Shiv Naidu writes in The Citizen, ‘India’s first independent online daily, bold and young’, how he and a group of friends wanted a Sri Lankan holiday alternative to Goa.

And they found it in Sri Lanka!

Shiv says: “Year after year, the five of us—all friends from school—have taken a yearly trip to Goa. Some of my best memories have been on Goan beaches, spread out across the sand and staring at the star-lit sky.”

But they grew tired of the ‘scene’, the crowd, the choice of restaurants, the not-so-clean beaches. “Sri Lanka seemed to offer endless possibilities,” he says.

He especially liked that “unlike India, where you see people everywhere you go, in Sri Lanka there are miles and miles of what seems like uninhabited countryside. The hilly terrain is green and luscious, the skies blue, the water crystal clear”.

Dow south in Galle Fort, “I couldn’t help but gasp. It was beautiful. We come across the nicest restaurants, the quaintest little cafes, and the most interesting shops—some selling clothes, others tea and artefacts.”

Next up was whale-watching off Mirissa and the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, where he spent “what I can only describe as the best day of an amazing trip … a treasure trove of endemic species, including trees, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals, and we spent the day walking about and taking photos of the stunning natural ecosystem”.

Finally, “as we left Sri Lanka, we were all thinking the same thing. This is going to be our new yearly haunt, and we can’t wait to see more of it!”

Read more here.

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