June is traditionally the start of monsoon season for Asia, which means many parts of the continent are difficult to travel around unless you bring along a raincoat or umbrella – or a boat, for that matter.
The summer months mean fewer tourists, cheaper prices, and a much greener natural environment, but flooding, mosquito-borne disease and that familiar damp feeling will take away from the overall experience. So where can you go in June, July and August if you can only travel during those months? Try Sri Lanka.
The country’s climate is unique for a relatively smaller country – while its west coast experiences the annual deluge of rainfall in summer months, the southeastern coast stands in stark contrast with a relatively bright and dry climate. While Colombo and Galle are subject to the southwest monsoon as it is called, the southeastern areas which include many parts of Sri Lanka’s famed Cultural Triangle are easily explored without fear of rainfall. Not to mention, the beaches!
And did we say fewer tourists? That’s right. It’s low tourist season for Sri Lanka, meaning visitors will find it pleasantly uncrowded, even at the more well-travelled areas of the country. Moreover, Sri Lanka’s east coast is not nearly as developed as the west coast, but that can be a good thing. It retains a more authentic and local feel that may have gone missing from the more heavy tourist areas.
Many will even tell you it’s also the best time of year for exploring the very rich wildlife and the cultural triangle – which takes up the centre of the island and includes cultural and historical jewels such as Anuradhapura, the stunning medieval city of Polonnaruwa, the Lion Rock at Sigiriya, the Dambulla Caves and Kandy, the last capital of the ancient kings on the island.
One can also visit the fascinatingly diverse Trincomalee which will also will also shine in the sun on Sri Lanka’s southeastern coast – and offers numerous opportunities for culture hunters, swimmers, divers, and even suntanners in one of Asia’s oldest and most interesting cities.
In short, Asia is not off-limits in June or July just because of the monsoon season. If you have time already set aside and you want to see some extraordinarily rich nature and wildlife, take part in amazing cultural treks and kick back on a beach, then Sri Lanka’s southwestern coast – and its Cultural Triangle – is your best bet.
But be sure to go before October, as that’s when the country’s real monsoon season sets in and covers the entire country for a couple of months!
See Nezasa’s Sri Lanka itineraries here.