Inland (Hill country) Sri Lankar

Trip Start Apr 30, 2006
1
53
59
Trip End Mar 25, 2007


Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines
shadow

Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Friday, November 24, 2006

Sri Lanka's highest peak rises 2,524 meters (8,281 feet) and the towns surrounding cities seem a world away from the coastal hot spots.  However, our trip to this "other world" only took 45 minutes :)  We left the beach town of Tangalla and were quickly in Tissa where we went to Yala National Park.  The park is incredible.  Less than an hour earlier we were sipping on drinks looking at a turquoise ocean - now we're in an old land rover seeing wild elephants, peacocks, monkeys and crocs!  The park also has leopards, bears and many other animals but our vehicle was (to put it mildly) sub par.

After touring Yala National Park, for the next week we basically tea-town hopped, visiting various cities that revolve around the tea industry.  The tea industry was brought to Sri Lanka after the British took Sri Lanka as its colony in 1818.  Coffee was originally the main crop (tea and rubber second and third), but after coffee became susceptible to a local pest, the farmers started cultivating tea as the primary cash crop.

The hill country tea plantations have a much deeper history than simply providing a nice afternoon pick-me-up.  In the 1800's the Sinhalese would not work in the British-owned plantations so the British brought over lower-caste Tamils from south India as "Indentured Laborers."  They, of course, were slaves living in line rooms (resembling modern day cattle sheds) and, because of the immigration, the Tamils soon made up 10% of the Sri Lankan population.  Many Sinhalese say there would not be a civil war today if the British would not have taken these people from India to Sri Lanka.

After the tea towns of Ella, Haputale and Nuwara Eliya, we concluded our hill country trip with the city of Kandy.  Within and around Kandy we saw an incredible elephant orphanage, important Buddhist temples and the reminisce of old colonial life at its best.  Sri Lanka is incredible and the hill country is equally as beautiful as the beaches.
Slideshow Report as Spam

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: