Sri Lanka was Day 12, the midpoint of a 25-day Oceania Cruise in Asia that began in Bangkok and ends in Dubai. Eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites are packed into the small island nation off the southeast coast of India. Our friends Lakshman, a Sri Lankan native, and Jim and Laurie who returned from Sri Lanka a few months ago, provided advice in planning our one day here. While a visit to the historic Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic and other sites in historic Kandy were at the top of our list, in the end we decided the drive was too long given the congested road and our need to return before our ship sailed.
In lieu of visiting Kandy, we chose the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Galle (pronounced “gawl”) that sits on Sri Lanka’s southwestern coast. We arranged for a car and driver to take us as Oceania did not offer an excursion here. Our knowledgeable guide Wilhem picked us up at the ship. He briefly toured us around Colombo’s highlights including a colorful Hindu temple, before heading inland and south down the new motorway.