The land of gorgeous beaches, hospitable people and amazing food.
The usual winter break takes place somewhere warm and sunny. This year I thought that I would spend 2 weeks in Sri Lanka, after exhausting locations in the far east.
At present (Jan 17-Mar 17) the Sri Lankan government, with the help of Chinese input are extending the main runway at the international airport, which means that the vast majority of international flights come in at night time when the airport is fully open. From the airport, it is easy to get into Colombo or further south, such as Mount Lavinia Beach, if you want to skip the busy city centre.
I booked to stay at the Colombo Lavinia Beach Hostel, which is a unique hostel with dorm rooms and privates at very very reasonable prices. At the time or writing the Sri Lankan Rupee hovered around 189 to the £. There is a beach in Lavinia and a number different places to stay and eat.
Upon my second day I took the train from Mount Lavinia Station to Hikkaduwa, as I wanted to find a nice quite place by the beach to relax. The train cost 140 Rupee which is a bargain in anybody’s book. There was only standing room, but after about an hour I found a seat and enjoyed the views. Two hours later I arrived a Hikkaduwa station and proceeded by foot to my second Hostel the Hikka Train Hostel @ Surf Beach, a cheap and easy accommodation choice with social area and 10 minute walk from the main beach.
I found Hikkaduwa a bit busy so decided to take a tuk tuk to Tangalle to see what it was like on the southern tip of Sri Lanka. The Tuk Tuk cost 5500 Rupee, for a 2 and a half hour journey, which was really good seeing as I got to see the scenery while traveling down.
I arrived at the Reggae Zone Beach Resort (guesthouse) and have not been disappointed. The beaches in Hikkaduwe are amazing, super clean, with golden sand and gracing waves. The vibe in hikkabuwe is a very relaxed one where everyone says hello and where are you from. On my first night I had a £4.00 curry at the Reggae Zone Beach Resort and was not disappointed. I only expected a rice and meat dish, but was presented with a large meal with plenty of sides and homemade poppadoms, which taste far different to the supermarket ones we can buy.
On my second day here I helped the fishermen pull in their nets for two hours, which I have to say is a very hard business. I never realised how demanding taking out the fishing nets and pulling them in again was.
I expect to stay for a few more days and then make my way further back for my flight home. If you are looking for a bit of sun and warmth, then Sri Lanka, and particularly the south is somewhere I would consider strongly.