After a week of traveling, we sit back and enjoy the sea while reliving our memories of the trip. Wadduwa is the perfect spot for that. What makes Wadduwa special is the fact that it's the closest beach resort to Colombo.
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79 Kms from Wadduwa
We got off at the train station and headed to the Dutch Colony where we booked our accommodation. (If you're visiting Galle, stay in the Dutch Colony and take a stroll around the Colony and you are sure to get lost on your way back. It's worth it.) The Dutch architecture astounds you. Every street, every house, every shop and every restaurant is built keeping symmetry as a key ingredient. The beauty of the architecture is in its simplicity. A tour around the Galle Fort gives you beautiful sights of the Ocean and drains your energy out. It gets a bit crowded in the evenings. Try visiting the place early morning. A visit to Japanese Peace Pagoda and Jungle Beach is also a must. Jungle Beach has bluish-green waters. It is tucked in a tiny corner beyond the Japanese Peace Pagoda. The food is good and you'll love the view and mood with Sri Lankan music band playing in the vicinity. While Galle and Colombo greet you with the tropical climate of the Coast, you could head to Mirissa which has Whale & Dolphin watching, with a cruise ride. It's also a surfer's paradise and has surfing schools. Living in the Wild However, our itinerary included Yala National Park (known for Leopard-spotting). The tented accommodation was eco-friendly and it's something that teaches you to adjust without daily pleasures of hot water and other luxuries. We did the evening safari which lasted close to 4.5 hours. It was totally worth it as we camped the night in the National Park, amid shrill sounds in the wild. This was a magical evening as it was a full-moon night with campfire and candle-light dinner (BBQ). We woke up to a beautiful morning with birds chirping and sounds of other creatures, had a good breakfast and left Yala where we met one of the best human beings in Sri Lanka, our tour guide, our driver and a good friend - Krishna ( His Facebook page). Krishna - Our saviour in Sri Lanka My friend spotted Krishna while researching about transportation in Sri Lanka and spoke to him a couple of times. He found him as the best tour guide in Sri Lanka, as suggested by Trip Advisor. Little did we know that he will be our saviour there. Krishna provides transportation/ guide services through his company Tuk Tuk and Taxi Services. Krishna brought Kumar, his friend and colleague along while ferrying us to Nuwara Eliya. A die-hard Sangakkara and A.R. Rahman fan, Krishna is sure to entertain you with his adrenaline-pumping music (if you too are a Rahman fan) and his love for Tamil movies. Not only does Krishna give you the right plan, he will also help you save a lot of money through right advice. He is also a great storyteller who gives you snippets about his life and keeps you entertained throughout the journey, provided you reciprocate. One of his witty quotes: "I'm sometimes, Hindu. Because I have to be religious in front of my wife". An excerpt from our conversation: Me: You are God. Krishna: Yes, I'm Krishna. We loved every bit of the journey from Yala to Nuwara Eliya (hilly region), with Krishna. (During the journey from Yala, you're most likely to come across an Elephant on the road.) Like I said, our itinerary wasn't perfect. Krishna helped us re-work on it and took us to Ella which was on the way to Nuwara Eliya. According to our itinerary, Ella came after Nuwara Eliya. (so, now you know why we're thankful to Krishna). Of Rama, Sita, Rawana Falls & Hanuman Footprint
101 Kms from Wadduwa
Our first day in Nuwara Eliya was spent at the Tea factory and Tea plantations, including tea tasting at the Bluefield Tea Estate (100-yr old). We then interviewed people who saw Krishna grow from a Tuk Tuk (auto) driver to a certified tour guide, apart from winning Trip Advisor's certificate of excellence for 4 consecutive years. Stories of how the British exported tea from these Tea Estates and visit of Prince Charles were described to us on our way. We also did a couple of interviews of Krishna's mentor, brother and others who supported him. Hortons Plains - The fantasy land (Must Visit)
300 Kms from Wadduwa
Best time to visit - N/A
An island in the Gulf of Mannar region, Rameshwaram is joined with the mainland with the help of the Pamban Beach. The main attraction here is the Rama Temple after the name of whom the place was named Rameshwaram. It is said that after slaying Ravana, Lord Rama came here to seek forgivance for his act of slaying Ravana. This is where the temple is built and the temple has 22 wells. The number defines the number of arrows in Rama's quiver. The temple is marked with huge pillars and magnificent corridors. The third corridor is said to be the longest in the world. The other attractions here are the beaches known as the Olaikoda, Dhanushkodi and the Pamban Beaches. The main activities you can enjoy here are scuba diving, migratory bird- watching. You can also enjoy conch collection and fishing here.
59 Kms from Wadduwa
So we landed in Colombo around afternoon and we decided to relax that day in Negombo itself and we had booked a bful Home Stay called Henderson Lake view residence. It was away from the main city therefore was a very quite place. We met the host family , had lunch and left to see Negombo beach which was around 5 kms from there. It was a nice beach and luckily the sky was extraordinarily stunning and we could capture that in out pictures. We took a speed boat ride, ate some snacks and went to the nearby market. When we came back, we met a lot of tourists from various countries who were staying in the same home stay and we decided to spend the evening listening to their travel stories . Below are few pictures of Henderson Home stay and Negombo beach
81 Kms from Wadduwa
Day 2 -So, this is my Scuba day. I called the dive master, he told me that I could get there around 11 and with some money to take underwater photos, I took the beginners' Discovery dive. For few minutes, he taught me the rules of underwater diving and gave me some tips if anything goes wrong. After all that, I had put on this tight suit and heavy gear. It is hard to walk with all that. Then we went in for 3 km in and then my heart started to beat. This is for real. I have to swim underwater now. And that too, I have to fall in the ocean on my back. It was one crazy experience, and I would do it anywhere now. (Well No, if there were any Sharks). We saw some rare fishes, Coral, and sunken ships (during the war) and as my Oxygen gas was emptying, I pulled it back up. That was one of the first craziest thing I did.
155 Kms from Wadduwa
But keep in mind, if you travel from Dambulla, you have to take one of the buses which are going from Colombo to Malee. No bus service was available originating from Dambulla when I travelled. And most likely, you'll not get a place to sit immediately after boarding the bus. For Solo Women backpackers - I travelled in shorts and it was comfortable in the bus. I didn't face any incident where people teased me or anything. By the time I reached Malee town, it was 1 pm (I started at 8 from Dambulla and this includes a bus repair on the mid way) and I saw the small harbours with pristine blue water. They were picture perfect. I was almost thinking this is it, nothing can beat this in such a place. I took a public bus from Malee bus station to Upuveli (Neelaveli is further and apparently more expensive). It took me a while to look for the hotels but I found few. It's a cluster of 8-9 shacks/hotels/resorts in Upuveli or may be a bit more. And you'll find all options starting from $7 (for a private room with bathroom No AC) to $$$ in big resorts, along with mid ranged hotels with pool and decorated bar in $40-$50. I chose the $7 one and that place happened to be the best bar at nights! French Hostel is what I remember the name was. Now you got there, there are plenty of things to do. Long bike rides, in empty roads, drenching in short and quick rains, the mountain temples, feeding the monkeys, trip to Nilaveli, morning breakfasts in near by villages are possible with a rented bike. I paid 250 SL Rupee, I had to keep my passport with the lady as deposit. I did both scuba and snorkelling, rate varies based on time. Dolphin watching and fishing is also possible. No whale watching in Malee, it happens in Merissa. Food is amazing, in all the restaurants, I chose typical SL food, with fish costing around $1.5 every meal. I also went to Nilaveli, for one evening. It is beautiful but expensive than Upuveli. And somewhere I found Upuveli more serene, calm and less crowded. There are also small beaches here and there in the city. Take your bike and just ride. Dip in the ocean and come back. On the way get into some temple, pose with kids, get fruits as blessings and ride on.
100 Kms from Wadduwa
On morning of 6th August we took train to go ella. Its like ooty and mussoorie in india. Its tea garden place. I recommend to take train to go to ella from kandy. As you can see very good landscape in route. I suggest to stay night at nuwara ella rather than ella. Nuwara ella is much cold than ella. We got room for 3 at 2000 slr near to public transport area as we have to take bus early morning to go to mirissa on next day. In ella we meet our friends from France. We spend evening together. we went to waterfall and caves together. This place is also very much famous for its tea. You can get flavored tea with strawberry chocolate flavor and many more.
119 Kms from Wadduwa
Tangalle: If you are an early riser, go to the beach and see some baby turtles take their first steps. If you are not an early riser- be one, believe me it is worth the site.