Travel to Sri Lanka – Episode 202

categories: asia travel


The Amateur Traveler talks to Karl Anders who has traveled to Sri Lanka 8 times after striking up a friendship with the late author Arthur C. Clarke who settled there.

Karl takes us on a vital tour of Sri Lanka from the capital of Colombo to the beautiful beaches to some of the archeological ruins at Dambulla, Sigiriya, Anuradhapura, and Polonnaruwa.

Dambulla is notable for some of the cave murals.

Sigiriya is particularly notable for the rock fortress, ruins of a palace high on this rock outcropping and again some of the cave murals.

Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa both also have numerous stupas (a mound-like structure containing Buddhist relics). The inland high mountains are home to the tea country, plentiful tea fields, and numerous tea factories.

Karl recommends the Galle Face Hotel and some of the other inexpensive hotels left over from the British era. He also recommends hiring a car and driver/interpreter and avoiding traffic and public transportation. We also talk about the recent civil war.

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Show Notes

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka Tourism
Authur C. Clarke
Sinhala Only Act – law that triggered civil war
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam – rebelion
Sri Lankan Civil War
John Steinbeck

Galle Face Hotel
Mount Lavinia Hotel
The Grand Hotel
Taj Samuda Hotel

Internet Resources

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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

8 Responses to “Travel to Sri Lanka – Episode 202”



recently world started to call sri lanka as “paradise on earth”




I’m a long-time listener of your podcast, but I was compelled to write after your offhanded dismissal of Nigeria in Episode 202. Nigeria is a country of 140 million people, a very small minority of who are involved in a very public crime (email scamming). Imagine if the only thing people knew about your country was Timothy McVeigh or the boys who shoot up their schools – wouldn’t you want your government to do something to clear America’s name if Sony then made ads mocking it?

Your podcast is a great resource for pouring light on the parts of the world that the media under-reports, but in my opinion, you dropped your guard and neglected your duty then.

I still love the show though,




I am sure Nigeria is a lovely country but the reason that I dismissed their request for an apology is that

1) Nigeria has not always been helpful to victims of this scam (who to be fair are often being told they are helping smuggle money out of Nigeria).

The FBI says:

Some victims have been lured to Nigeria, where they have been imprisoned against their will, in addition to losing large sums of money. The Nigerian government is not sympathetic to victims of these schemes, since the victim actually conspires to remove funds from Nigeria in a manner that is contrary to Nigerian law.

2) If Nigeria has a bad reputation it has mostly the governments it has had over the last few decades to blame

One of the Christian leaders in the country (President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Metropolitan Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, His Grace, Most Revd Dr John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan) says this about his countries government:

Any nation that does not care about good governance, builds itself on lies, does not care about the less privileged within its midst, the leaders are only interested in their own selfish interest and convenience and close their eyes completely to the poor, the sick, the aged and the youths and basic amenities are not their top priority, where roads are untended, factories are allowed to die, schools stay closed for months and nobody is worried, such a nation cannot say that they are building themselves into anything great. Such a nation is killing itself. So you don’t need a prophet to tell you that.

A Sony ad is currently the least of the problems of Nigeria. I still think that it is unlikely that they will get an apology from Sony.



Yes, the country has suffered bad governance for decades, but even poor governments occasionally try to defend their nation’s name.

I haven’t been to Nigeria in a few years or I’d have offered to tell you about the other side of the country, because it’s very beautiful and visitor-friendly – as long as you stay outside Lagos.





Your point is well taken. I certainly understand why they would want an apology although I still think it unlikely.



David just needs to chill out. People make fun of Americans, French, Germans, etc all the time. It’s all in good fun.



We are planning on spending a couple of days in Sri Lanka next month on our way to Europe. Thought I’d see if you had a podcast on it to get some ideas and you did.
Thanks we will use the suggestions as a base for our time there.



glad I could help!

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