Beyond the Beaches of the East Coast
By Surfing Rover
You are gliding over vibrantly coloured projections and crevices with peculiar contours. Schools of fish with colourful nuances suddenly appear beneath you and jet away from your view. With water blocking your ears, all you hear is the noise of your breathing and a faint noise of splashing of water. You feel like you are in a new world. This is a remarkable experience that refreshes your soul—makes you appreciate your life. There are only a few things that you can do in the sea that is as exciting as snorkelling and scuba diving. When you are moving around in the water, you feel so close to those exotic aquatics with vibrant colours that most people only get to see on pictures or videos.
For snorkelling or diving, Sri Lanka is a gem of an island surrounded by turquoise sea. Beaches and the ocean around Sri Lanka’s East Coast remain largely unspoiled. There are numerous locations throughout the coast that are ideal for snorkelling or diving and the period between May and August is the most suitable. Reaching the East Coast from Colombo (in West Coast) can take about 7 hours by roads. There is an alternative though: air travel with domestic airline Cinnamon Air. Cinnamon Air operates right out of where you enter Sri Lanka, Bandaranaike International Airport. With its comfortable aircraft—a fleet of Cessna 208 Caravan Amphibians and Cessna 208 Grand Caravans—you can reach Trincomalee or Batticaloa (serving Passikudah) in the East Coast in about 50 minutes. With no travel fatigue of travelling on the country’s busy roads, this modern air taxi in Sri Lanka lets you start enjoying your vacation on the beautiful East Coast right from the start.
Trincomalee features a haven for snorkelling: Pigeon Island National Park. Here, the water is shallow and breathtaking coral reefs stretch over 100m from the shore with colourful aquatic creatures living their busy lives around the reefs. The seafloor in this area tends to be remarkably white, emphasizing the vibrancy of the surrounding aquatic life.
As you explore the riches of the ocean from the surface, you can’t help but start wanting to go deep. You want to go scuba diving! East Coast has some wonderful diving sites, notably Passikudah. In Passikudah, water levels range between 10m to 15m deep, making this site ideal for beginner and intermediate divers. You might wonder, “I need to get trained in scuba diving”. No problem—Passikudah and Batticaloa host a plenty of diving schools. Passikudah is famous for colourful coral reefs with various exotic aquatic life such as stingrays, clownfish, coral cods, sweetlips, trevally, and angelfish. Explore such amazing aquatic ecosystems underwater and feel like an oceanographer you see on television.
If you are an advanced scuba diver and need some more adventure, the ocean in the East Coast also features several shipwrecks of British Naval ships that sank in 1940s by Japanese air raids. Now occupied by various fish and other aquatic life forms that add a different kind of beauty, these ships sit quietly on the sea floor. It is absolutely exhilarating to pry around these shipwrecks and be amazed at how awesome they may have been in their heyday.
The spirit of living life is to look for adventure and spiritual upliftment. To keep our lives on the right track, it is essential to break away from dull routines—holidaying in a dynamic location can be immensely helpful. By holidaying in the East Coast of Sri Lanka, you get to go up in the air, on the ground, on the water, and deep underwater.