Don’t the old names of Asia conjure up the romance of travel? Indochina, Siam, Burmah, Hindoostan, Bhotan and Ceylon. Regardless of the official, modern names of the present, these places still hold some mystery, hidden destinations, and the power to satisfy anyone’s wanderlust. And a perfect example of this is Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon).
This teardrop island at the southern tip of India has it all, and now, after years of internal conflict, it has once again opened its doors to those who seek an exotic land. There are beautiful beaches and national parks teeming with wildlife. This is a big destination for Buddhist pilgrimages. Its history is remarkable – the Portuguese, Dutch and British all had their hand at one time or another in shaping this island’s future. Spices and tea were the commodities and they still are today. The people are laid-back; the infrastructure is good (including air taxis to many locations); and there is a wonderful array of sophisticated accommodations. No wonder Sri Lanka was recently on the New York Times “Places to Go” travel list.