Sri Lanka – Our Experience and Tips
Sri Lanka – a teardrop in the Indian Ocean with amazing nature, awesome, warm beaches, friendly people and absolutely crap internet. What a place to disconnect from everything that is going on in the world, relax and enjoy life.
We literally fell in love with Sri Lanka in less than 24 hours. I am not sure about Kristina but it happened to me right after ordering my first bottle of Lion (local beer) on a beach in Mirissa which is a heaven for surfers and beach lovers. You can hire a surfboard for about £2/$3 an hour and catch some slow, low power waves at one of the best surf spots in the south. Once you are done you can just sit back and enjoy a meal right on the beach. No one’s trying to sell you shit, no one’s bothering you with anything. Bliss.
Tip 1 – South and South West of Sri Lanka (Mirissa, Weligama, Hikkaduwa) is where you can really relax and there is plenty to do for everyone. Whether you like to enjoy tasty food, have cheap beers with friends or are into snorkeling and surfing – you will find it all here.
It’s so close to India geographically and yet so far from it in all other regards. It’s really tourist friendly and intuitive and unlike India does not feel crowded at all. So far the Sri Lanka we’ve seen has been peaceful, leisurely paced in streets, shops and beaches and in general chill A.F. A lot of men only wear colourful towels (I am sure there is a name for it – I am yet to find it out) wrapped around lower part of their bodies. And that’s it. Because why not. I mean, who wouldn’t in a country where money has colourful butterflies, parrots and owls drawn on it. My stressed out friends, give me a shout and I’ll send ya’ll some rupees.
The first place we chose to stay at in Mirissa is pretty cool as it has sea view, however somebody is building a hotel right in front of our house. I am sure the owners are really pissed off. Of course, in a very chilled out Sri Lankan way. Our guesthouse is a bit too far from the town and the main beach (30min walk) though so we will be moving to be closer to the local market where we get fresh fruits as well as the main beach and restaurants. The best option seems to be The Little Pink House. For £6/8$ a night at the time of our journey and with breakfast included a small house for ourselves seemed like a good deal.
Tip 2: In coastal towns always try to stick close to the main beach to avoid wasting time walking to and from your accommodation. It is incovenient (restaurants, bars and shops will be by the main beach anyway!) and the price difference between an out of town hotels and centrally located ones is neglibible. Check this out for budgeting for your holiday in Sri Lanka.
There is another town nearby called Weligama which, apparently, has as good or arguably even better surf spots so we will be checking it out in the next couple of days. There are a couple of dive shops too which is exciting. I am told turtles, napoleon fish, some types of ray and moray eels can be seen on every dive here so Sri Lanka might be the place where I take my first dive of this trip. I am super keen to try my new dive computer too. #SUNTO. We might even end up moving there if we decide to do more diving.
I don’t think we are going to be doing much in terms of moving around or sightseeing in the next couple of days. We felt absolutely exhausted after India and my body needed some rest after the food poisoning I had in Agra/Varanasi. I have fully recovered now, but Kristina and I really need to be careful with what we eat as the experience was not pleasant at all. No more even slightly dodgy looking places!
And that’s my internet quota used up for the day – time to go to the beach.
30 October, 2018 Update: We visited Weligama beach today and after observing the other surfers and surfing there for two hours myself I can say it is hands down the best spot for newbies to practice riding unbroken waves. Sandy bottom, no rocks or coral, loads of space, waves crash both left and right and rides are super long and pleasant. The only downside it is quite dirty (loads of plastic bags in the water) even compared to Mirissa.
Tip 3: Practice paddling through the surf and ride your first unbroken waves in Weligama. Once you are comfortable enough to control yourself on the board move to Mirissa beach for more advance rides.