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The call of Trincomalee

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Christmas in the big city or by the sea ... what will it be for families seeking a memorable if not unforgettable holiday this holiday season?

Trincomalee, where sun, sea and sand find perfect fusion with history, is a vacation spot beyond paradise. It is a place where tourists from the four corners of the world visit over and over. They simply cannot help the urge to be in Trincomalee.

It is not hard to fathom why.

Trincomalee, situated 165 miles from the capital Colombo, is home to the fifth largest and one of the safest natural harbours in the world. Just as it lured seafarers through the ages with its irresistible natural bounty, its call to yearnings of the human soul is undeniable as it is timeless. The fascinating colour and diversity of underwater life, calm blue seas, pristine golden beaches, and magnificent sunrises, fuse to create a place of undiluted beauty and serenity. 

Travel by road rail or air and get to the variety of underwater activities Trincomalee offers. Choose from the variety of popular diversions including surfing, scuba diving, snorkelling and fishing, rock diving, and wreck and coral diving. In the alternative, explore the magical mangroves riding canoes or kayaks.  Nature lovers are equally enamoured by opportunities for whale, dolphin, turtle and bird watching, 

There are also natural wonders like the Kanniya Hot Springs – seven small ponds filled with hot water of varying temperature that never run dry, while Lover’s Leap offers breathtaking, almost magical scenic views. Further down Trincomalee, fringed by a coral reef off Nilaveli Beach, is Pigeon Island National Park – the only national park that nurtures entrancing Blue Rock Pigeons, an allure, which reaches beyond paradise.  

The colourful history of Trincomalee is equally intriguing. In 1617, five Danish ships entered Trincomalee Bay, but failed in negotiations with the reigning Kandyan king and sailed away. In 1624, the Portuguese built a Fort by destroying the ancient Koneshwaram Hindu temple. The fort with only three bastions, was captured by the Dutch in 1639, abandoned, re-fortified in 1675 and named Fort Frederick. On August 26, 1795, the capture of Trincomalee became the first British triumph over the Dutch. 

The Hindus built another temple during British times, to house the statues of deities of the destroyed temple. Thus, culture thrives in the Buddhist and Hindu religious sites in Trincomalee, where historical architecture is seen in all its splendour.  Turning the clock back is enthralling adventure for history lovers.

Six kilometres north of Trincomalee, is the quaint fishing community of Uppuveli, that draws tourists with its charm as much as with the seemingly endless fresh seafood and almost virginal golden beaches that give way to cool clear waters.

Crowning all this beauty, and nestling by the lagoon in Uppuveli, is the enchanting luxury resort Amaranthé Bay, with 26 spacious, air-conditioned junior suites and four standard rooms. According to the international booking engine Trip Advisor, Amaranthé Bay is the most popular resort in Trincomalee.

As Amaranthé Bay celebrates its maiden Christmas season, there is little doubt of its essentially stylish festivity. Sparkling décor and seasonal cheer will culminate in a sumptuous Christmas buffet dinner for guests. The resort’s first Christmas cake, which will be served with pride, was ceremoniously mixed in November. Christmas at Amaranthé Bay will also shower complementary giveaways, and add local flavour with Christmas carols by a local choir group.

According to General Manager Priyantha Mahawatte, the seasonal festivities will lead up to New Year’s Eve at the resort, where guests will be treated to a delicious complementary dinner, with seasonal music and great dance rhythms at the ‘Wild Bar,’ then to watch the New Year ushered in by a grand, colourful fireworks display.

So, heed the call of Trincomalee and enjoy the taste of beyond paradise it offers, to make this Christmas the holiday of a lifetime.


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