AYUBOWAN (Wish you long life)
A blog by Tikiri Dasanayaka, Sri Lankan Tour Leader
My homeland - Sri Lanka - is a small island in the Indian Ocean. It has been known by many names in the past; Rathna Deepa (meaning Golden Isle), Serendib, Ceilao, Taprobane and Ceylon. Documented history goes back to the 8th century BC. We have 65,606 sq. km of sunshine, sandy beaches, mountains and marsh, forests, jungles and sanctuaries, rivers, waterfalls and lakes, wildlife and birds, spices and herbs, tea, fresh vegetables and fruit, historic cities, and much more. In short, we are the wonder of Asia!
I have worked for Explore as a Tour Leader since 2003. Many of my Explore guests have enjoyed Sri Lanka as much as I enjoy traveling through my country over and over again. There are many tours that Explore offers to enjoy this beautiful island and I have led all of them. We have so much to offer our guests, which is why I became a Tour Leader - the world’s best profession! The smiling faces of the friendly Sri Lankan people alone will make your holiday unforgettable.
History and rich culture is spread throughout my island home and can be seen within a very short time span. Recommend places to see if you are looking for history in my country include:
Anuradhapura (historical first capital of Sri Lanka) the proud history goes back more than 8th century BC. Many Buddhist and historical places among Ruwanweli Stupa, Twin ponds, Samadhi Statue, Isurumuniya Temple and Abayagiri Stupa are the best place to visit.
Polonnaruwa (2nd capital of Sri Lanka) also many historical sites including Stone Temple, Rankoth Stupa, lotus pond, new modern museum etc.
Sigiriya the Lion Rock Fortress, Dambulla Cave Temple and the Temple of the Sacred Tooth relic of the Buddha, in Kandy.
Nuwara Eliya is the highest mountain valley situated more than 2000 metres above sea level and surrounded by breathtaking scenery and tea plantations, once a heaven of the Colonial Tea Planters. Sandy beaches surround the Island stretching from Trincomalee in the North East to Unawatuna in the South West of the Island.
I love the wildlife in Sri Lanka. Birds – 33 out of 490 species are endemic. We also have wild Asian elephants, sloth bear, leopard (Yala National Park boasts the highest leopard density in the world) and Sri Lanka is one of the best places to see blue whales and dolphins off the south coast. Many varieties of butterflies, mammals and snakes can be spotted easily while you travel through Sri Lanka.
Sri Lankan cuisine is not to be forgotten. My favorite meal is rice and curry cooked with coconut milk and mouth-watering fruits (pineapple is best), red banana, many tropical fruits and vegetables. Of course sea food is number one too (jumbo prawns are my favourite).
When you travel through the island you will find the simple way of life of Sri Lankan people who value and hold close our traditions and culture. Our traditional food, friendliest hospitality, breathtaking scenery and the natural beauty of the countryside will no doubt make your holiday unforgettable.
We warmly welcome you all to explore this wonder island- Sri Lanka.