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Overview to Sri Lanka: Travel Guide and Tourist Information
Sri Lanka is as awe-inspiring in its antiquity as it is beguiling in its beach appeal. Having been all but demolished in parts by the Tsunami in 2004, Sri Lanka has slowly, surely and defiantly picked itself up and put itself back together again.
The capital, Colombo, resembles the busy Indian metropolises of Mumbai and New Delhi in its full-on urban bustle and cricket-mad sensibilities. Some of Asia’s tallest buildings can be found here, along with the colonial architecture that’s an ever-present in this part of the world.
Much of the island is fringed with perfectly pristine, palm-lined beaches. Some of the best strips (like Tangalle) are to the south of Colombo, while the southern coastline – Hikkaduwa especially – is also noted for its excellent surf and scuba opportunities.
Inland, the landscape changes dramatically. Verdant hills and the occasional mountains host mile upon mile of tea-growing fields, along with more than the odd ancient relic to boot. Close to Kekirawa, the 12 meter high standing Buddha is believed to date back to the 12th.
The Dutch fortress at the old port town of Galle, meanwhile, is well worth exploring, as is the sacred triangle of Kandy, Polonnaruwa and the UNESCO recognized Anuradhapura – each a fascinating and ancient city in its own right.
Like its larger neighbor India, Sri Lanka is truly a land of opportunity for the backpacker. With friendly and welcoming people, sights aplenty, and terrain that almost defines the idea of ‘natural beauty’, it’s the subcontinent in all its majesty.