The flight from Kuala Lumpur to Colombo takes about three hours. Thirty minutes before the landing, the captain made announcement for descent. I looked outside. We had just approached the east coast but Colombo was all the way on the other side, along the west coast. Is the captain descending a little too early or is the country that small? I kept looking.

Sri Lanka is green. Trees everywhere. Small towns, little villages. But they are more like houses in a jungle. Separate from each other. With various trees in between. Kache raste make up for the streets. Another feature that stands out is the number of towns and villages. They are many and they are close. You encounter a village or town every 5 to 10 kilometers. And they are spread out across the country. It’s like a web connected by single roads. They don’t have much land to construct motorways everywhere. So they don’t.

The transport is abundant. On every road anywhere you’ll find large white buses going either way. Operated by the government, they are pretty good in shape and comfort. Sometimes they are crowded.

To the sheer disappointment of western tourists, there’s no nightlife. People close their businesses in the evening and go home. There’s no culture of eating out either. Your food choices are limited. Rice and curry. Vegetable roti.

But these are features, not bugs.

Tourists are the worst thing to happen to a natural place. They seek comfort and demand changes. And ruin it.

Sri Lanka is still original. If you want to visit, now is the time.