Are you planning on taking a long-haul flight and thinking about transiting in Sri Lanka? The Land of Serendipity offers the opportunity to discover a totally different and unexplored culture full of color. Getting a transit visa will allow you to explore the closest locations for a maximum of 2 days while you are waiting for your connection flight to your final destination. So, what are you waiting for? There are many reasons why it is worth to get a transit visa in Sri Lanka, even if you are there for just the day. Find out why.
We will give you a nickel if you can give us a reason to stay at the airport during transit for more than four hours, especially when getting a Sri Lanka Transit Visa is so easy. The highly priced food, the uncomfortable seats, the fluorescent lighting… Airports are not usually made for total comfort, are they? Get out of there even if it is only to get some hours of sleep in a comfy hotel! Time will fly by if you embrace your adventurous-self and take a peek into this wonderful country.
If you have time to stay at a hotel and have a day in the capital of Sri Lanka, we advise you to take the opportunity and explore the contrasts of Colombo. Get close to Beira Lake, a green area in the middle of the city, admire the Old Dutch Hospital, one of the oldest colonial buildings, or take a walk around the bustling streets of Pettah, one of the first districts of the city. On your way, you can admire the amazing Jami-Ul-Alfar Mosque, an impressive red and white building that will take you back to Arabian Nights. Get your dose of amazing Hindu temples at Sri Kailawasanathan Swami Devasthanam Kovil, the oldest in the city and definitely one of the most impressive thanks to its hundreds of detailed stone sculptures that cover the temple’s facade from top to bottom.
Want to spend your day in Sri Lanka away from the capital? In this case, our recommendation is Negombo, a beachside town just 8 kilometers away from Colombo International Airport. Relax on the beach, take a tour of the Dutch fort or take a boat trip on the Lagoon, an amazing bit of nature with an incredible ecosystem.
As well as the beach in Negombo, you can also get your dose of vitamin -C during your transit in the country in other beautiful beaches. Mount Lavina beach, for instance, is one of the main places to take a swim. Its clean beach and relaxed environment will make for a perfect day in the sun. On the other hand, visiting Wallawatta Beach is the perfect chance to soak in the sun without leaving Colombo. This small stretch of sand is not that crowded despite being in the center and will give you a break from the hustle and bustle.
There is no place like Sri Lanka to get to see the most amazing animals in their natural element. Take advantage of your short stay to visit Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, a chance to see the work that volunteers have been doing to look after abandoned elephants. See them in their natural habitat in a humane way. Another option is to sail the sea and enjoy a voyage to get a glimpse of some of the most incredible sea mammals. Whale-watching in Sri Lanka is possible in the country’s East coast, so getting a glimpse of them in a safe way is one of the best ideas for a short stay if you are a nature-lover.
Whatever your choice, make sure you choose to do something that you will not be able to do at your final destination. For example, take a relaxing spa outing in Negombo including a 75-minute body massage or taste the most delicious dishes of the local cuisine such as delicious Hoppers (a take on pancakes), a mix od the most delicious rice noodles or Vegetable Roti.
This work by The Last American Vagabond is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, and may be reposted as is, with attribution to the author and TheLastAmericanVagabond.com. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at Ryan@thelastamericanvagabond.com.