The first sound that comes in the morning from the sleeping Uppuveli streets is the “Für Elise”, a popular Beethoven composition, which played in a simplified version announces the passing of the bread seller, which slowly drives his motorized tricycle shop, spreading a lovely contrast between the sophisticated melody and the simplicity of the place… a beach on the east coast of Sri Lanka, fringed by green palm trees and tropical vegetation.
Uppuveli is only a small village, arranged in a grid of streets between the main road and the sand beach, located 4 kilometers north of the city of Trincomalee, the largest population center on the east coast of the island. Given the coast configuration that forms a bay, protected from the strong Indian Ocean currents, by a small cape, the curling is not so strong, allowing a relaxed swim, with memorable water temperature, which keeps warm despite the wintry gray sky.
The singing of the roosters, cows grazing by the roadside, the stillness of the place make us forget that Uppuveli is one of the most popular beaches on the east coast. But in January, during the rainy season, it looks almost abandoned except by the fishermen, who still routinely repairing their nets, while crows fill the air with the characteristic harsh and persistent sound.
During the rainy season, the sky easily fills up with clouds, that don’t necessarily bring rain, but turn the blue sea in dark tones, with the waves spreading white foam on the sand, that without the sun, shows dark and sad. A walk by the sea brings the remembrance of the winter walks along the beach along the Portuguese coast; but here the warm breeze that comes from the sea and the hot water that wets our feet, contrast and creates a shock with this cold memory.
With the end of the day, the sun hides behind the tropical forest, growing the shadows of coconut trees that gradually conquer the sand, leaving us in the shade, while the sea still reflects the last rays of the sun.
Trincomalee, like Batticaloa, located on a peninsula, announced the possibility of pleasant walks through the city, but the persistent rain, that lasted more than a day, set aside this plan, anticipating the departure of Trincomalee, which stayed behind wrapped in a gray blanket.
Where to stay in Uppuveli:
Being one of the most popular beaches on the east coast along with Arugam Bay, in Uppaveli there is a great offer in accommodation, but at this time of year, in January, during the rainy season, they are mostly closed. The exceptions are the most sophisticated resorts, some hotels, as well the guest houses and many family houses that rent rooms. The price of a room in this homestays and guest house is around 1000 LKR, in low season.
As the bus leaves passengers at the main entrance of Uppuveli, the most natural is to go walking through the village streets to reach the beach. Entering the Beach Road, which despite being the main access to the beach, became a zig-zag through houses, where the construction of resorts blocked direct access to the sand.
Arriving at the beach, you can walk to the left, and find a sequence of accommodation, more sophisticated and where are located the resorts. Between the beach and the main road, along with village houses, there are some hotels and apartments, which have more attractive prices, than the ones on the shore.
This was the case of the Sunrise Hotel with excellent rooms in a quiet area about 5 minutes away from the beach. As it was empty was possible to negotiate the price for 1000 LKR per night. The staff is not very friendly and the place hasn’t an “atmosphere” but the rooms are very good compared to many other places checked, that for the same price offer poor conditions.
Address: No. 49, Alles Garden, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka
Free wi-fi, but that don’t reach all rooms.
But arriving at the beach, and walking to the right, toward the fishing boats, is other type of accommodation: modest but with more atmosphere. For those getting out of the bus on the national road, you need to walk a bit back towards Trincomalee until you come to a Christian Church (Holy Cross Convent), a massive building with modern architecture. On the opposite side of the main road is another beach access, which is easier to get to the “French Garden“, “Regist Guest House” and “Anton Guest House” among others accommodations existing in the same area.
Where to eat in Uppuveli:
Some hotels have a restaurant and along the small Uppuveli streets are a few local food restaurant, which however have inflated prices.
The cheapest solution is to go to the main road (Trincomalee to Nilaveli) and walk a bit to the north, not more than 200 meters, until you reach a junction, gathering some shops, a fruit shop, a grocery, a cafe, a tailor and a restaurant serving roti and kotu. If you order in advance, it serves rice and curry, but in a modest and pale version, for 150 LKR.
However, the kotu is quite good as are the rotis, but the highlighted goes to the coconut hoopers that are made fresh in the morning and quickly disappear. The place has no name, but it is the only place serving food along in this area of the road.
How to go from Trincomalee to Uppuveli:
Buses to Uppuveli run from the left side of the terminal. However, some of the buses towards Nilaveli not always stop at Uppuveli. There are no indications about schedule and bus destinations, whereby is necessary to ask the bus drivers or anyone from the staff.
Bus Ticket: 20 LKR.
The trip takes less than 15 minutes
At 13.30h leaves from the right side of the terminal, in the same area where the private buses to Colombo and Kandy wait, a private bus that stops near Uppuveli.
How to go from Uppuveli to Trincomalee:
For those on Uppuveli, opposite the junction where lies the roti restaurant there is a bus stand, every hour… 8 a.m, 9 am, etc…, a bus to Trincomalee; note that not all buses stop at this place.
How to go from Trincomalee to Dambulla or Colombo by bus:
At Trincomalee Bus Terminal, conveniently located near the center of the city, departing regularly bus bound for Colombo that stops at Dambulla.
There are also buses from the governmental company, SLTB (red color buses) bound to Colombo and that take almost 3 hours to get to Dambulla.
Bus Ticket Trincomalee – Dandulla: 132 LKR (3 hours)
From Trincomalee Bus Terminal, departures along all the day, many buses from the main Sri Lanka cities: Jaffna, Kandy, Habarana, Batticzloa, Anuradhapura, etc…