Sri Lanka – treating visitors as foreigners

When some of the listeners needed a break from the informative broadcasts of All India Radio, Radio Ceylon was what they tuned their radios to at any point of time. Now all you need is to check with the older generation and they will tell you how they heard Beatles for the first time on Radio Ceylon. Radio Ceylon is the one of the oldest radio station in Asia. And with the help of its broadcasts, Ameen Sayani was a part of our homes much before we were born. No, this visit is not about going to the radio station. But this visit is surely about nostalgia. About everything we have heard and imagined about this beautiful neighbour of ours. Let’s just come and explore the country not like neighbours, but like true blue tourists. Starting from strawberry farms to boat safaris to meeting baby elephants to cultural shows. Let’s do it like the firangs.

ITINERARY

4 days – 3 nights

DAY 1

Activity: Arrival, transfer and visit to fishermen’s village

–    We land at Colombo’s BIA Airport. We are transferred to our hotel in Negombo. It is an hour’s drive from Colombo and is on the western coast of the country. The city has a lot of Dutch influence though it has also been under the occupation of the Portuguese and British.
–    In the evening we visit the beach where traditional sail boats dance to the winds. We also go to some fishermen’s village. Overnight stay in Negombo.

DAY 2

Activity: Feed baby elephants and Kandy cultural show

–    Today we transfer to Kandy. On the way we visit the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. Be ready to become friends with these cute little elephants as you feed them. When the herd takes a bath in the river, they might just shower you with water if they like you enough.
–    We then go to Kandy Cultural Show where traditional Kandyan Dancers perform for us in all their finery. We will also sway to the Traditional Drums and Instruments being played for us.

 DAY 3

Activity: Visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic, Gem Stone Factory, Ramboda Falls and enjoy a special Ceylon Tea Tasting Session

–    It is said that the temple has a tooth of Buddha still preserved here. The tooth is kept in chamber and the door to the chamber is covered in gold, silver and ivory.
–    After a short visit to a Gem Stone Factory, we transfer to Nuwara Eliya.
–    Ramboda Falls is 358 ft high and is just the scenery you need to get those pictures clicked. So don’t shy away.
–    When we read the headline ‘Sri Lanka to pay Iran oil debt in tea’, most of us are not surprised. Sri Lanka is the second largest exporter of tea, and Tea Tourism is latest trend in the country. So obviously, when tourists from a tea loving country go to this island, a tea tasting session is a must. So here we succumb.

DAY 4

Activity: Visit to strawberry farm, dairy farm and cheese making, watersports.

–    Let’s go to the strawberry farm today and pick some fresh harvest and then enjoy the flavours as a smoothie, milkshake or strawberry pan cake.
–    We then go to Ambewela Farm also known as Little New Zealand. Spread over 1500 acres of green pastures with English styled staff cottages, the meadow seems like a setting in the English country side. In this early morning visit we get to know the cheese/yogurt making process.
–    In the evening we have planned a visit to Lake Gregory. Take a walk or get your adrenaline rushing by (assisted) jet skiing. Rowing and Kayaking are other watersports to indulge in. (Cost of rides not included)
–    Overnight stay in Nuwara Eliya.

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