India day 1: WTF am I doing in Sri Lanka?

Decided to blog this short New Year trip to India… so why am I in Sri Lanka? 

Turns out… you need a VISA for India, even for a holiday. 😩 

I found out by reading some small print in a confirmation email the night before – that you’d have to apply for a visa 30 days before travel…. Well, actually it wasn’t small print, it was an attachment you had to fill in and send back, but still.

Frantically looking for a solution, I found an E-Visa service that could get a Visa over by email in 4 days. With my bags already packed I thought I’d better take advantage of this mishap and take a trip somewhere else first. Real shame though as I’d had my heart set on spending New Years in Goa.

I managed to get my flights cancelled and (mostly) refunded and booked to go to Sri Lanka which is right by India, until I get my Visa. Sorted.

On the way to the airport the next day my India visa got accepted. Typical.

I decided to go to the hippy beach party capital (supposedly) of Sri Lanka- Hikkaduwa. Recommended by a few old travel forum threads from 2012… it was all I had to go on.

The country really is beautiful and Hikkaduwa itself is a really nice place. But it felt more like a retirement village than a place to spend NYE. 

Scary moment

After spending the day and night walking around and seeing not a lot going on, I started getting a feeling it weren’t the right place. Apart from when a guy come up to me with a snake practically forcing me to hold it, then I had to tip for the pleasure. Bit of excitement there.

I asked a barman about NYE, he said there wasn’t much party – just food and music. By 10pm the bar I was in wasn’t even playing music. There weren’t many people about… and the people that were about were mostly couples, it didn’t have a inviting backpacker vibe for someone traveling alone.
Being as my Visa got accepted early- I’ve decided to get the next flight into Goa and get back on the original plan. I didn’t even spend the night in Hikkaduwa, I managed to check out early with a little bit of a refund. 

Another 6 hours traveling on top of the 15 I’ve already done, but I think NYE in Goa will be worth itπŸ‘ 

Take away tips

  • Get a visa if your travelling to India
  • Use EVisa if you need to fast track your visa- it’s probably going to be a lot quicker than the 4 days they state.
  • Sri Lanka probably not great for solo travel

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