New year, same old celebration? Running around town in midnight traffic, hustling through an overcrowded club with an overpriced drink in hand. Doesn’t sound like a perfect start to the year, does it? We’ve got something different in mind, start the year off with a truly unique experience. We’re thinking of a visit not too far from here, just below the coast, the little island that is Sri Lanka. Becoming a popular travel destination lately, it is a place that represents quintessential calm and redefines peace with its relaxed culture. Often mistaken as an extension of south India, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Sri Lanka is vibing with a truly extraordinary feel.

Why Sri Lanka?

This jewel shaped island never fails to surprise visitors. The verdant landscape, delicious food; the crumbling, overgrown ruins, abundant wildlife, there’s a lot in store. What is more, the hospitality of Sri Lanka is world renown as one of the absolute best. Are you tempted yet? The food in this little island is as fresh as it gets, straight from the Indian ocean. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you’ll have no shortage of choices either. It may be a small island, but activities vary greatly, from relaxing at untouched beaches to toughing it out in treks. Or going on wildlife safaris or cultural expeditions. Sri Lanka is calling.

Kick Back And Relax

First things first, do not expect to crash upon a similar New Year’s eve rave scene like that in Mumbai or Delhi. This jewel shaped island is an escape. Try something offbeat instead. Head down to quaint little Dutch old town that is Galle and join the fishermen as they pull in the daily catch from the sea. Or maybe head further down to the coastal village that is Gurubeblia Village and try your hand at surfing. Whatever it is, with a frozen cold coconut in hand, white sand in your feet and blue waters in the horizon, as far as the eye can see, what is not to love? 2018, you’re looking pretty great already.

Get Gritty

Looking to get stuck in the mud instead? Hike through the overgrown forests instead in Horton Plain’s National Park or go on wildlife tour. There is no place in the world where you will see Elephants in the wild like in Sri Lanka. Looking for something meaner? Head down to the south side of the island to Yala National Park, you’re sure to see some Leopards there. The wildlife opportunities aren’t limited to just the land. Depending on where you go, you might be lucky enough to spot Dolphins, Killer Whales or even the world’s biggest ever animal, the Blue Whale. One of the best places to spot the blue whale is off the coast of Mirissa, also in the south. Sri Lanka is also culture laden with the famous Cultural Triangle. Whatever the question, Sri Lanka is the answer!

Been there, done that? Check out The Hidden Treasures Of Cambodia!