You could meet people of various interests, you could karoake to music by a tourists with a guitar, or you can join a group of people playing cards on a table... No inhibitions, no judgments and loads of laughter.
Hikkaduwa is a tourist area with an absolutely gorgeous beach that seems to go on for miles. Hikkaduwa was the perfect introduction to travel and Sri Lanka. It was the perfect balance of convenience and exotic. It had all of the tourist facilities yet it still felt like I was in a very different country. I spent my days in Hikkaduwa talking to locals (Especially the cute children in their pristine school uniforms), taking in the sights of Galle road, Relaxing at beach side bars and sunbathing on the beach. Hikkaduwa has a coral reef but unfortunately a lot of the coral is dead due to fishing boats and the Tsunami in 2004. It still has an amazing variety of fish in the ocean though, snorkeling in Hikkaduwa is a must. I went snorkeling with a local boy from a dive school, he showed me the best place to see the fish and I saw many types of tropical fish, sea urchins, anemones sea cucumbers and even a turtle!
For me, Hikkaduwa has the best beach in Sri Lanka.
My favorite bars in Hikkaduwa were funky de bar, vibration and top secret. I loved sitting and watching the magnificent sunset each evening with a beer in hand.