Marco Polo called this it the most beautiful Island in the world and after visiting this enchanting country on the Indian Ocean, I can see why. From the tea plantations to the temples, from wildlife to the architecture, from the Beaches to the hills, Sri lanka has something for everyone. Once known as Ceylon and a British colony Sri Lanka is now a Buddhist country and extremely hospitable.
Some of the world’s finest tea is produced 6000 feet above sea. The tea is picked by hand and the tea pickers do make a decent living, though it must be back breaking work. You can take a tour of the teal factories and learn all about this drink we take for granted. The nearest town to the tea plantations is Nuwara Eliya, a former favourite spot for the British during the colonial times. In fact the whole town is known as Little England (not Little Britain) and in fact colonial is the best word to describe this town.
The Sri Lankan town of Nuwara Eliya is known as little England and is a great town to visit for a few days. The British used to flock here to escape the heat and have certainly left their mark. Tea plantations, a golf course and some Victorian looking hotels.
9 holes will cost your around £15 here and includes the hiring of some old golf clubs and an even older caddy.
Take half a day to visit Sigiriya Rock. Climb the 1200 steps to the summit or enjoy the caves with frescoes and the gardens down below.
Limestone steps lead you up to the Lion Platform and the massive Lion’s paws – all that are left of a huge Lion statue.
The final ascent from the Lion’s Platform to the summit is by up around 200 scary steps that seem to cling to the rock.
After climbing 1200 steps and reaching the summit, you will feel a sense of achievement and on top of the world. It is a good idea to employ one of the many helpers, who are there to help visitors up and down the 1200 steps and who will carry bags, water and anything else. The cost is only about £5 and it does give work to these helpful locals, who otherwise are unemployed.
After all that sightseeing, enjoy one of Sri lanka’s beach resorts. unfortunately since the Tsunami and the civil war these resorts have struggled to attract visitors, making them more appealing as there are no crowds.