45 travel industry agents got to experience this incredible tropical paradise the Bunnik Way, enjoying two varying itineraries. This once-in-a-lifetime experience was the best of both worlds! Why can’t we get enough of Sri Lanka? Well, here it is! Read on to discover the top 5 reasons why the Pearl of the Indian Ocean has us all under its spell!
- The stunning Sigiriya Rock
- Visiting a local Sri Lankan school: The locals of The Pearl of the Indian Ocean
- Delicious cuisine of Sri Lanka
- Experiencing Minneriya National Park
- A Sunset on the Spectacular Gin Oya River
It’s referred to by the locals as the Eighth Wonder of the World and we think they could be right! Sigiriya Rock is stunning and is a must-see when visiting Sri Lanka.
Truly a view to behold, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed site holds great archaeological significance due to the remains of a fifth-century fortress situated on top. Along with its impressive history, the top of Sigiriya Rock at 350 metres tall, provides extraordinary views over the lush jungles and vast plains below. You also get the chance to observe the adjacent Pidurangala Rock.
View of Sigirya Rock by Harriet Holmes
Here at Bunnik Tours, it is in our nature to create travel experiences that connect you to the locals, because after all, that’s what travel is about right? Sri Lanka is a welcoming and diverse country and you'll want to immerse yourself in the experiences available outside the touris attractions. During Bunnik small group tours, you’ll visit a local school in Sigiriya and get the chance to learn about the school and connect with the teachers and bubbly students.
Bunnik's own, Harriet Holmes, said this was her favourite experience of all! She says nothing beats the opportunity to walk through the classrooms where the students, from grades 1 to 5, proudly welcome you to their school with local songs while excitedly showing off their work! An unforgettable experience that creates real and beautiful moments between people.
Learn more about Sri Lanka: Fast Facts
Dennis Bunnik hanging with the school children
Drawing inspiration from its fresh, local produce, Sri Lanka’s food is on another level! While the country has a reputation for its spicy creations, don’t let this stop you from indulging in its cuisine, as there is truly something for everyone.
Fancy seafood? Well, you’re in luck as no trip to Sri Lanka is complete without a visit to Negombo’s iconic fish market! Bustling with local fishermen, it’s incredible to observe the variety on offer and see the day’s early morning catches. The local produce is cooked up into just about anything, including fish curry, crab curry and prawn curry! Did we mention Sri Lankans love curry?
If seafood isn’t your thing, perhaps Sri Lanka’s thriving fruit scene is! Being a tropical destination, the tasty fruit here is out of this world! From all the usual suspects of bananas, coconuts, mangoes and passionfruit just to name a few, you can also sample exotic fruits like rambutan or mangosteen!
Photo by Dennis Bunnik
Home to a variety of wildlife, including sambar deer, leopards and storks, perhaps Minneriya National Park’s most impressive feature is its abundance of wild Asian elephants! Proclaimed a wildlife sanctuary since the late 1930’s, jumping into a jeep ride in the National Park through green, lush forests, is a thrilling way to see the unique gathering of elephants coming to drink and bathe in the regions shallow waters. If you love animals, this is the place for you!
Photo by Dennis Bunnik
Cruising along the calm waters of a jungle-fringed river, and listening to the tranquil sounds of birdlife while watching the sunset, sounds like something straight out of a dream, right? Nope, just an incredible experience awaiting you in Negombo on a Bunnik Tour! Cruise along the calm Gin Oya River, stopping to see the vibrant colours of the beautiful sunset, an opportunity to take stunning photos. This must be why they call it the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, right?
Bunnik Tour’s Karin Jones loved every moment of the spectacular sunset cruise, although it was the following dinner hosted by a local family on the riverbanks, that was the cherry on top! A truly magical experience which showcases the power of making connections with locals.
Photo by Dennis Bunnik
Only mentioning 5 standouts was hard as Sri Lanka is home to a plethora of unique experiences just waiting to be had! A combination of its diverse culture, friendly locals, delicious cuisine and incredible scenery are just some of the reasons why we simply can’t get enough of Sri Lanka!
See the amazing ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’ for yourself on one of Bunnik Tour’s Sri Lankan small group tours.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which country is known as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean?
Sri Lanka is referred to as “the pearl of the Indian Ocean” and it’s not surprising because there is a great deal to discover on this tropical island with around 21 million inhabitants: Dream beaches, cultural treasures, rich biodiversity, hearty cooking and incredible tropical fruits.
Are there pearls in the Indian Ocean?
For thousands of years, seawater pearls were retrieved by divers in the Indian Ocean. The pearl beds of South India and Sri Lanka constituted one of the two major sources of pearls in the world. Under the right conditions, millions upon millions of pearl-producing bi-valve molluscs Pinctada genus of saltwater oysters (mainly Pinctada radiata and Pinctada fucata) populated the low-lying shoals and rock and coral formations of the Gulf of Mannar. The area is a large shallow bay forming part of the Laccadive Sea in the Indian Ocean with an average depth of 5.8 m. It lies between the southeastern tip of India and the west coast of Sri Lanka, in the Coromandel Coast region.
Why is Sri Lanka called the Teardrop of India?
Because of its unique shape and position to the south of India, Sri Lanka is also known as the "Teardrop of India".
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