It is impossible not to feel a sense of longing and nostalgia when one contemplates the journeys of Marco Polo, who in 1292 sailed from a remote Chinese port via Sumatra to Sri Lanka, or Rudyard Kipling who made his way aboard a P&O ship from Adelaide to Sri Lanka and chronicled his travels in one of his many poems. How can we resist the calling of “wanderlust” when we hear names such as Serendib, Ceylon, Teardrop of India, Island of Dharma and, as Marco Polo called it, the “jade pendant in the Indian Ocean”.

Although the days of adventurous explorers the likes of Marco Polo and Rudyard Kipling have passed, I was happy to see that a journey through Sri Lanka still evokes the sentiment of their writings. After having spent a few idle days on the sun drenched beaches of the Indian Ocean, I found myself sitting aboard a train winding its way into the lush hills and on to the delightful town of Kandy where the Europeans once came to escape the heat. My next stop were some of the country’s most amazing historical sites, all part of UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list before I reached the famous tea plantations. It is hard to imagine that these verdurous fields, stretching as far as the eye can see, started with a single camellia sinesis plant from China brought to what was then known as Ceylon by the British in 1824!

Visiting Sri Lanka is truly an awe-inspiring journey through history and time….