Lonely Planet has named Sri Lanka the best travel destination in 2019. At Sodha Travel, we don't always agree with the commercial travel trends, but Sri Lanka rightfully deserves the top spot. As South Asia specialists, we have been servicing the country for 15+ years and appreciate the vast religious, cultural, and geographical diversity.
For many, spring cleaning is a time to organize the home and purge old, unused items. At Sodha Travel, spring cleaning is about updating previous tours with the newest immersive experiences AND launching modern, exclusive itineraries. It's our favorite time of year! Check out our recent private tour offerings in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bhutan.
Traveling with children to South Asia is not only possible but incredibly rewarding! As a travel professional, I am often out exploring the Indian subcontinent and beyond. When possible, my three children accompany me on trips abroad. From staying healthy to scheduling, here are my tips for comfortably exploring South Asia as a family.
In the heart of Sri Lanka live the Veddas, an indigenous tribe who takes immense pride in an age-old lifestyle of hunting, collecting fruits, and worshipping spirits. Even with the impact of modernization, they treasure their traditions and maintain a fierce cultural preservation. Most Veddas speak Sinhala and Tamil - the official languages of Sri Lanka - as their native dialect is now nearly extinct. With faces blessed with sharp eyes, theirs is a heritage that spans hundreds of years.
Did you know that Sodha Travel offers free destination guides to India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and Thailand?
Sodha Travel is very excited to announce our partnership with Portland Community College! PCC is not only the largest institute of higher learning in Oregon, but they are also a leader in offering educationally oriented tours that combine discovery, learning, and adventure. Sodha Travel is delighted to have been selected as an operator of three PCC small group tours in 2016: Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and Thailand/Cambodia.
Sodha Travel is excited to present our latest video, The Sodha Travel Journey. We are often asked how and why we specialize in South Asia, as well as what travelers can expect by working with us to plan a custom tour program. We hope the video highlights our services and provides a foundation to learn more about our company philosophy.
We always appreciate when our clients send us feedback and testimonials regarding their travel experiences. Our team values the input and strives to exceed expectations, based on comments and suggestions. Susan and Jacob from San Diego, California, recently returned from three weeks in Sri Lanka and India. Their itinerary included a custom Jewish tour in Mumbai, overnight houseboat in Alleppey, and traditional dance performance in Kandy, Sri Lanka. The following testimonial is posted, with permission:
"What do I pack when I travel?" We hope to help answer this frequently asked question with the information below. Here is our suggested packing list for India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bhutan:
An important India visa update: Travelers on a Tourist visa were previously required to have a gap of at least two months between two separate visits to India. The restriction has now been lifted except for nationals of China, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, Sudan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, foreigners of Pakistan and Bangladesh. We see this as a positive amendment to the current policy, as previously the travelers would need to present the immigration officer with an exact itinerary and proof of onward travel upon re-entering India within two months of their last visit. As many of our clients include visits to Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka, and return to India for their onward flight and/or continuation of travel, this change will result in less paperwork and less time to pass customs and immigration. Travisa Outsourcing will continue to process all visa applications, with the exception of emergency requests.
When traveling in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bhutan, it is recommended to understand the tipping etiquette in each country. This includes gratuities in restaurants, bars, and establishments that provide a direct service. There is also the personal assistance. The guides, drivers, and representatives feel great pride in being given a chance to show visitors their country. If they were being paid a salary commensurate with their work, they would be earning more than they do today. Tipping is personal and completely voluntary, and here are the standard guidelines:
Last week, I received an email inquiry regarding local transportation in Sri Lanka. A Sodha Traveler, Richard, is traveling to the Emerald Isle in November on an independent itinerary. He asked our team, "What are the best options for traveling between destinations? Are buses available and safe? Is train travel suggested?" Here are Sodha Travel's suggestions for local transportation in Sri Lanka:
You asked and we delivered! Sodha Travel is excited to announce a group tour to Sri Lanka in April 2013. To maintain an intimate cultural experience, this tour is limited to 24 guests.
Ceylon tea, grown on the island now called Sri Lanka, is one of the world's most enjoyable brews. Tea production is a fascinating subject, and many tea plantations in Sri Lanka offer accommodation to visitors with an interest in the process. A visit to one of Sri Lanka's tea producing areas can be a highly original travel experience and an exciting one for tea lovers.
Just a quick post to say that our enhanced website will be launching this week! It has been a labor of love for our team the past few months, and we look forward to sharing it with all of you. With new tour packages, interactive maps, and detailed information about the regions we serve, we hope you will enjoy the comprehensive information, media and resources! Check back soon!