Jaffna feels peaceful which is nice since it has been in a civil war for 26 years. The war ended in 2009 but the Tamils still don’t feel like they have the same rights as the Singalese, which was the reason why the war started. When the president declared that Singalese would be the official Sri Lankan language, some riots started which resulted in the war.
Driving around these days, feels safe and as said before peaceful. It’s a total different world from what we’ve seen so far in Sri Lanka. The surrounding areas are all spread out and really wide, there are lots of different birds, including flamingos, and when driving around we were surrounded by water most of the time.
We left Anaradhupura around 8 am and it only took us 4 hours with our own tuktuk to get to Jaffna. The roads are great and the drive is easy.
During our drive to Jaffna we are talking about the change to maybe see flamingos which we think would be really cool since we’ve never seen them in the wild. When looking on the map, we notice we pass a place that’s called Elephant Pass. Would this be the place to see elephants crossing? When looking out for that, we didn’t see elephants, but we saw a huge group of flamingos! We were able to get quite close and get some good shots. But the prettiest sight was when one of them started flying away and the entire group followed. They circled around and it was amazing so see the pink and black flying in the air.
We had lunch at the Green Garden which is known for its Jaffna Crab Curry and lovely garden. We did not try the Crab Curry ourselves, but saw our tablemates struggling and were happy we didn’t try it. We enjoyed our Indian food while getting stinged by the mosquitos, so do put on mosquito repellent when going here.
Mangos is a must go when going out for diner in Jaffna. It’s an Indian Veg Restaurant and their food is really tasteful. It’s a populair place amongst both travelers and locals. The service is good, you get your food quite fast and their dosa and their lassi’s are the best.
We stayed at D’Villa which was one of the cleanest places we stayed in Sri Lanka! It’s quite funny which things you start to notice but for example the bathroom tiles, can be used as mirrors. And the owner, Dilan, is welcoming and helpful and can tell you all about the region and what places are best to visit. The room is basic but has everything you need like a strong and hot shower! You get treated with a typical Sri Lankan breakfast like Hoppers, Dosa and Springhoppers. It was delicious every morning!
For us, driving around in our own tuktuk, it was pleasant that they have a private parking space which is secured with a fence. You can also rent motorbikes and normal bikes to help get you around. And Dilan can also help you with arranging cars and tuktuks if needed. It’s also a nice place to meet other travelers. There is a common room where you can meet other travelers and share your experiences.
** You can find them on booking.com
Jaffna doesn’t have real must sees when it comes to specific temples, beaches or other places. Well there is one temple that is worth visiting and that is the Nallur Kanthaswamy Temple. Go here between 4 and 6 pm and you will witness some sort of ceremony. Men have to take of their shirts while women cover up. The ceremony is accompanied by some loud music, chanting and some sort of cart being carried/driven around the inside of the temple. Unfortunately it’s not allowed to take pictures, but maybe that makes it even more special..
Next to this specific temple, Jaffna, as said, beside some Dutch ruins and a fort it doesn’t have any real highlights. Except its beautiful nature! It’s one of those places where you can get lost easily and won’t mind. It is truly beautiful. You can find big groups of flamingo’s in the waters, lots of small temples that aren’t on the maps and it is lushful and green. We spent 2 days, just driving around in our tuktuk and loved it. It is one of those rare places that isn’t overrun by tourists (yet) and is a wonderful addition to a trip though Sri Lanka.