CREDIT: Craig Moore via travel tips
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Liz’s top 5 Sri Lankan family experiences

Liz Edwards, Associate Editor of the Sunday Times Travel Magazine and AITO travel writer of the year, went to Sri Lanka en famille with Experience Travel Group. We helped her with arrangements, incorporating the highlights with a twist and organising explorations off-the-beaten-path. From whizzing along characterful backstreets in a tuk tuk, to meeting monkeys that call grand Buddhist temples their home, to spotting elephants on safari, here she shares her top 5 experiences she’d recommend to other families.



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How NOT to do whale watching in Sri Lanka

Travel expert Sara recently went on her own personal holiday to Sri Lanka with 12 members of her family. As an avid wildlife enthusiast, her father suggested an early morning whale watching experience. He made the arrangements himself during our holiday but the experience was less than dreamy. Here Sara reports back on how NOT to do whale watching.



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Sri Lanka vs Maldives beach

If you look at a map of Sri Lanka (earth view) you’ll see the number of beaches it has is pretty spectacular. But, then again, just one hour away by plane is The Maldives – with picture-perfect white-sand shores. You’ve got a dilemma: which one should you experience? Here, I weigh up all your options, and discover that it really depends on what you want from your relaxation time.



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Stay in The Bridge On the River Kwai Villa, Sri Lanka

Some people may be surprised to discover that one of the most famous films of all time, The Bridge On the River Kwai was filmed almost entirely in Sri Lanka, and not in the bridge’s actual location in Thailand. And now, with the opening of the Sir David Lean Bungalow (named after the Director of the film) by the boutique hotel group, Elephant Stables, it’s possible to stay in one of the beautiful spots that feature in this classic film.



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What you need to travel to Sri Lanka

Its stunning UNESCO heritage sites, golden-sand beaches and beautiful tea plantations make Sri Lanka a fantastic destination for a holiday with a difference. Not to mention the herds of wild elephants, mouth-watering curries and colonial history. Tempted to visit this magical isle? While you might already be dreaming of discovering its delights for the first time yourself, what are the practical aspects to consider? Here’s some information on 10 things you might want to think about:



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Gal Oya Lodge insights

Founder of Gal Oya Lodge, Sangjay, shares his tips for travelling like an ‘insider’ in Gal Oya National Park – home to herds of elephants, crocodiles and various bird life. From joining local naturalists on wildlife research missions, to walking with Vedha chiefs through ancient forests, to enjoying boat safaris spotting elephants – he details how to make the best of your visit.



Panoramic view from the top of Sigiriya rock at sunset, Srilanka, Asia

Things to experience in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has so many things to experience that it can be a challenge to work out what is actually worth doing. To help you decide, I’ve listed my favourite activities, any of which can be incorporated into a trip. From sipping delicious tea in the lush tea plantations of the hill country, to meandering through old colonial cities, from admiring the sun set over thousand year-old forests and ancient ruins to close encounters with majestic wildlife, I hope you’ll be inspired.



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How to keep all the family happy on holiday

“It’s sad she doesn’t worry about her own experience…” sighed one of our consultants, after talking with a mother panicking about her family holiday. The problem was, she could “only enjoy the holiday, if all the rest of them do!” Another Mum was putting her own needs last on the priority list, thinking that if she can just fulfill everyone else’ wishes, the family could hit that magical balance of fun, excitement, novelty and relaxation that makes for the perfect trip. Maybe after then, she could slip in one or two experiences for herself; a shame for the chief family organiser!

So what then are the perfect ingredients?



Image via Old Indian Photos
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Best Ways To Explore Your Family Tree

Learning about our ancestors can help us to get to the bottom of our identity; what has our family done, where have they lived and how does that influence ourselves and our relatives today?

Exploring your family tree can be a fascinating and exciting trip through history, but with such a wealth of information out there on the Internet – and so many different resources to take it from – where do you start?



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Is it worth hiring a guide in Sri Lanka?

Once you start looking into practical details of your Sri Lanka trip, you’ll notice two potential dilemmas.

1) How are you going to get around the country? – It’s quite difficult to reach all the major sights using public transport and taxis won’t be willing to go the distances you need.

2) How are you going to delve beneath the surface of the culture? – You may be wondering how you’re going to meet the locals in authentic ways to get an understanding of the country.

Here I’m going to explain why hiring a chauffeur guide solves both problems and creates a brilliant holiday experience.



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Revisiting my young life in Ceylon

Judy’s Sri Lanka story is truly remarkable. Growing up in Ceylon, here she talks about her holiday with us to the country, revisiting her childhood haunts, the smells, the images, the food, the people. With an incredible insight into the country’s history and changes over the years, here she reflects on what makes her visits there so special



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Restoring Fort Bazaar in UNESCO heritage Galle

Teardrop hotels feature some of our most popular boutique properties in Sri Lanka, including the stunning boutique heritage villa the Wallawwa. We’re incredibly excited about the recently opened Fort Bazaar, lovingly restored by the group. Here, we invited Henry (Managing Director) to talk a little bit about his interested in Sri Lanka and the process behind restoring this heritage property. Over to Henry:



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Co-founder Sam on Sri Lanka’s undiscovered Mannar island

Co-founders Sam and Tom recently visited the off-the-beaten-track region of Mannar, Sri Lanka with travel photographer Damon Wilder. Situated in the northwest of the country, it’s a flat, wild west kind of landscape with an overlooked culture and identity. Here Sam reviews the new holiday experiences we have in development on the island: