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Published: December 27th 2014
is the perfect place to set up camp in South Sri Lanka. Peace and quiet this quaint little town provides affordable accommodation and easy connectivity to the more touristy places around. I would highly recommend you to shop in Hikkaduwa as its amazing prices will come and haunt you later 😊 Its been more than a decade that Tsunami ravaged this beautiful town and its sweet people. Sheer perseverance and hardwork has restored it to its former glory.
As I did last time I will try and break the post in relevant sections so that you can consume as much as you like 1. Websites:
For the history and stats buff. I thought this might help if you are doing serious background research.
b. Lonely planet:
Typical lonely planet page. Covers the basics for an international visitor. Native people might find it a bit touristy but its apt for the target audience. Helps you plan how much time you want to spend in Hikkaduwa itself.
c.Now when you are looking for hotels, things to keep in mind are that there are a
few large resorts like Chhaya and Citrus. Typical full function beach resorts. There are also multiple beautiful guest houses. I stayed in Tandem and simply fell in love with the quaint and simple setup. Only thing to keep in mind is that in Hikkaduwa all prime beach front is owned by the two resorts mentioned so if you plan to get a tan and swim for hours you better stay one of them. If Hikkaduwa is your base location then pick up a guest house half the price with safety and comfort. 2. Connectivity:
a. Rail: Hikkaduwa has a railway station 10 mins from the main hotel road so you can take a train to that station the service to and fro from Colombo is pretty regular so that should be the preferred option if you have too much luggage. Thing to keep in mind Sri Lanka trains can be chaotic so if you dont like the hustle bustle of South Asia kindly avoid. You have to book the ticket at the station.
b. Road: Sri Lankan buses are fast,furious and nifty. I quiet like them. In case you have a weak stomach
Beautiful view and amazing breeze
and are scared of speeding buses then dont take the non-ac bus. There are a few ac mini buses also available. Its cheap its quick and its frequent best mode of transport for 150 -200 km range. Cabs are expensive but they are easily available. Do check if they have insurance and who is paying for the toll tax.
c. Air: There are flights to Galle but very expensive. I would avoid unless you get a deal. 3. Food:
So this is a paradise for sea food buffs and could be a real tough place if you don't like your aquatic meats. If you don't like sea food then you can go and have some snacks at the Lavazza coffee shop. There is a bakery next to the bus stop they do amazing egg puffs. Also Pineapples are amazing so you can go on a healthy fruit diet. There is a super store so you can get stuff for salads and sandwiches. 4. Shopping:
a. Woodcraft: Sri Lanka has some amazing woodcraft ranging from oak, rose wood and walnut wood. There natural finish products and
Amazing local bakery products in Galle
painted. Elephant is the prominent motif. If you want to buy Sri Lankan masks then Hikkaduwa is the place to shop from unbeatable prices. Also painted jewelry boxes are worth picking up.
b. Canvas Paintings: Amazing canvases with predominantly buddhist motifs. The prices are amazing and you want get that finish and quality anywhere after Hikkaduwa. So definetly must buy.
3. Jewelry: There are tonnes of gems and jewelry stores across Sri Lanka. I would advice not to buy something expensive. Small tokes are fine.
4. Cane: Amazing cane baskets and tableware. Just too beautiful to say no to.
5. Tea: In Sri Lanka tea and infusions are every where. The local ceylon tea is supposed to be consumed black and is pretty light. The infusions are fun.
6. Spices: Must buy is cinnamon. There are others also. I quiet liked the peppers both red and black.
7. Massage Oils: You get some amazing massage oils for various ailments and skin type. Also with active ingredient.
In case you get confused go to Laksala
at the airport except the
masks everything is at fair price. 5. Sightseeing:
a. Beach: The best spots are private so the available beach isn't great considering you are in Sri Lanka where there is an amazing beach every 500 meters.
b. Snorkeling and Coral boat tours: Please double check certification and equipment. Don't go to the cheapest as that wont be safe. Glass bottom boats are mostly sham so don't over expect.
c. Turtle farm: Well they are buildings with captive turtles. If that sounds interesting definitely go ahead, There are two farms one nearby and the other a little far off. The far off one is better that what people stay I haven't been there.
d. Moonstone mine: Well across Sri Lanka there is a practice to show you how something is mined/cultivated for free and then take you to the in house shop and sell you you thing at twice or thrice the market rate. So spice garden, tea garden and gem mines are all the same. 6. From Hikkaduwa:
Hikkaduwa is perfectly located for daily travel to Galle,
Unnawatuna and Kogalle. Galle is 45 mins by bus costs around 40 LKR. Its a fun ride along the coast. Street food in Galle is awesome. Galle fort is worth a few hours of your time. Just the breeze. Unnawatuna is arguably the best beach scene in the area. It has some amazing beach bars and some nice restaurants. I would definitely advice a day or 2 there.
Well I loved the country and the people. Beautiful, Warm, Simple and Loving. Go there with a little energy to haggle and have fun.
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