Sunday, December 26, 2010

Matara in pictures, Sri Lanka

During the weekend (my weekend actually stretches 10 awesome-day long, with weekends, a couple of annual leaves and the Christmas holidays in between), I headed down south from the hustle bustle of the city to the more peaceful and serene seaside of Matara. It is about 3.5 hrs journey by car.

My way, your way or the highway

The distance from Colombo to Matara is only about 140km, much less than KL - Ipoh which only takes about 2.5 hrs. The issue here is the roads, unlike M'sia where all the states are connected by at least 4 lane highways, to get around the country here is through what we call trunk roads back home: 1 lane to and 1 lane back. The driver skills and precision is put to test when overtaking slow vehicles especially lorries, buses and tuk tuks.

Scenic journey

While a journey on the M'sian highways may seem boring (all you see is trees, trees and trees), the scenic journey here makes up for the lengthy car ride. Now, I know most of us get excited at the sight of passing by the seaside, and that's what you get here! Clear blue seas, the locals having a frolicking good time, fishermen hauling up their trade, and the colorful tuk tuks parked at the roadside... just to name a few sights.

Well, less words and enjoy the pictures of Matara- these are some of my favourite shots!

The locals having a splashin' good time at the sea during sunset

This was the view I wake up and sleep to every day

And when sunset takes place

The iconic stilts fishermen of Sri Lanka

Fisherman of Matara

Fishmerman of Matara clad in sarong

A lonely fisherman trying to have some small catches

Nature taking its course

Boys catching fish

Smile for the camera!

Look what we've caught!

I've got some fishes too!

A typical seaside village


I've dedicated a label on 'budget hostels' which aims to provide other budget travelers an honest and pictorial review of the budget accommodation that I've stayed in. I usually book my budget stays through or Most of the time, it is price vs. comfort, you can't have both on two extremes. What I ultimately look for in a budget accommodation is hygiene, condition of the place, price and location. I'm not too bothered with service criterias or the facilities. I have had a few experiences with budget accommodation when I traveled to Vietnam and China so I didn't hesitate to go budget again in Matara.

Beach Inns surrounding

I had initially wanted to go to Hikkaduwa or Unawatuna but all of the budget hostels in the two towns were fully booked and finally I found Beach Inns in Matara which coincidentally also runs a diving school. There wasn't much reviews on it but it was going on a steal of only USD14 a night, so I did not hesitate further and placed my booking for 4 nights with a 10% deposit (which only equate to about USD5).

Beach Inns; breakfast in the morning; clean bathroom; decent and basic room

Beach Inns is located at the Polhena beach front. Matara itself is less touristy and popular compared to Unawatuna or Hikkaduwa, hence it is generally quiet and serene and a few of the budget holidaymakers that I spoke to told me that is the reason they enjoy their stay at Beach Inns. The rooms are basic and decent, refurbished due to the destruction caused by the tsunami a few years ago, with clean bathroom and an amazing view. The service staff is helpful, courteous and polite and the manager is also a dive instructor who is well traveled, hospitable and speaks good English. Beach Inns also has a working kitchen so there's always food available. Perhaps the only grudge I have is the annoying bugs at night (mosquito net is readily available though)! I think overall, Beach Inns has surpassed my expectations of being not only value for money but also a great place to meet other like-minded travelers and having a taste of the local non-urban culture.


eiling lim said...

looks like a nice holiday! Glad that you made the most out of your posting at Sri Lanka.

YilingL said...

Might as well isn't it? Anyway Colombo is boring la.

Konni and Matt said...

Hello Yiling:
Wonderful blog, congratulations! Very creative, feminine and professionally done.
Keep up the good blogging/travelling!
Cheers, Matt.

jason said...

Great weather!

YilingL said...

Hey! Thks for the compliments. I hope you do the same for your blog too and till we meet again, do keep in touch through words and picture ;-)

Yeps, great weather for the past 2 weeks... when the new year comes it will be hottttt!

Hostels said...

The beaches in Sri Lanka are really the best.

Cusco Hostels

Anonymous said...

Thanks, want to go to Matara and now I will defintely stay at Beach Inns. Perhaps I will even go diving,... Did you dive there (or know people that did)?!

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