After Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage we were done with central Sri Lanka and took the evening bus the get to wake up by the ocean again. We drove straight west towards Negombo for which I had quite low expectations. We (“we” in these cases always means J) managed to get ahold of a really nice room with a balcony for 1.500 Rp ($7) close to the beach where we crashed into bed after a really long day.
Negombo is a beach “everyone” visits since it is so close to the airport and thus is a perfect first or last stop on a trip to Sri Lanka. I would not call it a classic tourist resort in the same style as Hikkaduwa but rather a combination of a tourist resort and a city next to the beach. When one could see tourist stores next to each other, Negombo has some local stores here and there. It feels less touristy but also a bit boring.
The beach of Negombo is, however, really really nice and almost free from parasolls, sunbeds and to some extent, people. There are, for good and bad, not really any restaurants by the beach to chill and have a Piña Colada at by the sunset. Instead, we went to the restaurant “Dolce Vita” to catch up on some work and have a coffee. The café, that is well worth a visit, is just by the beach but since the beach is so wide there is still some 200 burning hot meters down to the water. For me it was perfect though so I park myself and the computer here for the remainder of the afternoon.
We had not planned to stay here for two nights but do it anyway since we are quite tired of travelling around every day and it feels good to catch up on work and other practical stuff – as well as just relax for a bit.
My recommendation: Negombo in itself is a rather boring beach resort but the beach is amazing. It is touristy but not extreme in any way. In other words, it is a perfect spot to spend your first and/or last day in Sri Lanka.