Day 4 of Sri Lanka Trip, Trincomalee on July 14, 2017

Fourth day of our Sri Lanka trip.
Today we were in Trincomalee, where the nearby Pigeon Island National Park was arguably the best snorkeling site in the country. So when planning this trip my friends insisted that we spent a night or two here enjoying water activities.

Swimming Bay in Pigeon Island National Park


Swimming Bay in Pigeon Island National Park



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But it seemed that I never had any luck when it comes to snorkeling. I mean, I can swim, to the extent I can flow on waters without drowning myself, and that’s pretty much it, any more snorkeling is something I can’t handle. So I enjoyed the boat tour to Kekova Islands last year in Kas, Turkey, because the whole point of that trip was to have fun in the water, and I did. I had a terrible time earlier this year snorkeling in Pulau Payar Marine Park, Malaysia, which ended with a cut on my knee. This time in Pigeon Island, I shall say it’s something in between, not too bad that I managed to keep my skin intact (and I saw lots of fish), but at the end of the day, it’s somewhat bored to stay in the same bay for half a day, to say the least.

Pigeon Island

However, our journey to Pigeon Island started from Nilaveli Beach on the mainland, which to many people’s surprise, was a desolate underdeveloped beach roamed by cows. A broken volleyball net was all the beach facilities that’s there. Nearby, newly-built luxury hotels carefully walled off their perimeters so that wild animals won’t frequent their pools. It was, way too third-world for a beach resort.
At least that’s what we saw the day before, when our driver took us to Nilaveli Beach to arrange the day’s trip to Pigeon Island because we didn’t book the trip in advance. This morning the sight was slightly more reassuring, the cows were gone and the coastline were lined with colorful motor boats.

Our driver arranged to get five of us onto the island at 20700LKR, the bulk of which were tickets collected by Sri Lanka Navy (foreigner price, of course). The rest was for boat, snorkeling gear, and life vests that we didn’t need. Not too bad though.

Unfortunately, there’s something wrong with my underwater cell phone cover that day, that there’s always this gap between my cell phone and that cover. The result was that most of the photos I took that day weren’t of acceptable quality. And, although tropical fish were abundant in the water, they were certainly camera-shy. So I didn’t get many great photos that day.

Snorkeling at Pigeon Island

Snorkeling at Pigeon Island
Snorkeling at Pigeon IslandSnorkeling at Pigeon Island
Snorkeling at Pigeon Island

People Swimming at Pigeon Island

People Swimming at Pigeon Island
People Swimming at Pigeon Island
People Swimming at Pigeon Island

Currents were strong out in the Indian Ocean. But at Pigeon Island there’s this natural bay where waves weren’t so high, which made it suitable for snorkeling. Underneath us there was dead coral reef, guess that’s why there were this many fish down there.
But unfortunately, this wasn’t a very large bay, and the waves out there in open water were strong, so there’s not much exploration to do.

Snorkeling at Pigeon Island

Snorkeling at Pigeon Island
Snorkeling at Pigeon Island


Snorkeling at Pigeon Island


Snorkeling at Pigeon Island
Snorkeling at Pigeon Island
Snorkeling at Pigeon Island


Snorkeling at Pigeon Island

Snorkeling at Pigeon Island
Snorkeling at Pigeon IslandSnorkeling at Pigeon Island
Snorkeling at Pigeon Island
Snorkeling at Pigeon Island


Waves along Pigeon Island


Waves along Pigeon Island


People at Pigeon Island


People at Pigeon Island

Then there’s the other side of Pigeon Island which faced open water. There were designated swimming area on this side, but unfortunately the currents were strong and waters here seemed to be infested with jellyfish. We called it off when we spotted a baby shark in the water.

Boats at Pigeon Island


Boats at Pigeon Island

So after four hours or so on Pigeon Island, we called our boatman who ferried us back to mainland.

Water Splashed by our Boat


Water Splashed by our Boat


Our Boat Leaving for Pigeon Island


Our Boat Leaving for Pigeon Island


Nilaveli Beach

Nilaveli Beach
Nilaveli Beach
Yes, this was a desolate beach with few facilities. Very Sri Lankan.

After that, our driver took us to a restaurant in downtown Trincomalee where we had lunch. He said he took some previous guest from China to this restaurant, and they liked it here. Probably because this is one of the few restaurants that kept things not so spicy.

Lunch


Lunch
I quite liked this omelet. It’s a little spicy, so as to give as some Sri Lanka taste, without burning our tongues.

After lunch, our driver recommended marble beach to us. We searched online and found those pictures with crystal bright sands and picturesque sceneries. Although it’s not early in the day, we decided to give it a try.

Bay by Trincomalee

Bay by Trincomalee
Bay by Trincomalee


Country Road outside Trincomalee


Country Road outside Trincomalee
Country roads like these in Sri Lanka were often shared with cows, and herdsmen would happily use them to herd animals.


China Bay


China Bay

Marble Beach

Country Road to Marble Beach


Country Road to Marble Beach
First driving experience of a toddler.


Country Road to Marble Beach


Country Road to Marble Beach
Lizard crossing the road.

Well, compared with Pigeon Island which was a resort for the foreigners, Marble Beach was a more local’s beach, as the ticket for five adults and one car was only 170 LKR, something local people could afford.
And the water was shallow here, it’s like 50 meters out into the sea and the water was barely over one’s waist. Good for Sri Lankan’s that were usually not so good at swimming.
By the way Marble Beach seemed to be ran by the military too. We were greeted by soldiers at the ticket checkpoint.

Cow by Marble Beach


Cow by Marble Beach
These creatures seemed to roam every Sri Lankan beach.


School Children at Marble Beach

School Children at Marble Beach
School Children at Marble Beach


It’s Friday afternoon, our driver told us that local schools usually have this afternoon off, and they would carry busloads of students to this beach “resort” so that, at the end of the school week, they could have fun.
Well, that’s definitely something my friends and I missed when we were young.

At Marble Beach, I found that there was this group of teenagers very much into this game of stacking onto each other before diving into water.

School Children at Marble Beach

School Children at Marble BeachSchool Children at Marble Beach
School Children at Marble Beach

As for the beach itself, it’s not very ideal for swimming. One thing is that the water was shallow, another was that the seabed was made purely of sand, which just made the water muddy, and that’s not pleasant.
So we decided instead, to make a sand castle.

Our Sand Sculpture


Our Sand Sculpture
My friends didn’t feel like getting in the water, so they came up with this idea to make a sand castle. Sadly we were not very good architect nor designer, so we came up with this “sculpture” that we didn’t know what it was.


Unfortunately, we didn’t have any tools other than our bare hands to make this castle. Nor were we good designers.
Buses Carrying School Children


Buses Carrying School Children

So we spent about an hour and half at Marble Beach before heading back to hotel.

Koddiyar Bay

Koddiyar Bay
Koddiyar Bay

Temple Procession

On our way back, we found this temple parade that block the main road up North to Nilaveli. Although we didn’t know what festival it was or what it’s about, we watched it for some time, before taking a (rather difficult) detour back to hotel.

Crowd Watching Temple Procession

Crowd Watching Temple Procession
Crowd Watching Temple Procession


Temple Procession

Temple Procession
Temple ProcessionTemple Procession
Temple Procession
This must be some major festival as they were these people playing with fire.


Temple Procession


Temple Procession


END

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Day 4 of Sri Lanka Trip, Trincomalee on July 14, 2017 by Huang's Site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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