Becoming a beach bum in Hikkaduwa


When I initially booked the flight to Sri Lanka I didn’t really know what to expect. I knew that it was a small island South of India and that it was near to the beautiful Maldives. Two things came to mind, curry and beaches, two of my favorite things!

As soon as I woke up on that first day in Sri Lanka I was nervous to actually go and explore. I was in Sri Lanka for goodness sake and I didn’t know what to expect.

Luckily for me I started my travels of the island in Hikkaduwa, a tourist area with an absolutely gorgeous beach that seems to go on for miles. Most of the shops, bars, restaurants and guest houses are arranged on a straight road, Galle road that actually spans the South West coast of Sri Lanka.

I spent my days in Hikkaduwa talking to locals (Especially the cute children in their pristine school uniforms), taking in the sights of Galle road, Relaxing at beach side bars and sunbathing on the beach.

Hikkaduwa was the perfect introduction to travel and Sri Lanka. It was the perfect balance of Convenience and exotic. It had all of the tourist facilities yet  it still felt like I was in a very different country.

Local women wore the most beautiful saris. I loved saris so much that I actually got a quote for a sari! I chose a beautiful fuchsia pink fabric and everything. The only thing that stopped me was the fact that I would look like a weirdo whenever I wore it. A beautiful weirdo though.

The local women also carried umbrellas around with them in the daytime, even when it wasn’t raining! This was to protect their skin from the sun and to maintain a pale complexion.

Whenever I wandered on my own locals treated me like an endangered species, staring at me wherever I went. Inquiring about where I was going, where I was from ect. At first I found this a little strange considering that there’s quite a lot of tourists in Hikkaduwa but it soon became one of those things that I just accepted. It was quite nice being called ‘beautiful’ at least three times every time I went to the shop!

The sun in Hikkaduwa was very strong and I got sunburn’t a few times despite wearing sun lotion. I love the beach but the beach doesn’t love me!

Every photo that I took of the beach looked like a post card. Azure Indian ocean, golden sand framed with lush greenery and tall palm trees. I can see why people think that Sri Lanka is the original ‘garden of Eden’.



Hikkaduwa has a coral reef but unfortunately a lot of the coral is dead due to fishing boats and the Tsunami in 2004. It still has an amazing variety of fish in the ocean though, snorkeling in Hikkaduwa is a must.

I went snorkeling with a local boy from a dive school, he showed me the best place to see the fish and I saw many types of tropical fish, sea urchins, anemones  sea cucumbers and even a turtle!

Yes that’s right, I swam with a turtle in Sri Lanka!

When I wasn’t admiring the local sea life I would swim in the ocean and allow the waves to push me around a bit. I love feeling the rush of the Ocean!

The Ocean has quite a strong current producing some good waves, this attracts a lot of surfers to Hikkaduwa. All of the surfers seemed to be varying shades of mahogany with bleach blonde hair. In the evening they were found at the beach bars smoking weed and ordering two evening meals each!

Every night around 5/6pm a turtle that’s 200 years old would come to the beach! A man tempts the turtle to come to the shore with pieces of grass so that people can see the turtle and take photos. I was amazed at the size of the turtle, it also had green on its back. This was the first wild turtle that I had ever seen in my life, it was a very special moment.



My favorite bars in Hikkaduwa were funky de bar, vibration and top secret. I loved sitting and watching the magnificent sunset each evening with a beer in hand. Does life get better than that?



I spent eleven nights in Hikkaduwa, a lot more than I was originally going to spend. Staying in one place and getting to know it well was the perfect thing to do in my second destination of my trip. It gave me a cahnce to get used to the very different culture of Sri Lanka, time to get to know locals and work out the ‘right’ prices of things so that I didn’t get ripped off.

I think that I was spoiled by this beautiful beach. Can anything in the rest of SE Asia compare?

Hikkaduwa was my paradise.


What do you think of Hikkaduwa? Have you come across any better beaches on your travels?


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I’m a twenty something podiatrist with new found wanderlust. Follow me as I prepare for my trip of a lifetime to Dubai, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand and wherever else the world takes me.

8 thoughts on “Becoming a beach bum in Hikkaduwa”

  1. Pingback: Pearls and Passports – Turtles galore!
  2. Hi there:) just read your post whole researching on hikkaduwa. Any recommendations on places to go/ places to stay at? I’ve been trying to look for backpackers hostels but don’t seem to find that many of them in Sri Lanka- was hoping to hang around there to make friends etc. as I’ll be travelling there alone! Any tips greatly appreciated!

    1. I stayed at a backpackers hostel down a side street, I think I found it on hostelbookers. If I could go again I would stay in a room on one of the beachside properties where the majority of young people stay, on Galle road (Galle road runs down the whole of the West side of Sri Lanka so be careful when booking lol). Unfortunately I found this out on my last night in Hikkaduwa. A lot of places show movies each night ect and have a really cool vibe.

      Maybe book somewhere for a night or two then go exploring to find a place that suits you? Always remember to barter 🙂

      I loved just sunbathing on the beach and wandering around the streets. The Ayervedic massages are amazing if that’s your thing too.

      There’s lots of nearby temples, moonstone mines and turtle sanctuary too!


  3. Your description of the surfers is amusing. Visualizing guys of varying shades of mahogany with bleach blonde hair ordering copious amounts of food after taking some hits of cannabis is an easy thing to do with your portrayal.

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