"SRI LANKA: Tear Drop of the Indian Ocean." Top 5 Page for this destination Sri Lanka by Hmmmm
Sri Lanka Travel Guide: 3,791 reviews and 8,869 photos
A Sri Lankan Navy Marine on duty on the beach one day with a stern and cold eye called me over. I trudged toward him apprehensive, scared, with sudden questions, staring at his automatic rifle. He could kill me with that I was thinking. He just has to pull the trigger. He knows that I know this.
He just watched and said nothing as I approached him. Then with a tiny smile about the eyes he asked where I was from. And nothing else. I answered, "New Zealand." I quickly added, "But I live in Asia, in South Korea". He said nothing. His face said nothing. He then turned around and barked some orders at a teenage boy, who pinned his ears back and ran at full tilt away from us. Now the Soldier and I were alone.
Then in the distance I saw the boy, climbing a coconut tree. Skipping up like a black faced monkey. Easy. Minutes later he was back with two orange coconuts. The marine then proceeded to unsheath a huge machete type knife. With one quick swish and a sound like a metallic 'CHING', the coconut was decapitated. Its headless corpse was handed to me. Not a word was spoken. Again the soldiers sword went 'CHING', and he too partook of a headless coconut. We both took a slurp in silence. Then we talked. "Do you like cricket?" he asked, knowing very well that the day before his country defeated my country in a cricket match.
Welcome to Sri Lanka I thought to myself. A land of tears, a land of smiles, a land of intermingled tears and smiles.
Sri Lanka is a wonderful getaway. Its a Pearl. A Raindrop. A Teardrop. A Shangri La. A land beset by sadness, yet pertually optimistic.
Sri Lanka was becoming more and more popular with the ceasefire between the Tamils and the Sinhalese goverment being more than two years ago. In 2004 a record 450 000 odd tourists visited Sri Lanka. But this year the projection is a mere 100 000 tourists. People are shying away because of the Tsunami. I understand this completely. Who wants to be surrounded by sadness. We might even think that the Sri Lankans are still not ready for us. We hear people quoting CNN with comments telling us that Sri Lanka will be out of commision for 10 years. But in truth, this is all air. We owe it to the People of Sri Lanka to show them that they are not alone. That the International Community not only, understands, and sympathises, but is willing to help them with the rebuilding of their country, by our presence and our money.
Our presence will provide an impetus for rebuilding infrastrure for tourists, and with infrastructure, more tourists will return. Yet money is needed. Our money, our tourist dollars are intergral to the equation. With dollars comes the rebuilding, and with rebuilding is the means to earn more dollars. the erning of more money, goes into the ability to build more infrastructure. EVERYTHING POINTS TO US. In response to my question: Post Tsunami - Should We Visit? Or Should We Wait? In a word, or three. YES! YES! YES we should visit. We most should definately visit now.
Sri Lanka Rox. How did I see Sri Lanka. Head first to the North East. That what used to be Tamil country. Trincomalee, Uppuveli and Nilavelli. It was quiet. Tourists merely trickle in there. The Beaches were sublime. Despite the brutal train trip.
Visit the Highlands via Kandy taking in the Cultural Triangle, or at least Pollonaruwa and Sigiriya. The Former a complex of temples and stupas, featuring a massive reclining Buddha and aggresive, cameraphilic Monkeys, and the latter, an impressive complex perched somewhat precariously atop a rocky massive. Its rather incredible actually.
Kandy is a marvellous city nestled on the edge of Sri Lanka's highlands. The City has the feel of a largish town, being both unimposing and relaxed. Its got a couple of great pubs, and some great dudes to meet and spark up a few yarns with. Some great architectural and cultural fancies garnish the city. Really, Kandy is a must see, even for a good meal and a few quiet beers. See the Ramboda Falls on the way to Nuwara Eliya. A town full of quaint english tea estates, nice food. the Central Highlands were it lies, abound in lush greens, rugged peaks, water and cool weather.
Head South to the Beaches. Check out the surfing breaks at Mirissa, or just sit of the beach by day and party by night. A little west is Welligama with some nice beaches and rather curious pole fishermen. Unawatuna and Hikaduwa are beach resort towns. With bars, pubs, and trips to look at dead coral in glass bottom boats. Back to Colombo. Hmmmm. Pettah Bazaar, Is a great place for a jaunt. Not really for shopping. But to take pictures. Be sure to see the gingerbread Castle Mosque.
Sri Lanka In my opinion is not a country for the Itinerant traveller. Its a place where one should take there time. If you see only a couple of things. Don't stress. You'll go back. I will. Just kick back, eat lots of 'small eats' and meet the locals. One thing that is fabulous about Sri Lanka is the fact that English is well spoken, its such a god send after battling away in countries like China where buying toilet paper is a mission.
- Pros:Beautiful, Dramatic, Lots of English, Great beaches and cultural sites and relatively heap.
- Cons:Tropical diseases, hawkers, low infrastructure and cows on the road :o)
- In a nutshell:Absolutely Great. Really worth a visit.
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