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Elephants and temples

What was it that you liked best about our holiday’, I asked my son - trying to remember all the highlights of our summer trip, ‘the elephant safari, the dugout canoe or reaching the World’s End?’ He thought for a moment then grinned. ‘The brilliant knock-about games on the beach with our Group leader Ruwan’. I might have guessed...the cricket.

I’ve always known Sri Lanka, the land of Serendip and constant surprises, is a ‘top destination’ among our customers – but now that I’ve travelled there with my family, I can understand why.

Everywhere you go, people are welcoming, friendly and delighted to see you. Now the period of civil unrest is truly at an end, tourism is flourishing. And no wonder. With a huge variety of things to see and do, not to mention excellent value for money, Sri Lanka is a winner for families and an easy, exciting introduction to Asia.

I chose the Sri Lanka Discovery trip from our Worldwide brochure (minimum age 14) for its great blend of cultural sites and access to nature and wildlife. My son chose it for the elephants. We weren’t disappointed and got to do everything from riding them, to visiting them at the Elephant Transit Home at feeding time, as well as an elephant safari in Uda Walawe National Park.
The dynamic pace of the trip meant we were constantly discovering something new.

Sri Lanka is unique in having two monsoons, so scenery changes over short distances. What’s more, at only 139 miles across by 260 miles, Sri Lanka’s small, so you get to see almost all of it – from heady peaks and the lush jungle of the interior to the distinct dry zones and dramatic coastlines. (Check out our brand new Family trip Secrets of Sri Lanka if you want to uncover the little-visited east coast beach areas around Trincomalee too).

Fabulous views came with plenty of surprises. After a winding train journey, packed with the locals from tea plantation villages, we stepped off only to travel back in time and catch a glimpse of our colonial past. We had arrived at Nuwara Eliya or ‘Little England’ - a favourite hill station modelled on an English village. Then we were off to the National Park of Horton Plains, where all of a sudden the plains stop and a 700m sheer drop gives you views out over the thrillingly-named ‘World’s End’.

Sri Lanka’s culture is as diverse as its landscape and they celebrate a wide range of religions. My son loved learning about the colourful customs of the most popular, Buddhism, with Ruwan our Group Leader. A visit to the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, home to the tooth relic of Lord Buddha, brought these stories to life. If you go at festival time in August, there’s a famous procession that celebrates the relic.

And then there’s the cricket. My son loved joining in the local games. It all added to the immersive experience and gaveus an adventure to remember.

Unpublished
4.5
(average rating, based on 11 reviews)
Trip type: 
Cultural
Adventure level: 
3. Moderate
Max group size: 
16

Sri Lankan Discovery

Asia, Sri Lanka | 17 days
Trip code: 
SL
Young monk - Sri Lanka
Discovery and adventure on the beautiful island of Sri Lanka.

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