Text and Images Do D'Haeseleer and Bellie Vandeburrie
An experience I feel I wanna share with you…
Our second visit to the island in the Indian Ocean confirms there’s a lot to discover. The luscious green scenery and the beaches are breathtaking!
The Southern region has the best waves in wintertime and it’s not often windy.
Sri Lanka's is a popular destination especially for surfers.
Sure it is! The water is hot! No need for neoprene makes traveling light easier to carry a surfboard instead…
For your convenience you should look out for rooms that have AC or at least a fan!
Tropical places have tropical animals! Big lizards, snakes, birds, monkeys, bats, pelicans but also many insects... If the bugs love you having a mosquito net in the room is a must!
I can hear an alarm, must be early morning!
On popular sand beaches, like Weligama, are riddled with beginner surfers, so surf's up by the break of dawn… that's the only way to beat the crowds..
There are many reef breaks to choose from but also sand beaches.
Beginner surfers as well as intermediate surfers will find to ride and have great fun on the island!
Sri Lankan tourism is growing fast! There ae a lot more new builds since last year and they all are at the coastline as many tourists want to see the ocean from their beds so to speak...
We're no different... a surfer only knows if the surf is any good when you actually look at it... tides, wind, time of the day, crowds, etc...
Al of this influences the waves or your mood to go out or not!
Exploring the Southern province you will find many surf breaks... especially if you're not very picky you’ll find breaks were you're virtually surfing by yourself. Most of them are reef breaks tho.
Ask a local how you need to paddle out to the break! it might seem ok but some of these reefs
form pool tides and become more shallow deeper into the ocean so you risk getting stuck on a reef on your way out.
I would advise not to drink tapped water.
Some say it's ok but even locals don't drink taped water!
Better to be safe than sorry..
Bottled water is available everywhere and very cheap!
The absolute downside is there’s a lot of plastic bottles on the island!!
Luckily, Sri Lankan people collect the bottles and they go off to be recycled.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible for the average local to afford to have their waste collected.
And there is no garbage collection by the government like we have in the Western=n world! My findings are they do the best they can to keep the surroundings clean. Meaning they will sweep the ground in of their property.. put it on a pile than add benzene and set it on fire.. The stench is indescribable! L… Guess they don’t know any different…
Hangry like always after a wild surf session?...
Local food is good but boring although very cheap.
The main ingredients are rice, coconut and spices.
They make all sorts of foods whit it tho.. grounded rice (red or white) makes good pancakes in the morning.
Add grounded coconut and honey in the middle and they fold it up into a local grown tree leaf and kook it.. (if your lucky they make you pancakes with banana inside) hehe…
Talk to locals to find a good rice and curry place around.
Rotti and Kottu is the cheapest you’ll find.. 200 LKR for a vegetable Kottu.
From grounded rice they also make hoppers and steamed hoppers. Same ingredients but very different looking food.
One looks like a half moon shaped pancake and for the steamed hoppers they put the grounded rice trough a machine..
Looks like rice noodles when it comes out..
Not what we're used to having for breakfast and they know that.. the good thing is there are all sorts of delicious fruits growing on the island.
Bananas, Mango, papaya, pineapple, watermelon, grapefruit and of course coconuts! They make fruit juices for you, sometimes you'll get curd (local yoghurt), toast and jam and eggs for breakfast,
and there's always coffee and tea with milk..
I found Si Lankan people are flexible though and if you don't feel like having eggs one day you can ask for more toast instead.
You want Tuk Tuk ?
When traveling with surfboards like we did, I'd advice you to contact the place your staying and have them arrange transport from the airport to the hostel for you..
If they’re longboards you'll need to order a big van.
It's a little expensive but no where near the prices we know! From the Airport to Southern province is an 3 to 6 hour drive depending on where your going and the most we paid was 150 euro.
Bare in mind there's a toll roads and the cost of the taxi is included toll taxes!
Traveling around the island you’ll find many temples and breathtaking beaches. You’ll come across all sorts of animals, big and small… And sunrises and sunsets you’ll wanna capture on camera every day!
Cheap style traveler?..
Surfboards and local (Locco) bus drivers don't mix!! Nowhere to put you board!
However, trains are very cheap and there is space to put your longboards on the overhead baggage racks.. guess you have to be lucky it's not too crowded..
(it's take you a long time to travel to the south tho)
Know that local prices and the prices they ask foreigners are different! And that's normal if you know a locals earns only a 1000 LKR for a days work. (not even 6 euro/day)
Tuk Tuk drivers have 'fixed rates' to take you lets say from Mirissa to Weligama for 300 LKR but there are some that will ask more.. that only happens once in a while..
(again ask the restaurant or hotel manager what’s an 'OKAY' tuk tuk prices are so you know you're not being ripped off. There are so many tuk tuks.. just walk a bit further..
you'll find one 30 sec later! :)
To go from one surf break to another is fun by tuk tuk!
They have a strap to fix the boards on top. (put a towel in between so no wax goes onto their tuk tuk roof.)
The advantage is they'll stop at different places for you to check the surf.. and once you have found your break you can ask the tuk tuk driver to come back in 2 hours or so
to pick you back up and drive you back to the hotel or to other breaks! I found you can count on the Sri Lankan people! :)
No surfboard but you wanna surf?
There are many surf schools where you can rent soft tops or NSP boards in the south...
There are may resorts and you can spend as much money as you like during your holidays in Sri Lanka! Hostels are the cheapest.. Rooms from guesthouses are all very similar and depending on how far from the beach less expensive..
Renting a room from a local family the hosts are great and so friendly!
Hi, how are you doing today?
Be friendly and respectful in the water especially to the local surfers but you that! And I guess that goes for every surf spot in the world!