Yes, there are great beaches and authentic Sri Lankan Tamil food, but as LT discovered, you don’t go to Jaffna to see how pretty it is. The Jaffna Peninsula is special and you can still feel its pain, just as much as you experience hope, post conflict. A trip to Jaffna is one where you remember how much we lost as a nation. Of course there is progress and there is peace, but rebuilding lost families and homes takes time and the area has become a political pawn, while the people remain relatively impoverished and in need of far more than our goodwill. LT spoke to people, we sampled life, from Rolex for fast food biriyani in a hurry to Rio for rather dubious-tasting ice cream and a great legacy, to the swanky (by comparison) Jetwing Jaffna, where creature comforts can be relaxed into, in the land where time has stood still. Jaffna’s beaches are beautiful, calm and welcoming. Much like the people. Visit Jaffna, they need our business. (RP)



Streets are less busy in Jaffna then in Colombo and the traffic is different, too. Where else in Sri Lanka could you find a classic car like this right on the street?



Many historical remnants scattered around the Jaffna Peninsula have been re-conquered by nature and add natural beauty to the history of the landscape.



The fisheries sector is one of the economic mainstays of post-war Jaffna.



The Jaffna Market with its colourful stalls is definitely worth a visit. Typical for Jaffna is the vast range of Palmyrah products, like Jaggery (2nd photo below), that provide one of the main sources of income in the north




Jaffna teems with architectural sites that bear witness to its rich historic past. The Fort (1st photo below) was built by the Portuguese in 1618 and the Jaffna Library (2nd photo below) was once amongst the biggest libraries in Asia.




Located about a 15min drive from the city centre, the Margosa Villa is a peaceful, quiet and cosy place to stay, if you want a break from the hustle and bustle.



If you’re looking for a luxurious, warm and comfortable place to stay that appreciates traditional culture of the North, Jetwing Jaffna is the ideal venue.



The first star class hotel in the North after the end of the war still stands tall as one of the best in town. The restaurant serves exquisite traditional Jaffna dishes. (DH)