Happy New Year from Sri Lanka! Today is the first day of the new year in this endearing little country, as we learned on Thursday when asking why there were so many fireworks for sale. Last night was celebrated by locals with new clothes, food, fireworks and time with family — a bit mellower than where we’re from but probably more enjoyable.

After leaving Yala on Thursday, we drove along the south coast toward Mirissa — a beautiful drive, part city, part coastline and views in every direction. Tsunami damage was visible throughout the journey, and everyone here has a story to tell about the day their world shook down.

After two nights in Mirissa, we headed to Unawatuna for one night with a day trip to Galle yesterday. The streets were quiet with the New Year approaching, but a picturesque town full of character was ours to explore.

Back in Colombo, hopping a flight tonight, home in the wee hours. Spotty wi-fi, lazy afternoons on the beach and sunset beers have taken priority over blogging, but a full post on our trip is on the way in a day or two. There’s much to love about Sri Lanka.


  1. I love Sri Lanka. My husband and I have been to this side of the country two years ago and it was magical. We were told some of the stories as well, and it was hard not to feel for the people. I can’t wait to go back one day, especially for the fresh seafood and the gorgeous beaches. Enjoy your time and hope to read more stories!


  2. So interesting!
    We would like to do the same trip and have a question for you:
    How long was the drive from Yala to Mirissa?
    How long was the drive from Mirissa to Unawatuna?




    1. Hi Max! It was such a great trip — hope you love it as much as we did! Yala to Mirissa took a few hours if I remember correctly (we left in the morning, arrived mid-day). We hired a driver and made one stop for tea along the coast. Mirissa to Unawatuna was much shorter. We hired a tuktuk driver outside our hotel who got us there in less than an hour. We ended up hiring him for the whole day, so we dropped our bags at Unawatuna and went to Galle for the afternoon. He waited while we had lunch and walked around, then took us back to our hotel. That’s the great thing about Sri Lanka — if you have the funds, you can pretty much get anywhere you need to go with little prior planning. Someone is always willing to get you there if you ask around and the price is right. And people are so friendly it was a blast from start to finish! Have a great time! -Kelly


    2. One more thing… Depending on where you’re staying, Yala can be sort of remote. Our hotel was willing to arrange transport to Mirissa but the price was pretty high so we asked our safari driver if he knew anyone in Tissa who could get us to Mirissa. He did, and made a phone call, and his friend picked us up at the hotel the next day in an air conditioned van. Had that not worked out, we would have had the hotel take us to Tissa and taken the bus from there.


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