Man at His Best

Lesser known destinations in Asia: Tangalle, Sri Lanka

In the biodiverse hotspot of Sri Lanka, Tangalle is a strategic point for exploring ancient ruins, Buddhism, beaches and wetlands.

BY shermian lim | Mar 21, 2017 | Travel

Buddha at Wewurukannala Viharaya temple in Dikwella, one of the largest in Sri Lanka. Kim Walker/Robert Harding Premium.

Agoda's latest Travel Smart survey based on booking traffic on the travel reservation site indicates an increasing popularity of lesser-known destinations with potential for new travel experiences. Niseko in Japan caps the list as a highly sought-after ski destination, followed by many islands in Southeast Asia. Get to know about these places while you still can.

Sri Lanka is an adventurer’s dream destination. Despite a long drawn out civil war and presumptive, the country attracts visitors with centuries-old Buddhist ruins, thick rainforests, wetlands and enviable beaches. For the latter, Tangalle, on the southern end of the 25,000 sq ft island nation, nicely quells sunbathing needs. Nicknamed a “gateway to paradise”, the beaches are what the visitors come for, but stay to play elsewhere in the area. In Rekawa, turtle watching is a popular attraction; and at Wewurukannala Viharaya in Dikwella, an 18th century Buddha statue is one of the largest in the country. What else? A wetland safari experience, coastal lagoons, mangrove swamps and tropical jungles of the Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary, in addition to marine wildlife and rare birds, will awaken a newfound appreciation of nature.