A Taste of Sri Lanka
Asia Transpacific Journeys Ventures to San Francisco
Asia Transpacific Journeys traveled from the snow-topped mountains of Boulder, Colorado to sunny San Francisco to share the newest trends and happenings in travel to Asia with clients, media, and friends on the west coast. The theme of the evening? Sri Lanka; the untapped, unpretentious island nation that Conde Nast Traveller and the New York Times call one of the top “must see” travel destinations of 2016. Having undergone a dramatic tourism transformation, Sri Lanka is the ultimate adventure for travelers in search of a bespoke, boutique experience in the “Island of Serendipity.”
Fun Facts about Sri Lanka
-Sri Lanka is home to Asia’s most magnificent wildlife, and has amongst the highest concentrations of leopard in the world. Yala National Park is famous for its leopard sightings, and visitors have a 90% chance of spotting one of these majestic animals on a 2-3 day safari.
-The city of Kandy is the last capital of the Sri Lankan Buddhist Sinhalese Kings and one of the country's eight UNESCO World Heritage sites. The town is situated around Kandy Lake and has many sites of interest including the Temple of the Tooth Relic, which holds a tooth that belonged to Buddha.
-Bordering the Central Highlands is Sri Lanka’s world famous “Tea Country”, one of the most scenically beautiful parts of Sri Lanka with a breathtaking backdrop of mountains, lakes, winding roads, waterfalls and terraced tea plantations.
- In the 11th Century, after centuries of attacks on Anuradhaprua, the rulers decided to move the Sinhalese Capital to Polonnaruwa. What truly makes this Archeological Park so special is the Gal Vihara grouping which features four large Buddha statues carved from one long piece of solid granite. The Standing Buddha is 22 foot tall and the Reclining Buddha is 45 feet long. They are truly some of the finest and most beautiful Buddha statues in the world.
- In just two years, Sri Lanka’s tourism has surged from 500,000 people annually to 1.5 million. Still, this is a small number in comparison to places like Thailand and Cambodia, who have upwards of 25 million visitors in any given year. For perspective, the city of Las Vegas gets more visitors in one month than Sri Lanka gets in an entire year.
A special thanks to Hakkasan San Francisco for being such gracious hosts. We enjoyed pumpkin dumplings, a sampling of delicious cocktails, and a host of other delicious items.