Sri Lanka is one of those places that always got "honorable mention" on my travel bucket list, behind front-runners like Thailand, Botswana, or Montana's Glacier National Park. But I was so, so wrong. Dig a little deeper and you'll see why this South Asian island is worth bumping up -- if not topping -- the list. It's full of breathtaking beaches, tea plantations, and wildlife -- and happens to be one of the more culturally, architecturally, and spiritually enhanced countries on planet Earth. It's essentially a real-life version of The Lion King, except only the parts the light touches (none of that dark and dodgy hyena land).