Ayubowan from Sri Lanka! I’m currently writing to you from Colombo, the country’s biggest city. It’s exciting to be in this part of the world, with the tropical humid air greeting me upon landing and a subtle hint of chaos buzzing from the streets. I’ve only been here for a day, but Colombo has already surprised me on several levels. Despite being the biggest city in Sri Lanka, it’s much calmer than I’d expected (nothing like India) and it also seems very prosperous, lush and green.
I’m here in Sri Lanka to attend the Travel Blogger Conference Asia 2014 organized by the PTBA (Professional Travel Bloggers Association), as one of the 40 selected members to come and discuss the future of travel blogging with exciting industry folks. The conference seems to be different from anything else I’ve attended, with a small intimate group of professionals getting together and rubbing shoulders with leading experts from big-name companies like BBC, Google and TripAdvisor.
CC photo from Wikipedia by Bernard Gagnon
My Itinerary in Sri Lanka
The conference includes a few days of on-ground learning in the field exploring Sri Lanka in the form of mini-workshops and evening tutorials. That means I’ll be exploring the island country and learning at the same time. The itinerary looks exciting as we’ll be traveling from the west coast to south, covering the main sights of the country in just four days.
We’ll start by visiting the villages of Habanara and going on safaris in the Kaudalla National Park. I’m particularly excited about visiting the iconic Sigiriya Rock and going on a trek in Hiriwaduna. In the plans are also excursions around the city of Kandy, the spice gardens of Matale as well as a boat safari along the Madu River. I’ve also heard that Galle is a must-see when in Sri Lanka, so I’m looking forward to visiting when we’re in the south. We’ll also get to visit the Temple of Tooth, ride a train from Colombo to Beruwala and finally spend some time on the beach in Bey Beruwala.
Our accommodation is kindly provided by the main sponsor, Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts. This leading hotel chain has properties all over Sri Lanka, most of which are the best in the country, but what I like most about Cinnamon istheir emphasis on sustainability, wildlife conservation and preservation of local traditions. We’ll be staying at a few of their hotels in the country, including the stylish yet rustic Chaaya Village Habanara and the beach resort style Cinnamon Bey Beruwala. This chain also runs the country’s only air taxi service Cinnamon Air that provides private charters and scenic flights.
CC photo from Wikipedia by Anton Croos
I’m seriously excited about what the week has in store for me. I will be definitely reporting back in details! In the meantime, follow my live updates on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #TBCAsia!
Disclaimer: My trip was made possible by the sponsors of Travel Bloggers Conference Asia 2014, but all opinions expressed above are as always my own.