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Trincomalee, Sri Lanka

This very ancient port on Sri Lanka’s northeast coast is one of the most attractive natural harbors in the world. That has led to a long history of alternating colonial occupations. Today many visitors are attracted by its beautiful beaches, but it’s worth exploring the town’s history as well. Fort Frederick was originally built by the Portuguese in the late 17th century, then rebuilt by the Dutch and finally by the English a century later. See the 18th century Wellesley House Georgian mansion, as well as a large standing Buddha statue and the Gokana Temple with views of the coastline. The Maritime and Naval History Museum n a grand Dutch building traces history back to the era of Marco Polo. The Kandasamy Kovil temple is a beloved pilgrimage site, set atop a rocky outcrop that is famous for offering views of the resident blue whale population offshore.