Paradise by any other name …

Many years ago, in a conversation at an international tourism convention, a Sri Lankan delegate remarked passionately, ‘you have to be born lucky to be born in Sri Lanka.’ The true meaning of this assertion becomes clear to you, within a day of your arrival on this teardrop island south of the Indian subcontinent massif. Sri Lanka by another name could well be called Paradise.

At about 65,000 square kilometers Sri Lanka is not a large island. But what it lacks in size, it makes up in the sheer quantity, quality and diversity of what if offers. In less than 2 hours you can travel from a tropical, white sands beach with azure seas, to cool, verdant and mist covered temperate climate mountains. Munching on the way on exotic fruits you have never seen before, or on fresh roasted cashew nuts which are a major cash crop of Sri Lanka. And of course there is the reinvigorating tea to sip!

There is thick jungle in various places on the island, where you can come across anything from wild elephants to leopards, to several species of primates and other mammals; all part of a complex ecosystem that boasts also myriad bird species and flora so diverse and colourful that it takes your breath away. And all it takes to send you into a state of complete bliss is one thunderstorm! The aroma of a jungle, of its red earth and its dense vegetation after a good rainfall is truly intoxicating.

Complementing this exuberance of nature is a populace that is courteous and friendly. Respect their culture (as you should any place you visit) and you will find Sri Lankans going out of their way to be helpful and hospitable. And if all this was not enough already, Sri Lanka is still one of the cheapest places for a vacation. Accommodation ranges from 5 star hotels with international level rates to inexpensive bed and breakfast homes which offer clean and simple accommodation. Same with food – international rates for example, at the must visit seafood restaurant in Colombo, Ministry of Crabs, to wholesome and hygienic street food at a price less than what a carton of orange juice would cost in the West!

Every time I go to Sri Lanka, I have one serious issue though. I don’t want to come back! I dream of living in a cottage on a cliff looking at the aquamarine sea, in a small plot of land with dense foliage, through which monitor lizards scurry away when you are out and about. From my cliff-edge cottage veranda, I will see a school of blue whales in the distance on their annual migration in winter. I will see the stilt fishermen nearer to shore and buy off them the freshest possible catch of the day for dinner, to gently grill in the open, under an indigo sky so full of bright, sparkling stars that you wonder every time whether this is or this is not, indeed Paradise!

For someone heavy into nature, who wants to take about a 8-10 days vacation in Sri Lanka, fitting in some city life as well, here’s the itinerary I propose.

Microsoft Word - Sri Lanka _1_.docx

3 Responses to Paradise by any other name …

  1. Hunaid says:

    I recently visited Sri Lanka for the 1st time – it was only for a day – and so I did not have an opportunity to explore the beauty that the article speaks of. However, I did not have to. The genuine smile of the people at each interaction told me that I was in a special place – much so that I sent my wife an email that night and asked a rhetorical question as to why we have never considered Sri Lanka as a retirement possibility. The outlook of the lives are similar to those in other predominantly Southeast Asian Buddhist countries like Laos, Cambodia and Thailand.

  2. Naheed says:

    This is excellent blogpost with some great information for anyone who is planning a trip to Sri Lanka. Haven’t visited myself yet but have read a lot about its exotic fruit variaties and spices.
    Bob Bhai, you should write more posts about your travels and wildlife also.

  3. Zoya Altaf says:

    This seems really exciting. Would appreciate if you can add more pictures to your blogs! 🙂

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