An island in the shape of a teardrop, Sri Lanka has begun to prosper after the end of decades-old-war that once ravaged the country. Now at a time of peace, this local gem has thrived on the increase of tourists visiting its shores, numbers are being boosted by the sudden surge of newlyweds.
But why Sri Lanka?
Unlike its smaller neighbour, Bali, Sri Lanka remains relatively untouched. There will be no bintang singlets or choruses of ‘Aussie, Aussie, Aussie’ from 9pm onwards. Instead, you’ll find a destination that will satisfy all your ideals of tranquility: pristine beaches, rolling hills or lush rainforests, an amiable local culture charged by ancient history, and a cool room in a picturesque resort.
Boasting a shoreline that includes world-class surf beaches, enduring ruins that tell tales of a time forgotten (and are globally recognised by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites), and an in-land that is infectious with its greenery and splendour, Sri Lanka is a small country where everything is offered.
After any international flight you want to find yourself in a relaxed environment – more so when you’re on your honeymoon – and Sri Lanka’s quality of hotels and resorts are up there with any of their Asian neighbours. Most, if not all, encompass the facilities – pool/s, day spas, and 24hour room service – that one requires to wind down after a day of walking or cycling about town.
And if hotels aren’t your style, there’s more to Sri Lankan hospitality than starred hotels. If you demand something with a little more local flare, or you desire that extra privacy for you and your partner, there are many villas and huts that can be rented at little cost but with all the beauty and trimmings of a paradise you could only dream.
If you’re seeking solace away from the glam of the Western world, however, Sri Lanka also offers the traveller an abundance of sacred sites and holy temples, natural wonders, and acres of tea plantations to visit and explore.
There are ancient cities where kings ruled for over one thousand years (Anuradhapura) or sweeping plains (Horton’s Plains and World’s End) with vertical drops that mesmerise; the National parks (Yala National Park) are brimming with wildlife and the surrounding villages are centers to endless walks through tea plantations and up to surging waterfalls – Sri Lanka lays claim to over one-hundred with the highest being Bambarakanda Falls at 240m.
Worried about the food? Don’t be, unless rice is the one thing you don’t eat. Accompanied by an array of curries ranging from delicately spiced to inferno-in-your-mouth hotness, there is a taste to satiate everyone’s palette. Furthermore, the plentiful amounts of freshly caught seafood (a variety of fish, prawns, crab, squid and crayfish are available) will be cause for celebration for those wanting to supplement their Omega-3 intake whilst away from home.
If it’s adventure you’re after, there are scores of tours available to help you travel Sri Lanka (including some by cycling) that can be completed in a matter of days or weeks. Many leave from Colombo, or from near-by Negombo, and take you on dreamy treks to picturesque beaches; they’ll curl you through green fields and rainforests, twist you round ancient ruins and pull you through charming villages. Otherwise, you can find your own way around Sri Lanka as travel on this small island is not too difficult, even for a first timer. And there are even a few long-haul or overnight bus/train rides for you to take, if you so need.
Sri Lanka won’t be off the beaten track for too long as its mixture of natural beauty, the amicability of its populace, and its rich history spanning thousands of years will quickly turn more people its way. Combine this with the sweetness of your honeymoon and it will surely be a treasured time for you both.
To find all the information you need on Sri Lanka, visit it’s tourism website at http://www.srilanka.travel/index.php?route=common/home