Sri Lanka was a place I’d always dreamed of visiting, its name conjuring the same mysterious excitement in my mind as with other exotically monikered locales such as Timbuktu, Madagascar and Zanzibar—also places on my must-go list.
But after visiting India in 2013, and finding it not at all to my liking, I became worried that Sri Lanka would be too similar to its northern neighbor and and I’d be unable to handle the unsanitary train journeys (read my posts about Indian trains and bathrooms if you dare), insatiable dirt, dire poverty, intolerable heat and terrifying roads.
I worried about it for weeks before our flight to Colombo. But to my extreme surprise, Sri Lanka is a world of its own, with pristinely paved roads, calm drivers, clean toilets, gorgeous views and some of the friendliest people I’ve ever encountered in the 43 countries I’ve visited.
It’s a fairy-tale land of waterfalls and elephants, misty tea plantations and windswept beaches. The 12 days Steve and I spent there passed in a wonderful blur, and we are desperate to return. I’ll be blogging about Sri Lanka over the next weeks and months, as a way to reconnect with my memories of that amazing country.
But for now, I leave you with a photo essay of my top five Sri Lanka to-do’s.
1. Enjoy tea and cake at Mackwoods tea plantation
2. Ride the train from Nuwara Eliya to Ella
3. Eat the best pizza in Sri Lanka at Cafe Chill, Ella
4. Stay at Ella Nature View Guesthouse (see the waterfall?)
5. Go on an elephant safari in Udawalawe