Hikkaduwa appears to have been an early tourist destination in Ceylon, for J. W. Bennett reported in 1843 that it “is most pleasantly situated, and a great resort of picnic parties from Galle”. Traditionally associated with the cultivation of coconuts, rice and cinnamon, plumbago mining, and the manufacture of lace and drum frames, Hikkaduwa has emerged as a modern destination for sun-seekers and wave-worshipers.

There is only one town by the sea that can boast of some of the best surfing waves in Sri Lanka, a long stretch of beach packed with restaurants serving deliciously fresh seafood, an equally long stretch of souvenir shops for the serious shopper, and guesthouses and hotels galore, from the cheap and cheerful to star-class. The name of the place is Hikkaduwa, and there is no other resort on the island like it.

Many who visit Hikkaduwa are just sun worshipers, sea worshipers or wave worshipers. It is not the most cultural or historical of places, as I found out when asking about its history, for it resulted in much head scratching and glazed looks from local tour guides.

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