Geoffrey Bawa was one of the more interesting Sri Lankan characters we learnt about on our trip. He was eccentric architect who got around in a vintage rolls-royce, loved a gin and tonic in the garden and was openly homosexual in a time when that was considered scandalous. He was also a leading proponent of ‘tropical modernism’, a beautiful blend of nature and construction.
Original Source and Supply is a small business based out of Sri Lanka that creates and sells hand crafted, thoughtfully produced and individually unique pieces of artwork, stationary, home ware and clothing. I was fortunate enough to meet the woman behind the brand to find out how it all began.
Travel is so romanticised, it’s easy to forget how much of it consists of killing time, waiting for transport in towns made for leaving, or riding stinking hot buses with your knees wrapped around your ears sitting in seats built for a six year old. After six months on the road it’s easy to get jaded sometimes, and then you find something that reminds you why you love it. On the side of a dusty road in north-eastern Sri Lanka, the Pasta Hut reignited my faith.
A few weeks ago I posted an article outlining last year’s attempt at giving up plastic for Lent while living in Australia (read about it here). This year we are on the road, and I wanted to see what it would be like to try and live (or rather travel) plastic-free in Sri Lanka. In a country where single-use plastic is a relatively recent addition, the experience was mixed. It was refreshing to embrace traditional alternatives that are readily available across the island, yet disheartening to witness how ubiquitous items like plastic bottles and straws have become. Seeing how much of it ends up strewn across the landscape only highlights the work still required to turn the tide.
Sri Lanka is an island with a landmass four times smaller than the UK, but with a population almost the size of Australia. It is well served by a number of different modes of transit, but getting around can take longer than expected as in many areas speeds average between 20 to 40 km p/h. The public transport system is extensive and can be a great way to see some spectacular sights and meet friendly locals. After a few months traversing the country, here are some of our tips and tricks for getting around.
Located in Sri Lanka’s far north, Jaffna is a little off the beaten path. Emerging from decades of civil war, the relatively laid back city is full of old world charm. Its resilient people are unbelievably friendly and welcoming, and as it continues to rebuild it is fast becoming a part of Sri Lanka that you can’t miss!
Getting to taste and try local food is one of the most exciting aspects of travelling for me. Sri Lankan food may sound simple but is deceptively complex. What is listed on the menu as Rice and Curry is often comprised of four or five different curries with additional sauces. We’ve found the food to be fresh, tasty and very spicy – here are a few of our favourites:
Nuwara Eliya sits high in the heart of Sri Lankan hill country. It is a small city with a big personality, accessed most easily by train and positioned between popular tourist destinations Ella and Kandy. Aptly nicknamed ‘Little England,’ the city is like a time warp, drawing in visitors from all over to enjoy its unique and old-worldly charms.
For those like us who visit Sri Lanka and realise that 30 days is not enough time to see the sights, soak up the culture or enjoy the beaches, there is an option to extend your visa in person in Colombo for up to 6 months. We’ve gone through this process twice and it is a little confusing, so we’ve put together this article to share some tips on how to do it as smoothly as possible!