Is it safe in Sri Lanka for a traveler in May 2019?
Is Sri Lanka SAFE? More than you think. I feel much safer here than in Europe and Russia.
After horrible terrorist attacks in April 2019 in Colombo/Negombo, around 250 people were killed and hundreds more injured in a series of eight explosions at churches and hotels. It said in the three days immediately after the bombings, cancellations of existing bookings surged 86.2% whilst new bookings fell away. However, it did not affect our decision to come to Sri Lanka.
We’ve arrived in Sri Lanka
We arrived in Sri Lanka 10 days after what happened. Already at Kuala Lumpur airport, we were welcomed by Sri Lankan security guys, who were asking every passenger about the nationality, the purpose of visit to Sri Lanka and the length of stay. In Colombo airport, we were pleasantly surprised by the level of security control – the policemen with guys brought the feeling of safety rather than fear. It really felt like everything is in total control and we are absolutely safe.
We stayed 1 night in Colombo before heading to the South of Sri Lanka. In the morning, as we went to have breakfast, we were welcomed by the owner who sadly admitted that “You are the first white skin people in my cafe for the past 10 days”. Sad to hear the local businesses shut down because the attacks devastated the whole tourism industry in the country. We ordered extra food to cheered him up.
So why is it the best time to come to Sri Lanka?
- It is very safe. The police control everywhere makes you feel protected. The friendly locals (who are in my experience the most friendly people in Asia I’ve met) are welcoming you and saying thank you for visiting my country.
- The prices dropped significantly. Not only do you have much more options now, but they are also more affordable. Isn’t it another reason to come!? The essential part of the culture is to bargain – we managed to get 50% off our house in the south of Sri Lanka right next to the ocean which would have never been possible in any other situation.
- There are NO tourists. You have ALL the beauty of Sri Lanka for yourself – the beaches are empty, the surfing spots are empty, the cafes are empty. Everything is for yourself – no lines on the hiking trails in Ella, no queues fora tour to the tea factory etc.
This is THE time to experience Sri Lankan nature as it is. The nature that makes me feel like I’m in Pandora in the parallel reality where people haven’t done any harm and the planet is breathing deeply. Where people finally live in a close connection with nature.
Lonely planet named Sri Lanka the best place to visit in 2019. Tourism is the third-largest foreign exchange earner in the country: with one in every ten Sri Lankan families depending on tourism both directly and indirectly, Sri Lanka suffered severely.
Guys, I know many people who canceled their trips and this is their choice. But having been here for almost a month, I can say with confidence that I haven’t felt happier and safer.
In one of my previous articles, I compared Sri Lanka and Bali and described the unique features of both countries. If you are indecisive where to go, read the article about the comparison of Sri Lanka and Bali here
If you are considering to cancel your trip, think twice before doing it. You might cancel one of the most beautiful experiences in your life.
Enjoy the photos that could have been yours!