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Surfing in Sri Lanka

Video - surfing at The Rock, Kabalana, Nov 2005 (about 4 mins)
Video - Hikkaduwa in Jan 2003 (short clip - 14 secs)

Brief Summary

  • Close to Dubai (about 4 1/2 hours flying), flights available with several airlines including Air Arabia (cheap), Emirates Airlines, Sri Lanka Airlines (codeshare with Emirates), and Qatar Airways. A few others fly once or twice a week - try Czech Airways, Austrian Airlines, Cyprus Airlines.
  • Cheap place for a holiday, can easily get by on less than 100 dirhams a day, even 50 dirhams a day if you go for lower end accommodation, transport and food.
  • Good intermediate level surfing and a few spots to keep advanced level surfers happy.
  • West coast (Hikkaduwa side) season from November to April, East coast (Aragum Bay side) season from May to September.
  • See forum travel section for more information and discussion.

Travel in Sri Lanka

Roads are poor, crowded, and standards of driving are frightening. Thankfully, due to the congestion, traffic doesn't go so fast. Except for buses - remember the film 'Speed'? That could have been a documentary in Sri Lanka. Choices are

  • Bus - cheap but crowded, uncomfortable and driving is insane.
  • Rental car - not a common choice, difficulties are coping with the driving and navigation is difficult - very few street signs.
  • Trains - cheap, but crowded and not that comfortable. At least you're away from the madness on the roads while you enjoy the scenery. Some train trips are very scenic - Colombo to Kandy for example. Try these timetables available here (looks the most organised timetable), here and here. No guarantee of accuracy or reliability. For the south west coast look for trains from Colombo Fort to Galle and Matara - Hikkaduwa is before Galle, Ahangama is between Galle and Matara. There is a train station at Negombo near the airport otherwise a taxi from airport to Colombo Fort train station is about 1 hour and 500-700 rupees.
  • Taxi - the preferred option but not the cheapest at all. At least you get airconditioning. Usually.
  • Tuk Tuk - cheap and great for short trips but not so good for long journeys with luggage.
  • Bicycle - you must be joking!

Links - information and some previous trips

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