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Asia Sri Lanka

Relaxing in the warm waters of Passekudah

Of all the things in Sri Lanka we were planning to do I was most looking forward to our time at Passekudah. While we are generally not ‘sit on the beach and relax’ kind of people, everyone needs time to just chill and this was our time.

We stayed at Maalu Maalu Resort; everyone we met in Sri Lanka kept telling us how famous this resort was, we hadn’t heard of it until we looked at Agoda.com and this came up as one of the nicest places to stay.

Originally we had thought we would go to the Maldives for a couple of days, but when I checked out the beaches at Sri Lanka, Passekudah looked stunning; with limited time it wasn’t worth the hassle of flying somewhere else to chill out on a beach when we could do this perfectly well in Passekudah.

And we weren’t disappointed, the beach here is beautiful, but we are so spoilt in Australia we do find every time we go to a beach elsewhere we can’t help but compare it to what we have at home. Is this beach any better than our local beach? I don’t think so, but it does have the weather, which means that you can swim at any time, and the romance of being in another country.

The water here was also so warm – our water in Melbourne is freezing so it has to be really hot before we will even consider swimming. Here it was very easy to just immerse yourself in the water for hours on end.

I found myself regularly floating in the ocean, somehow the water here seemed to hold me up like no other. I can float generally, but not for as long as I could in Passekudah, even Adrian managed to float here, and yet in any other water, he sinks. We generally found ourselves alone in the ocean – so peaceful. Despite the hotel being full, few people walked the 100 or so metres to the ocean, preferring to swim in the pool instead.

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The very beautiful Maalu Maalu, Passekudah, Sri Lanka

The pool is also beautiful, a bath-like temperature, crystal blue waters, and yet there is something about swimming in the ocean that is so calming, so therapeutic.

Maalu Maalu is relatively small – just 40 huts. The rooms are quite small, but the bathrooms are huge, and stunning. The resort was apparently the first to be built after the area was devastated by the 2004 tsunami.

The in-laws were staying just up the beach at Amaya Beach Resort so we took a walk up to pay them a surprise visit and ended up spending the afternoon with them. Jenny had booked in for a spa treatment, so I decided to tag along. I seem to be on a never-ending quest to find the perfect spa treatment. I’m enjoying the research – treatments all through the world, afterall, it’s worth seeing how massages change from country to country.

This one was beautiful, very relaxing.

We had dinner at Amaya Beach, it is a very new resort with stark clean lines and modern features. And it is very vast, not as large as Amaya Lake, but large nonetheless, particularly compared with Maalu Maalu.

You can’t swim in the ocean out the front of Amaya Beach, because of all the coral. But there is an area just to the left of the hotel grounds where you can swim. When we walked past there was a large group of locals playing volleyball on the sand and swimming in the ocean here.

It was dark by the time we had finished dinner but the beach was still lit up enough for us to walk back to Maalu Maalu, the tide had come in somewhat but there was enough sand to walk along and we could make out the hotel lights along the path. Other than the odd dog it was a quiet walk back, with just the sound of the waves breaking the silence.

A sneaky side trip to Batticaloa

We decided we wanted to check out the local markets but the hotel suggested we head into Batticaloa where there was more choice and we could get souvenirs as well as check out the food markets.

Batticaloa is about 45 minutes from Passekudah along a very flat, straight road. The area is mainly Tamil so our guide told us it was only the second time he had ever been there. My natural inclination was to fret, but everyone else seemed calm, so I figured things must be alright now, and I’m sure our driver Anil wouldn’t take us there if there were still problems.

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Images of Batticaloa.

First up we went to the Fort – built by the Portuguese in the 1630s, rebuilt by the Dutch with the support of the Sri Lankans in the 1660s and then taken over by the British. The Fort is still operational by the Sri Lankan Government, so while you can view the walls and the cannons you can’t go inside any of the rooms, though you can peak inside as the government staff work away.

From the Fort we headed to a lighthouse, the lighthouse wasn’t much to look at, but the views over the water were just stunning.

Then it was on to the markets. We found a fruit and veg market so wandered through the stands taking photos and chatting to the stallholders. The fruit and vegies looked amazingly fresh and such great quality.

Of course all the stallholders wanted their photos taken and wanted us to check out their stalls. We were more than happy to oblige. One of the things I love about travelling is interacting with the locals just going about their days and visiting local markets gives us a great opportunity to do this.

Fast Facts

We stayed at the stunning Maalu Maalu Resort.

We stayed three nights at Passekudah, and took a side trip to Batticaloa.

Was it long enough: We didn’t need any extra time.

Highlights: Floating in the ocean, checking out the markets in Batticaloa.

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