Set amidst four acres of wilderness that is inhabited by over 100 species of birds, deer and sambur, Back of Beyond lies in a small clearing in jungle thicket in an area where history dates back to 5th century AD. The Sri Lankan owners are ardent nature lovers, so cleared the bare minimum of the wilderness in order to construct the nature retreat. Two innovatively-designed eco-friendly dwellings provide comfortable accommodation, but there is no a/c, phones or TV – instead, guests are encouraged to experience simple rural living. Set off on an early morning jungle trek to Pidurangala Rock, a fascinating site with an ancient history that is connected to Sigiriya Rock Fortress. King Kasyapa, involved in the legend of Sigirya, built a forest monastery for Buddhist monks in Pidurangala, ruins of which still remain, including a 45ft reclining Buddha statue and several caves.