Sri Lanka

by Philip Briggs 

Sri Lanka travel guide – holiday advice and tips from Colombo hotels and restaurants to cuisine and homestays, wildlife, national parks (e.g. Yala and Horton Plains), wellness tourism and historic sites. Features Kandy’s Temple of the Tooth, Arugam Bay, Dambulla cave temples, Sigirya, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Galle Fort, Jaffra and beach resorts.

Published:  10th Mar 2023
Size:  135 X 216 mm
Edition:  7
Number of pages:  600
Format AvailableQuantityPrice
ISBN: 9781784777029
In stock
£17.99 £16.19
eBook (ePUB)
ISBN: 9781804691496
£14.99 £13.49

About this book

The new seventh edition of Bradt’s Sri Lanka remains the most detailed and comprehensive guidebook to this alluring island nation. Written by Philip Briggs, one of the world’s most experienced and highly regarded guidebook writers, this thoroughly updated guide provides detailed coverage of every aspect of this diverse and compact country, from idyllic tropical coastlines to mist-shrouded tea plantations and time-warped colonial homesteads. Alongside in-depth sections on all major beach resorts, archaeological sites, historic towns and national parks, it introduces adventurous travellers to intriguing lesser-known sites and emergent destinations inaccessible for decades prior to 2009, when the civil war ended.
Beach holidays are a year-round attraction, while fantastic Buddhist-affiliated UNESCO World Heritage Sites range from the massive dagobas of Anuradhapura, built in pre-Christian times on a scale rivalling Egyptian pyramids, to Dambulla’s exquisitely painted cave temples. Wildlife-viewing opportunities abound, and this guide provides unparalleled, illustrated advice on making the most of these. Asia’s densest elephant and leopard populations thrive in an extensive network of national parks, complemented by fine whale and dolphin-watching, and 450 bird species including 30 occurring in no other country.
Extensive hotel and restaurant listings, covering everything from exclusive boutique hotels to shoestring homestays, have been cherry-picked based on the author’s personal inspection of hundreds of properties countrywide. Sri Lanka’s increasingly renowned cuisine features strongly, as does its growing focus on wellness tourism including Ayurveda therapies. This guidebook differs further from competitors by catering for truly independent travellers, providing 70-plus visitor-focused maps covering all major towns and resorts, clear directions for public transport, and off-the-beaten-track information.
Following a tourist boom in the south, and the gradual opening of the north and east to independent travel, tourism jumped 15% in the two years to 2018. Following COVID-19 and a 2019 terrorism incident, Sri Lankan tourism is again welcoming visitors, with infrastructure benefitting from recent investment in trains, which provide comfortable, efficient and inexpensive public transport. Whether you’re into wildlife, culture, beaches or cuisine – and whether you seek luxury or budget travel – Bradt’s Sri Lanka will address your every need for an enjoyable visit to this bewitching and varied country.

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About the Author

Philip Briggs ( is one of the world’s most experienced and knowledgeable guidebook writers, having been researching and writing guides for Bradt and other well-known publishers for 30 years. In 1991, he wrote the Bradt Guide to South Africa, the first such guidebook to be published internationally after the release of Nelson Mandela. Over the rest of the 1990s, Philip wrote a series of pioneering Bradt travel guides to African destinations (Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Ghana, Rwanda) that were then – and in some cases still are – otherwise practically uncharted by the travel publishing industry. More recently, he authored the first dedicated English-language guidebook to Somaliland, as well as a new guide to The Gambia, both published by Bradt. Turning his attention now to both South America and Asia, he has written Bradt guides to Suriname and Sri Lanka. Philip spends at least four months on the road every year.

Additional Information

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 History and Background
History, Government and politics, Economy, National flag, People, Language, Religion, Education, Culture
Chapter 2 The Natural World
Geography and climate, Natural history and conservation
Chapter 3 Practical Information
When to visit, Itineraries, Tour operators, Tourist information, Red tape, Getting there and away, Security and safety, What to take, Money, Budgeting, Getting around, Accommodation, Eating and drinking, Public holidays and festivals, Shopping, Media and communications, Cultural etiquette
Chapter 4 Health and Safety
Preparations, Common medical problems, Other safety concerns

Chapter 5 Colombo
History, Orientation, Getting there and away, Getting around, Crime and safety, Where to stay, Where to eat and drink, Bars and nightlife, Shopping, Other practicalities, What to see and do, Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia, Muthurajawela Wetland Sanctuary
Chapter 6 The Coast from Negombo to Kalpitiya
Negombo, Waikkal, Chilaw and surrounds, Puttalam, The Kalpitiya Peninsula
Chapter 7 Inland of Colombo
The A1 towards Kandy and Kurunegala, Kurunegala and surrounds, Avissawella and the Kelani Valley Railway
Chapter 8 The Western Resort Coast: Bentota, Kosgoda and Hikkaduwa
Kalutara and surrounds, Bentota and surrounds, The coast from Kosgoda to Ambalangoda and Madu Wetlands, Hikkaduwa,

Chapter 9 Dambulla, Sigiriya and Surrounds
Dambulla, Historic sites south and west of Dambulla, Sigiriya, Habarana, The elephant parks: Minneriya, Kaudulla and Hurulu
Chapter 10 Polonnaruwa
History, Orientation, Getting there and away, Where to stay, Where to eat and drink, Other practicalities, Tour operators and bicycle hire, What to see and do, Around Polonnaruwa
Chapter 11 Anuradhapura and Surrounds
History, Getting there and away, Where to stay, Where to eat and drink, Other practicalities, What to see and do, Mihintale Monastery, Thanthirimale Temple, Wilpattu National Park

Chapter 12 Northern Province
Mannar Island, Jaffna
Chapter 13 Eastern Province
When to visit, Further information, Trincomalee, Pasikuda, Batticaloa, Ampara and Gal Oya National Park, Arugam Bay

Chapter 14 Kandy and Surrounds
History, Getting there and away, Where to stay, Where to eat and drink, Other practicalities, What to see and do, Mahiyanganaya and surrounds
Chapter 15 High Hill Country: Adam’s Peak, Nuwara Eliya and Ella, Hatton, Adam’s Peak and Nallathanniya, Nuwara Eliya, Horton Plains National Park, Haputale, Bandarawela, Ella
Chapter 16, Low Hill Country: Kitulgala, Ratnapura and Sinharaja
Kitulgala, Ratnapura, Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Kanneliya Forest Reserve

Chapter 17 Tissamaharama and the Southern Safari Circuit
Embilipitiya, Udawalawe National Park, Wellawaya, Buttala, Kataragama, Tissamaharama, Kirinda, Yala National Park, Bundala National Park, Hambantota
Chapter 18, The Southern Resort Coast: Tangalle, Matara and Weligama Bay
Tangalle, Towards Matara, Matara and surrounds, Mirissa, Weligama and Midigama
Chapter 19, Galle and Surrounds
History, Getting there and away, Getting around, Where to stay, Where to eat and drink, Other practicalities, What to see and do, Unawatuna and the Rumassala Peninsula, The coast east to Koggala

Appendix 1 Language
Appendix 2 Glossaries
General glossary, Annotated glossary of key historical, legendary and mythical figures
Appendix 3 Further information

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