Travel diaries from our team of consultants, happily sharing our experiences with our customers. Here is a blog Angus wrote upon returning from Sri Lanka in October 2018.
Direct flight with Sri Lankan Airlines, was an older aircraft, but you couldn’t fault the service. I was pleased to read on board that from 28 October 2018, Sri Lankan Airlines are upgrading the plane to a new Airbus A330 for this direct route between Melbourne and Colombo. I heard some whispers that Sri Lanka is about to overtake Bali as the most popular travel destination for Australians!
There are a number of national parks within Sri Lanka that are surprisingly well looked after, with an abundance of wildlife. Initially I hadn’t thought of Sri Lanka as a destination to view animals. That changed upon spotting a large male and three female elephants within 5 minutes of entering Udawalawe National Park. Elephants, leopards, jackals, mongoose, peacocks, monkeys, incredible bird life, crocodiles, water buffalo… the list went on. It was an amazing 3 hours spent at dawn, in the end succumbed to neck pain from spotting so many animals.
Beaches, tea plantations, high country, the diversity of nature was incredible. I don’t think I can recall a better surf or swimming beach in Asia than in Arugam Bay, located somewhat remotely over on the far East Coast of the island. It was well worth the reward to lay down after two days hiking around the stunning highlands of Ella.
I was a little taken a back at how the country is still emerging, perhaps a little less developed than I had thought. That means you need to roll up the sleeves, turn on your negotiation skills, join the long lines to buy train tickets and painfully watch the traders write out transactional receipts for every item you purchase. However it is again the diversity in culture and religion that makes it so worthwhile to visit, something so different to what a western society has become. One temple was enough for me, but if that’s your thing then there is plenty on offer!
A very adventurous holiday where you can experience a vast array of culture, scenery, cuisine and relaxation. A part from a few tuk tuk drivers the people are genuine and so lovely, always greeting you with a big smile. There is something in Sri Lanka at all times of the year, and now that it has a direct flight from Melbourne, it is very accessible. My advice, unless you are in your 20’s with little cash, take an Intrepid or Peregrine tour of such so that you can avoid the hassles when transiting between towns. Then throw on some time at a beach resort at the end of your trip. Oh and the food… the food was good; rotti, hoppas, kottu, fresh fruits and of course, rice and curry. I’ll be heading back for sure, I still have to go and watch the blue and sperm whales off the south coast and explore the north now that is it accessible again.
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