Trincomalee (Trinco) had a rough time in the war, but the fascinating town is beginning to thrive again. Sitting along one of the world’s finest natural harbours, Trincomalee is old almost beyond reckoning: it’s possibly the site of historic Gokana in the Mahavamsa (Great Chronicle), and its Shiva temple, that of Trikuta hill in the Hindu text the Vayu Purana. Most people just pass through the city on their way to the nearby beaches of Uppuveli and Nilaveli, but the town has some charm, lots of history and an interesting diversity of people.
Trincomalee’s economic trump card is a superb deep-water port, which, historically, has made it the target for all manner of attacks: by the British takeover in 1795, the city had changed colonial hands seven times. Today the Sri Lankan armed forces control Fort Frederick, along with the British-built airfield China Bay, to the south.
Trincomalee destination guides
Secrets of Sri Lanka
A jewel in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is jam-packed with ancient sites, fascinating culture, beautiful wilderness and idyllic beaches.