Trincomalee town and around
Trincomalee occupies a splendid natural setting athwart a narrow peninsula between the Indian Ocean and the deep and sheltered waters of the Inner Harbour. The town itself is a bit of a mishmash. Much of the centre is occupied by the old colonial Fort Frederick, which climbs up to the cliff-top Swami Rock, the dominant feature on
the coast hereabouts. West of here, the modern town’s commercial centre comprises a surprisingly low-key grid of streets, though it’s worth exploring the back streets west and south of here, lined with pretty old colonial villas and dotted with Buddhist temples, mosques and, especially, dozens of colourful little Hindu temples. Hinduism is
much the most obvious of Trinco’s three principal religions, when the town fills with the ringing of bells and the sound of music from myriad temples for the late-afternoon puja.
Trinco’s most acclaimed shorelines are at nearby Uppuveli and Nilaveli, however pleasant Dutch Bay isn’t awful. It’s more a spot for walking, yet swimming is possible in spite of once in a while hazardous undertows. Manayaweli Cove is an engaging twist of fishing shoreline where you can likewise swim; reach it by strolling past Manayaweli Pond, otherwise known as Dhoby Tank, where local washers do their clothing.There are plenty of banks with ATMs accepting foreign cards scattered across town.
Buses arrive at the brand-new bus station, right in Trinco’s centre at the bottom of Main Street. The train station is at the northwest end of town. The airport is at China Bay, a few kilometres out of town.
CTB and private bus departures:
Anuradhapura , four hours, three daily in morning
Batticaloa (via Habarana and Polonnaruwa) , seven hours, 10 daily
Colombo , seven hours, frequent
Colombo (air-con; book in advance)
six hours, two in evening Jaffna (via Vavuniya) , seven hours, eight daily
Kandy , five hours, 16 daily, plus two air-con buses daily
TRAIN There are two trains daily between Trincomalee and Colombo Fort, including a direct overnight sleeper service. On either train, you can change at Gal Oya for Batticaloa, but the evening train isn’t recommended