Introducing the country

The island nation of Sri Lanka lies in the Indian Ocean off the south east coast of India. With rolling coastal plains, tropical beaches and thousands of historic and religious sights, this idyll...

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The island nation of Sri Lanka lies in the Indian Ocean off the south east coast of India. With rolling coastal plains, tropical beaches and thousands of historic and religious sights, this idyllic country is one of Asia's best kept secrets. 

Sharing maritime borders with both the Maldives and India, Sri Lanka is country of two sides. One is a burgeoning tourist destination, complete with luxury resorts and white sand beaches. The other is a historic treasure, a land of ancient Buddhist temple relics and a colonial past. The shared capitals - Colombo and Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte - are both vibrant, lively hubs, bursting with art, museums and thriving market scenes. 

Rugged mountains in the south and grasslands in the north encourage a plethora of wildlife - the island is home to elephants, leopards, sloths and boars. It also has the highest biodiversity density in the whole of Asia. After you've explored the scenery visit one of the traditional towns in the centre, such as Kandy.

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Best way to get around

Train

Though not super modern, trains in Sri Lanka offer fantastic views and good city to city connections. 

CAR

With reasonably good roads and plenty of remote destinations to explore, hiring a car is a great way to see Sri Lanka.

BUS

Low cost and frequent, Sri Lanka's bus network serves the whole country, including rural areas.