The coastal town of Negombo is located in the Western Province, and provides a convenient access to the Colombo suburbs, the Katunayake international airport. We chose a convenient joint just a quick walk away from the beach, as we were running on a low budget. It is quite easy to find affordable hotels away from the proximity of the beach. Originally, the guesthouse we planned to stay was unavailable, so we had to find another guesthouse which quite exceeded our budget. The Pledge 3 Hotel, Jetwing Lagoon and the Dickman Resort are ideal selections if you don’t mind spending $90- $300 on accommodation. However, you can opt for low budget accommodation in order to keep up with your budget plans.
Beware as you will be bogged down by friendly taxi drivers and tour guides ever so willing to offer you their services. However, it is much easier and convenient to plan your own itinerary in order to explore the colonial Dutch areas of Negombo. The local buses run on a regular schedule, and you won’t have to wait for too long before you hitch a ride. But, if you are running out of time you can hail a Tuk and hurry off.
When you’re planning to dine from restaurants along the beach note that the menus are priced towards the higher end. There is not much of a selection for backpackers on a low end budget at the beach side restaurants, but you can come across rather decent local places for affordable prices near the roadside. At local pubs like the Rodeo Pub, you may encounter friendly backpackers like who’ll be even willing to split a bill and share stories of travel. The Sunny restaurant and the SCANDIC offer quite a tasteful menu to satisfy your cravings—yet, keep track of what you order or you’ll end up paying more than what you’d bargain for.
Tuk Tuks are widely available in the area, yet never get into a Tuk without a meter, if you aren’t familiar with the roads as you’ll end up paying more than you ever expected! For a backpacker the most convenient way to travel on a low budget would be to take the local buses that will get you to the main bus station for a price less than 16 rupees.
The Negombo Lagoon is a wonderful sight at night, and many hotels offer candle lit dinners by the lagoon side. The Negombo sunsets will take your breath away, with its millions of hues. This makes it a great location for wedding ceremonies by both locals and those across the globe. We were a group of three backpackers, and it eventually grew into a group of ten, sharing a drink and singing along to a guitar tune under the moonlight. If you are willing to go that extra step to connect with people and make it more than just a moment, you are sure to leave Negombo with an experience worth a lifetime.