Colombo, Sri Lanka
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Approximately 5½ Hours
Depart the port for a two-hour scenic drive to Ingiriya in western Sri Lanka. This lush region boasts ideal conditions for growing tea and rubber. As the Sri Lankan Tea Board declares, tea is serious business in Sri Lanka. Formerly a British colony known as Ceylon, this small Indian Ocean island is famed for producing some of the finest teas in the world. Since the 1880s, Ceylon tea, the name by which it is still popularly known, has been the country's principal and most famous export. For generations, it has formed the backbone of the Sri Lankan economy, and plays a major part today in the country's fortunes.
Arrive at a local plantation with a special welcome of garlands made from tea leaves. As you tour the tea plantation and factory, you will gain firsthand knowledge on how tea is processed -- from the plucking of leaves from the tea bushes, to the grading of the finished product. For guests who would like to purchase some tea, a sales point is available within the complex. With rubber growing in the same region, you also witness a demonstration of the rubber tapping process by which latex is extracted from the rubber tree. The rubber industry also occupies an important place in the economy of Sri Lanka and is the second most prolific plantation crop -- a major foreign exchange earner. Experience the added privilege of enjoying a cup of pure Ceylon tea before you head back to Colombo and re-board the ship.
Please note: Photography is prohibited inside the tea factory. Tour does not operate on a few public holidays.