What’s in a name, you ask? Well, quite a bit with Sri Lanka.
In the Sanskrit language, Sri Lanka translates roughly to “prosperous island.” This island nation, the size of West Virginia, offers over a thousand miles of coastline. Spanning inland from brilliant beaches (e.g., Unawatuna) are gorgeous tea plantations, lush rainforests (Sinharaja) full of fauna and wildlife, and a multitude of protected national parks (Yala) housing leopards, water buffalo and elephants, among others.
Things to Do. Spend a few days in the capital city, Colombo, soaking in the mix of Tamil and Sinhalese cultures. Experience the Perahera festival in Kandy, usually celebrated in August. Spend a couple of hours at Pinnawela’s Elephant Orphanage as the beasts bath themselves in the river. Go trekking with local Udaya Puswella and his company to gain an understanding of the land.
Places to Stay. Comfortable accommodations can be found easily throughout the island. But one place should not be missed: The Tea Factory in Nuwara Eliya.
Eats. Open a King’s coconut and drink its juice. Ask for a ripe and an unripe wood apple. Try some “egg hoppers” full of curry.