Sri Lanka is a teardrop-shaped island in the Indian Ocean south of India that has been steadily winning friends for its gentle friendly welcome and outstanding natural beauty including eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
From misty, mountainous tea plantations in the green heart of the island to the ring of clean white sand beaches, Sri Lanka packs in plenty of charm. It has crumbling cities of great beauty, elephant sanctuaries and excellent bio-diversity helped by 24 wildlife reserves and dense forests.
Colombo on the west coast is the commercial capital and chief port city. The main business centre is the Fort to the north while Cinnamon Gardens in the south is a smart address with large villas in lush gardens. The administrative capital of the island, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, known as Kotte, is adjacent to Colombo.
The cool, high lakeside town of Kandy northeast of Colombo in the lush interior of the island is a laid-back alternative as is the southern port town of Galle where Dutch colonial architecture from 17th century mixes in with delightfully with local art and culture. North of Galle the popular beach resort of Hikkaduwa has detached low-level houses and cottages by the water.
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