THE LOVE FOR TRAVELLING, THE PASSION FOR PHOTOGRAPHY (MADE IN MELBOURNE AND AROUND THE GLOBE)

TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY

Pasikudah Bay and Kalkudah Beach and 2 epic resorts

Pasikudah Bay and Kalkudah Beach [and 2 epic resorts]


Pasikudah beach, also known as Pasikudah bay, is one of the newest tourist areas of Sri Lanka, located in the northern part of the east coast.

Pasikudah beach has an interesting and tangles story. It was already a popular destination in the 60s and 70s however the bright future suddenly changed due to the Sri Lankan Civil War, a conflict that began in 1983 to officially finish in May 2009. 

For 26 years the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (or just Tamil Tigers) fought to create an independent state in the Northern and Eastern regions of Sri Lanka.

To make things harder, the Indian Ocean tsunami hit Pasikudah in 2004 with water up to 2km inland. The full area, already under a tough time due to the war, experienced probably the most challenging time in contemporary history.

Since the end of the civil war, and thanks to the work of the tsunami rehabilitation projects, Pasikudah has been experiencing a new touristic wave, although a minor one, especially when compared with other sites on the east coast of Sri Lanka. And this makes this area a great niche alternative where you can still see and experience local activities, as pupil school trips or cow grazing LOL

Another important consideration is the Sri Lankan government’s strict environmental policies that have prevented, so far, mass development. There are indeed resorts on the beach however they almost disappear in the local nature, with a minimal impact on the beauty of this area.

Things to do in Pasikudah beach and around

If you are in Pasikudah you probably just want to have a break at the beach, sun bath, a swim and some relaxing time. And this is what this area can offer best of all.

There are however other things to do in Pasikudah that may keep you busy for one hour or more. Not much stress involved however, no worries 🙂

These activities may require the help of a local guide (ask the hotel reception). You can also do everything on your own, you may however need a bicycle or a tuk tuk (plenty of them).

Coconut Cultural Park

The Coconut Cultural Park is located 100m from the Sunrise by Jetwing resort, really an easy walk if you stay on this side of the bay.

What is it?

There are two attractions in this park. The first one is the visit to the plantation. I was not aware myself of how many types of coconut trees are actually existing, at least on this side of the world.

The tour through the farm is quite informative, with example of cultivation and demonstrations too. Basically all you need to understand on how oil is produced or coir separated and much more.

Coconut farming is an important industry for Sri Lanka and this is a great place to understand the local process and what can they make from coconut.

The second attraction is the locally produced ice cream. There is only one flavour. Guess which one LOL. One of the best coconut ice cream I have ever had!

Opening time are based on the people working there. There is an official 8:30am-6pm however they closed after we left at 5pm. I would suggest to go there in the central part of the day

Coconut Cultural Park in Pasikudah beach

Coconut Cultural Park in Pasikudah beach

Water sports

There is a vast choice, base also on the season you visit Pasikudah. There is not however a central sport centre. It is all organised by the hotel resort where you stay.

The things to do are:

  • diving (not suggested during the raining season as water is not as clear)
  • snorkeling (not suggested during the raining season as water is not as clear)
  • water skiing
  • jet scooter
  • canoeing
  • windsurfing (around October you will have better wind; when I was there in August there was virtually no wind to talk of)
  • sailing
  • fishing

And obviously every resort has the swimming pool where you can spend the all day. 

SPA and a massage, or two

One of the things I love the most is a massage before breakfast, even better if it is an Ayurveda treatment.

And this is what I had at the Amaya resort. One hour of full pleasure.

The 1 hour Ayuverdic massage costed LKR 6,500, or around 50 Australian dollars, which is absolutely a bargain when compared with any massage treatment in Melbourne.

Beside the cost I was really satisfied with the quality, not to mention the facilities, surely a 5 star.

Enjoying a massage at the Amaya SPA

Enjoying a massage at the Amaya SPA – I needed it 🙂

Sri Munai Murukan Kovil temple

This is a small temple at the end of an unsealed road. It’s an easy 20 minutes walk from Pasikudah beach and an interesting attraction in the area.

Work is currently undergoing to refurbish the temple.

A beautiful old tree with a huge trunk is right in the centre of area. The legend says it is the house of the black snake that protects the temple during the night (I haven’t seen any snake track to be honest but legends are there to be believed without questions of course LOL).  

Sri Munai Murukan Kovil temple and the big tree

Sri Munai Murukan Kovil temple and the big tree

The fishing village at the beach

I have been travelling for many years and, to be honest, whenever I read on a travel book about a fishing village I tend to avoid it.

Why?

Because they usually turn out to be villages with plenty of shops and boats to rent, but no more fishing as tourism is more profitable.  Nothing wrong with it obviously, it’s just that I would like to experience something more genuine.

I was travelling with friends and we happened to find this true fishing village. We just walked along Kalkudah beach (more on this later) looking for fishing boats, and here they were.

What an amazing finding. This is the location on the map. Take it as an approximate position. You will see around 10 houses made of palm leaves and, if you go early in the morning, you will experience the fishermen coming back from the sea.

If walking is not your thing you can also do a nature cycle trail. You can rent a bike at your resort (it may be free of charge)

The secret fishing village

The secret fishing village

Activities around Pasikudah

Local trips can also be organised. Usually hotels provide ready tours, otherwise you just need to rent a car with a driver. Driving yourself can be dangerous.

  • Batticaloa Dutch Fort (half an hour) : built in the 17th century by the Portuguese, captured only few years later by the Dutch and used in the 18th century by the British. It’s a small one and you can visit it with the Lagoon.
  • Batticaloa Lagoon (half an hour) : this is a lgoon made of several island interconnected by small bridges. It i an interesting site also for some photography.
  • Whale watching in Trincomalee at Jungle beach (3 hours one way) : suggested during the March to August period. Blue whales and sperm whales are not that uncommon
  • Minneriya National Park (1.5 hours each way) : for an elephant safari. I personally suggest it in the late part of the afternoon when the elephants go down to the lake. A unique experience
  • Sigiriya Rock Fortress (2 hours each way) : this is one of the Sri Lankan icons, surely one of the most recognised Sri Lankan places in the world and UNESCO site too. What is it? It’s a fortress on top of a 200 tall massive rock. The climb is an experience by itself. Visit it early in the morning

I personally suggest Minneriya and Sigiriya as a 2-days trip on its own. The 4-5 hours return trip is quite a tiring one and having a local hotel to brake it gives a better experience.

Kalkudah Beach

Kalkudah beach is on the opposite side of the peninsula, just a short 15 minutes walk from Pasikudah.

The main difference between the two is that Kalkudah is totally unspoilt. I saw just one resort. Consider that this beach is probably 3-5km long

There is no outer reef and therefore you may have waves also during the dry season and that is why I would not suggest it for a family with kids experience.

This is where I found the fishing village that tells you once again how tourism, till now, has no impact on this area. 

I would definitely suggest a long walk in Kalkudah, maybe in the early morning. In saying that I would personally base myself in a resort in Pasikudah.

The very long Kalkudah beach

The very long Kalkudah beach

Weather and when to go

Obviously Sri Lanka is a tropical island and the temperature is nice and warm through the year, 20 to 30 degrees Celsius, almost everywhere, probably expect the central regions where it could be cooler in the morning.

The Pasikudah weather is typical of the east coast of Sri Lanka. There is a dry season from March to October. The water is almost too warm in this time of the year (hey, but I am used to the Melbourne water, at 18-20 degrees in summer). 

There are absolutely no waves as the all bay is protected by the outer reef and this makes Pasikudah a great spot for families with kids.

I was there in August and we had an evening storm that lasted almost the all night. The morning after was perfect blue sky, just cooler than usual, which was awesome. This is to say that storms may come in any season.

November to February is the rainy season. The sea is a bit rougher however thanks to the outer reef the beach experiences an all year around calm water. I was said that in this period the water may be a bit turbid.

Both beaches may have interesting visitors :)

Both beaches may have interesting visitors 🙂

Accommodation & resorts

In Pasikudah beach you have some great hotel options, mostly resorts where you can spend easily a day between the beautiful calm beach and the swimming pool, with a drink and some food, and possibly a massage or maybe an hour at the gym 😉

I spent my time between two resorts: Sunrise by Jetwing and Amaya. I got impressed by both and I would definitely suggest either of them. 

Amaya Beach Pasikudah

The entrance to the Amaya Beach Pasikudah says all about the excellence of this luxurious place. But what I liked the most was the architectural choice of the squared columns between the bar area and the rooms, similar to an old Sri Lankan palace. 

The rooms are amazing, with a fantastic view to the beach and the bay. Hard to beat.

The food selection is also outstanding with the possibility to eat either local dishes or more western inspired food.

The pool table is the centre of the huge bar area. I was surprised by the cocktail selection that included the usual suspects and some local ones made of coconut arrack. I still remember them 🙂

Check Availability & Price Now!

View to the pool and the beach from the Amaya bar area

View to the pool and the beach from the Amaya Beach bar area

Sunrise by Jetwing Pasikudah

The highlight of Sunrise by Jetwing is the pool, the second longest in Sri Lanka I was said. It runs from the entrance to the beach, with a never ending look.

This resort is a beach hotel that extends the sea to the rooms, making it a boutique experience.

Again the food was excellent. I must say that, as in Amaya, I have tried uniquely local food and I couldn’t stop myself asking for more 🙂

Check Availability and Price Now!

The beautiful swimming pool at the Sunrise by Jetwing

The beautiful swimming pool at the Sunrise by Jetwing

Pasikudah to Colombo

The drive from Colombo to Pasikudah is a long one, over 6 hours. It’s only 300km however the winding road and the traffic make it a long experience. 

You can rent a car, and a driver, at the Colombo airport. You can alternatively book it before arrival.

I would personally suggest it as a full Sri Lankan experience where you stop here and there, and not just a Colombo to Pasikudah trip.

If you are looking more into a point to point transfer then you have two options

You can take a train from Colombo leaving at 6:05am (confirm the time at the station and buy the tickets at least one day prior to the trip). It takes around 7 hours. The arrival station is Valaichchenai and not Pasikudah (used only for local trains). From there an easy 10 minutes tuk tuk

The alternative is to fly to Batticaloa however this route is covered only by Cinnamon Air and the ticket is quite expensive.

You can find some great information about Sri Lanka transportation on this amazing Google doc.

Final thoughts

I loved my time in Pasikudah beach. I mostly relaxed although activities were always available and indeed I had a couple of great walks

I enjoyed a lot the genuine tourism made by both Sri Lankan people and foreigners too. Both beaches are not dedicated uniquely to the tourists. They are instead visited by locals, especially at sunset time when it gets cooler. 

This is the perfect balance for a sustainable tourism.

Indeed, from Colombo it take a long time to travel to Pasikudah, and probably this is why this place is still unspoilt.

The Pasikudah bay has probably one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka. It’s coming out from many years of economical problems, due to war and tsunami. And it is doing this with great character. Fingers crossed it will stay like this for a long time.


Ethics statement: In the post there are affiliate links to the hotels. If you book through these links, we will receive a tiny commission at no extra cost to you. This is how we run this website and you can support it. Thank you!

 


USE OF IMAGES

All images are Creative Commons, Non-Commercial
Details and licensing rights

Related Post

Stefano Ferro
Photographer
Stefano is a travel and landscape photographer with a background in cycling, movie and lifestyle photography. When in Melbourne, his hometown, you will see him cycling around at sunset or sunrise looking for the best spot for a photo of this beautiful city. It is quite amazing how much photography gear he can pack on his bike :o

    By clicking on the "Submit your comment" button you are giving permission to store your data (name, email and website, if added). You can always send a request to delete or collect your stored data anytime in future. Read more information on the Privacy Policy. This message has been added to conform with the European Union GPDR Policies 

    Leave a Comment