Sri Lanka’s Hippies Heaven Hikkaduwa
Hikkaduwa is a city by the Indian Ocean on the west coast of Sri Lanka it is one of the most loved destinations among the travellers who book Sri Lanka holidays. It was here, first developed as a beach holiday destination in the country. The stream of tourist who started to come to Hikkaduwa in 1980’s and still continuing and it grows day by day. Hikkaduwa has been able to retain its momentum as a beach holiday destination despite the emerging top-notch holiday cities such as Negombo and Bentota. Hikkaduwa is still the most popular among the hippies and it is well developed for the hippie type tourism. Same times Hikkaduwa is the home for many star class hotels and they are catering to the high-end customer, who looks for luxurious holidays.
Hikkaduwa Badly Hit by Tsunami
Hikkaduwa is known to be one of the best places for a beach holiday in Sri Lanka and Hikkaduwa is one of the most visited holiday destinations in the island of Sri Lanka. It is well known for its fascinating underwater world with coral reefs and beautiful beaches. But some of the corals in the seas of Hikkaduwa have been destroyed through lanina effect, the Global phenomenon in which the sea water was warmed. Still, the sea of Hikkaduwa considered being one of the best diving spots in Sri Lanka due to its richness of underwater fauna and flora. Hikkaduwa was badly damaged by the Tsunami in 2004 and most of the beach hotels were severely damaged. Today they are back to normal and most of the properties were upgraded during the renovation. Unlike most other beaches such as Bentota and Kalutara, several areas in Hikkaduwa can be used for all year round beach holidays in Sri Lanka.
Snorkeling in Hikkaduwa
Hikkaduwa is most popular for its 3S (sun, sea and sand), but other than the 3s snorkelling and diving are hot topics here. A large number of guests gather here early morning to set off on diving and snorkelling tours. Several internationally trained diving instructors have set up their diving centres in the resort area and providing diving and snorkelling facilities.
Hikkaduwa harbours majestic coral reefs, unfortunately, some of them are destroyed during the Tsunami, so it is a good place for a snorkelling. Hikkaduwa marine national park and the Pigeon island national park on the east coast of Sri Lanka are the major marine national parks on the island. At Hikkaduwa, one can observe fringing coral reefs in the shallow water, at the depth of five meters. It is possible to rent snorkelling gear at one of the shops to explore the coral reefs or you can rent a glass bottom boat to explore the reefs. With the second method, you do not need to be in the water to see the reefs. It could be the best way to take a glimpse of the corals if you are not based in Hikkaduwa and just a passerby.
Speedy Access to Hikkaduwa
Some tourists may reluctant to spend their holidays in Hikkaduwa due to the time-consuming journey from the airport. But with the opening of highway and the southern international airport in Hambantota, it is just a matter of two hours drive to reach Hikkaduwa from any of the above-mentioned locations.
Even though Hikkaduwa is a destination for backpackers, it is not a location for camping. Instead of camping, you have plenty of opportunities to rent rooms in guest houses, rest houses and rent rooms. Those are the cheapest form of accommodation in Sri Lanka. Large properties with better facilities can be found here, and then the rates are very high compared to rent rooms and guest or rest houses.
Nude Tourism in Hikkaduwa
Beaches around Hikkaduwa have earned notoriety as one of the very few beaches in the island, where nude tourists are hanging around. There had been such incident in the past, but today it is highly unlikely to see nude tourists. Nudity tourism is highly prohibited here and it is highly punishable offence according to the Sri Lanka law.
Glass Bottom Boat Ride
One can have a nice view over the seabed through the shallow waters of Hikkaduwa during a glass bottom boat ride. There are many boat operators who provide this service for people who are willing to do the glass bottom boat ride. People who are on Sri Lanka holiday, especially from November to April have best opportunity to see the underwater corals at best with the clear and calm water. Apart from the coral reefs, the waters of Hikkaduwa are inhabited by a large number of exotic fish species as well as sea turtle species. Apart from the wide sandy beaches, Hikkaduwa claims to have well grown thick vegetation in the area it can be observed few hundred meters towards the land side of the beach.
Attractions of Hikkaduwa
There are large numbers of attractions in Hikkaduwa that are important for people who make a holiday in Sri Lanka. North of Hikkaduwa town is the lagoon which can be used for a relaxing boat ride. Well, known Sinigama Devala is located about two kilometres from the city of Hikkaduwa. It is one of the two temples where the God Suniyam is venerated.
Purana Thotagama vihara is a Buddhist temple with a valuable historical background, is situated in the village called Telwatta in the north of Hikkaduwa.
The tranquil calm setting in Hikkaduwa makes people stay longer and enjoy the warm weather. The city can be described as a sleepy town located on one of the busiest roads on the island. Galle road, which connects Colombo and southern Sri Lanka are separating the city into two parts. Hikkaduwa stretched along the north-south axis on either side of the road, just south of the tiny coastal town. Starting from one end to the other it is full of restaurants, bars, souvenir shops, liquor shops, groceries, small guest houses and shops with the cloth. All are catering to foreign travellers and sights of locals are very rare here.
Tourism In Hikkaduwa
The Hippie crowd came across the city with the beginning of tourism (in 1980’s) in the island, and since that time Hikkaduwa has been developed to an offbeat holiday destination among the budget conscious travellers. The snow-white beaches of Hikkaduwa stretch about 5 kilometres from the southern border of the city to the Ginga Ganga Bridge towards Galle direction. The tourist who gathers to the beaches of Hikkaduwa has plenty of space to stretch themselves and have a sunbath. The people are evenly split in the free space between hotels and the Indian Ocean. Backpacking tourists, teenage travellers, adventure lovers, and leisure holidaymakers all are enjoying the pristine beaches in harmony.
Nightlife at Hikkaduwa
Other than swimming, surfing, snorkelling, partying and basking in the sun, there are many other interesting activities for travellers to engage in. There are many mind-blowing and thrilling spots to explore in Hikkaduwa, and most of those places open its door to the sunset.
Unlike most cities in Sri Lanka, there is a thrilling nightlife at Hikkaduwa. A lot of tourists is gathering to the beach bars and restaurants in Hikkaduwa and takes a glimpse on the brilliant sunset. Beach bars and restaurants share the live music with the gathering. Hikkaduwa is one of the best places to order seafood on the west coast. The nearby fishing harbour provides the fresh fish for the hotels and restaurant in Hikkaduwa, where they are served at very low prices.
Accommodation in Hikkaduwa
When it comes to accommodation there might be no other place in Sri Lanka, where you get so much of possibilities and options for accommodation, like in Hikkaduwa. Especially for budget travellers, the possibilities are endless. Hikkaduwa remains as the most loved holiday destination among the budget travellers since the beginning of tourism in the island. And the travellers with the tight budget has the best settings here. Inexpensive accommodation facilities such as rent rooms, home stays, guest houses and rest houses are the most common accommodation facility here. Usually, the guests opt to book their accommodation on a room only basis here, therefore they are able to make food their own or bye it outside at a cheaper rate. There is a large number of restaurants, bars and pubs are scattered along the main road that runs through Hikkaduwa. Same times a large number of shops, Ayurveda spas also established here and mainly target the foreign tourists. Finding accommodation is very easy here, keep on knocking on the door until you get the proper place to sleep. It is very easy to find accommodation here because almost every household provides some kind of accommodation facility. And also all the hotels, guesthouses, rest houses, restaurants all are tightly packed head-to-head along the coast.
How to Get Best Price for Your Accommodation
Due to a large number of possibilities you have a very good chance of finding the best accommodation for what you pay, especially with regards to low-cost accommodation. The competition is very high among the accommodation facilitators, therefore, they are in a high competition to attract customers. Hence as a customer, you have the better chance of negotiation and get the best price. Most accommodation providers do not have a fixed rate and they are selling at varying prices. If you have a negotiation skill, you can secure a good accommodation at a low price. Also, the duration of stay makes a big difference when you wish to get a discounted price, the longer you stay higher the discount.
Hikkaduwa can be reached easily by public bus or train. Since its proximity to the main railway line that runs between Colombo and Galle, the train is the most convenient and cheapest form of transport to reach Hikkaduwa. It takes around two hours to reach Hikkaduwa by train if you start your journey from Colombo. Busses quite handy transport method but it consumes more time than the train, and buses might take around four hours to reach Hikkaduwaduwa from Colombo.
Touts are occurring in Hikkaduwa like in all other beach resorts in Sri Lanka and You better be prepared for their tempting invitations. You will meet touts on the road and as well as on the beach. Usually, they make an acquaintance with the tourist and suggest various activities such as excursions, tours etc. Accommodation facilities also can be booked through these touts. They may not charge you anything for the service that they provide but they are benefitted from the other party of the deal, therefore that rates of whatever you purchase might have shooted-up when you purchase it. So try to stick to SELF SERVICE as much as possible it might be good for you.