“Ooooh, yes, Trincomalee, you have to go to Nilaveli, very beautiful.” This was probably the most common response we got, when we told locals, we are planning to go to the east coast.
As the monsoon season was in full swing on the south-west (but to our surprise the weather was very good), we decided to try our luck on the east coast. We visited Trincomalee and Arugam bay and this is what we did there:
We expected a small fishing village, but were surprised by a proper town. This time we skipped all the sights in the town and we concentrated on the beaches. We also rented a motorbike – the roads are good around here and for all the places Google Maps works well.
We stayed in walking distance to Uppuveli, a loooong stretch of sand with a few bars and restaurants. The ocean was choppy, but you could go into water. There were many lovely dogs on the beach, a few locals and almost no tourists. They were all in their pools or in restaurants.
About 9 km north is the famous Nilaveli beach. It is indeed nicer that Uppuveli, but the water is murky and there’s not a lot of shade. A steady winds blow here, that’s why many kite fans come here to play – btw. we found out Sri Lanka is kind of a kite country, as everywhere we went people were flying kites.
Then we drove aprox. 17km south from Trinco to Marble beach, which is run by the military. It’s a nice bay without big waves, some benches and trees for shade as well as a bar with ridiculously cheap drinks. Parking is 50 rupees and entrance is 20 rupees per person.
If you come here and you don’t surf, you will probably start (where to learn surfing in Sri Lanka find out here 😉). This is the surfing Mecca of Sri Lanka with surf spots for beginners, intermediate to professionals.
Here we learned 2 things:
- Booking.com reviews can be very misleading (this is the first time this happened to us).
- Do not overestimate your abilities with surfing. The ocean is unpredictable and Sri Lankan hospitals are a mess.
Ok, what happened; we booked a place with a pretty good score on booking.com (8.5/10) and it was the most expensive room in the whole month (40USD). But when we saw the room, we were shocked (you can see it for yourself in the vlog at the end of the article). Our friends Lydia and Lukas had the exact same problem at their accommodation, so it’s obviously not an isolated problem here. Be careful what you book and if you come here in August, book way in advance.
The second lesson was a harder one. Jure had a surfing accident and he got stitches on the face. The small one room clinic in Arugam bay was ok (there are 3 of them along the main road), everything looked sterile and the doctor was friendly. Afterwards Jure had to go to 2 more hospitals, one very weird in Kandy and a very good private one in Negombo. I wrote down the entire experience and documented everything with photographs in Healthcare and visiting a hospital in Sri Lanka.
If we forget about the accident, we really enjoyed Arugam bay – the main street is filled with restaurants, bars and shops (it reminded us of Ella), the bay has great waves for surfing and the main point for surfing is a great place for admiring the pros in the evening.
Around Arugam bay there are many surf points, but we didn’t go to any of them because Jure couldn’t go into the water.
From Trincomalee to Arugam bay you can take a bus (but need to change in Batticaloa) or taxi. Because we were 4 people, we took a taxi, which was 15.000 rupees.
For Arugam bay we can say it reminds us a lot of Thailand (which probably looked like this 20 years ago), we also enjoyed Trinco and it’s nearby beaches.
Here you can watch our Vlog and judge for yourself😉