|Sri Lanka is a well-marketed destination for expats living in
the Arabian Gulf. It is only a short flight away and given it's small size -
many of its attractions are easily accessible for travellers with limited time,
and budget -as Sri Lanka is unbelievably very inexpensive. Things have not been
easy for this tiny island nation, previously known as "Ceylon". The country has
been plagued by a sporadic, yet ongoing civil war between the majority Buddhist
Sinhalese of the south - and the Tamil Hindu minority in the north. Poverty is
also a huge problem as Sri Lanka is considered to be quite a poor country, even
by regional standards, and a large number of its population living off of less
than a dollar a day. Add to this the nightmare that occurred here less than a
year before my visit, on December 26, 2004 - when the largest earthquake in 40
years hit the Indian Ocean - causing a tsunami with waves up to six meters to
crash into Sri Lanka's southeast coastline - destroying almost everything in
its path. About 40,000 people died in Sri Lanka alone due to the tsunami and
about two and a half million others displaced (http://www.lankalibrary.com/news.htm).
all the adversity, Sri Lanka still remains a lovely place to travel. It is
smaller, more compact, and not as chaotic as neighboring India. I only had
about 8 days in Sri Lanka - but it was still enough time to cover a wide range
of attractions independently. I've divided this website into three sections.
The Hill Country of Kandy gets its own site - dominated mainly by pictures of
Kandyan dancing, fire eating, and fire walking. Next are pictures from my visit
to the ancient cities of Dambulla, Sigirya, Polonnoruwa, and Anaradhapura.
After a second stop in the centrally located Kandy, I then made my way east to
the tiny yet picturesque mountain village of Ella, before heading down south to
the coastal village of Unawatuna. From there I spent my last night in UNESCO
protected walled city of Galle, before heading back to Colombo to catch my
plane. The photos of Ella & the coast can be found on the third site.