Sri Lanka

Take a scenic train to Sri Lanka's idyllic Hill Country for a wonderfully temperate escape from the nation's humid coasts. Kandy is an ideal introduction to the region: its lakeside location, sacred Buddhist sites and botanical gardens make it a delight to explore.

The green hills beyond are carpeted with tea plantations – visit the Ceylon Tea Museum to learn about the country's most famous export.

Other highlights include the highland town of Nuwara Eliya, once a hub of the British Empire, where you can relive the colonial times in its stately hotels and nostalgic tea rooms. Elsewhere, tiny Ella is expanding rapidly as a key hiking centre, with excellent local hill-walking and a pint-sized high street dotted with independent cafes and restaurants.