tea-country

Staff Report: Sri Lanka's Top Five Surprises

My recent visit to Sri Lanka was full of surprises. Here are my top five: 

Rock temples: There seems to be a temple atop each hill or mountain in Sri Lanka, many of which are built directly into rock caves.  If you’re lucky, there isn’t too long of a climb and, if you’re very lucky, you’ll have time to linger among their bright frescoes and murals.

Tea country: See firsthand how Sri Lanka’s lush plantations changed its economy and prospects in the mid-19th century. You’ll have the opportunity to taste dozens, even hundreds of varietals, as well as to wind through these scenic, rolling hills on your choice of splendid day hikes—both short and long.

Adam’s Peak: This mountain is a rare holy site, amicably shared between Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, and Muslims. With waterfalls in the distance, blue butterflies circling about, and satisfied pilgrims encouraging you along, who’s to notice the miles (literally) of steps in your path?

Tiny canoes to grandma’s house: As with any adventure, it’s those last-second, left-instead-of-right turns that can be most memorable. Since a rainstorm had washed out a bridge, I instead crossed a stunningly beautiful lake by canoe to arrive at an incomparably cozy cottage. 

Personal touches: A hand-packed vegetarian lunch for your afternoon hike. A personal butler’s local insight as he guides you through Fort Galle. Or a soak in your own private pool at your beachside getaway. Just the right touches, at the right moments.

Our team of Sri Lanka aficionados is surprised that the island’s Dutch-charm rooms are not filled to the brim. But we’re grateful for that because it means we can spirit off with a few friends before anyone recognizes its natural beauty and post-war rejuvenation. The best time to visit the country is the fall and luckily Sri Lankan visas are easily obtained online in advance of departure. (Of course, we’ll help with all these logistics.) Please give us a call to learn more about traveling to Sri Lanka and to reserve your space.

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Don George, Editor

Don George is Editor in Chief of Wanderlust: Literary Journeys for the Discerning Traveler. He has been Travel Editor for the San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle and Salon.com, and Global Travel Editor for Lonely Planet Publications. Don has published eight books, including Travel Writing, A Moveable Feast, The Kindness of Strangers, and Tales from Nowhere. E-mail him at don@geoex.com.

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GeoEx event with Isabel Allende in Conversation with Don George; September 24, 2014
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