East Coast

Trincomalee

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Trincomalee is a peaceful old port city located on the North east coast of Sri Lanka. Once a very popular tourist destination, it was deserted for a while due to the Sri Lankan Civil War and the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami which caused intense destruction. However, it is now slowly emerging as a favorite destination for utmost relaxation and is an ideal location for a family holiday to Sri Lanka, attracting tourists to warm, calm seas and white sandy beaches. One of the most significant features found here is the natural harbour, as the city played a major role in the maritime and international trading history of Sri Lanka, along with the largest Dutch fort in the country. The beaches are ideal for sunbathing, surfing, scuba diving, fishing and whale watching. More seriously it is home to major Sri Lankan Naval bases and an Air Force base. Visitors are not to be discouraged by the infamous history and high security of Trincomalee. It is once again a safe sunny place to enjoy a memorable holiday!

Things to do in Trincomalee

  • Visit the Trincomalee War Cemetery
  • Visit the Koneswaram Temple
  • Visit the Marble Beach
  • Take a sailing tour
  • Visit the Kanniya Hot Springs
  • Visit the Seruwila Mangala Raja Maha Vihara
  • Visit Lanka Pattuna
  • Visit the Arisimale Beach

Passikudah

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Passikudah is picturesque fishing village located in the lagoon enclosed region of the east coast of Sri Lanka. It is budding as a popular tourist destination with the emergence of many modern hotels. The soft, sandy beach is perfect for sunbathing and the bay is ideal for wind surfing. Passikudah is also characterized by a shallow fringing coral reef towards the outer bay which protects the inner line of the bay. It is one of the best known reef systems in the east. The bay was endangered due to coral mining and bleaching, fortunately it is now proposed as a Marine Sanctuary by NARA. Branching, tabulate, massive and encrusting coral forms are common, with the healthiest corals being found along the outer reef slope.

Fishing has been a traditional activity for inhabitants of this quiet area for many years. The calm conditions and clear waters that prevail within the inner reef lagoon make it ideal for swimming and exploring the shallow waters. However this small town is rarely visited due to the volatile security situation. Hopefully post war conditions will improve further and make this town safe once again for travel to Sri Lanka.

Things to do in Passikuda

  • Visit the Passikuda Bay
  • Visit the Batticaloa Lagoon
  • Visit the Batticaloa Lighthouse

Nilaveli

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Nilaveli is an extremely popular coastal fishing town which provides clear blue oceans ideal for swimming and snorkeling, located on the tsunami battered east coast of Sri Lanka, about 18 kilometres north of Trincomalee, the direct translation of its exotic name is ‘open-land of moonshine’. Majority of the population residing in the town are Tamil Hindus which explains the presence of many large and beautifully painted Kovils. The beaches are vast, soft sandy sheets emerging from under a calm blue ocean. It is a perfect location for swimming, sunbathing and even camping if you do not mind the strong gusts of wind which occasionally rise up from the sea.

Pigeon Island is just a 15 minute boat ride away from the coast. With every inch of ground covered with beautiful white corals, the tiny island is one of the best places in Sri Lanka to sunbathe, snorkel and scuba dive! Further out from the coast,whale and dolphin watching is another activity which makes Nilaveli truly unique.

Things to do in Nilaveli

  • Visit the Nilaveli Beach
  • Visit the Pigeon Island National Park
  • Take a boat ride or go diving

Kalkudah

Monday, September 17th, 2012

Kalkudah is a charming curve of beach burrowed a few kilometres north of Passikudah. It has been famously described as one of the most paradisiacal places in Sri Lanka. Like other beach resorts on the east, it has been recovering from years of being war torn and tsunami battered. This serene area is likely to be redeveloped, however for now the few who venture out here have the whole place to themselves. It is postcard perfect with an untouched beach, dotted with occasional fishing boats and backed by green, swaying palms. Kalkudah is well protected from the annual monsoon by an off shore reef and is the perfect place for swimming, sun bathing, windsurfing and water skiing along with many other water activities. The combined area of Kalkudah and Passikuda was declared as the National Holiday resort in 1973.

Things to do in Kalkudah

  • Go sailing  or snorkeling on sea
  • Visit the Passikudah beach
  • Learn about coconut production at the Coconut Culture Park

 

Batticaloa

Monday, September 17th, 2012

Batticaloa is a small rustic beach town situated next to one of the largest lagoons in the eastern region of country. It is the heart of a very fascinating culture as the Dutch invaders formed their first footprint here in 1602 and built a large fort in 1665, which is still visible near the vast lagoon. The area is famous for the musical sounds of the singing fish which can be heard in the lagoons when the light of a full moon shines on it. The sea is a beautiful, wide stretch of soft sand and shallow water which is safe for swimming and wading in to the distance of about 150 – 200 metres from the shore. The beach is also dotted with delightful rock pools inhabited by a variety of interesting sea creatures. Luxurious accommodation is not an option here as the area was right in the zone of the Sri Lankan Civil War which carried on for almost 20 years, and it was one of the worst hit areas of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. However it shows promising chances of being a successful touristic area due to its mysterious unfamiliarity and seclusion.

Things to do in Batticaloa

  • Take a walk down Kallady Beach
  • Visit the Batticaloa Fort
  • Visit the Batticaloa Lighthouse
  • Visit St. Mary’s Cathedral

Arugam Bay

Monday, September 17th, 2012

Arugam Bay is a serene palm-rimmed village of simple restaurants and cabanas set in the untouched southeast coast, located in the dry zone part of the island. It is often referred to as a surfer’s paradise and has some of the cheapest holiday resorts in Sri Lanka. It is a great place to unwind, eat seafood and enjoy a mellow party scene. Even though most of the roads and buildings were destroyed after the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, Arugam Bay is being rebuilt and is developing at a fast pace due to its popularity among tourists both domestic and international. As the town was affected by the civil war, the roads may be guarded by army personnel stationed at military outposts, however this is only a post war essential and it would be unnecessary to feel threatened. Arugambay has the best surfing waves in Sri Lanka during the months of April to October. From November to April it is a tranquil place best for relaxation and swimming. At any time of year the surrounding region offers some superb opportunities for viewing birdlife, leopards, crocodiles and elephants as it is just a few kilometers away from Yala National Park.

Things to do in Arugam Bay

  • Go surfing during the surf season
  • Visit Kudumbigala Monastery
  • Visit Muhudu Maha Viharaya
  • Visit Whiskey Point beach
  • Take a safari in the Yala National Park
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