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The Post Office has recently released the results of its annual report into the world's best value long haul destinations. The research compared prices for typical expenses such asa coffee, glass of wine, postcard and stamp and sun lotion. Thirty-two popular locations were included in the report and taking the number one spot was Sri Lanka, followed by Vietnam and Bali.

So if you feel like taking advantage of the great value for money to be found in Sri Lanka, what can you expect to find? Sri Lanka is a stunning island off the coast of India. Though it does have monsoon seasons, temperatures are extremely comfortable year round in many parts of the island. Many coastal regions have an average temperature of 27ºC and so the island makes a perfect destination for a winter sun getaway. It's possible to fly direct from the UK to the main international airport (CMB) just outside the island's capital Colombo. Colombo is the largest city on the island and has a more urban feel with its high end shopping malls, than you will find elsewhere.

On leaving the city, the lush tropical environment provides stunning views as you travel. Palm fringed roads and mountains dominate the landscape. Large resort hotels can predominantly be found in the south of the island due to the turbulent past of the north. Tangalla with its luxury hotels and un-spoilt sandy beaches is one example among many. Alongside exploring the stunning landscape and spending time on the beaches, Sri Lanka is also home to some very popular attractions such as the Elephant Orphanage in Pinnawala, where you can take part in the daily bath routine and ride an elephant and Nuwara Eliya, 2000 metres above sea level and home to pretty tea plantations. The town is sometimes known as Little England due to its similarity to an English village with its British style bungalows and houses. Here you can discover the history and production of tea, one of the country's primary exports.

Kandy is another bustling city and second in size to Colombo. With a rich history, there are a number of monuments and buildings including the much revered Buddhist Temple of the Tooth Relic. You can also enjoy discovering the many antique and gemstone specialist stores located in the centre. The roads in Sri Lanka can be precarious, particularly mountain passes, though the journeys are spectacularly beautiful. Train travel can be recommended as many of the scenic routes are amazing, particularly coastal routes. Locally, three wheeled taxis, known affectionately as Tuk Tuks, are the most common mode of transport and something every visitor should experience.

There is no shortage of things to discover and scenery to wonder at in Sri Lanka and it's certainly great value for money but the warmth and friendliness of the locals themselves will provide lasting memories too.

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