar to Anuradhapura. Since the scenic area is very large, it is better to rent a bicycle as a means of transportation. The ticket is 25 dollars. There are ruins of the ancient city, special sacrificial altars, classic Sri Lankan pagodas, and stone Buddha statues on the walls.


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