AS WE STROLLED down a one-lane road, the beach came into sharp focus through a cluster of palm trees. Enshrouded by tropical forest, the horseshoe-shaped Hiriketiya Bay appeared almost as a dream; a secluded corner of Sri Lanka where you could—scrap that—should easily spend a week. This was my fourth visit to serendipity, but my first venture along the south coast of this nation that offers so much. As with other journeys in this month’s issue, yes, mine was a dream trip. There’s an electric vibe in the south of Sri Lanka these days (“Tropical Chill,” page 80), where the surprises come in small pockets and pop like nowhere else in Asia.
That urge to visit places more than once strikes us all, the saving grace being that every destination is in constant flux, so there is always something to uncover. Luang Prabang, writes our features editor, Eloise Basuki, in “A New Temple in Town” (page 29), has been just as notable for the overflow of visitors the past few years as for tranquility. Enter the new Rosewood Luang Prabang, where guests are encouraged to engage with the local culture rather than just observe it.
Also, don’t overlook Brazil (“Into Amazonia,” page 98) where kayaking around that famous river elicits a sense of awe in reaching an unexpected place. The Amazon of dreams.
FROM MY TRAVELS
Back on familiar ground in British Columbia, we went kayaking on the Sunshine Coast where the waters were clearer than the sky, thanks to seasonal wildfires, in the process reuniting two friends who hadn’t seen each other for almost 50 years. In what might be typically Canadian, the interlocking stories revolved around beekeeping in Vancouver more than a generation ago and not-so secret log cabins on that city’s north shore. More to the point, it was a conversation about friendship, on the deck of a cottage in the woods of a remote island, a cold can of beer in hand, well before noon. Now, that is Canadian.
Clear waters and arbutus trees In British Columbia.