Hikkaduwa attractions, what to see
For most tourists, the main attraction of Hikkaduwa in Sri Lanka is its beaches, and also in the resort area did not. However, this does not mean that nothing interesting for the rest here to see fail. Nearby there are many interesting places to visit on your own in a rented vehicle or a taxi or buy a tour.
Among the interesting places to visit from Hikkaduwa can be attributed to the attractions nearby Bentota, Ambalangoda (Ambalangoda), Galle (Galle). These cities can be reached, not only independently, but also take the bus or commuter train. Also not problem to go away into the country, for example in the cultural triangle. But for long trips it is better to use a group or individual tour, which can be found in travel agencies on the street or in hotels.
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National Park Hikkaduwa (Hikkaduwa National Park, Hikkaduwa Coral Reef also)
This is the only place in the resort area, which can be attributed to the sights, and then only with great reserve. This coral sea Park, which is located in the North of the city, almost in the most Central part.
They say that once there really was beautiful, swam colorful fish, and through the clear water you could see the intricate corals. Today almost nothing is left, but still it is the most popular beach and the departure point for boat excursions in Hikkaduwa. At the coast you can snorkel but nothing special you will not see. By the way, to rent equipment for snorkeling is available right here for 300-500 rupees per day.
The beach itself is free, but if you decide to go away from the beach to do snorkeling, you will have to pay for the boat and for access to the Park. On the beach there are many molested, who you will get suggestions to swim to the boat to the Islands. But it is cheaper to find a boat at the office (the office looks like a small box) at the entrance of the Park approximately in the middle of the beach.
Entrance fee / ticket Price: an input Pat for access to the beach is not charged. The glass bottom boat is 2130 rupees (refer to the currency of Sri Lanka, the exchange rate) for 6 people. Catamaran to the Islands with a swimming pool, where you can enjoy snorkeling 3000 for 3 people.
Hours: around the clock, boat, swim only in the afternoon
How to get there: the Park is located in the Northern part of Hikkaduwa (NAT.Park Hikkaduwa on the map)
The mines of precious stones (Moonstone Mines)
Near the town is the town Meetiyagoda, land which is very rich in precious stones and minerals, the most famous of which is the Moonstone Moonstone. This area is full of mines, some of which open their doors to tourists. You can feel free to come to this mine to see how mining and processing the stones to hear a detailed story about it with a private guide (including and Russian), and completely free. But after all this steps you will get to the store where the purchase you almost certainly will not get out.
Not to say that this is pure divorce, but if you are determined not to buy anything better at the mines not to come. If you don't mind spending a few hundred or thousand rupees for the purchase of semi-precious stone or jewelry with it, you can go and see here. The whole tour is quite interesting.
By the way, in the shops you need to bargain. It is possible to initially reduce the price significantly, and then you can give the stone as a gift.
Read more about the mines of precious stones and photos here...
Entrance fee / ticket Price: admission is free, but after the tour you will get to the store with stones and jewelry
How to get there: Meetiyagoda, located a few kilometers from Hikkaduwa (Hikkaduwa mines on the map). To get there it's best to rent transport. Here is a few mines for tourists. They are easy to find on the signs and billboards along the road.
Tuk-tuks in Hikkaduwa also offer tourists free travel to the mines, of course in exchange for a Commission for giving the head of the potential buyer
The Vihara Temple, Seenigama (Seenigama Muhudu Viharaya)
This is one of the most interesting churches in Hikkaduwa, and it is certainly worth a visit. It is notable for two reasons. First, the temple is located on a small island 100 metres off shore, and you can get there only by boat. And secondly- it is one of two temples in Sri Lanka, where victims of robberies can ask the higher forces of retribution. You need to buy in the temple a special oil, cooked with pepper, pour it into a lamp house, light it and read the spell. After that, as I believe in local, heaven will punish the robber accident or illness. And judging by how much of the temple of the locals, you can even think that robbery in Sri Lanka occur at every step.
You do not have to wait until you are robbed to visit this temple. It is located right on the main Road to Galle Road on the seaside a few kilometers North of Hikkaduwa, and so it is visited by almost all tourists passing by, including moving in the direction of the Moonstone Mines. The temple is quite large and includes not only the island part. On the mainland there is a large building of the temple, the Holy tree is growing. To get to the island, you will have to pay for the boat. However, will certainly strive to get there not worth it. For a short trip on the boat with you will ask an exorbitant 400-600 rupees (need to bargain), and you can look there and nothing special. Much prettier island and the temple on it looks from the outside, especially at sunset.
And yet, near the temple there is a wonderful beach.
Hours: during daytime. At 5 a.m. the service starts with a beautiful song
Entrance fee / ticket Price: entrance to the temple is free, however, to reach the island, you will have to pay for the boat from 400 to 600 rupees, but you have to bargain.
How to get there: the temple is located two kilometers from the center of Hikkaduwa to the North (in the direction of Colombo or Bentota) and you can reach it on foot (the temple on the map). Also on this road go all the buses in the direction of Colombo.
Temple Naga Vihara (Naga Viharaya)
This is a small Buddhist temple located near the city centre, on the way to the temple, Gangarama Maha Vihara. It is not remarkable except for the fact that it is very quiet and rarely visited place. Almost certainly you will find yourself out here, and will be able to walk around the grounds and leisurely way to explore the structure and decoration of the temple. As in many temples of Sri Lanka, in the temple is a sacred tree.
Entrance fee / ticket Price: entrance to the temple is free
How to reach: to reach the temple by walking from the bus station in the centre of Hikkaduwa have to walk two kilometers (the temple on the map).
The temple, Gangarama Maha Vihara, he Jananadha ramaya
This is a large interesting Church with an impressive territory, many Buddha statues and a sacred tree. Particularly noteworthy this temple is the fact that in one of his buildings on the walls have frescoes. Although they are not ancient, and date back only a couple of decades, they look like the real antiquity.
Entrance fee / ticket Price: entrance to the temple is free
How to get there: the temple is easily reached on foot in 10 minutes from the bus station in the centre of Hikkaduwa (the temple on the map).
The monument to the victims of the tsunami
Very near the temple on the island of Seenigama is a memorial to the victims of the 2004 tsunami, made in the form of a large Buddha statue on a small artificial pond. Buddha stands on an artificial island, and around the foot are plaques with the names of the victims.
The monument to the coming local and foreigners, to honor the memory of the victims. A new local tradition here come the newlyweds also for "photo shoots".
A few hundred meters from the monument is the building the tsunami Museum, but it's not working.
Hours: around the clock
Entrance fee / ticket Price: free
How to get there: the monument is located a few kilometers from the city center (district bus station) and a couple of hundred metres from the Seenigama Vihara temple (monument on the map).
The tsunami photo Museum Telwatta
This is a very sad Museum, but it is a must see, if you move from Hikkaduwa to the North. A very modest private Museum, created by enthusiasts, is open for donations from visitors, water is free. The exhibition includes photographs, drawings and documents the consequences of the 2004 tsunami. The hostess of the Museum to tell about the terrible incident that happened on 26 December 2004, she was a living witness of those events.
Hours: daily from 9:00 to 18:00
Entrance fee / ticket Price: free, donations are welcome
How to get there: the Museum is located about three kilometers to the North (towards Colombo) on the way from Galle road Hikkaduwa (Museum map).
The Jayanthi Viharaya Temple
It is a small temple on the way to the mines of precious stones. Nothing special he is, but can look into it on the way to the mines.
Hours: daily daytime
Entrance fee / ticket Price: free
How to get there: the Museum is located about three kilometers to the North (towards Colombo) on the way from Galle road Hikkaduwa (the temple on the map).
The turtle farm (Turtle Hutchery, Turtle Farm)
On the coast North and South of Hikkaduwa is a few nurseries or farms of sea turtles. The nearest farm, a small private, is just a few kilometers North of Hikkaduwa. More serious turtle farm is much farther to the North near the Beach. Another in the South in Unawatuna.
On the farm in larger basins contain different species of turtles, and the farm tour is accompanied by a detailed and interesting story, however, is in English. And, whether you arrived with a group or you will be completely alone on the farm, you still very detailed about all will tell. Usually on farms also presents laying eggs of sea turtles. And in some places it is possible to release young turtles to the open sea, of course, for an additional fee.
Entrance fee / ticket Price: 500 rupees
Hours: daily from 7:00 to 18:00
How to get there: on the farm can be reached by a rented vehicle, tour or bus (farm map).
Museums of masks in Ambalangoda
10 kilometers North of Hikkaduwa on the coast is most famous in Sri Lanka, the place where made traditional wooden masks – the town of Ambalangoda. It is just two of the Museum of masks. In one of the museums you can see the process of their production in the handicraft workshop, learn what types of masks are all about and why they are used. Of course, you will be able to buy a mask. The price is not to say that it is very low, but it's the fact that each mask is handcrafted from wood Kadoorie compliance with all the traditions of manufacturing.
How to get there: on the farm can be reached by a rented vehicle, tour or bus (Ambalangoda on the map).
Attractions in Galle
The city of Halle (Gal) with its Fort and other attractions it is possible to inspect not only with a guided tour or hire a guide with transport, but even on their own. Any tourist is able to allocate one day, which can be reached by bus in Halle, there to walk and see the sights, and in the evening to return back. Read more about Halle here...
How to get there: Almost all the buses from Bentota on the South travel to Galle. They go often, are inexpensive. To find the bus need to get on the road to Galle Road and find the nearest bus stop (they are marked with signs). If a stop is found, we can either try to stop the bus at any place (and sometimes stop), or to get to the bus station in the centre of Bentota. To go 1-2 hours.
Attractions in Colombo
As in Galle, Colombo you can go for a day on the bus. One day is enough to see in Colombo is the most basic, but better to go early in the morning. It is best to go straight to the heart of Colombo in the Colombo Fort or Pettah, which is a lot to see just walking. Read more about sights of Colombo here...
How to get there: all buses from Bentota to go North to Colombo. I go often, worth about 75 rupees per usual, and 150 air-conditioned. To catch the bus need to get on the road to Galle Road and find the nearest bus stop (they are marked with signs). If a stop is found, we can either try to stop the bus at any place (and sometimes stop), or to get to the bus station in the centre of Bentota. To go 1-2 hours.