Sri Lanka, the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, has something for everyone from UNESCO World Heritage Sites to wild animals. And, the country is small, safe, easy to get around, and most of the people speak English.
1. Ancient capitals: Anuradhapura was the vast capital of Sri Lankan civilization of 1500 years ago and Polonnaruwa is home to an amazing collection of Sinhalese art and architecture from the 8th century until 1310 CE when it, too, was a capital. They account for two of the eight World Heritage Sites.
2. Elephant Orphanage: Get to Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage at 9 a.m. to be there for feeding time. You can almost feel their excitement as the the elephants are led to the river for what amounts to play time.
3. Temple of the Tooth: Located near Kandy, the Temple of the Tooth is one of the most treasured Buddhist sites. Rituals are performed three times daily - at dawn, at noon and in the evenings. An evening visit can be combined with attending a cultural show at a nearby theater.
4. Safari: Yala National Park is the second largest such park in Sri Lanka having been designated a wildlife sanctuary in 1900. It is best known for its variety of wild life. While it is not always possible to see the elusive tiger, safari goers are sure to see monkeys, deer, wild boar, and elephants.