Located 6km north of Trincomalee, Uppuveli is a delightful little beach town with golden curved beaches, clear blue waters, and many places to stay in close proximity to the beach. It has local charm and if you don't mind the short walk from the tourist centre, you can experience the most delicious coconut sambal and the smiles and kindness of the locals. 

Uppuveli has a distinctive laid back feel to it. As soon as we arrived time seemed to slow down. We are not aware of what day it is, the time, the rush to do anything. It's the perfect place to just be. To wake up at 6am, emerging from the hobbit hole to watch the sunrise over the ocean. A day is spent frolicking in the ocean under blue skies and the hot sun and reading a good book. When you're thirsty ordering a king coconut with ice and lime, and then wander down to the local shops when you're ready to eat incredible local food. 

Upon arrival to Uppuveli we were greeted by a tropical storm and a flash flood, which immediately made our train journey worth it. 

Whilst in Uppuveli we stayed in Alex's Guesthouse for our first night and Aqua hotel (which is run by Alex's guest houses brother). 
Alex Guesthouse was ok. Nothing too special and incredibly overpriced for what we got. 
Aqua on the other hand... 
Aqua has a wonderful, laid back beach vibe to it. Located right on the beach, It's essentially a giant beach shack with a thatched roof. Due to our budget, we slept in the "Backpacker Caves". This is just another name for Hobbit hole. For 1000 LKR for a double (700 for single) we sleep in a tiny little hobbit hole that is situated in the ground.  Now, Alex is 6'9 and this somehow works. With barely enough space behind our heads to store our two backpacks and day packs, the hobbit hole is one of the best sleeps I've ever experienced. The hobbit hole is about five meters from the beach, allowing the sound of the waves to flow straight in.

Originally, we planned on staying in Uppuveli for a few days and instead stayed one week. To be fair, we were warned to visit Sri Lankan beaches last on the itinerary as you will never want to leave serenity. All I can say is we were warned

Along Uppuveli's beach are a few dozen or so hotels, each boasting their own restaurants selling seafood and a western menu. Wanting to avoid western food, we ventured into the town to find some cheap, tasty local food. Upon the recommendation of a fellow traveller and friend, we ended up in a tiny little local restaurant run by a wonderful Sri Lankan man and his family. Located directly across from the school on the min road, these two "cool spots" are a must try. 
For every day of our stay in Uppuveli, we ate almost all of our meals in this shop, except for one dinner and one breakfast (which was especially made for us by the shop next door). 
To say this food was incredible is an understatement. Words cannot describe this food adequately. All you can do is go and try it for yourself, but I'll try my best to explain what it was. 

Breakfast involved a simply perfect coconut sambal (which I would gladly give up my first born child for), coconut daal, either string hoppers, pithu, dosa or rotti. Which was then washed down by a few cups or Sri Lankan tea.
Lunch was usually coconut sambal paired with a selection of four other veggie curries, served over rice and dinner was vegetable kothu. We ate heir so regularly that we no longer had to order, we received waves when we walked by and we were always greeted with a smile and conversation.

We began talking to the man next door, who offered to make a family recipe with the help of his mum, for a "romantic dinner". I think about this meal every day. He and his mother cooked up some coconut daal, coconut sambal and coconut rotti, all for the perfect price of 400 LKR for more than two servings. 

To explore the district, we decided to do one of our favourite things: hire a scooter. We hired a scooter for 1200 LKR for 24 hours.
A short scooter ride (or bus ride 14LKR) away is Nilaveli. 
Nilaveli is Uppuveli's partner in crime. It's vast white sand beach, cooler blue water is in close proximity of Pigeon Island, a well known marine park for snorkelling. We decided to give pigeon island a miss, as we didn't want to pay such high prices (we were quoted between $30-$60(. Sometimes including snorkels and entry to the park, sometimes not) and we heard a lot about the destruction of the reef due to the high influx of holiday makes who go there, trampling on the coral, leaving behind rubbish and the destruction that the tourists boats cause from the reef being in such shallow waters- something that we did not wish to partake in. 

Instead, we decided to grab some snorkels and go for a swim 1km off Pigeon island, straight off of Nilaveli beach. Obviously, you're not going to see as much coral and fish as you are if you're swimming in the reef, but we did see some starfish, fish, and there is the possibility of seeing a turtle, and there is nothing like swimming in the beautiful waters of the Big Blue. 

We continued through Nilaveli and took a random right hand turn which lead us to a small fishing village. A local fisherman began talking to us, and we soon found out that only two other tourists has been there before. We had an interesting conversation about religion and the refugee laws or Australia, and then we went along our way. 

On our way down the highway, Alex spotted a turtle trying to cross the road. Worried he'd get squished from the traffic, we gave him hand and he disappeared into the bushes.

Another pro of Upuvelli is all the lovely dogs that roam along the beach. One of the men who works at Aqua also has a beautiful 5 week old Great Dane puppy named Ash. 

Uppuveli is highly recommended if you love good food, good prople, beaches, coconut everything and loads of adorable puppies.


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Budget travel advice from the lousiest beatniks that wander on this land.