Travelers always would want to take advantage of the opportunity to make convenient side trips to neighboring countries when visiting a certain place. Aside of course from the financial practicality of it, it is also a physically viable option. Traveling between two or more places located near each other makes a lot of sense. There are some interesting side trips that can be taken when going to Sri Lanka.
There are actually many choices when travelers wish to visit other countries coming from or en route to Sri Lanka. The five countries nearest to Sri Lanka in terms of physical distance are Maldives, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Nepal. A little farther off are many other countries including Thailand, Malaysia, Bhutan, Singapore, Laos, Cambodia, Pakistan, Keeling Islands, Oman, Vietnam, Seychelles, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Yemen, Kyrgyzstan, Brunei, Indonesia, Somalia, Djibouti, and Ethiopia.
Maldives and India
If we are to look on the map, it would appear that Sri Lanka is nearer to India than Maldives. Actually, it is the other way around although the difference is not much. The three countries are connected to each other because of their physical proximity to each other. In fact, the governments of these countries are bound by official agreements with regards to their sea territories.
The early settlers of Maldives are believed to have originated from India. The main industry of Maldives is tourism and it depends heavily on tour operators based in Sri Lanka to offer tour packages covering both countries. Sri Lanka’s main religion which is Buddhism comes from its neighbor India. The two countries have been historically close culturally. Visiting one after the other will reveal both their similarities and differences.
Combine or Separate Trips?
Combining trips to these two or three countries would really depend on the purpose for the visit. Most industry observers recommend a three-week stay in Sri Lanka to have a real feel of the country. Some suggest a couple of side trips either to Maldives or India in between. Visiting the other surrounding countries will require more time and this might not be very productive especially if travelers wish to relax.
Travelers having some official business to attend to aside from rest and recreation may have to settle for one country at a time. After all, who could appreciate a trip that is too stressful because of time limitation? Hopefully, there is still a next time.