Sri Lanka is a mysterious and inviting land with a rich, if tumultuous, history. With its landscape, animals, and wonderful people to match, the country is currently a hot spot for travel in Asia – and for good reason. It’s visually appealing and overtly scenic, and I was lucky to recently spend three weeks exploring this gorgeous island nation, taking advantage of the countless photo ops at every turn. I hope you enjoy this Visual Adventure through a land with a story to be told.
On a train in the middle of the countryside. Just like India, rail is one of the cheapest and most frequent modes of transport. Though not always reliable, fast, or clean, trains here make up for it with their sense of adventure, often having open doors so riders can lean out and feel the wind on their faces. That’s what we were doing in this photo – chilling, watching the world go by, and snapping pics like crazy.
This is an attempt at acting like Jean Claude Van Damme. Nellie and I spent four days of our holiday documenting a local organization called The Music Project which teaches music to under-privileged children at two sponsored schools. It then brings them together to play concerts every few months. The kids get the chance to know one another and their differing cultures. We had a ton of fun with these kids and this is just one of many great photos.
A daily ritual at a rural school in Kurunegala, this is the after-school national anthem and prayer session. I took this shot while waiting for The Music Project extracurricular program to start with a selection of children from this primary school. It was amazing to see the kids pick up the instruments and start to play together.
Who doesn’t love Asian Elephants?! We were very lucky to see these four during a safari in the far northwest corner of Wilpattu National Park. The jungle was so thick and dense it was hard to see more than ten feet in, but then we turned a corner and there they were. Beautiful creatures in a beautiful land.
Simply. Wow. I couldn’t believe my camera eye when it finally focused on what was ahead of us – a wild Asian leopard sitting calmly beside the main access road into Wilpattu National Park. It was an awe-inspiring wildlife encounter which lasted only minutes, yet felt like an inspiring eternity. A priceless treat.
Sigiriya and the Lion Paw entrance. This is one of the most famous ruins from the ancient cities of Sri Lanka. A massive rock sticks out almost vertically from a relatively flat surrounding. It has been revered for centuries and once stood as a king’s royal palace for a reigning king. Incredible.
Sigiriya as seen from the bottom at sundown with a storm brewing in the background. The ancient rock has served as a palace and a Buddhist monastery, as well as a highly significant heritage site for hundreds of years. With its ancient wall art perfectly preserved and its ruins of pools, gardens and fortifications, this is a marvel of days past and an international treasure.
The Hill Country and an export Sri Lanka has been famous for since the days of the British Empire: tea. There are countless tea leaf plantations in these hills and they’re often divided into beautifully spaced and photographable lines. The women that pick the tea leaves here work long hours on this steep and challenging terrain – a testament to their strength and conviction. If you drink Sri Lankan tea, please be aware of its export route. “Fair Trade” and “Rainforest Alliance” are good logos to look for.
A stunning sunrise seen from the summit of Adam’s Peak at 2240m (7349 ft). The famed trip is typically a three-hour walk starting at 2am. A staircase of 5000 steps leads you to the summit and a stunning Buddhist Temple at its highest point. This place has one of the most spectacular views in the country. These are the moments that travel is all about.
“Unda’ da Sea!!” As a diver I had to get at least one photo in of exploring the underwater world of Sri Lanka. This shot was taken at the base of a sheer 30m (98 ft) cliff, at the top of which is an ancient Hindu Temple. At one time, some statues from the temple were pushed into the water, becoming an amazing opportunity for divers to come face-to-face with these images that have defied time, staring with open eyes from a watery grave.
G Adventures runs a number of departures to Sri Lanka encompassing a wide range of departure dates and activities to cater for different tastes. We’re thrilled at the prospect of showing you this big blue planet of ours— check out our small group trips here.