Sri Lanka is certainly one of the hottest destinations to see this year and it turns out the bars and clubs might be one huge drawing card.
Recently, a friend of mine travelled to the beautiful tear shaped island for many reasons. She and her boyfriend wanted an experience like no other. They wanted to eat great traditional food, sip on cocktails while sitting beneath cinnamon trees and generally having a holiday which other tourists have yet to experience. “We wanted to see Sri Lanka in its original state, before the huge hotel chains invade it and the place becomes the newest tourist destination,” said Luci Martin. “I use to go to Thailand for a true Asian holiday, but it has become over populated with tourists, hotel chains, department stores and doesn’t have the same feel anymore.”
Luci said Sri Lanka’s certainly not advertised as a hotspot for nightclubs and nightlife, but it definitely has a more thriving party vibe than neighbouring Nepal or India. “Alcohol laws aren’t as strict in Sri Lanka as they are in other Asian countries,” she said. “We found there were heaps of places where we could drink and dance in the capital city of Colombo.” Most of the bars and clubs are housed in five star hotels. Gambling is illegal in some south Asian countries, but they get around it by calling the casinos clubs.
Luci recommends a few good spots for drinking and dancing here. The Blue Elephant for great lighting and the chance to request your favourite songs. For retro beats and the most beautiful view over the beach, hit up the oldest nightclub in Sri Lanka- the Hut. Glow plays host to live bands, Zanzi Bar provides an upmarket partying place and The Library is just that – a library by day and a nightclub by night. This is a place boasting class and style, with a very relaxed environment.
No matter where you spend your nights, you can be sure your cocktails will contain Sri Lanka’s signature spice. Cinnamon is used in foods, drinks and contains an essential oil which gives the aromatic flavour when extracted from the bark of the tree. The native spice has a warm, sweet woody aroma that is delicate yet intense. Typically, you’ll find the fragrant spice added to cocktails which are served warm and usually bartenders will make cinnamon based syrup which they mix in cocktails. The best beverages to combine with cinnamon are apple cider or bourbon. It also goes well when paired with almond, blood orange, blackberry, cranberry, mandarin, fig, chocolate, coffee, pear, walnut and banana.
If clubbing and bar hopping isn’t your thing, there is plenty more to do and see in Sri Lanka. One highlight for Luci was the day she cycled through the paddy fields, temples and villages to visit icons like the Sigiriya Rock. She loved the nine course Sinhalese meal in the former home of a Kandayan Chief [now known as the Kandy House]. You could also clime Sri Pada – Sri Lanka’s holiest mountain, swim at Wijaya beach or munch on coconuts as you stroll through tea plantations.
What ever you do while over there, make sure you embrace the smells, stunning visual landscapes and of course, test out the bars and nightclubs. We think you should do it now before others catch on to this new and unique holiday destination.