The resplendent isle of Sri Lanka, still referred to as Ceylon in the tea world, exports more tea than almost any other country on earth. With tea planting beginning in the late 19th century, it is an essential part of daily life. Truly a tropical paradise, Sri Lanka has a rich and colorful history dating well over 2000 years. European influence dates from the 1600's and one can still feel the legacy in the elegant hotels, well organized tea factories and manicured tea gardens. On this exceptional adventure, guided by top Sri Lankan tea authorities, delve deep into the world of Ceylon teas; visiting ancient historic sights, rare wildlife, lavish hotels, sacred temples, serene tea gardens, bustling tea factories and tastes dozens of exquisite teas.
A land of exceptional natural beauty, some of the special highlights include: ocean-side afternoon tea; numerous guided tea garden and factory tours; visits to key tea producing areas; executive meetings with major tea business people; intensive trainingin tea tasting; visiting a renowned tea broker; a pilgrimage to the Buddha's Tooth Temple, attend focused lectures on tea history, culture and production; tour a gemstone refinery; trek to Ceylon's historic first tea garden; elephant nature reserve and a tea blending and flavoring plant.
Spoil yourself in the sea-side luxury of the 5 star Mt. Lavinia hotel near the capital city of Colombo. Inland, let yourself be dazzled in Ratnapura, known for it's fine gem stones. Learn about Ruhuna teas, also from this area. Get a glimpse of the towering Adam's Peak, said to be the place where Adam first touch earth after being expelled from Eden. On a safari through the Uda Walawe Nature Reserve, see dozens of unique animal species, especially elephants. The tea gardens of the Uva district produce some of the most expensive Ceylon teas. Tour the Sarnia Estate tea gardens and factory and taste some representative examples.
It is the peak flavor season in Nuwara Eliya and we will visit several prominent tea estates to learn their special processing techniques and sample their offerings. At 6,100 ft above sea level, the hill station retreat is one of the most important areas for tea production. Along with other buildings in the town, The Grand Hotel, the former British Governor's Mansion, still gives evidence of the English architectural flavor. The region also abounds with numerous natural wonders such as waterfalls, and mountain-scapes.
The Ceylon Tea Museum is an essential visit and there we will study the history of Ceylon tea and the evolution of its development. Kandy is the ancient capital of central Sri Lanka and is a wealth of cultural experiences. Observe exotic, native dances and learn about traditional crafts like batik and spice cultivation. The Kenilworth tea estate is one of best known from this area. We will visit the factory and gardens and enjoy a tea tasting session as we see some of the new innovations in tea manufacture. The tour would not be complete without a visit to Loolkandura, the first tea garden in Sri Lanka.
The exciting Vietnam post-tour is filled with more enlightening tea and cultural experiences. Despite over 2,000 years of tea cultivation, Vietnam teas are little know in the West. Vietnam teas have been served to royalty in the past and they are also keeping up with modern developments, importing technology from Sri Lanka. Discover ancient tea traditions and enjoy the rich, colorful customs of this ancient tropical wonder.
This eleven day tour is packed full of exciting, interesting, and authentic experiences. With the exhilarating four day Malaysia post-tour extension, delight in even more memorable experiences. The exciting itinerary is sure to delight both professional and novice tea drinkers, providing invaluable education and special memories that will last a lifetime. Due to the unique nature of this tour, space is limited, so please make your reservations early.