Beaching in Sri Lanka

by - June 17, 2017

Sri Lanka was a place I had never much fantasized about, but I can certainly say it exceeded my expectations by a great degree. How I ended up going there was owing to my Pakistani passport, which restricted my chances to go for a weekend anywhere, with a week's notice! I applied for a Sri Lankan visa on a Wednesday online, got it Friday morning in mail. 

Sri Lanka is one of few places in Asia where you can see elephants in the wild, and boy, did Kaudalla National Park deliver. Similar to Addo National Park in South Africa, this is just home to so many elephants.

One of my favorite place however was Bentota and Beruwala. We wanted to spend the last days in a beach and Bentota seemed to be the obvious choice. From Colombo, its a bus ride away, and I would suggest buses over any other form of transport. The two beach strips of Bentota and Beruwala are 15 minutes apart by Tuk Tuk. Beruwala is also a seaside town and after wandering around the town, we found there is a Kande Viharaya Temple, with its rather impressive Big Buddha. We didn't have time to do it, but I certainly suggest the readers to check it out.

We stayed at The Palm, and it was amazing. On the face of it, the resort seemed tiny, but once we went in, we discovered it had beautiful hallways and some excellent interiors. The hotel is located at the Beruwala beach which is less crowded, very clean and has lots of water sports. There, we ended up doing some rounds of jet-skiing for $80 but it is totally worth it.

The sky is beautiful and fresh juices are everywhere. That's one of the best things about Sri Lanka is the juice variety. I tried coconut, passion fruit and jack fruit juice while there.

What struck me again and again was how much Sri Lanka felt less like South Asia and more like Southeast Asia — In fact, I may like it more than Thailand or Malaysia, because it has greater ecology, better food and a sense of familiarity. There are discounts for Pakistanis too, AND English is widely spoken, which made it easy to have conversations with people. And if not conversations, everyone was quick with a smile.

The beaches are pristine, not at all touristy and I'd suggest this place over many beaches in the US, or Australia.

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