Sri Lanka
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What To Do

Culture
This lush, colourful island boasts a deep, rich heritage that comes to the fore in the 'Cultural Triangle' situated roughly between the former capital Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Dambulla in the North-Central region. Explore a wealth of fascinating temples, giant Buddha monuments, and archaeological ruins, crowned by the extraordinary Sigiriya Rock Fortress, which many consider should be designated the world's 'Eighth Wonder'. Culture is brought to life through theatre, dance and festivals, often celebrating both the predominantly Buddhist religious calendar and Sri Lanka's beloved elephants, revered in equal measure.

Hill Country
Start from the old British administrative centre of Kandy, host to the spectacular 10-day Esala Perahera festival each July/August, and head up into the hills and plains where a more temperate climate is perfect for producing some of the finest teas in the world. Here you'll find that former plantation bungalows have been converted to serene, boutique hotels, perfect for sampling the local produce. The more adventurous can trek along hillside paths, scale Adam's Peak, or try their hand at white-water rafting.

Wildlife
Sri Lanka is something of a hidden gem when it comes to exotic biodiversity, although it's well-known amongst bird-lovers as a twitcher's paradise. Any tour is worth including a visit to at least one of the many National Parks. Search for the elusive 'spotted ghost' leopard in Yala, or witness 'the gathering' of wild elephants in Minneriya. As well as snorkelling and diving spots, the coastal areas offer some of the best whale and dolphin watching to be found in the Indian Ocean.

Beaches
Where the Indian Ocean meets Sri Lanka you'll find long stretches of pristine beaches, ideal for relaxing for a few days after a head-spinning tour of the island. Try your hand at water sports, surfing or diving, or venture out from your resort to observe coastal life where epxert fishermen balance on stilts to keep their catch off guard.

City Life
Spend a night or two in boutique luxury to soak up the atmosphere in the hustle and bustle of Sri Lanka's cities, such as the capital Colombo or the fortified Galle in the South. Take a guided walking tour, and shop for trinkets, spices and gemstones in the markets, or indulge in the island's famed culinary delights.

Golf
Sri Lanka is undoubtedly renowned for its cricketing prowess; however, golf is finding a foothold in the jewel of the Indian Ocean, which is now host to three, and soon to be four, exciting courses. This is not to say that Sri Lanka has no golfing heritage: established in 1879, the Royal Colombo Golf Club is believed to be the second oldest club outside of Britain. Indeed, the Sri Lanka Amateur Golf Championship is the second oldest national championship in the world, starting in 1891.

Guests in the country’s capital can enjoy the Royal Colombo Golf Club, just 20 minutes from the centre this historic course is an oasis of tranquillity. Those visiting Kandy are just 45 minutes from the famously scenic Victoria Golf & Country Resort, which boasts a massive 500 acre setting. Residents exploring tea country have access to Nuwara Eliya Golf Club, where the colonial heritage and verdant environment matches the ‘East meets West’ ambience of the surrounding area. Finally, the Shangri-La Hambantota is set to open their on-site, 18-hole course in August this year, promising ‘spectacular views and distinctive challenges for both casual and seasoned players’. Each of the island’s courses occupy a range of different terrains, all offering something different to the intrepid player. Regardless of ability though, all players will find splendid courses, which offer a dramatic, tropical setting.
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