We spent the last part of our holiday relaxing on Sri Lanka’s beautiful coastline, and planted ourselves in Hikkaduwa, since we had heard it was a great place to spend New Year’s Eve.
From Hikkaduwa, we made a day trip to Galle and Unawatuna, a short 28 kilometer trip. The coastal road is filled with scenic stretches of the beach and lush green fields. Additionally, the road is lined with villages – filled with busy roadside shops, small fish markets and tuk tuks, motorcycles and stray dogs darting in and out of traffic.
Galle was a short stop for us – just enough to see the former Dutch fort. We spent most of the day on the beaches in Unawatuna.
We wandered down the windy street, and chose to lunch at Cormaran Beach Club – the place looked nice and the open kitchen sealed the deal for us (we equated it with freshness). We were extremely happy with this choice. While the service was slow, the grilled fish was tasty and the company was good.
While there, we ended up chatting with Martin, a British expat who lives in Unawatuna and runs a hotel and Gary, also a British expat and the head chef at Cormaran. Chatting with both of them provided us a much better sense of the hospitality industry as well as what the local culture is like. Martin was also kind enough to lend us his snorkeling gear and watch our things, so we could run off for a dip in sea.
While there were plenty of other side trips along the coast, we chose to spend the rest of our time in Hikkaduwa. There were great beaches for both surfing and snorkeling, and we enjoyed the food at Moonbeam so much, we ate there three times!
New Years Eve in Hikkaduwa was also the perfect place to be. We started the evening with Dale and Tanya at Asian Jewel, for a lovely barbeque.
Following dinner, we were off to the beach to check out the party. The beach was filled with both locals and tourists – tourists primarily in the bars and locals hanging out on the beaches, lighting fireworks and starting bonfires.
We walked up and down the beach, “bar-hopping”, and eventually rang in the New Year at Top Secret (and Vibrations for the after party).