Dilhan's Awesome Adventures

Today our guest is Dilhan Suraweera, a professional tour guide, and owner of Dilhan's Awesome Adventures. He is a licensed and registered guide within all Provinces of Sri Lanka, and he has been in the Tourism profession for 14 years. We have conducted an interview with him.

Which are the top 3 attractions that are the most unique in Sri Lanka that you think travellers should not miss?

The top 3 would be difficult to choose. It depends on what you like to do and how long you have to spend in Sri Lanka. Many people come to visit our 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, ancient cities, and civilizations, such as Sigiriya, Kandy, Polonnurawu, Anuradhapura, Dambulla, and Galle. Others come to visit our natural wildlife preservation areas such as Horton Plains in the Central Highlands, Sinharaja Forest Reserve, or take a Safari in Yala or Udawalawe National Park. I would say the others come to relax. Ride the train from Nuwara Eliya to Ella, or enjoy our spectacular, pristine beaches that encircle the island. Sri Lanka is many things to many different travelers.

Why do you think offering your tour guiding service is best from your heart and soul? What kind of testimonials had you gotten from your clients?

Well, I can tell you that I have remained friends with 95% of my clients. Most people only make one trip to Sri Lanka in their lifetime, so our friendships are based on matters of the heart, and not future tourism. The other 5% I have simply lost touch with mail changes and such. It is always sad for me when my guests depart. I think they leave something behind in Sri Lanka, and I think they take something home with them. I am grateful to say that I have only 5-star reviews on all the major tour guide sites.

How did the ending of the war help to boost tourism in Sri Lanka?

Well, many people were afraid to visit Sri Lanka during this long period of war and unrest. People go on a holiday to relax and be at peace and that is a difficult thing to achieve in a country during war. Since the war ended in 2009, it has been like the gates have opened and people are flooding into Sri Lanka. It is a very exciting time for Sri Lanka. We are very happy for the tourism. It is giving us stability and a better way of life. There are many opportunities for travelers to travel around Sri Lanka in comfort and see everything the country has to offer, for very reasonable prices. I tell my clients to tell their friends to visit now before things change too much.

What other special things do people want to learn about your country's history after the war?

To be honest, many travelers are not aware that we had a 29-year war. If they know, they don't ask a lot of questions. I'm not sure if they are concerned about my reaction, or if they feel it is inappropriate. But we don't really talk about it much during our travels. I am always happy to answer any questions if they are curious.

Which are the key differences in choosing Sri Lanka over destinations such as Thailand or Singapore?

I cannot give you an opinion there, as I have not been to Thailand or Singapore. But I am told that we are similar to Thailand in the 1980's or 1990's. Happy people. Not expensive. Beautiful beaches. Great food. Smiling people. Come to Sri Lanka and you tell me!

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