A Diary By Safa Khairy
I live in Dubai, fast paced lifestyle, sometimes overworked and stressed. In these moments all anyone needs is a small quick trip to get their head straight and relax. So what better way to do that than jump on a plane for a long weekend and better yet on a small budget.. It took me 10 min to decide book my tickets for the next day, destination Sri Lanka, Unawatuna. It was my first time there.
My flight was delayed from that awful sandstorm, so I missed my train down south, taxi was the only way to go at that point. It cost 70 dollars worth every penny.. It’s a scenic road that takes you there, The mountains and greenery was beyond what I expected. 2.5 hours flew by like nothing.
Where to Stay – I booked a room in this small hotel called “dunes” where I learned it was a couple owned hotel. The room was lovely clean, spacious and quiet. Honestly, every time I think of how much I paid for the hotel, I’m in awe to how pleasantly surprised I was. Location was close enough to everything and with a garden that looks like a little piece of heaven. I highly recommend it!
Unawatuna is a small place everything mostly located on this one road walle Diwali st. There are restaurants, small shops with harem pants and beach dresses all colorful and on display, beach hotels and guest houses.
Where to eat – I wasn’t so familiar with the food there but I now it’s in my top 5 cuisines. There are places where you can take cooking classes and learn how to make this amazing food, so if you like to cook make sure that’s on your to do list. The roti from the roti shop my personal favorite food, a crepe like dhal with different filling, eggs cheese, chocolate you name it.. Savory or sweet it is a must try while your there. If your vegetarian or vegan there’s Jina’s restaurant, where the curries are an explosion of flavor. If you walk down the street you will find a place to eat every 5 meters a restaurant next to the surf shop, the pink elephant, the roti shop and so much more, all you have to do is walk in and enjoy the delicious flavors on offer.
What to do – jungle beach is the staple beach, it was a 15 min walk from my hotel, I would even call it a trek as you walk through the trees following signs, thinking where am I going through a jungle like path. Guess that would explain the name. But once arrive that’s when you realize it was def worth the up hill trek. Small and busy but the with soft sand between your toes and the sounds of the waves crashing you’ll realize it’s not as much the size but the beauty that surrounds you that make the experience. The surrounding mountains full of lush greens is an experience that was so foreign to me going to beaches. It also helps that there’s a restaurant where you can eat and drink. My only advise would be “wear sunscreen” !!
For the active out there I would suggest surfing lessons too, it’s hard and I did poorly but there is a sense of accomplishment that’s exhilarating once you stand up on your board even if it is for 30 seconds. For the animal lovers, check out the whale watching tours, turtle rescue farm where for a small donation you can help release rescued hatching back into the sea.
Honestly I can’t wait to go back, it’s definitely going to be a repeat destination.