For the Toronto Sun, wild elephants and lush landscapes are part of the Sri Lanka bucket-list experience


Toronto Sun travel writer Pat Lee was the first to admit that “probably, like many North Americans, I had many things to learn about Sri Lanka. I was ready to be schooled”.

And the first thing she learned was that “from sweeping fields of tea to spectacular temples … Sri Lanka is a magical nation that leaves a lasting impression”.

The biggest of which were our elephants. Seeing herds of them in the wild “was just one of the transformational experiences during our 10-day tour of the teardrop-shaped island south of India”.


“We were treated to a National Geographic Journeys tour of the country, which promised a collection of unique tours designed to hit plenty of cultural, historical and natural wonder notes. Many of the places we visited are designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites.”

A highlight was Anuradhapura, with its “dome-shaped structures housing ancient relics and drawing waves of white-garbed adherents bringing beautiful offerings of fresh flowers”.

Then Dambulla where the walls of its cave temples “under the watchful eye of ever-present monkeys are festooned with intricate murals and statues”.


And then there was the Sigiriya Lion Rock fortress, “a sheer-sided slab of volcanic rock accessed via 1,200 steps that led to ancient ruins, provided amazing views and pride of accomplishment”.

Meanwhile, “Sri Lanka is the world’s fourth largest producer, with emerald green fields of plants rolling past the window of our van as we headed to the highlands of Nuwara Eliya”.

“You don’t have to be in the country long to appreciate its intimate relationship with tea, from the ubiquity of it in airport shops to the offer of it at every respite or meal.”

Read more here.

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