Sri Lanka 7 days, 12 cities, under 500$ (Part 3 of 3)

Arghya Saha
6 min readDec 6, 2020
Somewhere in Hikkaduwa Lagoon Safari, Dodanduwa

This was the final part of trip where we didn’t have anything in mind and mostly wanted to do things which locals would recommend or any fellow traveller would recommend. We couldn’t find anything substantial which was recommended to us, so we thought of doing some exploration and finally decided to do the Lagoon safari in Hikkaduwa.

You should checkout my previous blogs for all the exciting things one can do in Sri Lanka without burning a hole into your pocket.

Day 6 Continues:

From Galle we again took a bus to Hikkaduwa. Hikkaduwa lagoon safari is run by a Lahiru, its a family business own by them for years, you can find more details about the safari in the website. Its a must visit if you are around the region. This was a tranquill experience, since they use hand paddles, there is no distracting noise and one can expect to get mini shots of nirvana while you are in the lagoon on the boat.

The smile you get when you see food. :)

We reach the location just around lunch time so we were lucky to have authentic home cooked meal which Lahiru and his family were having, and as we reach unannounced they were kind enough to share their meal with us.

I never had brown rice before SriLanka, but now I never let go the opportunity to have brown rice wherever they are available. Travel to foreign countries are always about experimenting new and different cuisines.

Post lunch we started our lagoon safari, for anyone going for lagoon safari, please do prior booking or have a conversation over the phone, this would be more helpful since the boat can be prepared beforehand and also you might not have to wait in case of other bookings. We were lucky enough to not face any of those issues since it was off season.

We started our lagoon safari around 3 pm, please do carry a pair of sunglasses 😎 for the trip, else its going to be very difficult for one, like you can see how Bala is looking in the selfie.

The safari is mesmerising to anyone who loves the sound and smell of water. Lahiru made the safari more interesting with his insights about the Lagoon, the wildlife found in this region and the vegetation along with the historic importance.

The lagoon safari has 3 parts, first is the tour in the region, second part is the natural fish spa and finally the buddhist temple in the region which is in a small island accessible only via a boat. This safari is only possible in the mornings and evenings so please plan your visit accordingly.

Lagoon safari trip highlights

While visiting the region Lahiru would take you near the mangrove shore and also give you fresh fruits and other edible items to which you can consume. The region is rich with spices so you will get a chance to experience the taste of raw cinnamon and other spices available in that region.

This was the first time I took a fish spa, I don’t think I can explain it better in one word “ticklish”, way too much ticklish. But after few minutes you get used to and start enjoying it.

The buddhist temple visit was enthral, specially since the only way to access the temple was via waterways. We sat there for some time and took lived the moment. There were old wall paintings and other sculptures which were going through restoration process.

We came back to the Lahiru’s place and we decided to stay put at his place for the night, so we got freshened up and then left to explore the city on foot. It felt people slept early in the town most shops were closing or were deserted. We didn’t have much to do in the city to explore, so we just went to the beach sat there for sometime and then ordered our dinner and came back to our rooms and called it a night.

Day 7:

We didn’t have anything much to do today since our flight was next day, we could explore try and explore Hikkaduwa or go back to Colombo and explore Colombo. We chose the later since we also wanted to see what was the city life like in Sri Lanka. Post breakfast we took a train ride from Hikkaduwa to Columbo since we wanted to again experience the train journey by the beach. :)
Colombo was different than all, since we didn’t have any bookings so we had a hard time to find any accommodation, finally we decided to find a hostel and crashed in there. Colombo was mostly about buddhist temples and museums.

We visited the Gangaramya Temple first, it is a huge temple in the colombo city which one should visit. It has an entry fees for non SriLankan residents. One can avoid it by confidently getting inside the temple, in our case, Bala did it confidently while I was caught, and eventually Bala also had to pay the entry fees. You might be spending good 1–2 hours inside the temple exploring all the places. There is another museum also inside the temple which has couple of vintage cars and weapons.

Its one of the rare touristy things which we did in SriLanka because we didn’t have much to do in Colombo. Post this we went to the Colombo beach for some local sea food snacks/dinner. Unfortunately it started to rain cats and dogs so we somehow made to back to our Hostel. One of the other things which was we were able to do was get a glimpse of the Sri Lankan President convoy on our way back. This is quite a common thing to observe if you are in Colombo.

Finally we called it a night since we had morning flight we planned to leave early around 8am from our hostel to the airport next day.

Thats how we visited finished our SriLanka trip of 12 cities in 7 days under a budget of $500.

Colombo • Habarana • Sigiriya • Pinnawalla • Kandy • Matara • Mirissa • Galle • Habaraduwa • Hikkaduwa • Dodanduwa • Colombo

Here are the previous trip details in case you have missed them: