Sri Lanka is a seriously up and coming destination for all travelers, locations are becoming more popular and the true beauty of the country is being seen. The country is now completely safe after being a no go zone for years and the wonderfully friendly people of Sri Lanka are happy to greet visitors to their land.   With the unrest in Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia and the Middle East continuing Sri Lanka’s stunning beaches, vast coastlines and inland lush plantations offer a diverse landscapes and a new dimension of travel.

   Before we left for Sri Lanka we did lots of research, but only booked one or two nights accommodation, the majority we turned up in places using public transport and then found a place to stay, this was really easy.IMG_20160328_184853We arrived late in the evening at the airport in Colombo. It was quite a shock to the system as there was a huge duty free area selling everything, even white goods! We made our way quickly through customs and bought a tourist SIM card, we went with Mobitel which included 3GB of data, international texts and calls and local calls. This was a great purchase!

We easily managed to get a taxi to Delma’s Bungalow, our first accommodation about 30km away in the outskirts of Colombo. The taxi cost us 3500 rupees.

We were happy to arrive at our accommodation where we were welcomed with a wonderful fruit juice. We were then happy to collapse into bed that evening.20160327_091351We awoke in the morning to breakfast at 8:30am. This was an incredible Sri Lankan feast of egg hoppers, chicken curry, coconut sambol, bananas, jams, freshly made fruit juice and tea with milk.20160327_083436

20160327_084817This accommodation was great for us as it gave us a comfy bed and a great breakfast to start us off.

Delma arranged a tuk tuk for us to get to Fort Train station. This was Deb’s first time in a tuk tuk, very exciting!20160327_094148The train station is pretty big when you arrive, but there is an information office where you can ask for help. We asked and they told us which ticket counter we needed to go to. We made our way to counter 4 and paid a grand total of 160 rupees (80 pence) per person for the train to Hikkaduwa.20160327_101044We departed from platform 5, where there were lots of tourists also waiting to make their way down south.20160327_101833The train was crowded when it arrived and we had to push our way on, but after about 3 stops we were able to get seats.IMGP1135This train journey was a great introduction into Sri Lankan travel. The trainline follows the coastline, it starts off in Colombo slightly polluted with rubbish, but as you leave the city behind it gets steadily more beautiful, with long sandy beaches, palm trees and locals selling fish.

We arrived in Hikkaduwa and took a tuk tuk down to the sea front. We had a look at rooms in a couple of places, but settled on Top Secret/Sweet Harmony. We paid 3000 rupees (15 pounds) for a large double room upstairs with a fan. 20160327_135839The beach at Hikkaduwa is amazing, it’s a very large, long sandy beach.  We went for a stroll along the beach and then Stu hired a board at Mountain Wave surf hire shop on the beach for 300 rupees per hour. There are lots of surf hire shops, all the same or similar prices.  The beach here is popular for surfing, there are large waves at the start of the year until about April.20160327_143602

IMGP1152We decided to eat at our guesthouse for the evening, it has a lovely seating area out on the beach and you can listen to the waves.  There was a huge choice of food at Top Secret, Debs went for fried calamari for 910 rupees and Stu went for fillet steak for 1050 rupees, both meals were excellent. Fresh fruit juice was about 240 rupees.20160328_085454This guest house had lovely areas to chill out, including floor cushions by the bar and beach deck chairs out on the beach, where we enjoyed a fire in the evening.  Overall we really enjoyed the laid back vibe of this place.20160328_085608