Trincomalee (Trinco) had a rough time in the war, but this fascinating town is beginning to thrive again. Sitting on one 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 the site of Trikuta Hill in the Hindu text 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 melange of people.
Trincomalee’s superb deep-water port has made it the target for all manner of attacks over the centuries: 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.