It is believed that the name Hikkaduwa actually means sword of knowledge. The name Hikkaduwa is said to have derived from the words Ship Kaduwa. Ship is the shorter version of Shilpaya which means knowledge in Sinhalese and the second half-Kaduwa which means a sword. Ever since the 1970s Hikkaduwa has held a very prominent place on the Sri Lankan tourist map. Although not as beautiful as it used to be in the beginning, the southern coastal town is still a place you should consider going to for a trip or vacation. The beautiful yet subtle experience that you can have on the beachside is what Hikkaduwa has to offer to you.
Connected closely to Colombo, this town is easily accessible and even though is not a hit amongst people wanting to enjoy a luxurious vacation, the town offers you a lot of activities mainly related to the beach that are really fun to undertake.
Even though Hikkaduwa was affected by the ocean water earthquake- the worst one of all times in 2004; the tsunami did not completely destroy the town. Hikkaduwa's thriving nightlife and popular beach setting makes it a hit amongst tourists.It is quite a preferred destination for board surfing. The town was also featured in an episode of Anthony Bourdain's television show- No Reservations. The Hikkaduwa Coral Sanctuary is something else that you should look at as it has around seventy different varieties of corals and is a treat to your eyes.
Remember to not be surprised at the most common profession being that of a tailor- the main reason is the provision of sewing machines as a part of relief operations and camps to most people of Hikkaduwa post tsunami. So while you spend a peaceful day experiencing tranquility, remember to gear up for the vibrant nightlife post being mesmerized by the sunset!
Essential travel information and Hikkaduwa tips for your visit
- Time Zone: Sri Lanka Standard Time Zone (UTC+5:30)
- Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)
- Electricity: 220-240 Volts. Carry a convertor as the plus are different from that in USA and UK.
- Internet: The Wi-Fi access is not readily available and the speed is not very high.
- Languages: Sinhalese is the main language. But you can take your way out in broken hindi and English.
Emergency contact numbers
- National help desk: 118
- Air Port: (011) 225 2861
- Flight Information: (019)733 5555
- Immigration Office: (011)259 7510
- Customs: (011)242 1141
- Accident Service (National Hospital): (011)269 1111 ( Ext.544)
- Police Emergency: (011)243 3333
- Police Headquarters: 011)243 2682
- Army Headquarters: 011)243 2682
- Tsunami warnings: (011)268 6686
- Fire Brigade: (011)242 2222
- Ambulance: (011)422 2222
- Accident Service: (011)269 1111
- Tourist Information Centre: (011)243 7059
- Tourist Police: (011)243 2635
- Do not go venturing out alone at night.
- Keep your loved ones informed of your whereabouts at all times.
- Do not carry large sums of money.
Off beaten path
- Get a treatment in the Ayurveda Centers. They are worth the money and time.
- Tipping is not customary, but you can always keep change to give to people who provide services to you.
- Do not go to the black market.
- People might come to you acting as tsunami victims, it is very difficult to differentiate between the fake and genuine ones.
- Remember to carry sun block and sun screen as the heat can be scorching.
- Take clothing suitable for humid climate.
The best tours and activities in the city, guided by experts to give you a local insight to the best of Hikkaduwa
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