“Why travel to Sri Lanka?” usually said with a slight grimace on their face.
I have lost count on how many times I’ve been asked this question in the last few months.
I agree that it is not an obvious choice for a family holiday and even though we’re yet to set foot onto Sri Lankan soil, I’d like to share our reasons on WHY we are so very excited to be travelling to Sri Lanka in a few weeks.
Because I’ve always been curious about the Indian sub-continent …
Like a lot of travellers, I’m curious about many parts of the world. Especially of those places and cultures that are different to anything I’ve known.
There’s not a lot of information about Sri Lanka. Despite being colonised by the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British for thousands of years, you’ll struggle to find a glossy Sri Lanka brochure on the walls of popular travel agents. Why is that?
Why is it such a mystery? Is it that good that people don’t want to share? How did a country that is 118 times smaller than Australia (smaller than the size of New South Wales) end up with a demographic of Buddhist, Hindus, Muslims and Catholics? Is there more to the country than tea?
The more I learn about this tear shaped island, the more questions I have that needs to be answered.
Because it’s a rare opportunity to visit a country before it becomes so touristy …
Over 20 years of civil war has discouraged the tourism industry from even noticing Sri Lanka. Since the end of the war in 2009, the country has seen more and more visitors each year.
Commercial developments are also starting to become more commonplace and large international hotels are beginning to look to Sri Lanka as the next popular Asian destination. It will be very interesting to see how this shapes the future of the country and her people.
For now, we have an opportunity to see Sri Lanka before the glossy 5-star hotels come along. To see the unspoilt tropical beaches before they are filled with sun loungers. I believe there’s a small window in time, where you are immediately immersed in the culture as soon as you step off the plane.
Because of the wildlife …
There are wild elephants, leopards, monkeys and the largest variety of bird species! And our 9-year old wildlife warrior and protector of all animals (except bugs) has armed herself with her binoculars and is determined to see them all.
Because of the curries …
I mean, seriously. Who doesn’t love a good curry?! The tender meat/vegetables that has been cooking for hours in a flavourful broth of spiced coconut milk. And did you know that Sri Lankan curries are different to Indian curries? Well at least that’s what we thought after eating at Peter Kuruvita’s restaurants. 🙂 We’re willing to find out and test how ‘authentic’ his dishes are.
Because it’s great value …
Seriously good value. Fantastic, actually. For this trip, we are far from “roughing it”.
We tailored our itinerary with Selective Asia and have a private vehicle, our personal guide/driver, staying at nice hotels with most breakfasts included and entry fees to all the sights we’re seeing. The cost of this 2 week fun for our family of 3 is representative of about a third of our Europe trip two years prior (5-weeks, major cities, accomodation combo of hotels, AirBnB and stayed with family).
Because all the Sri Lankans we’ve ever met are nice …
Although we’ve only ever known about six people that are of Sri Lankan background, they were all really, really nice! Some were acquaintances and others we knew well, but neither Eddie or I can think of a single moment when we didn’t think fondly or positively of them.
I’m not saying that this is by any means the reason one should choose to travel or not travel to anywhere, because there’s good and bad in everyone. But we are yet to come across a Sri Lankan we haven’t liked … so this has to say something about the roots of their culture and mindset, doesn’t it?
Stayed tuned and follow our adventures as we set off for Sri Lanka in a few weeks. I will write a Part 2 of this post when we return so come back and read to see if the reasons for travelling to Sri Lanka changes. Join us on Facebook and Instagram (links to social media at the top of this page) for an up to the minute update of our Sri Lanka trip.
So tell me dear reader, have you travelled to any unexpected places? Where?