Jaffna. Sri LankaJaffna. Sri Lanka

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Do you want to see a bit of Sri Lanka as it was over 20 years ago? Well, go to Jaffna before post war development catches Jaffna up with the rest of the country.
Now the war has ended, and security is less of an issue, you can easily travel around the peninsular and islands with either local transport, or hire your own.

My experience, Explo description: 

Jaffna lies close to southern India, and was en route of the trading ships that travelled from east and west. There have been traces of finds from 2000BC, showing it was a flourishing trading port, bringing to it folks and cultures from all over civilised world.
The Peninsular was colonised first by the Portugese, who built the Jaffna Fort. The dutch came next, to be followed by the British. Traces of each can be seen in architecture around the city.
The population are predominantly Sri Lankan Tamil, who are mainly hindu, then christians.
The city is rebuilding after the long and protracted civil war. There are still few cars or trucks. Tourism is only just opening up. It feels like Sri Lanka over 20 years ago.

Point Pedro is the most northern tip of the island. It has an interesting coast line and township. Also a beautiful catholic church overlooking the ocean.
Nallur Temple the biggest and proudest Hindu Temple in Jaffna
Jaffna Library a beatiful example of British colonial architecture
Jaffna Fort stands close to the ocean. Built of coral and slowly being renovated.
Nagadeepa Island a bus ride over causeways and across sandy islands, to the jetty to catch the boat to Nagadeepa. This island is home to the holy Nagadeepa Buddhist Temple as well as the Sri Naga Vihara Temple
Delft Island from the same jetty you can catch another boat to the more distant Delft Island. A small uninhabited windswept island, home to many wild horses.

My personal recommendations: 

The wet season usually begins about May-June. Best season is November to March.
I would personally recommend riding the buses around the small islands. The buses are slow and stop everywhere and you meet people who are curious about you. I loved going to the islands also. Just so different to the rest of Sri Lanka.

How getting there: 

The train will one day be running again right to Jaffna. Hiring cars and drivers is popular in Sri Lanka. Public Buses and mini buses run from Colombo, Kandy and Trincomalee and many other places. The roads are very rough and are being rebuilt, so expect a rough and slow ride . There are overnight air-conditioned buses running between Colombo and Jaffna. There are also flights.

A tip to eat: 

Eat early as Jaffna closes down very early. Most guesthouses have restaurants. Best eating in the city is at lunch when the food is fresh.You can get some South Indian food, but it is mainly Sri Lankan style food. Cream Houses have great salted fruit salad and ice-cream.

A tip to sleep: 

Most guesthouses are at least a kilometre out of the city. The new ones are more upmarket.
Jaffna Palace
Sarah's Guesthouse.

Jaffna. Sri Lanka

Visit this gem of a place, still recovering from the war, but with such proud, strong and determined people, progress will be rapid. For me this was like stepping back in time to a Sri Lanka of 30 years ago.