For a small island, Sri Lanka has many nicknames: Serendib, Ceylon, Teardrop of India, Resplendent Isle, Island of Dharma, Pearl of the Orient. This colorful collection reveals its richness and beauty, and the intensity of the affection it evokes in its visitors.
Sri Lanka is the teardrop that falls from the southern tip of India and is becoming increasingly popular as a travel destination –and not only for sports fanatics who want to play a proper game of cricket. About twenty million people reside on this relatively small island that used to bear the name Ceylon. Although a lot of people come over to Sri Lanka to have a nice beach holiday (finished off with a touch of culture), there is definitely more to see and to do than sunbathing on one of the many excellent beaches. Hikkaduwa, for example, is very well-known for its beach-resorts and for its brooding turtles.
Colombo is the place where Sri Lanka’s hustle and bustle takes place. Although it is not such a big city, this is the place where the commercial heart beats and where you can see some of the tallest buildings in Asia. The northern part of the city is the fort area. There you can find - if you look real hard - the British fort, dating from the 19th century, and other remnants of the former colonial power.
This is only the beginning. In Kurunegala, you can feast your eyes with coconut plantations and paddy fields. The country’s hilly southern part offers a perfect place for tea plantations and the accompanying villages, such as Nuwara Eliya. Dense rainforests cover the south-western part and this is the area to go to when you want to see wildlife. There are several possibilities of staying over-night in national parks, such as Ruhunu and Wilpattu, for those who want to wake up with the trumpeting of an elephant.