Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Travel Editor at Lonely Planet gives thumbs up for Sri Lanka

Lonely Planet’s Travel Editor Tom Hall has given the thumbs up for Sri Lanka for global travellers looking for a holiday.

In its article on Sunday, Where to visit next? Lonely Planet said this question dominates conversations at Lonely Planet more than any other. It’s inevitable when hundreds of self-confessed travel geeks clock up hundreds of thousands of miles a year between them, exploring virtually every destination on the planet in the process.

Once summer holidays are done, we begin to debate where the hottest destinations to visit next will be, which places have seen significant change, and where everyone is talking about right now. This is what informs Best in Travel, our annual collection of simply the best places to visit and things to do in the year ahead.

 People across Lonely Planet work all year to publish Best in Travel. The first step comes in the spring, when the team behind the book gathers suggestions from dozens of authors, editors and staff.

 Tony Wheeler, Lonely Planet’s co-founder (and Independent on Sunday travel columnist), and other travel experts then rank the destinations in order. What are the criteria? Topicality, above all – it’s got to feel of the moment – but, like any traveller, we also look for value for money and that special something that elevates one place above another. Then, a team of writers – many of those involved in choosing the places – sets about writing the words explaining our selection.

 Next, if previous years are anything to go by, the winners will celebrate and the debate will continue.

 Thanks to Twitter and Facebook, we’ll know within seconds whether huge numbers of people agree with the selection.

“I think I might go on holiday; Sri Lanka looks nice,” said the travel editor Hall. Following is the article by Hall titled ‘Where to go in 2013: Sri Lanka. Why go in 2013? Serenity returns to Serendib’. This article also got featured in UK’s Independent.

 Dubbed Serendib – the origin of the word serendipity – by seafaring Arab traders centuries ago, Sri Lanka has been anything but serene in recent decades. Battered, tragically, by the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami and wracked by a civil war from 1983 to 2009, many areas of South Asia’s most compact country have remained off limits to even the most intrepid traveller. Now the bitter conflict with the Tamil Tiger rebels is at an end, investment is again fuelling the tourist industry and visitor numbers are steadily increasing. Prices are affordable. Indeed, Sri Lanka is emerging as one of the planet’s best-value destinations.

 North of the capital Colombo, on Sri Lanka’s west coast, Kalpitiya and the Puttalam lagoon are eco-tourism hotspots with bird watching and kayaking. Near Dondra Head, on the south coast, mighty blue whales are regular visitors from January to April while land-based wildlife thrills include the leopards and elephants of Yala National Park, and the more rugged and remote Wilpattu National Park, open once more after being closed for more than two decades during the civil war.

 The gloriously arcing beaches of the nation’s east coast are now challenging traditional southern favourites. Arugam Bay’s sandy crescent is one of Asia’s best surf spots and further north, Uppuveli and Nilaveli near Trincomalee stretch for several pristine kilometres. Fast-forward five years, and both beaches will definitely be accorded “where to go next” status in glossy travel magazines. Why wait that long?

 Explore the glorious labyrinth of Galle’s 17th-century Dutch fort. In past centuries, the Unesco-listed colonial town was a prosperous hub of global trade and now boutique hotels and an emerging arts scene instil a cosmopolitan allure. Further north, you can discover Sri Lanka’s imposing ancient cities, emerging from a verdant landscape.

 All around the country, tuck into great-value local cuisine including grilled seafood, spicy kottu (roti chopped and mixed with vegetables) and multi-course mini banquets of different curries at family run guesthouses. Indian and Thai cooking may be world-renowned, but Sri Lanka’s time in the global gourmet spotlight can’t be far away.

source - www.ft.lk

No comments: