Destination Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s idyllic landscape and a mercurial mix of opportunities make it the ultimate holiday destination.
May you have the gift of long life! With this traditional greeting, we welcome you to Sri Lanka,
the garden of Eden, “the original paradise, amid scenes as beautiful as the hand of God ever created”. Many a traveller before you, from ancient mariners and merchants, to modern astronauts and businesspeople, have been seduced by the tantalizing beauty of the colours and costumes of this land which, according to Mark Twain, were “All harmonious, all in perfect taste”
Today’s Sri Lanka welcome its visitors to experience the nation’s glittering tapestry of culture, and the rich abundance of nature, so handsomely bestowed, and to give credence to the old adage – that good things come in small packages.
Sri Lanka’s archaeological treasures bear testimony to a civilization that spanned the golden age of Periclean Greece, the Roman Empire, Mayan citadels, and Napoleonic grandeur. The resultant legacy is a culture embellished by the more recent influences of Western colonizers, and Eastern traders, producing a mercurial mix of races and religions, arts and crafts, festivals and costumes that enchant the visitor with their exquisite variety.
To these man-made riches, add the God-given blessings of nature: azure seas, sandy beaches, verdant hills, cascading waterfalls, abundant wildlife, a riot of flowers and fruits, coconut groves, spice gardens, tea estates – and no wonder, the smiles of this paradise beckon the visitor to savour the kaleidoscopic experience ever so much longer, lest he awake, from what must surely be a wide-angle dream in Technicolor! Ringing the island’s miles of uncluttered white, sandy beaches, where sun-seekers and fun-lovers are caressed by gentle, ocean breezes. Rising amid spectacular waterfalls to mist-shrouded peaks is the central hill region home to the world famous “Pure Ceylon Tea” gardens, and the legendary gem mines that produce sapphires, rubies, and a dozen other gems. As you travel from the lowland plains to the highlands in air-conditioned coach or car, a panorama of people at work or play unfolds. Roads share space with cars, carts, bikes, bullocks, and even elephants. The roadside is vibrant with life, and the lush landscape presents a palette of changing colours. Pause, if you would, at wayside markets, handicraft shops or batik factories. Or stop to watch craftsmen at work, gems being mined, tea leaves being plucked, elephants bathing in rivers or fishermen on stilts.
Colombo, the main point of entry, is a bustling metropolis of big businesses and small bazaars; while Kandy – the last royal citadel – is the cultural center and home to the legendary Temple of the Sacred Toot Relic, and the spectacular festivals of the perahera. Galle, the ancient port of Tarshish, is a town within a medieval fortress; while Nuwara Eliya, in the salubrious up-country, nestles amidst picturesque tea gardens and dazzling waterfalls. In the “Rajarata”, or king’s domain, are the ancient cities of Anuradhpura, Polonnaruwa, Dambulla and Sigiriya – all treasured
Antiquities of a priceless heritage over 2,500 years old. The western coastline from Negombo, north of the airport, to Tangalle, in the south shelters a string of magnificent beach resorts and quaint fishing villages. At the many national parks, wild elephant, leopard, bear, and a host of other fauna and flora.
Cities and resorts cater to visitors, with hotels ranging from the luxury five-star class, international chain properties, to the much more moderate-budget hostelries. Most hotels offer a culinary extravaganza to pamper guests with a variety of cuisine from the East and the West, as well as local dishes that reflect the elastic tastes of seafarers, invaders, and traders that came ashore over the centuries.
The individual businessperson, and the group of conventioneers will both find opportunities to invest or trade under generous incentives offered by a government committed to promotion of Free Trade. Sri Lanka’s high-literate population, fluent in English and proficient in technology, and trained under a social system which has nurtured free education from kindergarten through university for the last 65 years, is one of the most competent labour markers in the world.
Sri Lankan’s know no word for “goodbye”. Thus, when the time comes to leave these shores, we will not bid farewell, but invite our guests to return – again and again!