Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Unawatuna, Poya Festival and Hikkaduwa

Unawatuna beach

Unawatuna is one of the many other coastal villages in Sri Lanka located 112km down south from capital Colombo. However, among the other southern coastal areas, Unawatuna and Hikkaduwa are the two more popular locations and here you will find more foreign presence, interestingly many European travelers especially Germans love to come here for vacation. Some of the locals can even speak German!

Unawatuna beach

I talked to one of the restaurant & guesthouse manager and he told me that there are many foreigners especially Europeans who are regular visitors here and even bought lands to build their summer villas! What a life! I also met a German who has since made Sri Lanka and Unawatuna his home and even have a resort & dive center business here.

Poya Parade

During the duration I was here, there was also a Poya Festival, which is a monthly Buddhist festival to celebrate full moon (there is a Poya public holiday every month- so that gives the Sri Lankans an automatic 12 public holidays a year!). There was a Poya parade and it was nice to see one as I doubt I would have the chance to see it in Colombo. During Poya, the people generally abstain from alcohol and all entertainment places are closed.

Hikkaduwa beach

Hikkaduwa is another famous beach, 98km down south from Colombo. Here, you'll find alot of guesthouses, budget inns, and landmark hotels lining the roads. I find the waves considerably strong here while the sea is blue and beautiful. Again, like the beaches in Matara and Unawatuna, there is only a thin fringe of sandy strip and you don't see a sea of beer bellies, beach chairs and umbrellas too! (read: Phuket)

Lunch stop at Refresh Restaurant; Grilled Shark Steak- Rs. 890; Default drink: Ginger Ale!

On my way to Matara and back to Colombo, my driver dropped me at Refresh Restaurant at Hikkaduwa for lunch (suspect that he is paid a commission for it). I know how much most of us fancy and get excited at the thought of dining at the beach side (like the famous Jimbaran Bay in Bali) but here, you'll get to dine in front of the sea and hear the waves pounding at the bay too!

Refresh Restaurant at Hikkaduwa; Hot butter calamari- Rs. 990

I had a shark steak on my first visit and a hot butter calamari on my second visit- am feeling the cholesterol! The food are priced at the lowest of Rs. 800 for mains and can go up to Rs. 2000-ish for seafood like crustaceans.

Although both Unawatuna and Hikkaduwa are considered touristy, I think it is still peaceful and less congested than the Patong @Phuket and Kuta @Bali. At least you won't trip over a beach chair and lost amongst the thousands of beach bummers here.

Also read:
Sri Lanka- Matara

Refresh Restaurant
184, Galle Road,
Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka.


A Arthur said...

wow yiling, you are really having a gala time there. Good of you to share your experience by posting them on blogs.

Are you back for Chinese New Year

A Arthur

YilingL said...

A Arthur,
I realize there's not much personal write ups on blogs about SL, so I have a commitment to do it while I'm here! :-)

Nope, will be missing out on the celebration :-(

jason said...

Shark steak! Actually shark meat is kinda nice :P But I'm scared of its high mercury content :S

YilingL said...

Shark meat is quite coarse though, not as smooth as the usual fish. Erm, I guess having it once won't hurt huh? It's protein!

chi chi said...

I really didn't like Refresh. I thought the food was too greasy and overpriced.

If you go to Hikka again, you should try Spaghetti & Co. It was so good, we back there thrice!

Karmen said...

hi there, i stumbled upon your blog and thought it is really interesting and whats more surprising to me is that you blog about SL which not many people do, and it has definitely widen my impression on SL, and i am really curios about how do you get to travel to there? is it for work purposes? Im really looking forward to visit SL one day, and you have really good write ups and reviews on SL, :D

YilingL said...

chi chi,
I had no choice - the driver dropped me there. Forget about the food and enjoy the view instead!

Sorry for the (very) delayed reply - been out of blogging for a while. I was posted to SL for 3 months. While I was there, I tried googling for food places, tourist attractions and what not but not many write ups available, so I made it a personal mission to get all my experiences down to share with others. You should visit SL - while the foodscene is not as exciting as other major cities in Asia, the people and place is wonderful :)

Anonymous said...

Hikkaduwa more details you can see


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