Sri Lanka – An Island Paradise.
On arriving in Sri Lanka the first thing you will notice is the heat & high humidity as you get off the plane, then its you among other tourists and local ex-pats waiting for a taxi or for a friend.
If you arrived around 8:00 am you will not only see people but also the overwhelming force of cars and individuals spilling over the streets like an overflowing river, as you are driven to your hotel in Colombo or Negombo. This is a place where the population and vehicles increase by a million every year so to speak.
Such growth in numbers seems to be pushing people to limits a visitor can struggle to comprehend. I’ve travelled around towns in Vietnam but this was something else.
Poverty you will expect to see side-by-side in contrast to rich and poor. I didn’t see collapsing shanties or children walking through garbage sorting stuff for re-cycling like in some third world Countries.
On the contrary, what I saw was the latest cars driven away nonchalantly alongside Tut-tuts, busses, motor bikes & sometimes cattle.
What I saw was a bustling city teeming with people going to & fro tapping on their mobile phones.
What I saw was progress and a booming economy. In the towns, virtually every hotel, tourist attraction and many restaurants had a mix of locals and tourists. Business seemed booming everywhere I went.
Across the street one would see the occasional beggar with two withered legs carrying himself on his palms by the road. Long gone are the beggars lining the streets like in the seventies! I did not see an unemployment problem. Everybody seemed to be doing some sort of small business on the streets.
On the flip side however there was a noticeable feeling of uncertainty & dissatisfaction I gathered during regular conversations with friends and relatives. I thought that the end of 3 decades of war on terrorism would have brought on a lasting peace.
Instead, there remains a looming view among certain sectors of the community that power & corruption alongside progress and development were causing an overwhelming sense of uncertainty. A form of new-terrorism clandestinely orchestrated to maintain continued political dominance, some would argue.
There was a time several years ago wherever you went garbage surrounded you. Garbage gathered like a waste mountain in the foul smelling tips in Colombo but I didn’t see people scavenging like in India nor could I smell the stench anymore.
Hawkers on the streets would move heaven and earth to sell. A truly aggressive marketing strategy designed to solicit sales can be an annoying masterstroke. With the relentless hawkers and sellers on the beach one would develop a protective shield but would stop short of being angered by it all.
Everywhere new hotels are rising and it looks like they are struggling to keep up with the demand in tourist arrivals. Streets are being cleaned and new walkways constructed to make a lasting impression.
Sri Lanka is possibly the most resplendently colourful Country in Southeast Asia. Visitors to Sri Lanka will see friendly people, smiling faces and experience great hospitality.
Picturesque landscapes, ancient cities and world heritage sites alongside pristine palm fringed beaches and wildlife safaris will leave one with beautiful & lasting memories of a holiday well spent.
Irrespective of the prevailing uncertainties in certain sectors of the community Sri Lanka continues to enjoy world recognition as the number one tourist destination for 2013.
Enjoy a great holiday in Sri Lanka with Leisure World Tours
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