Sri Lanka is India without the culture shock.
Although Sri Lanka and India seem to share many things at first sight, both countries significantly differ from each other. India is a large continent with a very large population. It can be very tiring to get from A to B. Not to mention the constant challenge for your senses.
Too often, travellers cut their time short in India because they find the touring and culture shock too much. Here are some of the key differences between the two countries from a travel Sri Lanka India perspective and why if you are thinking about a trip to India you might want to consider a practice run to Sri Lanka instead. Call it the ‘lite’ version of India. What follows is travel Sri Lanka advice.
One of the first differences you will notice upon arrival in Sri Lanka is the people. Sri Lankans are known to be very polite and respectful to others, especially foreigners.
In Sri Lanka you don’t have to deal with:
- People’s constant ‘stares’ and ‘touching’ which is common in India.
- Touts like travel agents, street vendors and tuktuk drivers looking to sell you a tour or package holiday. We don’t say that doesn’t happen in Sri Lanka, but chances are very rare in comparison to India as Sri Lankans value honesty.
- People spitting and urinating in public areas. Although the government in Delhi issued guidelines ahead of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, warning to not split or urinate in public, not many people continue to follow these rules.
All in all, Sri Lankans have a very natural and heartfelt attitude especially towards foreigners. Many have also a given talent to quickly learn foreign languages so don’t be surprised if a random person suddenly talks in your own language.
Travel Safety Sri Lanka India
Travel Sri Lanka safe should always be your motto. In fact, safety should be always one of your top priorities when travelling.
While travelling around India might be a nice idea, because of perceived safety concerns especially in the North of India much of your travel might have to be by arranged group tours. This can involve a lot of ‘on and off’ the bus, buffet meals etc’. Some areas have travel warnings and many international countries recommend not travelling alone to certain areas, especially if you are female.
The middle, east coast and South of Sri Lanka makes travelling around not only very easy but possible to travel Sri Lanka safely. If you are a solo (female) traveller then it is much easier to get around Shri Lanka than India and not be hassled.
The Environment Sri Lanka India
Granted, Sri Lanka is of course smaller than India and yes, India is the second most populated country in the world. However, these are not valid reasons for the huge amount of litter covering sidewalks and even roads. The never-ending landscape of garbage in big cities is definitely one of India’s top environmental problems in its major cities.
Sri Lanka manages great environmental protection and has a well-functioning waste management system; streets are remarkably clean in major cities.
Sri Lanka being an Island nation takes marine conservation very seriously. It is home to 5 of the 7 species of sea turtle in the World and many animals are protected by law.
Sri Lanka is also the first country in the World to protect all of its mangroves.
Travel Sri Lanka information
Driving around with any type of vehicle in India is a daunting experience: lanes are marked but often ignored and new lanes are created out of thin air: it’s not rare to see seven cars/motorbikes/vans next to another on a road with three lanes.
On top of all that, you need to take a considerable amount of time into account when travelling from one place to another, as just everything seems to be overcrowded
Travel Sri Lanka classic now is even more enjoyable given Sri Lanka has invested in new roadways opening several highways that connect major cities. The Southern Expressway Highway connects Colombo and Galle and continues between Galle and Matara. A separate highway linking Colombo and Kandy is under construction. This makes the journey time between major cities very reasonable.
A highlight of any travelling around Sri Lanka is also taking a ride on one of the refurbished train services. For more information about train travel in Sri Lanka read our blog post on train travel shri lanka
Poverty Sri Lanka India
One of the most confronting experiences for travellers in India is the scale of poverty everywhere, especially when visiting cities such as Delhi or Kolkata.
In terms of the Human Development Index for South Asia Sri Lanka ranks Number 1 in South Asia and 73 in the World as compared to India which is ranked 133 in the World. http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/librarypage/hdr/2014-human-development-report
Sri Lanka is a developing country and the average monthly wage is low by western standards. However, you’ll notice quickly that Sri Lanka manages a reasonable standard of living for its citizen which can be seen everywhere around the country, whether you visit Colombo, Galle, Kandy or even more rural parts.
Wildlife Sri lana India
Sri Lanka is home to many stunning landscapes, wildlife sanctuaries and a unique marine world which you can find nowhere else in the world.
India has definitely a diverse flora and fauna and offers many unique places around the country. However, given Sri Lanka’s size it is much easier to have wildlife encounters with majestic blue whales in the Ocean, Leopards on the wild plains of Sri Lanka and Purple Leaf Monkeys in the Trees.