You’ve flown all the way to Sri Lanka with England’s Barmy Army to watch the cricket, but it would be MADNESS to miss the best, quirkiest, sexiest stuff you can get up to while you’re out there.
Here are seven ways to have great times in Sri Lanka with your mates, irrespective of whether England have been rubbish yet again at the cricket.
1. Find frisky frescoes
If you only do one thing, head to Sigiriya (top picture, above) - it’s like the Ayer’s Rock of Sri Lanka, but with a remarkable story behind it. This mountainous boulder found plonked right in the middle of the country has a plateau fortress at the top where 5th century playboy King Kashyapa lived with his 500 wives and concubines. He sourced his female companions from the most exotic locations he could, and judging by the frescoes of them painted on the side of the rock (above), Kashyapa had a very specific type.
- More on Sigiriya
FYI For sweeping views, you can climb Sigiriya through what was once lion’s jaws carved into the rock (below).
2. Ride elephants
Get the full Indiana Jones experience in Habarana - who needs a skateboard?
- More on elephant rides
FYI Elephants flap their ears to keep cool, which explains why African elephants have bigger lugs than their Asian counterparts - it's hotter in Africa. GO ON, evolution.
3. Chill to Bob Marley beats
Get yourself to beautiful hilltop village Ella for a mug of irie, man. Top bar Nescoffee does beer and reggae beats.
- More on Nescoffee
FYI Ella didn’t have any electricity until 1984. After the latest series of Made In Chelsea, they're thinking about turning it off again.
(Photo by calflier001 on Flickr)
4. Conquer Adam’s Peak
Climb to the top of 2,243m (7,362 ft) pilgrimage site, Adam’s Peak. The mountain is so named because it’s revered as being the first place Adam set foot on earth. Bit of a pain, that: "You couldn't have just dropped me at a bus stop, could you, God?"
- More on Adam's Peak
FYI On a clear day you can see all the way to the capital city, Colombo, 65km away.
5. Stay in a tea factory
What better way to unwind after cricketing excitement than to spend the night in a converted tea factory? Pick your own tea, put your feet up, drink your own crop, pine for Tetley.
- More on the Tea Factory
FYI Nuwara Eliya, the town that is home to the Tea Factory Hotel, used to be called Little England in colonial times.
6. Take a pummelling
Sri Lanka is big on Ayurvedic massage. It doesn’t really matter what Ayurvedic means - it just matters that you can feel a million miles away from the troubles of the world by being massaged into oblivion... and the Sri Lankans have mastered this.
- More on Ayurvedic massage
FYI 20,000 Sri Lankans are officially qualified in Ayurveda.
7. Go surfing Sri-Lank-A
The blustery coasts means the island of Sri Lanka is a dream spot for surfers. If you go in winter, head for Hikkaduwa to the south west, while Arugam Bay on the east coast is the place in spring and summer.
- More on surfing in Sri Lanka
FYI There’s $50,000 up for grabs at the Associate of Surfing Professionals tour event in Arugam Bay this summer.