A lush, teardrop-shaped island south of India, Sri Lanka appears to be the quintessential ‘tropical paradise’, but its cosmopolitan capital and newly built hotels and highways suggest there’s more than first meets the eye. Wander through ancient ruins in Polonnaruwa or Anuradhapura or head north to discover Jaffna, recently opened to tourism. Trek through the interior and go elephant spotting in superb national parks such as Ruhunu or lounge on white-sand beaches along the pristine coasts.
This fully updated fifth edition is filled with local tips and tricks, from booking the best country resthouses to finding little-known temples and unmissable sights. Whatever it is that draws you here, let the country and its people charm you.