Madulkelle Tea and Eco Lodge sits perched high in the Knuckles mountain range. I came across this gem of a place on a travel blog when researching my trip, and immediately knew I had to write this into my itinerary. To say this place is heaven on earth would be an understatement - I only wish I'd stayed longer.
Sri Lanka is completely unlike any other Asian country I've ever been to - the people, the food, the sights and the experiences are all truly incredible. If you're looking for a party and a fried English breakfast, this place is not for you: it's been largely untouched - and not yet ruined - by tourism, meaning there's a distinct lack of the seedy underside of mass visitation that's plaguing so many Asian countries these days. Long may it continue.
This is the time of year that I start craving travel - when it's cold, grey and miserable in the UK, the thought of somewhere exciting to visit in the New Year always gives me a lift. And just at the right time, the travel experts and tour operators all start releasing their latest trips and hottest destinations for 2016. Here are my top five most exciting group trips for singles in 2016.
This tiny island nation has always been ever so slightly overshadowed by a bigger and much more glamorous cousin, India. But it is being overlooked no more; Sri Lanka tourism saw a 19.8% increase from 2013 to 2014, and a 17.9% increase from 2014 to 2015. If you're yet to experience the magic of Sri Lanka, here are 12 reasons why you should visit in 2016...
There's been a seismic shift. The publication of the UN report on Sri Lanka in September put on record indisputably and for posterity the terrible suffering endured by Tamils in the final phase of the Sri Lankan civil war. That acknowledgement of the atrocities is hugely significant given just a few years ago the world disbelieved most of these accounts.
There's typically a sense that once people have fled their country they no longer deserve a full stake in its future. Perhaps the assumption is exiles have assimilated elsewhere, their children no longer speak the language or understand the nuances of the culture. Sometimes there's a degree of envy - members of a diaspora are considered financially better off abroad...
Mrs Jeyakumari and her daughter were well known activists who had been among the crowds which mobbed British prime minister David Cameron when he visited the former war zone in Jaffna in November last year. Three months later Mrs Jeyakumari sent me a video address in which she warned that she was being followed and harassed as a result of her campaign.