The Royal Enfield Club of Sri Lanka
Had a brief stop – over at Arugam Bay
This Sunday lunchtime.
On their way back to Colombo from Batticaloa.
The Royal Enfield Club of Sri Lanka
As with most Asian countries, it’s not necessary to book accommodation, or anything else, in advance when visiting Sri Lanka. However, I knew that I’d be arriving into Arugam Bay in the middle of peak season aka surf season and so I emailed a couple of places to see whether they had any room. Most replied saying that they were full, with the exception of the Siam view hotel, whose reply was, well, intriguing:
No problem, dear Tom-Tom.
Just make your way.
(“But “Don’t mention the War”
And all will fall into it’s place.
Arugam bay, and this hostel both sounded like my kind of places, and they haven’t disappointed. The town itself is a small, relaxed, hippy surf town, pretty much a Sri Lankan Byron bay. Except that it’s much cheaper – a coconut costs less than 50 cents – is less busy, has pumping waves and there aren’t the stupidly strict drinking rules that exist in my usual hippy paradise. So far so good, then I got to the hostel.
The YMCA is right in the centre of town, and it is the first hostel I’ve come across in Sri Lanka, the first time that I’ve had air-conditioning, and the cheapest accommodation I’ve found. I wandered into the only dorm room, and I wandered into a new family. The floor was covered in sand (sorry Fred), a mouse ate through my iPhone case and 500 rupees, the power is intermittent, and I used a towel as a bedsheet for a week, but the YMCA is everything a hostel should be.
It’s full of fascinating and fun people, inspiring quotes cover the walls, and the relaxed approach of the owners makes for an incredibly welcoming atmosphere. The guys running it didn’t even know that I was staying for the first 4 days, and I’ve now been here 7 days and I still haven’t paid for one yet, a perfect environment for someone that hasn’t had a house key for over a year.
Little Derek (great name for a baby!) runs around the hostel naked, there’s a brightly painted VW camper can parked in the garden, and the locals chat to you while you’re using the outdoor showers, with butterflies swooping overhead.
The owners, of various hippy and traveller backgrounds, even offer the rooms for free on couchsurfing.com if they’re not occupied by paying guests. When I asked one of the owners why they’re so relaxed, the response was a fairly obvious one: when you’ve lived through a tsunami, nothing else seems worth worrying about.
If I ever do own my own hostel, I want the atmosphere to be based on this one. I won’t make any money, like the guys here don’t, but I’ll have a great time with great people and that’s what really matters to me. Unfortunately, however, all good things must come to an end, and most of our family have gone their separate ways, despite staying for far longer than planned, and I will leave tomorrow too. Fortunately, that’s because I have to catch my flight to the Maldives for some more sun, sea and surf, life is tough right now!
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Airport(s) to AbaY:
Look. Book. Here:
After being shown up on home waters, the best surfers from Sri Lanka’s South Coast are out to settle the score against their Eastern counterparts in the second and final leg of Red Bull Ride My Wave, which gets under way at three popular surf spots in Arugam Bay
from the 8th to the 10th of August.
With an excellent mixture of swell, wind, tide and sunny skies, the South Coast finished with 142.3 points after the opening skirmishes on their territory earlier in the year, well below the East’s final tally of 164.8 points. This means they have no option but to go for broke with their best tricks from double barrels to cut backs and sprays. Whilst, the East team which ruled the first leg of Red Bull Ride My Wave held in March, will seek a repeat of their previous dominance in order to complete their surf supremacy over the South team. All this sets the scene for an electric display of surfing. Continue reading ‘South seeks revenge at Red Bull Ride My Wave – second leg’(0)
Have made their decision!
The Arugam Bay Taxi Initiative’s
Trusted Taxi Sub-Contractors have set new,
Above is just a small selection of nice feed-back from our passengers and guests.
This is in answer to unprofessional so-called local “Drivers”:
The helpful “Taxi” Mafia of Arugam Bay
Has vandalized the innovative , popular
Taxi Sharing Board.
We should name & shame those guys.
Visitors: The Choice is Yours !
How you will travel and
Whom you give your business to.
Remember. That We don’t get one single Rupee out of this Initiative.
It is in your own interest – and everyone else’s. In the Bay.
In the long run it will be good for everyone.
Sadly, some guys don’t yet realise that. As Yet.
Every year. Around the 1st July. Our local reporter takes his simple camera. And takes a walk. From one end of Arugam Bay to the other. This Walk from Bridge-to-Bridge has become a tradition.
It presents a unique insight into AbaY’s Rise & Fall Take a look. Compare. We just publish a few of our older photo walks here. Others are already online. Older ones are still only on paper.
Here is the 2014 update:
Here is a link to 2010:
Here is an older link to 2006:
Arugam Bay is unique.
Arugam is like a tiny island on it’s own.
Just one single road leads into the hamlet. Via a long bridge.
The next bigger towns like Monaragala or Ampara are hours away.
And the approach road is through a dense jungle.
With no houses in between.
The crime rate in the Bay is perhaps the lowest globally:
Everybody knows everyone here.
There are no racial tensions here, either.
Apart from the normal commercial rivalry all groups are basically happy with each other.
This makes Arugam Bay a VERY, VERY safe resort.
Even the long, island wide Civil war never affected AbaY.
There never was a war here !
The climate is also truly amazing:
330 days sunshine/ year !
More & More Establishments in Arugam Bay
Have now joined Facebook and New Pages coming up every day.
As every year, in July, arugam.info will review this page, and all new links will be added.
Also, of course, the traditional photo walk
“From Bridge -to- Bridge”
Will be published, Showing all visible signs and places
Are YOU visiting this unique Bay?
Recommends the only true, Professional,
Licensed and Fully Insured Taxi Initiative
(A 100% profit Free Community Service)
Book your safe, quick transfer:
A travel report by Crazzy Travel
ARUGAM BAY: YOUR SURFING HEAVEN
We’ve been to many beaches, swam in many oceans and seas, but wherever we go we will always remember two weeks we spent on the most unbelievable beach in the world. We love literally everything about Arugam Bay and now it’s high time for us to share our experiences with you.
What is Arugam Bay?
That is a 3 km long beach, situated on the Eastern coast of Sri Lanka. Waves here are big (the Indian Ocean, you know), and fishermen huts are tiny. It used to be a little forgotten village until it was discovered by surfers in middle-late 20th century. Since then, every June and August (high season), it’s crowded with people in search of their perfect wave…
Why Arugam Bay?
Because of SURFING! It holds the 5th place in the list of world’s best surfing spots, and doesn’t seem to slow down. You don’t need a special swim suit, license, or anything. Just come, and surf. The spot is perfect both for beginners and advanced surfers. You can take classes for just 1000 rupees ($10) and hire a board for just 800 rupees/ day ($8).
Don’t take surfing classes
We took surfing classes and don’t recommend it. Better learn on your own – just ask a tourist where’s the nearest spot and watch what others are doing.
How to get there?
There are two direct buses daily from Colombo to Pottuvil (a town near Arugam Bay). The bus number 98 departs from Pettah Bus Stand in Colombo at 04.45 AM and costs 400 rupees ($4). The journey takes approximately 7 hours. Then take a tuk-tuk to Arugam Bay for 500 rupees ($5). Otherwise, you can always hire a minivan for 18000 rupees – $180 (share it with other surfers to save money!).
Where to stay?
We stayed at a lovely Sooriyas guesthouse (free WiFi, movies and cartoons, quality service, clean bed sheets, air con + fan, monkeys in the garden) and paid for 3000 rupees per night ($30). However, there are cheaper options, starting from 1000 rupees ($10). They are good as well, but without air con and with noise from the restaurants nearby.
Where to eat?
As most places on Sri Lanka, all restaurants in Arugam Bay have very slow service (you can easily spend 1-2 hours waiting for your meals). The only way to avoid this is either to eat at food stalls for locals (not extremely clean), or choose restaurants run by Europeans (like Gecko restaurant, for example – more expensive, but faster and cleaner). A meals for two would cost you around 600 rupees ($6).
Here is our small selection of the best restaurants at Arugam Bay:
Mambo’s – located right near the point, a bit overpriced, but one of the greatest places to chill out and eat after surfing (they even have ping pong and pool!)
Chili – best pizzas
Samanthi’s – very cheap local food, spicy!
Hakeem – cheap, close to European food, closed on Fridays
Gecko – very expensive, but fast service
Siam View – great for drinking
Plus, don’t forget about Sri Lankan unique bakeries on wheels: they come around 5-6 pm, play silly childish music so that you know they arrived, and sell extremely tasty and cheap bakery stuff (be sure to try their muffins!).
Anything to do except surfing?
Of course! You can enjoy hammocks on every corner, swim in the ocean or play ping pong. There is a nice Buddhist temple, yoga classes and numerous gift shops.
Something else I should know?
Again, yes. There are a lot of Muslim men working as tuk-tuk drivers, shop owners, etc. at Arugam Bay, so, girls, avoid walking wearing only bathing suit along the main road. Otherwise, you will experience irritate looks and hear someone shout at you. Also, the majority of such shops and restaurants are closed on Fridays.
Did we inspire you to add surfing in Arugam Bay in your to-do list? Or maybe you are surfer and can share with us your experiences? In any case, we’re waiting for your comments!
We’re a couple in love with each other and traveling. We’ve been to 32 countries, and it was amazing.
CrazzzyTravel is where we tell our story.
Want to get in touch? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the form below!
The Arugam Bay Taxi Initiative
(A100% Non-profit Service to our visitors)
Now has a brand new Notice Board
The New daily updated board is located opposite the “Hang Loose Hotel”
next to the Siam View Brew Pub.
In addition to the New, secure online reservation system
(see booking links on our “Taxi” Tab above
Two die in jumbo attacks
Two men who went into the jungle to collect bee hives, died after being attacked by an elephant in Lahugala (nr. Arugam Bay) and Wellawaya on Thursday. E. A. Ajith Senaratne, 33, of Kirivehera road faced the mishap when he went into the Lahugala Forest Reserve to collect honey.
The body was sent to the Lahugala Hospital morgue for the post-mortem. Pottuvil Police are investigating. Meanwhile, D.A. Premadasa, 56, of Thanamalwila was attacked by an elephant near Kumbukkote tank in Aragama. He was pronounced dead at Wellawaya hospital.
The body was handed to his relations after the post-mortem. Wellawaya Police are investigating.
- See more at: http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=police-legal/police-log-10052014#sthash.4XhvwIiE.dpuf
This article was first published 4th June, 2006
It’s an extract from a Travel Novel of events set in Arugam Bay. The recently deceased “Ram” of Sooriya’s plays a huge role in this great Book. Sadly only in German.
Ich erreichte den Mitternachts-Express gerade noch rechtzeitig, suchte mir einen Platz und sah aus dem Fenster. Ein Tourist drÃ¤ngte sich Ã¼ber den Busbahnhof. Er kam nur langsam vorwÃ¤rts, denn auÃŸer seiner Reisetasche trug er noch ein groÃŸes Surfbord unter dem Arm. RÃ¼cksichtslos schob er damit die Passanten zur Seite, die ihm im Weg waren. In letzter Sekunde erreichte er den Bus, aber da schon fast alle PlÃ¤tze besetzt waren und im Mittelgang Taschen und KÃ¶rbe standen, weigerte sich der Fahrer, ihn mit seinem riesigen GepÃ¤ckstÃ¼ck einsteigen zu lassen. Der Surfer stellte einen FuÃŸ in die TÃ¼r, die Spitze seines Bords ragte bereits ins Innere des Busses. Aggressiv und drohend redete er auf den Fahrer ein, und an seinem Akzent erkannte ich, dass er Australier war. Er war groÃŸ, bestimmt einen Kopf grÃ¶ÃŸer als der Fahrer. Sein KÃ¶rper war muskulÃ¶s und durchtrainiert, aber der Busfahrer, ein schmÃ¤chtiger, hagerer Mann, lieÃŸ sich davon nicht beeindrucken. Um so lauter der Australier sprach, desto sturer wurde sein GegenÃ¼ber.
â€žDas Brett braucht so viel Platz, wie zwei MÃ¤nner”, behauptete der Busfahrer. â€žDu musst drei Tickets kaufen.”
Nach langer Diskussion, die die FahrgÃ¤ste interessiert verfolgten, entschloss sich der Australier schlieÃŸlich, den Preis zu bezahlen. Schimpfend wuchtete er sein Surfbrett in den Bus und kam direkt auf mich zu, denn neben mir war noch ein Platz frei. Continue reading ‘Leseprobe: Der Krokodilfelsen’
Arugam Bay. And the progress.
Environmentalists, nature lovers and some holidaymakers are up in arms against the rapid haphazard development taking place in Arugam Bay which is one of the most sought after and un-spoilt tourist resorts in Sri Lanka.
Michelle Mitchel of Sydney, Australia, born to Sri Lankan parents, expressed her displeasure at the adhoc and rapid development taking place in the area and added if the government allowed the trend to continue, very soon the country would see that the steady flow of tourists to the resort would reduce drastically.
Mitchelle in an interview with “The Traveller” after holidaying in Arugam Bay said that the tourism authorities and other stakeholders should make every effort to protect the area and ensure that there was no overdevelopment in the resort.
“Arugam Bay with its pristine and un-spoilt beaches, the laid back and rustic atmosphere had attracted thousands of holidaymakers to the country. Another reason why it has become popular all over the world as a destination among tourists is because Pottuvil Point is one of the best surfing areas in the world. Pottuvil Point has attracted large number of surfers from different parts of the world and it is a gold mine for Sri Lanka’s tourism industry which should be protected at any cost,” she said.
Building of high-rises and similar construction , overdevelopment and overcrowding would definitely ruin the character of the area and it would become just another tourist resort with a concrete jungle which would eventually result in holidaymakers who loved the ‘paradise’ turning to other exotic destinations in the region or elsewhere and this could be a dangerous precedent, Mitchelle said. Continue reading ‘The Island’
That Sri Lanka’s only and monopoly Sat. TV provider has failed. Again.
To deliver what all foreign visitors came to see and enjoy tonight:
The most important game
Bayern Munich – v- Real Madrid
What did this weird Company do?
They switched all transponders off – for the entire Island Nation !
At AbaY- rest assured- there was just ONE place which had a back-up system:
So your World Cup coverage is SECURE.
Even without “Dialog TV”
(The present Technology – next Century)
Latest: The Arugam Bay Taxi Initiative now has a good online Taxi Reservation system Fully insured, professional Transfers And: It's a 100% Profit Free Community Service!