The way you can explore Pottuvil, Sri Lanka, from my personal travel experience.

This is a piece of content about how a real family trip works out in a normal Sri Lankan family with great parents, grandparents, a set of cousins, uncles, aunts and also with kids.

I and all my family members had a dream to go on a trip to Pottuvil. (situated in the eastern part of Sri Lanka) but we couldn’t make it because everyone was busy as usual with their day to day lives. Few cousins with their school work, few with their business works and another few with their Job roles. So having a perfect time is like getting a red Willard in the off-season. But you know luckily a wedding invitation reaches us from one of my Uncles sisters to attend her daughter’s wedding.

So we all got a chance to plan a trip to Pottuvil right after we received this wedding invitation. We just wanted to make it a perfect trip because we all were invited to all the functions of the wedding ceremony including the Mehendi first day second day and so on... Planning a trip with family is actually more difficult than planning a trip with your best buddies. I meant friends, but with friends, we have made thousands of great plans but we couldn’t execute at least one. That much of a crazy task that going on a trip with friends. 

with cousins

All of us were curious and eager to enjoy this trip, especially me and my cousins. Unfortunately, my cousin Munna’s family and my sister Rasmina’s family did not participate in this trip because of some unavoidable circumstances.

After going through so many discussions, decisions, ideas and arguments we all came to the conclusion of a date-time, vehicle, people and all the other stuff related to the trip. 

This story is for you to have an idea of how actually a family trip works out with more than 20 people at once.

Way to Pottuvil & celebration of Mehendi function

It was nearly at 3.00 am in the morning on 9th August it was like day time, relatives gathered to our place a day in advance from Kandy, Kegalle, Panadura and from another few more places to attend this journey, kids were running here and there, few were busy packing their stuff and another few gathering and speaking to each other, it was midnight for our neighbours but a day time for all of us. 

This was an unforgettable day because that was the first day of our journey we started to travel towards the Eastern side of Sri Lanka Pottuvil.

By the time the 3.30 am bus arrived near our street, that was “Chaminda” a new name started getting familiar with my family and myself. We all started loading our backpacks and baggage in the “Coaster”  since there are so many backpacks we had to put all under the seats and we also had to use the entire back seat of the Coaster to pack our remaining luggage. One more thing that I understood at that point was that as travellers we shouldn’t keep so much baggage whenever we are travelling. We must have to be flexible with the places and with the stuff that we have while exploring the places.

It was nearly 4 am the same morning and we started our journey to travel towards the east part of our paradise Sri Lanka. One more thing that I need to clear at this point is, the east part of our country Sri Lanka is one of the warmest locations in our island Sri Lanka.

I couldn’t remember what happened in the outside world, because I went asleep till I reached the tea spot somewhere near Rathnapura, Sri Lanka.

But in the beginning, I had no idea where I was and to what I was up to.

8.30 am Chaminda stopped the bus to have tea,  so I and my cousins also got down for a hot tea but all the other women in the bus did not get down, because they all were very sleepy and tired. After having a quick tea break, we continued our journey towards Pottuvil. 

The background of the route was really odd and not as usual as the other parts of Sri Lankan destinations. Because we had to pass a different route which was covered by a forest from where we could see elephants, peacocks, thousands of cows and few other wild animals on our way to Pottuvil Sri Lanka.
Eastern road towards Pottuvil

After a few hours of journey, nearly @10.00 am in the morning, we stopped the bus at a place in Udawalawe, an area called “Thanamalwila” to have our breakfast. It was an amazing place with no houses, people, shops or nothing around, except a small open area on the left-hand side of the road with a large tree to cover the whole area from warm sunlight. And also a few benches made up of wood around the tree. And there were few more small trees to beautify that place.

Later on, after having 7 hours of a journey towards the eastern side of Sri Lanka we were able to reach the town called Pottuvil in  Ampara District. The Pottuvil town is situated nearly 4 km north from the popular tourist destination Arugam Bay beach and this town is also well known among tourist for Muhudu Maha Viharaya (Temple), Pottuvil Grand Mosque, Lagoon safari Pottuvil, Peanut Farm Beach, and etc etc.
Street Shop

You know this town reminds me of 26th December 2004 because this town was affected by the Indian Ocean tsunami exactly when I was a kid, and you know I was landed in the same town after 15 years of the Tsunami incident.

However, once we reached the place our aunty and her husband welcomed us to the place by serving a cool Juice. That was at the right time because I was really thirsty and that’s what I expected.

As it was a Friday I, my cousins and uncles had to take our own time for our Friday jummah salat. So we had a quick wash and walked towards the masjid while few of us took a tuk-tuk and while few went by bikes. But I chose to walk to the mosque because I just wanted to observe the place and the background. 

After an hour later we had an amazing lunch at Sarjoon’s place where the Mehendi function was organised/arranged. And I want to note that the lunch was totally different to our style of making foods especially curries, that might be the reason why I liked the taste of their rice and curry a lot, you know rice and curry is the traditional food of Sri Lanka but almost it differs to the each and every area of the Country. With its taste and style of making and etc etc.

While I was having my lunch with my travel mates, I noticed that the people and the background were really busy with arranging, decorating, cleaning and cooking stuff.

After having a full lunch, we all had a nap in the next door because we were really tired of travelling. Whatever happens in the background, funny dialogues, crazy jokes, I slept because I was really sleepy.

The time arrived for the Mehendi function (Mehendi otherwise known as Henna is a paste associated with positive spirits & good luck. Normally in Indian and Sri Lankan wedding tradition calls for a Mehendi ceremony to be held the night before the wedding as a way of wishing the bride good health and prosperity as she makes her journey on to the marriage.) 

On the day we had so much work to do, we were really busy by welcoming the people who were attending to the function. My cousin brothers and I had to serve refreshments for the male attendees and my other sister and cousin sisters got busy serving ladies. Also, this amazing occasion helps me to identify a few friends like Safith, Asmin, Saroos Sajith and a few more.

So it was an amazing experience I had at a Mehendi ceremony with so many crowds. It was absolutely amazing.

And after the function @ night, we were able to have our dinner together with the bride “Saro”. 

Almost at the end of the Mehendi function, we didn’t want to end the day as usual so we talked, laughed, did jokes till the midnight with few of my cousins Azam, Sarjoon, Dillu, Munni, Ishana, Reshma, Saroos, Safith and myself. 

Hahaha, still I could remember that awesome Sri Lankan tea made by Munni at night to the whole team as requested by Sarjoon. You know having tea is one of our traditions. in functions, meetings, during crazy discussions and almost on every occasion. Because “Ceylon Tea” is one of our own products, so Sri Lankans love drinking tea every time, every day.

Way to Akkaraipattu city for the wedding.

On this day I was really curious and eager to see what's happening next. It was near 8.30 am in the morning, few were still sleeping, few hurrying to dress up and in the queue to have a wash. So somehow we were able to have another traditional breakfast called “Appam'' which was a bit famous among their culture with Rotti and Coconut sambal.

A few hours later while we were on our way to the town called “Akkaraipattu” in the same eastern part of Sri Lanka to reach the wedding which was nearly 48 km far from the town Pottuvil. But the way to Akkaraipattu was totally different from us having a journey from one place to another. Because of the background scenery and the total atmosphere of the eastern part of Sri Lanka. 

That was my first experience, I attended an eastern wedding which was filled with so many people, so many different cultural functions, foods and activities. 

Right after the wedding function at “Akkaraipattu” we had to return back to the city Pottuvil because we had a small party arranged at home. So once again we had to welcome the bride, groom and the groom's family, so it was an amazing day I had on the entire journey. Also the busiest day I had. However, we didn't want to end the wedding day/vibes as usual. So we talked till midnight with the family and cousins even the kids refused to sleep at night because they wanted to spend their day fullest. 

Fathima’s place was the place where we used to have our discussions and crazy games. Which was absolutely fantastic. Still, I could remember the place... behind the Fathima’s home, a floor filled with sand and the background which was covered with only a few coconut trees and especially with an old small half made cottage separated to the main house, which was made for the remembrance of their grandparents. And the chairs where we used to sit and talk.

Somehow nearly at 2.30 am, we had to sleep with the hope of enjoying our next day.

The wildlife experience in Naval Aru (River), Pottuvil Sri Lanka and my favourite hotel.

Have you ever been to an empty river in your life? I mean to a river where you couldn’t see water like we experience in other rivers. I was shocked when I saw this river “Naval Aru” with no water. 
With Sarjoon

In seasons of drought rivers in eastern are filled with mudflats, which for a time may become an amazing view with water.

It was absolutely fantastic because we stepped into the river and enjoyed it since there was no water. I could remember that there was a large paddy field around the river and huge trees to decorate the entire background.

The time we went there to see “Naval Aru” there was no water in the river due to less rain in that place. Many people visited that place and luckily we were also able to visit and experienced a wonderful lunchtime. Thankful for Sarjoons family to help us find that place and Safith’s family to help us with a wonderfully tasty lunch.

It was nearly 11 am, we all got off from the bus and we all selected a suitable place to sit and prepare our lunch.

We found a place surrounded by a large tree next to the river and where there was a tree and a place to cook. So we decided to sit in that place. And all our women readied to cook and we went to collect wood to the fire. 

My cousins went to the other side of the paddy field to explore the area. After woods were collected unfortunately there was no water to cook so our cousin Sajid stepped into the river and started digging the river to get the water out.
Uncle digging in the river

He advised, “just by digging the river we can get pure water for cooking purposes” It was the first time few of us heard about it and few of us experienced it.

It was the cooking time, and few of my cousins played cards while the women were cooking. Few of us helped with digging while kids were playing in the downside of the river.

Do you know how they cooked???

It was totally awkward because it was the first time we tried curry with wood apples. They have cooked them by adding wood apples together. We all were so anxious about the food and it was so tasty too.

After lunch, some of us had a nap on the mat and some of us took a rest while some were talking to each other.

On our way back to Pottuvil home, we also went to Arugam Bay but not to see the beach, to visit one of our uncle's amazing lodge in the Arugam bay town where he used to do his travel and tourism business, It was really beautiful to see such clean rooms, nicely arranged and properly monitored area. Remember, not every foreigner is lucky to spend their nights at his place because that lodge is always booked in every time.

Later on, we went to see Manmalai beach. It was a special beach because due to the Tsunami 2004 a village was protected from this natural sand mountain from the threat of Tsunami. There is a famous temple on this beach called Muhudu Maha Viharaya. It was the only temple in that place.

You know, we played, we ran across the beachside, we took photos, we collected corols, kids played with sand and etc... It was an unforgettable memory we had with our family.

Finally an amazing day. we had in Pottuvil Sri Lanka, and then again at night we talked and enjoyed the same place where we were used to gathering.

Paddy Field

A fast ride I experienced towards the Akkaraipattu Sri Lanka.

In simple terms, it was a special day! 

Because we celebrated the Haj festival in Pottuvil Sri Lanka. It was the first time we celebrated a festival in Pottuvil and also with the whole family. Because normally we celebrate our festivals at home and we used to gather at our Dadima’s place in the evenings. But this time we were able to celebrate the festival with everyone together.
With Dadima

After lunch, we went to Manmalai beach once again just to have fresh air. because it was just walking distance from our place to the beachside. Afterwards, we returned back again and got ready to participate in a dinner at the groom's place at Akkaraipattu Sri Lanka. And that was a night ride we had at the eastern part of Sri Lanka.

There were not too many vehicles on the road so we had a fast journey towards the Akkaraipattu, we could see nothing in the background except the darkness.

We had a great meal there at the groom's place, spent some time there and we had to return quickly because we planned to return to Colombo the next day.

Next day at around 9.30am It was the last morning we spent in Pottuvil city so for breakfast we had Appam and after we got into the bus to return back to Colombo. 

A few hours later on our way back to Colombo Sri Lanka, we stopped at a tea shop to have tea. After that, I noticed that there was a large tamarind tree near that shop, so I collected tamarind for at least one hour with my cousins. 

At another place in Udawalawe also we stopped at a shop to have a  “Belimal drink” which is not tasty but very famous among Sri Lankans and also we used that time to purchase some vegetables too.
Elephant on the road

After lunch, we all got into the bus and all of us were asleep. There was huge traffic by 6.30 pm so we reached Colombo very late because of the traffic in Avissawella and Kaduwela areas. Thanks to god, by 9 or 9.30 pm Mr.Chaminda took us safely back to our home.

Written By
Ihshana Begum & Rassan Batcha

My question is, Have you ever experienced a family trip like this in your life??? Comment Below!


  1. Nice content. Keep it up brother.

    1. Thank you very much for staying in touch with us.

  2. ‌I learnt a life lesson here. you all could get usable water as u dug the river though it went dried. similarly we won't get anything in our life by looking on and giving up.
    Great work Rassan. Nice to hear u after long time.

    1. Hi Anonymous you are correct. This is not only a travel experience this is something more than that, And you viewed the content through an amazing point of view. This is what we expect from our great readers. Stay in touch as always.

  3. Replies
    1. I Expected this comment to this travel experience.... Really happy to hear this from you our friend from neighbor India. Thank you Nanda.

  4. Sri Lanka is one of the best place to tavel in this world..It's more than an island.

    1. Hi Musadiq, Thank you very much on be half of our blog. You are absolutely right. Sri Lanka is more than an island/country. It's a paradise.

  5. Amazing!There is a vast difference with the enjoyment we gain from family trips and the trips with friends..There were several information I got to know which I didn't know about the areas before and it is a really an interesting story...Experiences cannot be substituted by anything..

    1. Hi Fatima,

      Thank you very much for staying in touch with our travel stories, we want to let the world know the importance of traveling with your family and it gives you something better than staying at home... thank you once again and stay in touch with our travel blog.


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