Sandra Dowling

Personal Travel Consultant

Sri Lanka


Colombo bursts with life as the streets fill with colourful saris and parasols bustling along streets bathed in sunshine. Tuk tuks weave amongst the traffic; their passengers chatting animatedly as they disappear round corners and street vendors peddle their wares as people disappear into the array of restaurants peppered throughout the city.

 Kandalama & Polonnaruwa 

Kandalama is a small village located near to the busy town of Dambulla. Home to one of Sri Lanka’s most famed hotels, the Heritance Kandalama, it is an ideal base in the Cultural Triangle due to its proximity to the big sites but away from the busy towns. Polonnaruwa is one such site, both a working town and ancient city; it is a must-see in Sri Lanka. Once the capital of Sri Lanka, it still retains much of its ancient buildings including the royal palace and statues of Buddha.

Kandy & Nuwara 

Eliya Kandy, home to ancient treasures, lush flora and fauna and people who envelope you with their warmth and culture. Nuwara Eliya, ‘Little England’, exuding peace and tranquillity with rolling hills covered in tea.


The Maldives make up a total of twenty six atolls, with many (otherwise uninhabited) islands being occupied by a single resort hotel. Vacationers usually spend much of their time on hotel premises, so picking the right island is a matter of relative importance. Staying at upscale resorts, however, isn't the only option available to visitors. Since recently, the Maldives have appeared on the radars of budget travelers - a few inns and guest houses have opened up on the larger, inhabited islands (Guraidhoo and Maafushi, to name a couple). This has given start to breaking down the age-old conception of Maldives as an exclusive, luxury destination solely for honeymooners and the world's rich and famous.
Global warming, and - consequently - rising sea levels have brought about alarming news and heated discussions about the future of these pristine islands, and whether the nation is doomed to go underwater in a few decades' time. Do try and take advantage of the islands' beauty and marine riches now, while tourism in the area is booming like never before, and the Maldives are becoming economically accessible to an an increasing number of travelers.