The last few weeks have been hard. For me personally and for the world, it seems. Sometimes it seems to become a competition of which tragedy gets the most attention, the most ‘likes’, and that makes me sad. I won’t deny that there is a definite media bias making it seem that tragedies occurring in the western world are worse, that for some reason white lives, Christians, and churches matter more which is obviously not true at least not for me.
I do think though that it is human nature to care more about some things than others because of proximity and our personal relation to them. For me reading about the terrible bombings in Sri Lanka hit me a lot harder than the fires of Notre Dame. Why? Not just because lives were actually lost but because I have been to Sri Lanka a few times and I have friends there. I have stayed at the Cinnamon Hotel in Colombo and it was actually due to their invitation that I visited for the first time in 2016 not knowing that it would start an ongoing love affair.
Not only are there so many beautiful places in Sri Lanka, but for some reason, I feel a strong emotional connection to the country. I have laughed and cried there, found a home away from home at times, learned about history and religion, found my love for breakfast and experienced the kindness of strangers (yes, I mean you, dear sir, who lifted my 23kg suitcase into a full train in Galle!), marveled at elephant babies and searched for leopards, ate coconut everything and was introduced to the art of drinking tea, and of course, petted countless dogs and fed countless cats underneath a restaurant table.
With all that said, my heart breaks for Sri Lanka. To be honest, not just on an emotional level for the people who have lost their lives or their loved ones, but also for the country’s overall state and some very real economic consequences these events will have when it comes to tourism, a sector Sri Lanka very much depends on.
So with that, I thought it was the perfect time to share some of my favorite Sri Lanka images whether you will see them as a simple homage or as an inspiration for a future visit to beautiful Sri Lanka.*
Beautiful places in Sri Lanka
I never got a typical Sri Lanka photo of me scenically hanging out of the train going to Ella but this will do – for some reason it is one of my favorite Sri Lanka pictures and the train ride that followed while not very scenic wasn’t bad either.
I think I first fell in love with 50 shades of green while I was staying at Kahanda Kanda, one of the best places to stay in Sri Lanka. Rain or shine, the views are lush, to say the least.
Sri Lanka beaches are world renowned. Especially if they come with a swing for Instagram, some fishermen on stilts or a simply a sunset like this.
Home is a little Airbnb cottage in the suburbs of Colombo. It had a fridge so I could buy a whole bottle of wine from the nearby supermarket and order delivery pizza to eat straight from the box on the couch. The pizza was too small but that wasn’t the home’s fault that was a rookie mistake from me – seemed I had forgotten how to order pizza, never small that’s for sure.
Cheeky monkeys everywhere. This one is giving a second life to the offerings at Dambulla Temple, one of the Sri Lanka destinations you shouldn’t miss if you are into history and culture.
The most iconic view in Galle is its lighthouse on the old ramparts overlooking the ocean. Needless to say, it only gets better when paired with a rainbow.
This is one of my favorite Sri Lanka pictures I ever took. Some school classes joined us for sunset on Aradhana Gala, a rock overlooking the pilgrimage site Mihintale.
Coconuts are a way of life in Sri Lanka. As sambal, in rotis or as the backdrop for a perfect Sri Lanka picture during sunset. Coconut Hill in Mirissa. Still grateful that I managed some shots without getting hit by a coconut. Coconut sunset at Shangri La hotel, Sri Lanka.
If coconuts are a way of life in Sri Lanka, tuk-tuks are the country’s mode of transport. With so many beautiful places to visit in Sri Lanka, I prefer getting a ride in a tuk-tuk and lucky for me they cover quite long distances. I may yet sign up for the next Sri Lanka tuk-tuk race!
To be honest, I wasn’t overly impressed when I first came to Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital. Eventually, I returned and had my friends from Ayu in the Wild show me some of the beautiful places in Colombo. Seems all you need to know is where to look.
You see so many Sri Lanka pictures showing unethical elephant encounters which I think is a pity because the country has so many amazing national parks where you can see them in the wild. My favorite parks were Yala (where you can also spot a leopard if you get lucky), the Udawalawe Elephant Orphanage, and Minneriya.
You can’t talk about Sri Lanka and talk talk about tea. It was my first day in Galle when I stayed at the beautiful Amangalla, one of my favorite Sri Lanka hotels and ordered my first cup of Sri Lankan tea. I asked for sugar (I usually need about two good spoons in any given cup) and was met with an incredulous look by my waiter, “Are you sure you want sugar with that, madame?” I quickly got the hint and madame has since enjoyed her tea in Sri Lanka without sugar.
*And yes, I am already planning my next visit to Sri Lanka as putting this post together has made me realize that I have so many more places to see in Sri Lanka.
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