Harper’s Bazzar pays glowing tribute Sri Lanka’s authenticity and ‘beautiful simplicity’
Glossy upmarket magazines don’t get much more posh, swish and swanky than Harper’s Bazzar in the US—and its seal of approval is much sought after.
She writes: “Why Sri Lanka? It has a palpable authenticity that I haven’t experienced before. The people, the food, and the genuine respect for the earth left me with a renewed sense of self and my place in the world.
“The values I embraced and learned on this trip are those which I will carry with me for as long as possible, and hopefully for a lifetime. The last thing was the sense of freedom I consistently felt evolving throughout my stay.
“Sri Lanka has laws, of course, but they are far less concerned about the little things. If you want to dangle your feet out of the train car or walk to the edge to take in the view, go right ahead.
“They don’t implement unnecessary safety precautions or put up barricades to obstruct nature’s views, and it made me much more aware of how controlled we are at home, and how controlled even more strict countries are in their day to day.”
She writes how she “reveled in that freedom, and will always hold it dear”, and that “one of my biggest takeaways was the motto embodied in Sri Lanka: Responsibility to respect others and to enjoy your life fully”.
The hike to one of Sri Lanka’s national parks, Horton Plains, “is an amazing experience. The view doesn’t get much better”, while an early morning Safari “yielded all sorts of critters, reptiles and thankfully, two herds of elephants. Well worth the trip”.
Meanwhile, “the best food in Sri Lanka wasn’t in restaurants but rather imbedded in an experience; the markets, a roadside roti, or must try—coconut sambal”, and “until you experience a fresh cinnamon leaf, you haven’t lived!”
Our Buddhist culture “was one of my personal favorite takeaways. It was beautifully simplistic in that it can be broken down into one simple rule of being a good person, and with that in mind, being good to the Earth and the people that inhabit it”.
“You should wear mostly white clothing that covers your shoulders and most of your legs. It’s customary to bring a gift of flowers to the Buddha which are strictly for him.
“I accidentally went to smell the flowers we bought and was swiftly told ‘only for Buddha!,’ so keep the local culture in mind and enjoy only by looking.”
Another highlight was staying at Fort Bazaar in Galle Fort. “It’s a gorgeously renovated townhouse hotel formerly owned by one of the merchants who settled in the town.
“The staff is incredibly accommodating and I would highly recommend the Upper Suite, complete with balcony which is on the same level as the library.
“Fort Galle was one of the more ‘westernized’ towns we visited, and you can cover the whole thing in one day as it’s quite small. Perfect for 48 hours of relaxing in the hotel’s open air library or by the pool.”
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