North of Trincomalee the coast is lined with a fine strand of wide golden beach, beginning at the village of Uppuveli and continuing through to Nilaveli and beyond: a superb stretch of coast whose enormous tourist potential has as yet barely even been scratched – which is a large part of its appeal. Both Uppuveli and Nilaveli were saved from development during the civil war by their position close to the front line, and have little changed since – although a handful of courageous local entrepreneurs continue to plug away against the odds, sustained by a steady stream of NGOs on weekend jollies. Both places remain extremely low-key even during the season from May to September, and at other times of the year are usually more or less comatose.

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