i'm gonna be in Sri Lanka for 10 days at the end of Oct. Gotta do a visa run. Anybody out there knows of a nice budget place in Hikkaduwa?
I need wifi but if it doesnt have it and there are plenty of internet cafes and wifi spots I'm cool with that too. Also I'll be flying in from Dehi at about 4 in the afternoon can I still catch a bus down the same day?
Thanks in advance
I just wrote a long reply, clicked submit and it disappeared! I'll try again...
I spent a couple of months in a village just outside Hikkaduwa earlier this year. Lovely part of the world and I'm sure you'll have a great time, even though it can get overrun with tourists. Here are a jumbled collection of my thoughts.
I don't know of any specific places to stay, but everything (shops, restaurants, hotels) is on the main strip, the Galle Road with a few smaller roads leading inland perhaps giving you some further cheap options. If you can't find anything online, you should have little problem turning up and finding a room (but if you're arriving in the evening, I'm sure that's the last thing you want to do).
WiFi is pretty much non-existent other than at the big hotels, but there might be some tourist cafes or restaurants that offer it. You'll be able to find internet cafes, anyway. The other option is to bring/buy a modem, but that can get pretty expensive. If you do go down that path, Dialog and Mobitel are the two big companies.
You could take the bus that evening, but the bus can be a hellish trip - crowded, bumpy and long. Expect to be on it for at least four to five hours from Katunayake to Hikkaduwa (bus 2/187, ask a local for the bus to Galle).
I'd suggest the train is a better option. If you're interested, let me know and I'll give you detailed instructions on how to get to the train station at Katunayake. But first have a look at the timetables on http://www.railway.gov.lk/index.php - you'll have to enter 'Katunayake' (not the airport) to 'Colombo Fort' as your first leg and then 'Colombo Fort' to 'Hikkaduwa' as your second, as the site won't connect them automatically.
However you choose to travel, if you go straight from the airport I doubt you'll be sitting down to dinner before 10pm, say, and that's if everything goes smoothly. So if you'd prefer to break the trip up, you could have a night at Negombo (just north of Katunayake, so in the opposite direction to Hikkaduwa, but has a decent beach), or Colombo (I don't like the capital much, but it does have some hidden charms, and you could catch a train straight down the next morning and enjoy the great views out the window), or at one of the tourist resorts on the west coast, like Bentota.
Other tips: Mirissa and Tangalle have much nicer beaches than Hikkaduwa, Mirissa particularly, but both are a bit more isolated and will have fewer budget accommodation options. Might be worth a day trip, though.
Another thing that's definitely worth a day trip is the Galle Fort, one of my favourite places in Sri Lanka. Be there when the sun sets.
If I think of anything I've missed I'll let you know.
You probably knew most of this, but hopefully some of it helped! Best of luck, and hope you have a great time.
(I don't want to derail your thread, but I'm heading to Delhi for a few days in January with the family. Do you have any tips? I have been there once before, and loved it, but it'd be great to get some advice from a local! Feel free to message me if you like.)