Up The Lanka! The children’s views on Sri Lanka

After a month  in Sri Lanka, we again asked the same questions as we did about Africa. Here are their unabridged, unedited replies.

What do you think of the food in Sri Lanka?
Imogen: The curries in Sri Lanka are pretty hot and spicy, but we’re more used to it then we were when we first came here, but they are also delicious. Also, the fruit here is yummy too – guava, coconut and pineapple are my favourite! The rotis, which are like pancakes, are probably my favourite food, other than kottu, especially when it’s garlic or stuffed with honey and coconut! Coconut sambol is also a new favourite of mine, which is used to spice things up if they are too mild.

Amélie: There are lots of yummy foods in Sri Lanka and I like all the rotis and the kottu and parata and all the curry and spicy foods. I’ve tried lots of different fruits like guava, litchi, mangasteen, jackfruit, coconut and dragon fruit!

Lachlan: it’s yummy and I wasn’t expecting the names for the food. Kottu roti! I really like kottu and roti. I like guava!

What do you think of the people in Sri Lanka?

Imogen: The people in Sri Lanka are very friendly, even if they do stroke you a bit! They often say things like: “Your country?” or “Your name?” or even “ Where you’re staying?”. Also, they are very kind – Amélie and I got a free moonstone each! They can also be a little loud, but not in a bad way.

Amélie: They are very kind and they always ask us where we come from and they say ‘hello’ and ‘what is your name’ and ‘how are you’ ‘do you speak Sinalese’. And they’re always waving and shouting and trying to sell you things.

Lachlan: I wasn’t expecting them to be this loud. It’s funny because they say things like Damali and we pretend it’s Amélie. They’re very busy – there are lots of people and they’re not tired. They say dale dale a lot all the way. They are friendly. They say hello baba to me.

What do you think of the places in Sri Lanka?

Imogen: Some of the places are very poor and others are very rich, but like in Tanzania, they seem to live next door to each other and not mind. Also, the landscape varies a lot – Ella and Nuwara Eliya were both emerald-green with luscious hills, but Kandy and Negombo were dusty town, with small roti shops and Coca Cola advertisements everywhere. And Mirissa and Ambalangoda were beachy and small towns, which weren’t so busy or loud, and nowhere else in Sri Lanka that we’ve been to were like that. I think mainly it depends on it being touristy, near the capital, by the sea or in the mountains, but the houses are different in different places, and not just to do with being rich or poor. In Galle, which reminded me of French towns, there were olden-looking houses with stable doors.

Amélie: I think that they are all very different and people have good houses and electricity. Each place is different like Mirissa was beachy and Ella was hilly and Galle was the beach with the fort so they’re all very different.

Lachlan: I wasn’t expecting it to be so green. I was expecting it to be more beachy like Mirissa. I wasn’t expecting the parade in Kandy, I thought it would be in Galle. I liked the fort in Galle. Pollonaruwa was really hot at the start and then really rainy at the end of the day, and I wasn’t expecting it to be really, really hot.

What have you found the most different compared to the UK?

Imogen: The thing that I have found most different to the UK is the food. In England, when you go to a small restaurant, there are normally burgers, maybe chicken nuggets and fish fingers, and maybe sandwiches or fish and chips, and pudding is ice creams, cakes or pies. In Sri Lanka, it’s curry, kottu, rotis, rice, noodles or hoppers, and wattalapam, fruit or a cake.

Amélie: Unfortunately there’s a lot of rubbish. And the people are very different and they find it funny that we’re white and you get patted a lot as well. The food is very different as well it is VERY SPICY and I’ve tried lots of different foods which I’ve never had before.

Lachlan: the black people, the food and the places. Ambalangoda was smelly with fish everywhere

What has been the most surprising for you?

Imogen: I was surprised with loads of things. The elephants were quite different to African ones – they have orangey spots at the top of their trunk, more hair, and different ears. Also, in Tanzania, they almost seemed eager to put your bags in the boot, but in Sri Lanka they might put Mummy’s or Daddy’s in, but not the others, which I was surprised at.

Amélie: The food can be very hot and so can the weather, people jump on and off moving busses because they always keep the door open and there are some funny little cars called tuk tuks and you see them everywhere and they have three wheels and give people lifts. I’ve been in LOADS.

Lachlan: there are tuk-tuks everywhere and there are people in the street holding snakes. I wasn’t expecting the wall in Galle – it went on only for a little time. It did go on for a bit but I was expecting it to be as big as a marathon.

What place did you enjoy the most and why?

Imogen: I had two favourite places, which are like each other a lot: Nuwara Eliya and Ella. I liked Ella because it was so peaceful, and we got to walk on the train track too. Not to mention actually going on the train AND we saw some cool leaves that shrivelled up when you touched them! Nuwara Eliya was just as calm, and I loved the botanical gardens – where we saw a real life cinnamon tree!

Amélie: I enjoyed Kandy, Galle, Pollonarawa and Mirissa. Kandy, because of the amazing parade and I liked the food in Kandy. Galle, because of the fort and I liked looking around the shops. Pollonarawa, because of the cycling and the ancient temples and the lake. Mirissa, because of the beach and I also liked the food in Mirissa.

Lachlan: Easy! Kandy because I really liked the parade with the people doing fire stunts, elephants with lights. It was very good. Galle because I liked the walk on the wall. Ella because it’s very like Endor! And I liked the bathroom! The place up the mountain because it’s cold not hot like everywhere else. I also liked Mirissa because it’s very beachy and I like beaches!

What three words would you use to describe your one month in Sri Lanka?


HOT (in curry and temperature)


Lachlan: Green, friendly and hot.


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