Sri Lanka's east coast has, until recently, remained firmly under the traveller radar. No more. What with the recent boom in boutique hotels opening throughout Sri Lanka, the east is beginning to emerge from the shadows of the popular west and south coast beach scenes as the more laid back, rustic beach spot for those in the know. Add to this the fact that the weather patterns of the west and east coasts are polar opposites (meaning the East Coast is best in a European summer) and Sri Lanka's East Coast holidays certainly hold their own. The east coast was once the hub of sea trade, before being overtaken by both Colombo and Galle,
and suffering hard during the civil war. Today, fishing villages dot the coastline, between stretches of pristine sand, rocky inlets and mazes of lagoons. The vibrant town of Trincomalee is the hub of the east coast, and is home to colourful Hindu temples, colonial architecture and stunning coastal scenery, and what with upgraded road and rail links, it is becoming ever more accessible. The east is also emerging as a creditable number two whale watching spot, behind Mirissa, with sightings of both blue whales and sperm whales possible in March, April, August and September.

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