Sri Lanka is an island south of India surrounded by the Indian Ocean. Beach culture is not part of the Sri Lankan lifestyle, but they do enjoy bathing in the water, whether it be the sea or a river. The sea is mainly used for fishing, which is a big industry, supporting many families. Many of them do not swim, and it is only since the tsunami of 2004 that NGO’s have introduced swimming programs to the younger generation. Boys are more game to play in the water than the girls and bathers for girls are very rare, they usually wear their clothes in the water.
Colombo is a sprawling city on the coast. The beaches though, have been polluted by sewage and diesel from the boats. Although Mt Lavinia, located right on the beach, is a popular holiday destination for tourists, it’s old colonial style Mt Lavinia Hotel shows that the English would have enjoyed many a high time!
Heading South of Colombo
The easiest way to travel is to hire a private car and driver, and take the Galle Rd out of the city, heading south. There are so many advantageous spots where you can stop and enjoy the ocean as it gently rolls in and out, once you pass Moratuwa, which is about 21 km (13miles) from Colombo.
Along the roadside little stalls sell Thambili, a coconut drink, which can be enjoyed under the pandanas palms and coconut trees that surround the golden sands of the ocean.
Seeing the Beauty of the Island
There are many little towns along the way, such as Wadduwa famous for the stalls selling reed basket, coir and straw mats and bamboo light shades. Across the Kalu Gange is the big white dagoba of Kalutara. Every buddhist driver stops to put a coin in the till outside of the temple to ensure a safe journey. But once you pass Katukurunda, the full beauty of the island unfolds as you take the most breath taking view of the sea, sand and coconut trees.
Alutgama is a muslim fishing town full of mosques and the beautiful Bentotoa Beach Resort. The resort can be used for just a day, a buffet lunch and the use of the facilities is included. The sea is popular ,with local tourists, but there is a smell of diesel and an oily film that lays on the top of the water because of the many fishing boats. Cey Sands is another resort that is accesible only by water. Cars are parked in their private parking station and a little boat takes you across the river. The Resort also has the sea on its front side.
Surfers Paradise at Hikkaduwa
Hikkaduwa is a stretch of beach that is a surfers paradise. Its popularity arose about thirty years ago when a group of surfers from Australia discovered the great surf and stayed. Since then accomadation has sprung up along the beach, alongside bars and restaurants.The Sri Lankan beach boys have grown into the scene, parading the beach looking for the tourist they can hook up with.
It is a popular spot for backpackers because of its laid back atmosphere, and for Europeans that enjoy surfing, this is their closest surfing beach.
The Place for Ultimate Relaxation
The south coast of Sri Lanka offers a vast array of beautiful beaches and golden sands to realax and unwind from the hectic lifestyle of the west. What can feel more relaxing than watching the sunset onto the horizon amongst colours of orange and pink hues that are reflected on the sea giving it a glassy shimmer, as you lie back on a Balistyle bed with a cool drink in hand.
Reference: Insight Pocket Guide: Sri Lanka, written by Vijitha Yapa