ach Trincomalee an der unbekannten Ostküste von Sri Lanka verschlägt es nur wenige Touristen. After Trincomalee on the unknown east coast of Sri Lanka, few tourists are affected. Even the all-inclusive round trips usually save this detour and rattle off the highlights in the interior of Sri Lanka. The more authentic are the impressions of this region and I think a trip to Trincomalee is highly recommended, even in the off season. In my travelogue I show you the most beautiful sights in Trincomalee and take you into a fascinating region.
Travelogue to Trincomalee
Tuk tuks and mopeds clatter noisily along the main road to Trincomalee. Crab fishermen wade knee deep through the ponds and dry cows graze in barren meadows. We approach the coast, turn off the main road and cross coconut plantations. Tropical forests, so green, that your senses are sharpened as if you're getting yourself into one of those damn spicy curries. Peacocks scream through the emptiness of a landscape, fruit bats hang down on the power lines and the termite mounds are adorned with colorful flower ribbons, because the locals want to mellow the cobra living there. When I look out the window of our van, the land passes by like a movie. It's a different, strange world that I step into. It still lacks the necessary tourist infrastructure here on the east coast of Sri Lanka. Instead, nowhere does the originality of this island so much appeal to me as here on the east coast of Sri Lanka, where the life of the locals can exist away from tourist glossy images and radiate something genuine and beautiful.
We arrived at our hotel on Nilaveli beach. Slightly run down is my first thought when I see the hotel pool, the plaster crumbling down the wall. But otherwise the hotel is nice, my room was big and clean and the food was very good. It is one of the best hotels in the area, and it shows how much this region has been neglected by international tourism in recent years. The reason for this was the long-lasting civil war. Since the official end of the civil war 10 years ago (2009), the region is fighting back to life. Open shops and hotels where for a long time there was nothing but ghostly emptiness. Trincomalee and the northeast coast of Sri Lanka were hard-fought territories during the Civil War. Tamils fought with government units around the northeast of the island, whose center was to become Trincomalee. The Tamil Tigers wanted to found an independent state, people disappeared, family members were lost somewhere. Who could fled. Sarath, our guide, says, at that time, the city was abandoned, houses fell, were overgrown by the jungle. The tsunami of 2004 did the rest to make the region last.
Today you can not imagine that in the bustle of Trinco, as the locals say. But one might wonder, how could this happen in a Buddhist and Hindu country? Maybe the origins are in the colonial era. Because always Trincomalee was occupied by foreign powers, which unfolded a destructive force. Trincomalee means temples. With the Temple of the Thousand Pillars, the city once had the largest Hindu temple in all of Asia - until the Portuguese in 1622 crashed it over the cliffs into the sea. Over the centuries, Dutch, Portuguese, French and British fought for the city on the east coast of Sri Lanka until the Japanese Air Force flew an air raid on Trincomalee during World War II. Trincomalee has one of the largest natural ports in Asia, so the city was strategically sought after. The city has suffered and now it deserves its facades to be polished again, because there is a lot to discover.
The region around Trincomalee is strongly influenced by Hinduism and inhabited by Hindu Tamils. One of the main attractions of Trinco is therefore the largest Hindu sanctuary: the Thirukoneswaream temple. This is the temple that was thrown over the cliffs by the Portuguese occupiers in 1622. The temple was built on the Swami Rock and perched on a cliff above the sea from where you have a great view. The cliff is also a symbol of love, because here once the daughter of a Dutch merchant from love heart crashed into death. It is one of the largest Hindu temples, which was sung in the 7th century by a Shiva follower. Unfortunately, the large blue Shiva statue at the entrance was just restored during my visit.
Blessed by the Hindu priest
We enter the temple punctually at 4 pm for the daily Hindu ceremony. It is my first encounter with the Hindu culture and therefore the whole procedure seems a bit strange to me. A Hindu priest opens a door and brings the offerings that the faithful have brought to him, the faithful pray and leave the temple after a short time. I get a dot painted on the forehead. The whole procedure has something mechanical and serious about it. An important insight for me: even a Buddhist monk took part in the ceremony. Hinduism and Buddhism live peacefully side by side in Sri Lanka and especially in Trincomalee.
Trincomalee Attractions: Fort Fredrick
The Portuguese conquerors built their own fort at the foot of the cliffs, where it goes to the Hindu temple: Fort Frederich, this you have to cross before you drive up the driveway to the temple. But apart from the beautiful trees with their photogenic roots and a few old cannons, there is not much to see.
Trincomalee is certainly not the prettiest city in Sri Lanka, but if you're already there, you could visit the market hall in the center or a trip to the fish market. Here you also get a very authentic impression of how the locals live.
Trincomalee Attractions: City Beach
Fishermen pull the colorful fishing boats ashore, the sandy beach is overgrown with green vegetation and the waves roar ashore. The cutest on this city beach are the deer, which roam everywhere. You can find them everywhere, both at the Hindu temple, in Fort Frederick but who has ever seen deer in front of a dream beach? They are so cute with their kulleraugen and trustful they are still.
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Nilaveli Beach Pigeon Island
If tourists go to Trincomalee on the east coast of Sri Lanka, then they are probably because of the stunning beaches. It should be the most beautiful of the island. Miles of sandy beaches with palm groves stretch along Nilaveli Beach 11 kilometers before the city. Before that lies the small island of Pigeon Island, which is best known to divers and snorkelers for their colorful coral reefs. It can only be explored by boat. Unfortunately, in my time the North Monsoon and bathing on the beach of Nilaveli was associated with life-threatening underwater currents, so that snorkeling was unfortunately not possible. Even boats did not leave. But at least relax on the beach was in it. During the season, you can go diving, snorkeling, surfing or choosing watch-watching tours.
There is a beautiful lagoon not far from here, where you can drive in with fishing boats.
This was also my beach hotel: Pigeon Island Beach Resort , it really is one of the nicest hotels in Trincomalee with great service, good food in the restaurant (and even better dessert buffeet) and great beach.
- Pigeon Island Beach Resort *
- Find other accommodations on Nilaveli Beach: Accommodation in Nilaveli *
No less beautiful are the beaches at Uppuveli, which are just before Nilaveli. Both beaches are popular as bathing beaches.
How to get to Trincomalee
Since Sri Lanka is not so big, the distances are not too far. On my journey, Trincomalee was on the way between Sigiriya, Dambulla and Kandy. It was only a short trip to the east coast necessary. Otherwise, you can fly very cheap with Helitours directly from Colomobo to Trincomalee or take the express bus, which is about 8 hours on the road.
When is the best time to go to Trincomalee and the East Coast of Sri Lanka?
If you are interested in beaches, diving, snorkeling and surfing, Trincomalee will help you find the best conditions, here are some of the most beautiful beaches on the island. However, one should keep in mind that the best travel time for the east coast in Sri Lanka is opposite to the southwest coast. This is due to the monsoon times. If there is west monsoon on the southwest coast, it is beautiful in the east, and in the east northeast monsoon, it is beautiful in the west.
Best time to go to Trincomalee on the East Coast: April to September
I was in Trincomalee during the northeast monsoon, in January. There were strong underwater currents, which are life-threatening. I was only up to my knees in the water, but was immediately pointed out that this was life-threatening.
Find accommodations in Trincomalee
the most beautiful accommodations in Trincomalee: Find accommodations in Trincomalee *
What you should know about Trincomalee
As already mentioned, Trinco is a predominantly Tamil populated area. It is spoken predominantly Tamil, which even my Singhalese travel guide did not understand. Therefore, the common >
Today everybody lives together peacefully. There are mainly many Hindus, but also Buddhists, Christians and Muslims.
Read my complete Sri Lanka travelogues or itinerary here:
- Travel planning Sri Lanka
- My itinerary through Sri Lanka for later travel
- Applying for a Sri Lanka visa - step by step guide
- Is the Lion Rock Sigiriya worth it?
- The old royal city Polonnaruwa
- The cave temples of Dambulla and other highlights
- Trincomalee and the unknown East Coast
- Hike to the Knuckles Range
- The Holy City of Kandy with many tips
- Train ride through the Central Highlands
- Hike to World`s End in the Horton Plains National Park
- Safari in the Udawale National Park
- what to do if you lose money credit cards abroad
- withdraw money abroad for free and pay
- What belongs in the first aid kit
Sri Lanka Travel Tips: The Best Travel Guide for Sri Lanka
The best travel guide for individual travel in Asia:
Stefan Loose travel guide Sri Lanka: with travel atlas *
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