Sri Lanka

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    • Day 106

      Back to Nilaveli

      September 2, 2018 in Sri Lanka ⋅ ☁️ 32 °C

      We had a few different ideas and feelings about where to go next and spend the rest of our time in Sri Lanka. We end up deciding to head back to Nilaveli Beach where we spent Lila's birthday. We get lucky with a cancellation to get a room at the place we stayed last time, so enjoy a lovely 3 last days in Sri Lanka by this beautiful east coast beach. Lila tries some snorkelling and we see an amazing storm come through the beach. Each day we were there it was magical watching Lila's confidence and love of the sea grow 🤗. It is so much joy watching her enjoy trying to put her head under the water and playing in the soft waves ❤ 👌Read more

    • Day 45

      Wreck Diving

      June 2, 2018 in Sri Lanka ⋅ ☁️ 31 °C

      Eusi letschte beide Tauchgäng in Sri Lanka sind numal super gsi! Am Morge simmer zerscht zum Wrack vu dr Irarakandy, en Dampfer wo 1858 versunke isch. Das 60m lange Schiff het Gold und Sklave us Südindie glade gha und het en Flussmündig mit dr Bucht vu Trincomalee verwechslet. Da isches uf es chlises Riff ufgloffe und lit etz usghöhlt und halbiert uf 10m Tiefi. Nid nur de halb vergrabnig 4m Propeller und de relativ guet erhaltnig Boiler sind sehr idrücklich gsi, au die Unmenge an Fischschwärm und farbige Koralle sind sensationell gsi. Ussert de Martina hend sich all um es Selfie mimne grosse Pufferfisch grisse - sie het meh Freud anere junge Barracuda School gha.
      De zweit Rifftauchgang isch au sehr entspannt gsi. SHighlight fürd Martina isch en Golder Pilot Jack Fish gsi, en knallgelbe chline Fisch mit schwarze Zebrastreife, wo sie es paar Minute umchreist het. Bi zu 15cm vord Maske ischer anegschwumme, denn richtig Bei abtaucht, dFlosse umrundet und wieder ufecho. Offebar sind es paar vu de Meeresbewohner glich fasziniert vu eus wie mier vu ihne :)
      Nachem Tauche simmer wiiter uf Anuradhapura, en grösseri Stadt im Landesinnere, wo v.a. für ihri Tempelruine bekannt isch.
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    • Day 22

      Polonaruwa —> Marble Beach —> Nilaveli

      January 27, 2020 in Sri Lanka ⋅ ☁️ 29 °C

      I woke up at 5:45 and it was beginning to get light outside. We had heard that at sunrise you can go and watch the local fishermen bring in their catch. They are obviously up much earlier than us. I rose Tom and we headed to Kalkudah beach where the sun was beginning to rise. We stood on the old Kalkudah Jetty, built by the British in 1901, and watched as a fisherman came to shore. We didn’t think he’d been successful as his pile of netting looked empty, but as he and all his mates on the beach began to unravel the net there were loads of fish in there! It was pretty cool to see all the locals pitch in and it seemed that they all took a share of the catch. We headed back to our ‘Inn on the Bay’ to pack up our stuff as we thought it best to get going as the drive north to Nilaveli was about 120km.

      We hit the road via the petrol station for some fuel and oil for Greta and some veggie roti, other baked goods and 5 bananas for the price of 4 for us. The weather was perfect, wall to wall sunshine which made for easy motoring. After nearly three hours of driving we got to Marble beach, still 30km from Nilaveli, as we had been recommended this beach by the guy who ran the hostel in Sigiriya. It was 30 rupees each to get in and it was a nice beach...small low breakers and you could walk out miles. We chilled here for a bit and enjoyed the waves, messing around as usual trying to kick and punch holes in the breakers...such kids. On the way back to the Tuktuk, I noticed a big monkey running around. We immediately realised that we hadn’t put the sides down on the Tuktuk again! Then I realised that I still had a banana left which I put on the back to say that was long gone - the cheeky monkeys!!

      Anyway, we hopped back in for the last bit of the journey and we eventually got to Nilaveli. The app took us a weird route so it seemed our accommodation was miles from the road, but it actually wasn’t. When we got to the aptly named ‘Nilaveli Sand Life’, it was like paradise. Sand roads, palm trees, little beach huts and a place where it felt there was a no shoe policy. We were shown to our beach cabana, right on the beach front and we could hear the waves crashing. It had an outside shower, a small wooden table and chairs and best of all, a hammock for the full beach vibe. We both immediately relaxed and I went to set myself up on the beach with my book. Tom did the same in the hammock and we spent a couple of hours just taking a break from the dirty smelly part of travelling.

      After a few hours we both got ready and headed out for some food. On the way for food, we got stopped by the police. I was driving, so got my licence ready. They looked impressed that we had the right documents and asked us where we were from etc and asked if we liked Sri Lanka - of course we said yes...they were armed. They gave my licence back and we parted with a handshake - another nice encounter with police who seemed happy that western people haven’t been put off coming to Sri Lanka after the trouble last year.

      We were a few kilometres from Nilaveli town so we hopped in the Tuktuk and set off in search of food. Not too far in we found this little place, N.K. Family Restaurant. It was a tiny little place, but the prices were good and we were hungry, obviously we ordered veggie rice and curry. It came and I can honestly say it was the best tasting food I’d had since my send off dinner by the Beck Bottom Gang. Everything was so tasty!!! We finished up and the lady took our plates away and then immediately said the cost to us...she wasn’t being rude though as there is quite a big language barrier here in the north and the people are very different to other parts of Sri Lanka. We paid and went on the hunt for a little bakery to satisfy our sweet tooth. Whilst we were having dinner we saw the bakery man go last playing his tune, so we started investigating with locals which way he had gone. We ended up not finding him but instead finding a brilliant sunset on a bridge...the randomness of travelling never gets old. We ended up getting some stuff from the local shop instead and then came back to our beach for a long walk and a chill on the daybeds. What a long day it had seemed, but we were now set for 4 nights at Nilaveli Sand Life to have a recharge.
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    • Day 23

      Nilaveli Beach Day #1

      January 28, 2020 in Sri Lanka ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

      We had decided last night that we were going to get up for sunrise, and that we’d enjoy a lie in within the walls of our beach cabana. I had an amazing night sleep with only the sound of crashing waves to put me to sleep. Breakfast was included at this place and started from 7:30. I went out a bit earlier and left Tom asleep to go watch the ocean on the daybed...what a way to wake yourself up. At 8am we both went for breakfast, and as it was only £5 a night each, we weren’t expecting much. It turned out to be a right spread with Jam, bread, eggs, banana pancake and a roti, all topped off with freshly squeezed papaya juice all of which was delicious!!

      We came up with a plan for the day over breakfast. We would head to Nilaveli village and try and get on a boat to Pigeon Island - a national park 1 kilometre off the coast which had some decent snorkelling. We had read that it shouldn’t really cost too much - £8 per boat regardless of numbers of passengers and an undisclosed entrance fee. We turned up at the beach and were heading for the government office when we were descended on by about 10 men offering boat trips etc and throwing prices at us. There was no way we were going to take the first offer and certainly not going to the national park without an official ticket from the office. However, when we got there the office was shut and various locals were trying their best at impersonating official park staff - no Oscars were going to be won today. We were told that the office would open soon, but it was after 9am so we smelt a rat, as this office should be open early morning. One of the boat men had offered us a ‘deal’ of 11,000 rupees (£45) which we just thought was ridiculous. We waited around for a bit with Tom going for a swim until we decided that we’d call it a day. On our way off the beach, the same boat man approached us and we started to barter the price down and managed to get it down to 7,000...still too much for us for a snorkelling trip, so we headed off back to our place to chill out on the beach.

      We got back to our resort, that we practically had all to ourselves including the beach loungers and hammocks and we knew that wherever we went next, the chances of it being this peaceful and relaxing we’re we decided to just enjoy the tranquility whilst we had it and just chill out after what had been a hectic few weeks on the road. We set up camp on the beach, each taking a sun lounger directly in the sun and a daybed in the shade and would switch around depending on how hot we were, both getting into our books and the frequent dip in the sea. It was paradise, thank god we didn’t listen to people recommending for us to skip this place as it was “out of season”.

      A few hours had passed and Tom started to feel a little hungry, so he decided to venture away from the beach to get himself a Kottu. I didn’t want any food so this would be the first time for Tom driving the TukTuk alone! He found a Kottu for take away for 200 rupees, brought it back and ate it on the beach...which made me have immediate food envy. After Tom finished his food we chilled out some more, read our books and (you guessed it) played more silly games in the sea. After a little while we both decided to go and get showered and ready to go and get some food, upon going back to the room. Whilst I was showering, Tom found the two 5litre bottles of water unopened in the hut...he was confused by this as I had refilled our bottles this morning. We both looked at each other and the look of regret on my face meant it could have only one explanation...I had filled our bottles of water up with the other 5 litre bottle of shower water we were using to wash our feet before entering the hut... what a silly move! As we had been drinking it all day and were both fine, we saw the funny side of it...but we still awaited the dodgy stomachs!

      After getting our outdoor showers we got ready and walked along the beach to find somewhere for me to get Kottu. Along the way we were stopped by a few groups of cheeky kids, one of them even asking if they could have Toms’ ‘slippers’, his bracelet and then some rupees...piss off kid! We got to the local place and I ordered my veggie Kottu, and before it arrived I heard the music from the bread man getting closer and closer...Tom jumped out of his seat and ran outside to coincide with him as we had missed him the previous night. On his way outside Tom asked me if I wanted anything, I said yes with a nod looking forward to whatever came back. Unfortunately it seemed Tom didn’t hear or see me say yes or nod. So he came back with just baked stuff for him! I even sent him a load of messages to ensure I got something, but Tom was obviously not looking at his phone. We agreed that from now on we would just assume that the other person wanted something so they didn’t miss out on the best baked food ever!

      However, it wasn’t all bad news for me, as on the walk back to our place we stopped at various little shops (more like front rooms) for snacks and ended up having a feast back at the place all for around 120 rupees. Bargain! We saved some of the snacks to watch another film in bed and listen to the sound of the ocean as we fell to sleep.
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    • Day 25

      Trincomalee and Nilaveli beach day #3

      January 30, 2020 in Sri Lanka ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

      Again, we had a fantastic nights sleep courtesy of the sound of the sea. We rose early as usual and went to the table and chairs to await our breakfast, again it was eggs, break, jam and roti but it was as good as previous days.

      Today we had decided that we’d got toTrincomalee to check out a few of the sights we had heard about. We hopped in the Tuktuk and saw that it was really empty on fuel. I spun the knob to switch us to reserve fuel just to be safe and we headed to Trincomalee. On the way we stopped to get fuel and the fill up cost us just over 1,000 rupees...our biggest one yet but still only £4.20. One of the guys said our tyre was needing some air, so he filled it up, not sure if he wanted money or not. When he had done he then said “money”, he tried to get 100 rupees from us... we said we had no cash only card and drove away saying we’d come back later, oops we forgot! Trincomalee was a town with not too much going on, so we went to the tip of the headland where there was an old temple (Hindu) and the old Dutch Fort.

      We parked up and began our walk to the temple, harassed along the way by a couple of beggars and cafe people wanting some money. We got to the entrance of the temple and once again there was a charge for leaving your flip flops which we always take exception to. We stuffed them in the bag but the guard still wasn’t happy. I ran up to see if the temple was worth a visit and it was to be fair. We both went back to the Tuktuk and dumped our flip flops, being harassed there and back by the same beggars and cafe people - got to give them one thing, they’re persistent. We walked barefoot in smug as you like and had a look round. The temple was perched high on the rocky headland with steep cliffs easing down to the ocean. It was a very colourful temple, made more so by, what we guessed was, a wedding. Lots of drums being sounded and people milling around gave it quite a buzz. By this time it was getting pretty hot so we decided that we’d check out Trincomalee beach, however it was no where near as nice as ours at Nilaveli, so we headed back via our bakery man - now a best friend. Instead of us asking what we wanted, this time he just said for us to come into the back room where it’s all made and and go through everything and pick out what we wanted. With the prices of everything firmly in our minds from the last three days of buying things we got ourselves 100 rupees of baked goods and headed back for a chill, swim and a read of our books.

      We headed out for dinner to the local Kottu man at the main road, which was nice and easy for us. As we’d done some maths earlier in the day, we realised that we comfortably had enough cash to see us through the rest of Sri Lanka, so on the way back we went and bought even more baked stuff from our guy - we were slightly obsessed and was probably a good job we were leaving the following day. We got back via the beach and it was a dark clear night, so the stars were out in full force. We had to sort out a plan for the tomorrow, would we try and get to the west coast in one chunk, or would we break it across an afternoon and following morning? We decided on the latter and that we’d stay a night in Mihintale - a temple/ruin filled town much like Anuradhapura. With that decided we headed back for our final sleep in the beach cabana. I went to do my teeth and came back to Tom saying “don’t panic” whilst sat in the room. Immediately I guessed what it could be...a cockroach!!! Tom thought he had trapped it under a big bottle cap, but it had somehow escaped and was now with all our stuff in the corner. We thought that it must have gone out through one of the cracks in the floorboards, so we safely went to bed under our big mozzy net. About half an hour later we were both reading and I looked up to see the same cockroach climbing up the mozzy net, but couldn’t see if it was inside or outside the net. I got up with a massive exhale and quickly got out the net leaving Tom behind (sorry). He promptly thanked me for the quick escape and we saw that it was inside the net! I got a big empty 5 litre bottle and fed it inside the net trapping the cockroach, and Tom craftily went in and screwed the lid on, we’d triumphed and could now sleep easy.
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    • Day 38

      Schnorchelausflug nach Pigeon Island

      May 7, 2019 in Sri Lanka ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

      Erst kürzlich hatten wir uns noch gedacht, wie schnell doch die Zeit vergeht, wenn man ständig unterwegs ist und von Attraktion zu Attraktion eilt. Damals wussten wir noch nicht, dass die Zeit noch viel schneller vergeht, wenn man nichts tut! Diese Erfahrung machten wir hier in Nilaveli, wo wir heute bereits unsere letzte Nacht verbringen.

      "Frühstück, Strand, Zimmerpause, Lesen, Abendessen" hat sich in den vergangenen Tagen schon als Routine eingebrannt, die wir wohl noch gut ein paar Tage mit grösstem Genuss aufrechterhalten könnten. Da allerdings die Abreise wie ein Damokles-Schwert über uns hängt und wir unbedingt noch die Unterwasserwelt von Sri Lankas Ostküste sehen wollten, brachen wir heute aus unserer Routine aus und gingen morgens statt zum Strand auf einen Schnorchelausflug nach Pigeon Island.

      Über einen Anbieter in der Nähe unseres Hotels organisierten wir diesen Ausflug, bei dem wir erst mit Neoprenanzug ausgestattet und dann per Boot auf die etwas vor der Küste gelegene "Taubeninsel" übergesetzt wurden. Tauben waren dort allerdings keine zu sehen, stattdessen Riffhaie (versetzten uns im ersten Moment einen Schock!), Meeresschildkröten (grösser als man denkt!) und Fische (in allen Formen und Farben!). Schade nur, dass unser mittelmässig motivierter Guide uns relativ schnell über das Riff scheuchte und wir keine Möglichkeit hatten, Tiere und Insel zu fotografieren.

      Schade auch, dass wir morgen das schöne Nilaveli bereits verlassen müssen. Allerdings tröstet es doch relativ gut drüber hinweg, dass unsere nächste Station der Flughafen in Colombo ist. Von dort geht nämlich unser Flug nach Nepal, jenes Land, auf das wir uns schon die ganze Reise über freuen!
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    • Day 12


      July 19, 2018 in Sri Lanka ⋅ 🌬 30 °C

      Nach 1,5h Stunden TukTuk Fahrt, 5h Busfahrt und 20 Minuten TukTuk Fahrt sind wir gut in Nilaveli angekommen.
      Als erstes haben wir einmal Badesachen geschnappt und sind schnell ins Meer gesprungen.
      Jetzt gleich geht es zum Abendessen.
      Für morgen steht Schnorcheln bei Pigeon Island auf dem Programm.
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    • Day 24

      Nilaveli Beach Day #2

      January 29, 2020 in Sri Lanka ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

      It was about 1am when today started. I was up with my torch on in bed trying to kill mosquitos that had managed to sneak through the holes in our net - much to the displeasure of Tom who I’d woken up with the ruckus. Feeling like he’d had a full night sleep, Tom asked what time it was. “It’s only bloody 1am” he cried back in disbelief. He now had the task of getting back to sleep whilst my Mosquito swatting operation was in fill swing. However, surprisingly we both fell back to sleep pretty quickly and slept through till 745, woke up and had our free breakfast which was the same as yesterday, with the addition of a cup of tea. Great way to start another day in paradise!

      You can probably guess what we did first our books on the sun loungers and then went for a nice dip in the sea. We repeated this for a few hours and it was bliss. The weather was perfect and again we had the beach to ourselves. A few blissful hours had passed and we decided to go for a walk up the beach, Tom made a slight detour to get some baked food whilst I sat and looked out over the sea and went for a swim. He very kindly picked up some baked goods for me after I missed out on the bakery man last night...a nice little surprise when Tom returned to the beach. We ate our food and then continued to walk further along the beach, dodging the thousands of crabs on the sand beneath us. After walking to the end of the beach we walked all the way back to our hotel, getting quite hot by the time we got back so we jumped in the sea to cool down. A bit more chill time followed and then we went to get showered, ready and made our way to get dinner.

      Tonight we thought we would drive a bit further north the a town with a bridge we’d been to the previous to get food at a local place, already having done a price check the previous night. It wasn’t a glamorous place, next to a pretty station and with cows seemingly guarding our Tuktuk, but the guy running it was really friendly. We both had fried rice with “gravy” and oh my god it was so good! The gravy was essentially curry sauce and it was amazing, we even asked for seconds of the sauce as we got through it so quickly! After food we made our way to the bridge and sat and watched the sunset over the river, it was a great sunset again tonight! After the sun had set we went back and had another chilled evening at the beach and in our cabana reading our book and watching some documentaries - super chilled day!
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    • Day 14

      Nilaveli Beach

      July 21, 2018 in Sri Lanka ⋅ ☁️ 33 °C

      Wo gibt es das schon?
      Kaum Menschen am Strand und Schattenplätze gratis...
      Hier bleiben wir noch einen Tag länger :)

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