The 10 Best Things to Do in Eastern Province, Sri Lanka

March 4, 2018 Leida Jutras

Discover the best top things to do in Eastern Province, Sri Lanka including Trincomalee War Cemetery, Passikudah Beach, Koneswaram Temple, Nilaveli Beach, Kudumbigala Monastery, Arugam Bay, Marble Beach, Pigeon Island National Park, Pasikudah Beach, Kumana National Park.
Restaurants in Eastern Province

1. Trincomalee War Cemetery

Nilaveli Road, Trincomalee 31000, Sri Lanka
Excellent
68%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 217 reviews

Trincomalee War Cemetery

Trincomalee is a seaport on the north-eastern coast of Sri Lanka (Ceylon) and was formerly a naval station. After the fall of Singapore it became a naval base of importance to our command of shipping in the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. The cemetery was originally the Combined Services Cemetery, but was taken over by the Admiralty from the military authorities in April 1948 for use as a permanent naval cemetery. On the withdrawal of United Kingdom Forces from Ceylon it became the property of the Ceylon Government who have granted the Commission security of tenure in perpetuity. Save for a few post-war and non-war graves it is purely a war cemetery, and service war graves were transferred to it from Trincomalee (St. Mary) Churchyard; Trincomalee (St. Stephen's) Cemetery, Kottadi Cemetery, Jaffna; and Vavuiyna Combined Cemetery. A special memorial commemorates a naval man buried in Trincomalee (St. Stephen's) Cemetery whose grave could not be found. The non-war graves are those of men of the Merchant Navy whose death was not due to war service, and of civilians, of whom some were employees of the Admiralty; while the post-war graves were dependents of servicemen, civilian employees of the Admiralty and dependents of such employees.

Reviewed By SheemaE - Durham, North Carolina

While we bicycled to the Golden temple, we stopped by at this cemetery. Very well maintained . The man who takes care of it told us that he inherited the job from his father. He lives next door and has excellent information sheet in English. Reading epitaphs made me cry a bit until I saw 'Curry anything'.

2. Passikudah Beach

Kalkudah, Sri Lanka +94 77 382 3729
Excellent
59%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 360 reviews

Passikudah Beach

Reviewed By Pierre S

Although the sea was very rough walking on this beach was fun as with the rough sea bringing in a lot of sea creatures one can sea fish that was washed out of the sea because of the weather conditions

3. Koneswaram Temple

Trincomalee, Sri Lanka +94 70 333 3234
Excellent
49%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 731 reviews

Koneswaram Temple

Reviewed By Starnurse2 - Crowthorne, United Kingdom

After a stroll up through many stalls selling drinks and offerings for the temples, you leave your shoes at the minder and wander up to the top of the hill. It is a lovely temple with great paintings and an interesting collection of "cots" hanging in the trees -offerings from those hoping to have children. Many boats come here so the fishermen can come and pray before going out to sea. The temple has laid in ruins, been restored and enlarged over the years, and it became one of if not the most important surviving classical Dravidian structures by the 17th C.

4. Nilaveli Beach

Pulmoddai Road, Nilaveli 31010, Sri Lanka
Excellent
59%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 326 reviews

Nilaveli Beach

Reviewed By SunnyW358 - Albuquerque, New Mexico

Nilaveli is a very beautiful beach to walk along. We took a long walk when we stayed at Nilaveli Beach Resort toward the Nilaveli Beach Hotel. In between these two hotels, there were 3-4 little guest houses too. The beachfront belonging to these two hotels and the guesthouses was very clean. These beach areas were marked by a red flag. In between however, there was a lot of garbage on the beach. It looked like some people dumped their big black-plastic-bags-full of garbage on the beach. It was unfortunate that they could not find an alternative to this.
In front of our hotel, the beach was super clean.
We even saw some beach patrol by armed military closer to the Nilaveli Beach Hotel.
Another interesting factor was seeing a lot of cows on the beach. In the evening they went back to their abode (wherever that might be) in small groups.

5. Kudumbigala Monastery

Right Afer the Buddhist Temple | Short distance from the eastern beach of Panama, Arugam Bay 32508, Sri Lanka
Excellent
79%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 75 reviews

Kudumbigala Monastery

Reviewed By Charith B - Colombo, Sri Lanka

The monastery is located or hidden at a corner of the island surrounded by a national sanctuary. An ideal place for abstract meditation. Amazing feeling when you climbed the rock. Most peaceful eco system in the south east corner of the island

6. Arugam Bay

Beach Road, Arugam Bay 32500, Sri Lanka
Excellent
47%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
5%
Terrible
5%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 280 reviews

Arugam Bay

Reviewed By Akhma60 - Kandy, Sri Lanka

We visited the beach in December 2017, which is off season, so it was not crowded. The beach is actually fishing area as well, so you will see a lot of fishing activity in the beach. Many of the hotels with direct access to the beach are fairly small (10-20 rooms).

7. Marble Beach

Kinniya Road, Trincomalee 31000, Sri Lanka
Excellent
44%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
16%
Poor
6%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 321 reviews

Marble Beach

Reviewed By Woody992 - Surrey, United Kingdom

This is an average Sri Lankan beach but very difficult to get to. Please be aware there is a charge to get to the beach. Could do with some decent restaurants.

8. Pigeon Island National Park

Nilaveli, Sri Lanka +94 77 703 4373
Excellent
47%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
15%
Poor
6%
Terrible
4%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 875 reviews

Pigeon Island National Park

Reviewed By Brustolon

This is a beautiful island with clean water and perfect for snorkel, lots of beautiful fish, star fish and amazing coral. The island is stunning with white sand. Highly recommend it for a day trip.
PS bring your own snack because there’s no food there to buy, normally the resort around makes a take way box with fruits etc. Have fun

9. Pasikudah Beach

Pasikuda Road, Kalkudah 30410, Sri Lanka +94 77 077 6048
Excellent
50%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
5%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 78 reviews

Pasikudah Beach

Reviewed By Walkley123 - Melbourne, Australia

After visiting too many Beaches polluted with unbelievable washed up plastics of all descriptions as well as rotting nylon fishing nets, Pasikudah beach comes as a golden tropical delight. Twice I walked the entire length of the beach ( a good hour and a half each way) and in the entire walk saw only TWO small pieces of plastic: a tiny bag and a child's small doll. AMAZING.
Even where the fishing village fronts the beach, it is CLEAN. No garbage, no plastic, no rotting nets and absolutely no household trash dumped on the sands; just pristinely clean white coral sands.
Here's why; the first resort owners to build there, the beach bungalow style Maalu Maalu invested largely on contemporary education for the local fishing village. Maalu Maalu also purchases the catch. The got together with them and relocated the entire village to the north of the beach, built two school rooms for the kids and pay the teaching fees for both the computer centre and language centre.
They taught the fishermen to STOP fishing with dynamite (yes, dynamite) and also that it's imperative to create a pristine beach for their income and for future work for the kids; its all working. It's a paradise.
On the beach, LSR , Lanka Sportsreizen provide water skiing, jet skiing, snorkel etc at very competitive price . Fun in the sun :)
It was such a pleasure staying at Maalu Maalu Resort: excellent catch of the day seafood bar etc and easy beach access to the neighbouring resorts if you like to explore various menus. Having a fabulously CLEAN beach to enjoy and for endless strolls and bathing, sun, fun, white sands and turquoise tropical water.
100% Bliss
NB. In 6 weeks we were driven over 4,000 KLM's to many luxurious destinations: Pasikudah Beach was the only pristine tropical beach we landed on, and for small, quiet unobtrusive accommodation, Maalu Maalu is tops.

10. Kumana National Park

Ampara, Sri Lanka +94 63 3 730404
Excellent
52%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
15%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 69 reviews

Kumana National Park

Reviewed By Chris M

We opted for an early morning tour of the park, departing at 5am from Arugam Bay. A jeep with Ceylon Walking Tours cost 8,000LKR including driver and guide, and we split it among 4 people. The journey to the park entrance takes about 40 minutes. We arrived as the park opened up at 6am. Entrance for 4 tourists was 8600LKR, so 2150LKR each. As with everything else in Sri Lanka, it is much cheaper for locals, and you do get the feeling you are once again just subsidising their own domestic tourism industry, rather than supporting a good cause.
The climate is noticeably cooler at this time of day. The park is enormous. We spent about 4 hours there in total, driving all the way to the river which divides it and Yala Strict Natural Reserve. Along the way we spotted one large and very surprised elephant, mongooses, deer, crocs, water buffalo and numerous wild bird species (although our guide informed us that we had missed the main migratory season to see all the bird life). All the while we were desperately looking for any sign of a leopard, straining our eyes up to every tree branch and rock we passed. However despite bumping along miles of track, all we saw were pawprints.
Disappointing but given a park of this size where animals are also free to roam into Yala, understandable. It was a shame because we did feel we were mis-sold the trip a little, in that we were assured the morning would be a great time to spot leopards, and many visitors had seen them recently.
Go with limited expectations, and a packed lunch, and you won't be disappointed!

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