Monday, October 17, 2011

The Beach Bungalow in Pamunugama

Situated pretty close to Colombo The Beach Bungalow in Pamunugama is a beautifully designed boutique hotel where you can spend a relaxing holiday. There are quite a few things which makes it the ideal destination for a day out, especially for people living near Colombo. Good as the place it I found the website to be horribly designed making it pretty much unusable in a computer with a slow connection. I just can't understand people getting obsessed with flash heavy websites without considering the basic navigation in a website.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Palagama Beach Resort in Alankuda Beach

Palagama beach resort is a beautiful boutique hotel near Kalpitiya. it can be considered a hidden gem because, this is a bit off the normal tourist tracks. But if you are looking for a peaceful and luxurious holiday then this is a must visit place. Compare to most boutique hotels in Sri lanka the place is affordable and well within the range of Sri Lankans who want to enjoy a beach holiday. Considering that there are not many luxury hotels in Kalpitiya area this really is an opportunity

Friday, September 2, 2011

Kani Lanka Resort Kalutara

Kani Lanka resort and spa is a is one of the best place to stay in the Kalutara area. Because it is relatively close to Colombo many tourists choose this as there base hotel. For the same reason it is frequently visited by people from Colombo who want to spend relaxing day out.
The resort is located in a very attractive place. From one side you have the "Kalu Ganga" and on the other side you have the beautiful Indian ocean.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Diving in Sri Lanka ( Locations and Operators )

Diving or scuba diving is not a very popular activity among locals in Sri Lanka but there are plenty of tourists who are interested in diving among the coral reefs and the shipwrecks found around Sri Lanka. Being an island you can go diving almost anywhere in any time of the year but there are seasons defined for a better diving experience. During November to March western and the southern coasts are the best suited for diving. Starting from the bar reef marine sanctuary near Kalpitiya to the great basses near Hambanthota there are quite a few popular diving location in this area. From May to November it is a good idea to go diving in the eastern coast of the country. Trincomalee, Batticoloa and Arugam Bay are the most popular locations in the eastern coast to go diving. Sri Lankan divers website has more information about the diving locations found in Sri Lanka.
Most diving centers are located in reputed hotels mainly because tourists are the ones who are interested in diving. The diving centers are handled by certified professional divers with international experience. In some cases you will be given some basic training as well before going on deep sea diving. Usually diving tours are conducted in groups of six. Although it is possible to go with less than that then the cost would be a bit high for an individual. In some rare occasions you have the ability to go in about groups of 10-15. All the necessary first aid kits and emergency response items are found in the boats.
Diving among coral reefs and ship wrecks is a very enjoyable experience and something you shouldn't miss if you are an adventure lover.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Hikkaduwa Coral Reef Sri Lanka ( Marine Reserve )

Hikkaduwa coral reef is one the most beautiful coral reefs found in Sri Lanka and the first coral reef to be declared a marine national park. It is one of the reefs that is easily accessible as well because it is close to Colombo and close to the Galle road, which is the main road that goes from Colombo to Galle. Coral Reefs plays and important role in protecting the beach and because of the coral reef the Hikkaduwa area was one of the least affected areas when tsunami waves hit Sri Lanka. Because Hikkaduwa is close to Colombo and also because the reefs are closer to the roads, it is frequently visited by tourists and locals who love nature.
One of the easiest ways to explore the coral reef is by going on a glass bottom boat. This is the preferred option of many who visit here because you can clearly see the corals and you don't have to prepare for anything and you don't have to get wet as well. Boat owners are experience enough to show you the best places and if you are lucky you can even spot giant sea turtles residing in the area.

A much better way to explore the reefs is by snorkeling. However if you are not a good swimmer you are limited to small and shallow area. If you go diving with some of the expert local divers then you can explore the coral reef to your hearts content. If you are a nature lover and marine life in particular then this is the best way to go about it.
Some of the reef was destroyed because of the boxing day tsunami that hit Sri Lanka. But the biggest threat to the reef is from humans who collect corals and capture various fish types to be sold in the commercial market. You can help to stop this buy refusing to buy coral from the nearby stores. Hikkaduwa is one of two marine reserves in Sri Lanka and one that is constantly under threat as well. It is definitely a must visit place if you are a nature lover. If you are interested in more in depth details of the marine park you can visit the wiki page. Below video of diving among corals gives you a glimpse of what you can expect to see.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hotels in Nilaveli Beach

After the end of the war Nilaveli beach is one of the most visited beaches in Sri Lanka and new hotels are coming up to cater to the sudden increase of locals and tourists. Because it is one of the beaches furthest away from Colombo most visitors stay overnight, another reason there is a big demand for hotels in the area. Mentioned below are some of the luxurious hotels in the area, but there are plenty of other small hotels in the area, especially towards the Trincomalee town.
Nilaveli beach hotel is the oldest hotel in the area and one that has survived the war without much damage. It is near the most visited beach area in Nilaveli and it has its own private beach so guests can enjoy sea bathing without any hindrance. The starting point of the pigeon island boat service is also very close to the hotel, so if you are planning to visit pigeon island as well then this is one of the best hotels to stay.
Chaya Blu hotel is the newest luxury hotel to be opened near the Nilaveli beach. It is managed by the Chaya hotels and resorts group who are famous for there quality of service. They have some innovative attractions specially targeted towards tourists. You have the ability to take part in fishing using the "Maadala" ( very large net used to catch fish in huge numbers ) , go on Whale watching tours, go snorkeling near the pigeon island etc.
Pigeon Island holiday resort is another luxurious resort near the area. This is a comparatively small hotel with around 40 rooms with the emphasis on privacy and personalized service. You wont find the grand buffets as in hotels but the restaurant offers a variety of choices. This is preferred by tourists who want to have a calm and a relaxing holiday.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hotels in Arugam Bay

Arugam Bay is the best surfing beach in Sri Lanka, so it is frequently visited by tourists. Because of this reason hotels in Arugam Bay are expensive to stay and eat. Most of these hotels are not luxurious hotels with air conditioning, room service etc, rather beach villas with some modern facilities. The price for an overnight stay starts from around 15$ per room and can go up to 150$ per room. As mentioned before food is also very expensive here, with a normal fried rice costing around 5$ or more. Hotels near Pottuvil, which are a bit further away from the beach is the least expensive, but then you miss out on all the fun you can have by the beach.
If you are looking for a cheaper option then you can consider staying at Siyabalanduwa, which is about 30 minutes away from Arugam Bay. The prices are very cheap compared to hotels near Arugam Bay and food is also much cheaper. If you are visiting Arugam Bay for a short stay it is advisable to have your meals here and buy necessary items here.
As mentioned before there aren't many luxurious hotels near Arugam Bay, but below are few hotels that can be found in the area.
  • Arugam Bay surf resort
  • Danish Villa Hotel
  • Galaxy Lounge
More hotels and contact details will be added in the future. If you are hotel owner or manager at Arugam Bay and want your hotel listed here,leave a comment below.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hotels in Pasikuda Beach

Pasikuda beach is not as popular as many other beaches in Eastern coast so there are no luxury resorts or hotels near the area. Hotels in Pasikuda mostly consists of small guest houses, family run small hotels etc. Even the nearest town of Batticaloa doesn't have a good choice of hotels for luxurious accommodations. If you have the necessary connections you can reserve a circuit bungalow belonging to the coconut board which is pretty close to the beach. Pasikuda is famous only for its beach and it is very rarely thats a visitor spends more than a few hours in Pasikuda, which is the main reason for the lack of hotels in the area. I have listed down some of the hotels and guest houses found near Pasikuda for your convenience.

Hotel Vasuki ( 0773 764719 )
Coconut Board Guest House
Hotel Bridge View ( near the Kalladi Bridge )
Co-Op Inn ( Batticaloa )

If you know of more good hotels in the area, Please mention in the comments section so I can add it to the listings.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Surfing Beaches in Sri Lanka

Arugam Bay is the most popular and the best surfing beach in Sri Lanka and it is considered one of the top ten surfing beaches in the world as well. However it is not the only one and in this article I will discuss few of them and various details about those beaches. Being an island Sri Lanka has plenty of coastal area and since it is a relatively small island you can reach any beach within a day. Beaches in the eastern coast was the hardest to reach but even now that is also possible because of the construction of the new road systems. Lets take a look at some popular surfing beaches in Sri Lanka.
Arugam Bay beach is by far the most popular among surfers. The only negative thing about Arugam Bay being it is far from Colombo, but as I mentioned before in the article, with the new road system in place it isn't hard as it used to be. April to October is the best time to go surfing, but you will find some people visiting there anyway throughout the year. Since the war ended just recently there are no luxurious hotels in the area, but there are some boutique hotels that offer modern luxuries like Cable TV and Internet. Arugam Bay is safe for all surfers regardless of there experience level.
Other than Arugam Bay the whole southern coast in Sri Lanka is good for surfing. Best time to visit there is from December to March with January and February being the ideal months. Souther coast was never affected by the war so there are plenty of luxurious hotels in the area. There are some parts of the coast that is not safe for surfing or suitable for only experienced surfers. Be sure to take local advice before going surfing in this area.
Surfing is not that popular among Sri Lankans and there are not many good local surfers, So you can enjoy surfing without much hindrance.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Marble Beach in Trincomalee ( China Bay )

Marble beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Trincomalee area. The water is crystal blue and there are hardly any waves making it an excellent bathing spot. Before the war the beach was mainly used by Air Force officers and even now it is under the control of Air Force. You need to get approval to get to the beach, which can be obtained by the nearby China Bay Air Force camp. You need to pay an entrance fee of 20 rupees per person to enter the beach area. There are some huts available in the beach which were booked when we went there, but it is likely that you have to have a contact in Air Force to book them. The name Marble beach comes from the Marble stones found in the area. There are lifeguards in the area so you can enjoy a bath without the fear of drowning, and you can go a fair distance towards the sea because of shallow waters. Another thing I noticed was the water did not have the salt taste. There is a restaurant near the beach maintained by the Air Force, Although the food was great the price tag was a bit on the high side. For various other attractions nearby you can check out attractions near Trincomalee.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Casuarina Beach in Karainagar, Jaffna

Casuarina beach is considered as the best beach in the Jaffna peninsula and once you visit there it is easy to imagine why. Its referred as Kasurina beach, Jaffna beach, Karainagar beach etc so you might have trouble finding directions to the place.It is about one hours drive from Jaffna and although a road with direct access is being built we have to take a circular route to the location.There is an entrance fee for vehicles to enter the beach area and since you get toilet facilities and fresh water bathing facilities paying a small fee is worth it.The beach itself is pretty different to a normal Sri Lanka beach. Instead of coconut trees you get some strange looking trees, I think they are casurina tress, hence the name of the beach. The color of the sand is also a bit different and it was very soft making it a pleasant experience. The greatest thing about the casurina beach is the ability to walk towards the sea for miles. The shallowness of the beach combined with no waves makes it an ideal bathing place.
Since this is a very popular beach in Jaffna you get some shops here with food, handicrafts etc.There are no luxury hotels near the casurina beach and there were only very few small hotels as well.If you are looking to spend a day or a night you have the option of renting a house near the sea. The price is much lower compared to the house prices near Jaffna and you have all the basic facilities like toilets, showers, fans etc. If you ever visit Jaffna and looking for a place to relax, then this is one of the best places to visit.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pasikuda Beach in Sri Lanka

Pasikuda beach although popular among locals and well known among locals isn't a place frequented by locals or foreigners. Which is a bit strange because it is one of the safest beaches for sea bathing in the east coast. Because of the lack of crowd is very clean most of the time and the nave does a good job of keeping it clean. It has the basic facilities like fresh water bathing etc as well making it an ideal place for a sea bath. You want find any shops or traders unless you go on a weekend and even if you go on a weekend you want find many people. There are no luxury hotels in the are and you have to do with small hotels or houses rented out for visitors. The prices are very reasonable and you can get it very cheaply especially if you happen to visit on week day. The closest major town is Batticaloa which is about 20-30 minutes ride in a vehicle.Although the road is a bit tricky now it is being constructed and should be finished by 2011. Lack of hotels in the Pasikuda area is one of the major reasons why tourism is not taking off in that beach but some of the land are already bought by some hotel groups so in the future we are bound to see an increase in tourism in the Pasikuda beach.

Nilaveli Beach in Sri Lanka

Nilaveli beach is considered one of the purest white sand beaches in Asia. It has remained protected from tourists and visitors for a long time because of the war and after the war thousands of people are visiting Trincomalee and the Nilaveli beach. With the reconstruction of the roads and the newly built hotels the visitor count is ever growing and the beach is loosing some of its serenity.Nilaveli beach is relatively less crowded than most beaches in Sri Lanka and you want find many small shops or various other traders. Although this makes it ideal to relax sometimes it is an inconvenience because you cant find a place to have a quick bite.
Nilaveli beach hotel is the oldest and the most prominent hotel near the area. Although there is a new luxury hotel in Chaya Blue.Most people who cant afford a stay in a luxury hotel prefer to stay in small houses and small hotels in the nearby area. There are plenty of these around so you want have trouble finding one.Visiting pigeon island, going snorkeling in the nearby corals and dolphin watching are some of the activities available to you to do in your leisure time.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Arugam Bay Beach in Sri Lanka

Arugam Bay beach is considered one of the top ten surfing destinations in the world and compared to most other famous beaches it is relatively less crowded as well. Because i it is far away from Colombo and also because of the poor condition of the roads leading to Arugam Bay, the beach has being kept relatively clean all these times. But because of the end of the war and also because of the roads being built in the east more and more people are visiting there and enjoying the waves. Because it is not attracting tourists like most other famous beaches there are not many luxurious hotels near the area, mostly they are small hotels with adequate facilities. Having said that there are small boutique like places where they have all the modern day facilities like cable TV and Internet and they do offer quite a variety when it come to food as well.
When it comes to Arugam Bay the most popular activity is surfing. Compared to most other beaches in Sri Lanka you can surf here almost throughout the year but April to October it is perfect for surfing. You can easily buy a surfing board here and if you are a novice in surfing but want to try it out for fun there are special places that teach your surfing. You wont become a professional overnight but at least you can try out something adventurous.