If you go to cross the street, cars actually will stop for you.
It’s a lovely country to visit. It is exotic, quite safe (these days), and it’s much cleaner than I had been expecting. Both of my guidebooks claim the food is mediocre, but you can find excellent Sri Lankan dishes by going to small restaurants and paying less than a dollar (the actual restaurant scene does seem underdeveloped, though the places in the Cinnamon Grand are quite good). Just look for places where everyone is eating with their hands.
Order any vegetarian dish with cashews or a cashew sauce.
The place feels like an odd mix of Thailand and, of all places, Curacao. The old capital, Kandy, is vaguely reminiscent of Nara, Japan in its overall presentation and its feel of Buddhist classicism.
Interior design seems to be their area of greatest accomplishment. The relevant sites are numerous but spread out.
The literacy rate is about 92%. A visit to Sri Lanka will increase your opinion of “water transport” theories of high social indicators.
Here is an update on where ethnic tensions stand.
The Chinese are trying to buy them off with infrastructure, most of all port facilities.
The coconuts are orange.
I thank Yana for useful conversations related to this post.