It was love at first sight. Brownell Traveler Morris Middleton kicked off his month-long adventure in Sri Lanka, and it quickly became one of his favorite destinations. From hitting the beach to exploring tea country to visiting an elephant orphanage, Morris said that he loves being in a country that is more or less “undiscovered.”
Here are Morris’ 7 Reasons to Love Sri Lanka:
1. It’s beautiful. Beaches, mountains, desert — a pearl in the Indian Ocean. And at rock-bottom prices.
2. It’s simple. Folks are there to live their lives. They come and go (yes, some upon elephants) and are a convivial mixture of mostly locals trying to get from here to there in a workday.
3. They’re lovely people and many are quite beautiful. The kids are precious in their school uniforms, arrayed up and down the highway, swarming like bees among the traffic. You get a smile out of virtually everyone, hardly anybody treating you differently because you’re not from there, and they’re helpful by nature—even when resorting to improvised sign language to answer your questions.
4. Beaches! I saw three, and — it being an island and all — there are virtually as many as you can find while circumnavigating. Currents are rough, riptides abound, and there are no lifeguards—so watch out.
5. Tea. Who knew how pretty tea is while growing on scrubby little bushes in neat rows up and down the hills at higher elevation. I actually stayed in an old converted tea factory, a story in itself, and the things I learned touring a working one will stay with me forever. It’s “old” Ceylon, remember. That’s practically the global word for tea.
6. The Trains! Sri Lanka’s railways are vestiges of the British Colonial Empire and they’ve scrubbed a few to make them suitable to tourists’ tastes. Tracks cling to magnificent cliff sides, cross raging rivers, pass enormous waterfalls, and you slice right through peoples’ back yards.
7. There are good hotels with fine food and better amenities. The tourists are from everywhere, and it’s easy to make friends.
“Sri Lanka, be it declared: you are one of my absolute favorites!”