Like a teardrop dangling off the end of India, Sri Lanka floats in the Indian Ocean, a tropical island like no other. Marco Polo described Sri Lanka as: undoubtedly the finest island of its size in the world. This still holds true with its beautiful beaches and stunning interior landscape.There is no doubt that Sri Lanka has had its troubles with the violent clashes between the Tamils and the Sinhalese, and then the devastating tsunami in 2004. But Sri Lanka and its people are resilient and so friendly, it is hard not to smile when talking to them or finding out about their culture. They are part of the reason why so many holidaymakers decide that Sri Lanka is well worth giving a go.There are many places in Sri Lanka geared up for tourists such as the Elephant Orphanage at Pinnewala, the Buddhist Temple of the Tooth at Kandy, the ancient capital of Sri Lanka, and seeing how tea is picked and produced at one of the hill stations near Nuwara Eliya. All of these sights in Sri Lanka are worth seeing.But how about experiencing some other things that are a bit more off the beaten track in Sri Lanka? There is the town of Trincomalee in the north, hardly developed and still recovering from the tsunami. The natural harbour is a pull as is Swami Rock and Pigeon Island.Batticaloa, on the eastern coast, is the oldest Dutch settlement on Sri Lanka. It is famous throughout the country because of the â€˜singing fish' of Kallady Lagoon. Between April and September on a clear moonlit night, a musical sound rises up from the waters. Locals insist it is the fish singing and many theories have been put forward but the mystery remains.If you can afford it, hire a driver for a few days to take you to the places you want to see in Sri Lanka. Most of them speak English, are able to guide you and it means you can sit back and relax in the car and take in the beautiful countryside. It is a fairly common way of seeing Sri Lanka so just ask at your hotel for a recommended driver.The best time to visit Sri Lanka is between December and March on the west and south coasts, and between May and September on the east coast as this is when it is at its driest. There is no need to bring too many clothes, apart from maybe a raincoat and a sweater for the evening. If you intend to climb Adam's Peak to see the sunrise, you will need warm clothes for the initial ascent.Sri Lanka is an island to be enjoyed at a slow pace. Because of the troubles, it is worth checking the latest state of play before booking a holiday to Sri Lanka. However if all seems well, book your flights to Sri Lanka through Vayama because they can find you the best prices to Sri Lanka at the time you want to go.
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