Discovery >

Essential Reading When Traveling to Sri Lanka

February 12, 2018 by Khiri Travel | Filed Under: ,

If you are traveling to Sri Lanka and looking for some inspirational reading on the subject, then you need look no further than Christopher Ondaatje’s excellent Woolf in Ceylon, a multifaceted portrayal of the island known as Ceylon until 1972.

Ondaatje, a Sri-Lankan-born, writer, philanthropist, adventurer and bob-sledding Olympian, decides to leave the comfort of his home in Canada to retrace Leonard’s Woolf years in Ceylon as a British colonial civil servant (1904-1911) – a journey that takes him through Colombo, Jaffna, Kandy and Hambantota – with the works of Woolf as companion and guide.

During the journey, which takes place in 2004 on the 100th anniversary of Woolf’s arrival in Ceylon, Ondaatje comes to terms with the ghosts of his own past as the adventure unfolds.

Sri Lanka is a place of contrasts – it feels sometimes like a stage on which anything can happen – and Ondaatje captures the essence of traveling to an island with a troubled past, and uses the works of Woolf as a jump-off point for his own explorations and boyhood memories of living there on a tea estate.

Travellers today still feel thrilled when arriving on the island – and reading through the pages of Woolf in Ceylon, you can see that those experiences have not changed much in the last century. In fact the words of Woolf when he arrives in Colombo back in 1904, still resonate today:

There was something extraordinarily real and at the same time unreal in the sights sounds and smells – the whole impact of Colombo, the GOH [Grand Oriental Hotel], and Ceylon in those first hours and days; and this curious mix of intense reality and unreality applied to all my seven years on the island.

What’s more, the book is full of illustrations, as well as historic and contemporary photographs that capture the oriental beauty of Ceylon, with its abundant flora and fauna, art and architecture, people and traditions.

If you need a bit of inspiration to ignite your interest for adventure in Sri Lanka, rest assured, this is the book that will have you planning your next holiday to explore the enchantments and beauty of this wonderful country.

For more information about  authentic experience in Sri Lankan, please contact [email protected]

Latest post

Phnom Penh for Families: Cooking, Monkeys and Boats

Here is a day tour of Phnom Penh featuring a Khmer cooking class followed by an informative afternoon at a local temple and on the Tonle Sap River.

Read More

Great Dining Discoveries in Hanoi and Halong Bay

In this Khiri Vietnam culinary tour, the emphasis is on great cuisine, local cultural insights, outstanding scenery – and helping disadvantaged Vietnamese youths acquire the skills that will help them get ahead in life.

Read More

Discovering the True Nature of Rural Laos by Bike

Cycling through rural countryside on a bicycle – surrounded by emerald-green rice fields and friendly local people – is a truly refreshing and relaxing experience that reveals the true face of rural Laos.

Read More

Saigon Street Food by Motorbike

Travel Writer Meg Sine blogs about a trip to Ho Chi Minh City, where she says finding the choicest street food is best done by motorbike, allowing you to beat the traffic and savor more for your time.

Read More

Subscribe to our newsletter

Our B2B newsletters are for industry professionals




*We’ll never share your email address and you can opt out at any time.