Sri Lanka, an Island Nation That Is Best Savored Slowly

Written by on January 20, 2020

A train trip is one way to experience the natural beauty of the country, even if you have only a few days. But advance planning is essential.

It’s common while traveling to be approached by locals trying to make a few a bucks by offering to show you around. I typically respond with a polite “no,” but on this particular morning in Kandy, a small city in the center of Sri Lanka, I was looking for someone to take me on a tour of the sights. Santha, a small, middle-aged man with a big smile, must have sensed it, because he made a beeline for me as I approached the small park near the Kandy Municipal Market on Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe Mawatha Street in the center of town.

After a quick negotiation we were off, crammed into the back of a blue tuk-tuk, zooming down streets slick from the morning’s rain and smelling of wet leaves. Santha yelled to me over the loud buzz of the auto rickshaw’s engine: “I was born in Kandy, raised in Kandy and married in Kandy.” He added, “And I will die in Kandy!”

I could easily have spent months in Sri Lanka, the small island nation off the southern tip of India. Full of fantastic food, kind people and astonishing natural wonder, Sri Lanka is a place best seen slowly, even if you only have four days on the ground like I did. The train was my preferred means of transport (when I wasn’t in a tuk-tuk), winding from Colombo to Kandy, in the middle of the country, before taking another train down to Ella, on what was one of the most beautiful and scenic train rides I’ve ever experienced. And as far as cost goes, I was able to keep my expenses comfortably under control.


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