Sri Lanka—Jewel of the Indian OceanPicture a tear drop, emerald green and surrounded by myriad blues. That’s what the exotic island of Sri Lanka looks like on a map. Up close it’s even more beautiful, fringed with golden sand beaches, home to lush tropical forests, tea plantations, and mist-enchanted hill country. This is the place to see elephants and leopards in the wild, stand in the shade of the world’s oldest living trees at the old royal capital, surf, dive, fish, and explore thousand-year-old temples and magnificent colonial cities. And it’s undiscovered. Recent history hasn’t been kind to Sri Lanka. A 26-year-long civil war was compounded when the country of 21 million suffered badly in the 2004 tsunami.
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