Explore Sri Lanka’s Southern Province (Part 1 – Stay & Tour)

Sri Lanka, a tear shaped island country in South Asia is located in the Indian Ocean. With its coast lined with palm trees, this country is one of the ideal destinations for beach bums across the globe.

And so, after a lot of arguments, Sri Lanka (originally Ceylon) was the chosen destination for a short vacation. And since the time we set our foot on this island country, it was nothing but a box of pleasant surprises.

Read on to know the places we visited and the gourmet options on our road trip to Unawatuna, Sri Lanka:

Sri Lanka’s only International airport is in Negombo. A 2-hour drive from the airport takes us to the country’s capital city – Colombo. You have the option of hiring a cab, Govt run AC buses or the local tuk-tuk to reach Colombo. The tuk-tuk costs around Rupees 500 – 1000 (heavy bargaining skills required here). Hence, I recommend taking the AC bus service which costs around Rupees 150 per person.

Our plan was to stay at Unawatuna which is a part of Galle district. Galle is the main hub for travelling to most the cities in the southern part of Sri Lanka . Unawatuna was chosen as it has a beautiful shoreline and is trending as an upcoming destination; Which meant a less crowded town!

We reach Colombo bus stand and meet my local friend- Dan. (Well, didn’t I tell you I am fortunate enough to have friends not only in India but across the international waters too). Since we were super hungry, we asked Dan to take us for a traditional Sinhalese lunch. And the best part of having a local friend – not only are the best places recommended, but we also get to hear lots of interesting stories about the place, people, food and culture.

We head to Sri Lanka Hut for the traditional Sinhalese buffet lunch. Depending on Vegetarian or Non-vegetarian food choice, you must choose the dishes you want.
Eg: for a vegetarian – choose 4-5 dishes among the spread plus the choice of rice i.e. steamed, lemon or red rice. Dal and salad are common.
Same goes for the non-vegetarian and fish eaters. Oh, did I tell you? The staple diet of Sri Lankans is Rice and dal which they have for all 3 meals. There is a variation in dal for each of the meal, though.

We were put up at:

La Veranda Di Serena was our home for the next 5 days. To reach there, we could either take a cab, bus or a train. Since we had read a lot about the train ride along the coastal route and having Dan vouch for the same, we did not have to think twice.
The journey was just as we had read about – trees, sandy shores and blue waters! And since it had rained, the weather had cooled down a bit. This gave us a chance to enjoy the scenic view the ride offered.

The stay was by the Unawatuna shore. The host, Mr. Chandana and his family were very hospitable. Not only were they available for touristy guidance, but we got to hear of the bye gone era, the war and how the Tsunami in 2004 changed the way the world looked at Sri Lanka. Having a sea facing room, breakfast on the sandy beach, a serene walk by the shore, our stay was just beginning to get exciting!

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