The influential CNN Travel has put spotlight on Jaffna as one of the 18 most underrated places in Asia.
In compiling the list, CNN Travel tapped into its network of colleagues and contributors to ask them where the locals go. It said for the travellers who are fortunate enough to have time to dig a little bit deeper, there are less-crowded, equally-rewarding treasures to be found.
In its commentary on the selection of Jaffna, CNN Travel said: “Most foreign tourists head to Sri Lanka’s beautiful south coast or into its central tea country, both of which are fairly easy to reach from the main city of Colombo and beloved by Instagrammers who come to ride the famous rails. But the northern patch of the island is worth the sometimes-challenging car or bus trip to get there.”
“Jaffna is the primary home of the country’s Tamil-speaking population and still has glimmers of its Indian and Dutch colonial past, resulting in a fascinating, complex culture. Start with architecture; the ornate, bright gold Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil Hindu temple and sprawling white Colonial-era Jaffna Library are both exceptional. Then, indulge in the food; bananas and mangoes fresh off the trees combined with curries, pickles and rice dishes for filling, inexpensive meals,” it added.
The other 17 most underrated destinations according to CNN Travel are Ipoh, Malaysia; Isaan, Thailand; Leshan, China; Skardu, Pakistan; Nikko, Japan; Dalat, Vietnam; Davao, Philippines; Meghalaya, India; Pulau Ubin, Singapore; Samosir Island, Indonesia; Pakse, Laos; Bangladesh; Tengchong, China; Gogunsan Islands, South Korea; Lan Ha Bay, Vietnam; Kenting, Taiwan; and Banteay Chhmar, Cambodia.