Sri Lanka though has two seasons at the same time, and while it rains it is also guaranteed sunshine, and given some research I discover that the north-east coast is best to visit between June to October. Also I discover that this area of the country had been torn by civil unrest, escalating to Civil War and then rebellious uprising since the year of my birth and peace is new but thankfully not fragile.
One of the things we learn very quickly, and not I might add from anything taught in schools, is that war torn countries have been saved from the ravages of tourism. Not that I am advocating war as a method of preservation, it is just a fact, there has been little development in Sri Lanka and the tourism infrastructure is in early days.
Anduraphura is worth a visit, the impressive Buddhist stupas and the ruins mark the birthplace of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, you will find a lot of Buddhist landmarks across the country and they mark a history of how far and when Buddhism travelled across the south-eastern lands.
Our journey took around two and half hours, but I would say do it in three and use a few stops to catch your breath.
While the town is small the shoreline stretches an impressive ten kilometres and is dotted with attractions from scuba diving to whale and dolphin watching. Behind the beaches there are bustling markets selling fish and fresh vegetables, and the impressively girthed old Fort Frederick that now houses a Buddhist Temple and Military base, illustrating for some the curious conundrum that is Sri Lanka’s past, present and possible future.
This article was written for NOW! Bali, and originally published in November 2018