Travel Guide to Trincomalee

Indian Embassy in Trincomalee

Contact Number - 2327587, 2421605, 2422788, 2422789.

Visa Process for Indian Visitors to Trincomalee

Indian nationals travelling to Trincomalee do not require a visa. However, the Sri Lankan government issues an ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) that allows entrance in the country for 30 days. The documents required to get ETA are

  • Indian Passport
  • Ticket proof of the round trip
  • Proof of funds to bear expenses during the trip.

About Trincomalee

Trincomalee, which is also known as Gokanna, is a significant resort port city of the Eastern Province in Sri Lanka. Also called “Trinco” by the locals, this city has been one of the most important centres of Tamil culture in Sri Lanka.

With a recorded history of more than 2 millenniums, it is one of the oldest cities in the continent. The city once served as a major port for international trades. Its architecture shows some of the best examples of the mixed native and European styles. The Bay harbour is bridged by the river Mahavilli Ganga in the south. This river is also known as “Gokarna” which means “cow’s ear”. Its religious importance has earned this city the name of “Dakshin Kailasam” which means Kailash of the south.

Places to Visit in Trincomalee

There are many places in Trincomalee that are considered as popular destinations. These are the top tourist places to visit in Trincomalee:

  • The Koneswaram temple / Temple of a Thousand Columns:It has a recorded history from the 3rd century BCE, and it attracts pilgrims from all over of India. The Portuguese damaged the shrine in 1622 and took some of its artefacts to the Lisbon Museum. The Hindu temple was also documented in several medieval texts. It is one of the Trincomalee points of interest. 
  • The Dutch Fort / Fort Fredrick:The entrance to Koneswaram used to be the entrance to fort Fredrick. Which was built by the Portuguese in 1623 and captured by Dutch in 1639.
  • Hot springs:There are seven hot springs on the way to Trincomalee. The rectangular enclosure containing these springs is bound by high walls. The water of each spring has a different temperature from the other.
  • Beaches:the city has some of the most scenic and clean beaches in the country. The waters here are shallow, so it is easy to bath and swim. People looking for some adventure can visit the beach to enjoy scuba diving, fishing and surfing. You should also visit Uppuveli beach, Nilaveli beach, and Marble beach which are the major tourist places in Trincomalee.
  • Pigeon Island:Pigeon Island national park is 1km offshore, and can be reached with the help of local tour operators. The destination is preferred for its white sand rock, pigeon breeding grounds and shark sights./li>
  • Trincomalee War Cemetery:The cemetery is a significant historical place, as it the resting place for British soldiers who died in World War II. The well-maintained cemetery with uniform tombstones dedicated to each soldier is one of the six Commonwealth war cemeteries in Sri Lanka and is one of the famous places in Trincomalee.
  • Hoods Tower Museum: Named after the hoods observation tower, the museum showcases different types of arms and ammunition used by the Sri Lankan Navy.
  • Swami Rock & Lover’s Leap:Swami Rock is a famous Hindu shrine. For thousands of years, an ancient Siva temple stood here until the Portuguese levered it over the cliff and into the sea. On Swami Rock, there is a pillar in memory of a Dutch officer’s daughter, who leapt from the edge of the cliff after being deserted by her lover. The spot has since earned the name of Lover’s Leap.

How to Reach Trincomalee

The cities providing bus service to Trincomalee are Dambulla and Anuradhapura, Kalmunai and Batticaloa in the south. There are frequent buses from major cities such as Colombo and Jaffna in the north. Trincomalee is connected with Sri Lankan railways originating from the Colombo fort. Due to the presence of straight and flat roads, buses are a better option than trains for travelling. Train journey from Colombo could take up to 9 hours. You can book train tickets in advance, but the demand for the train tickets are high. An Airbase is located near the town. The Sri Lankan Air Force operates commercial flights from Colombo (Ratmalana) to Trincomalee (China Bay). There are also private seaplane operators flying the Colombo- Trincomalee route. Air Taxi Cinnamon Air, a domestic airline in Sri Lanka, operates flights from Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport to Trincomalee.

Travelling in Trincomalee

Trincomalee is a small town but walking invites a tremendous amount of begging and street harassment. The old part of the city is particularly bothersome due to opium tourism and a long history of prostitution. For longer trips, tuk-tuks (i.e. three-wheeler rickshaws) are available everywhere in the city. It is recommended to find one decent driver and staying with that trusted person for the entire duration of your trip. To go to Uppuveli or Nilaveli, you can catch a bus from the bus station in town. One can rent a bike and ride around Trincomalee city and the beaches, and it's an excellent way to discover the area with complete independence.

Best Time to Visit

Trincomalee has a tropical climate with a wet season except for March to June (the dry season). The city faces a bit of annual precipitation, and its summers last from April to September. People desiring to enjoy the diving season should visit between May to October. The sea temperature is suitable for swimming all year round but the only time to avoid would be from March to June.

Festivals and events in Trincomalee add an extra dose of excitement to the holiday experience. Events in Trincomalee are all about fun, entertainment and learning. While planning your trip, check out for the timings of the crucial events in Trincomalee if you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to see the celebrations! Attending music concerts and sports events are undoubtedly the things to do if you are in Trincomalee.

What to Pack?

The weather in Sri Lanka is hot and humid, so make sure that your clothing keeps you comfortable in this environment. Light cotton clothing is one of your best bets. The local people prefer to cover up their body to avoid getting sun-burnt. Don’t forget to pack your sunglass and hat. Mosquito repellents are necessary as there can be a lot of mosquitos due to Sri Lanka’s Tropical climate. The weather can also get you overheated and dehydrated, so a water bottle is necessary. If you use Sri Lanka public transport to go to your hotel or the airport, stick with carry-on luggage only, if possible.

Top Delicacies

There are many beach front restaurants with beautiful views and decent food. Don't miss a sunset with a fresh juice while chilling on the sea beach. For a quick snack, you can enjoy typical Sri Lankan snacks or the local comfort food – Kottu (which resembles fried rice, but it’s made with a type of roti known as godamba roti) at Nilaveli road. There is an array of fantastic seafood restaurants and juice stalls at Sarvodaya Road. Also, try awesome Asian fruits mangosteen and wood apple. For seafood you can try Fish ambul thiyal (sour fish curry), Kukul mas curry (chicken curry), Parippu (dhal curry), Lamprais, Hoppers (Appa or Appam), Polos (green jackfruit curry), Wambatu moju (eggplant/brinjals pickle) etc.

Indian Restaurants in Trincomalee

Green Park Hotel

  • Located at:# 312 Dyke Street, Trincomalee 31000, Sri Lanka
  • Cuisine:Indian, Sri Lankan, Asian
  • Contact No.: +94 26 2 222369

Joy Sea Food Restaurant

  • Located at: Nilaveli Road, Trincomalee 31000, Sri Lanka
  • Cuisine:Indian, Seafood
  • Contact No.: +94 77 824 0099

Rea Beach Restaurant

  • Located at: 178/7 Alas Garden | Uppuvelli, Trincomalee 31000, Sri Lanka
  • Cuisine: Indian, Asian, Italian
  • Contact No.: +94 75 758 2522

Shopping List Essentials

Trincomalee is a typical midsize town with 2-3 large shopping streets. Central Road is part of the central shopping area. You should not expect upmarket things except some chain clothing stores. You can buy fabrics or local handicrafts but beware of the tourist pricing. If a local accompany you, prices will become a lot more realistic. Bargaining is must in the local street markets. Thassim Jewellers is the oldest Jewelry shop in Trincomalee that existed since the British Period, and they are specialists in Gems, Gold Jewellery, Antiques and Silver Jewellery. You should definitely buy souvenirs and other gifts for yourself and your friends and families.

Healthcare Centers

A mishap can occur at any time during your planned trip hence, it is always a wise step to take your travel insurance beforehand to cover your all travel and medical related emergencies during your trip.

Trincomalee has decent medical facilities with both government and private hospitals, but private hospitals a bit cleaner and safer for treatment. A Trincomalee physician should be able to correctly diagnose and treat you in most instances, and when they cannot, they are going to direct you to the correct specialist. In case of any requirement, you can visit MHU General Hospital Trincomalee, Trincomalee General Hospital, Ceymed Hospital, Kanthale Base Hospital which offer decent treatment facilities.

Basics of Local Communication

The official languages of Sri Lanka are Sinhala and Tamil. Sinhala is the native language of the Sinhalese people, who constitute approximately 70 percent of Sri Lanka’s population. Tamil is Sri Lanka’s second official language. Majority of Sri Lankans are conversational in English, so you are unlikely to face communication issues. Sri Lankan English might not be entirely comprehensible to native English speakers due to the accent and words borrowed from local languages. If you are planning to visit Trincomalee, you can surely keep in mind the following essential Sinhala Phrases:

English Sinhalese
Good Morning Subha udaesanak
My name is Ma-ge na-ma
Where is ..? Ko-he-dha
Yes Owu
No Nae
Please Karu-nah-kara
Sorry sa∙maa ven∙na
How much is this? Meka Kiyada

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What kinds of medical coverage’s are provided??

The following medical expenses are covered: 

  • Travel insurance includes medical expenses, repatriation, and emergency medical evacuation. Even dental care expenses such as acute anesthetic treatment of teeth are covered.

What is a deductible?

“Deductible”means a cost-sharing requirement under this policy, that provides that the insurer will not be liable for a specified rupee amount or percentage of claim amount or number of days or number of hours, as specified in the policy schedule and which will apply before any benefits are payable by the insurer. A deductible does not reduce the sum insured and is applicable per event, upto the specified limits mentioned.

What Is Not Covered Under the Travel Insurance Plan?

  • Medical Expenses (inclusive of Repatriation and Emergency Medical Evacuation), Daily Allowance in case of hospitalization, Compassionate Visit benefits, the following will not be payable for Any pre-existing condition, Routine examinations, Expenses for rest or recuperation at spa/ health resort/ sanatorium, Pregnancy (including childbirth, miscarriage, abortion or related complications ) or treatment relating to the removal of physical flaws or anomalies (cosmetic treatment or plastic surgery).
  • Cosmetic surgery, unless such cosmetic surgery is rendered medically necessary as part of treatment for accidents and burns whilst being abroad.
  • Suicide, attempted or wilfully self inflicted injury or illness, mental disorder, anxiety, stress or depression, venereal disease, alcoholism, drunkenness or the abuse of drugs, or any loss arising, directly or indirectly, from any injury, illness, death, loss, expense, or other liability attributable to HIV and/or any HIV related illness including AIDS and/or any mutant derivative or variation thereof however caused.
  • Treatment which could be reasonably delayed until the Insured’s return to India, which will be decided jointly by the treating Physician and the Emergency Assistance Service Provider and shall be in accordance with accepted standards of medical care.
  • The Insured taking part in naval, military or air force operations; war and nuclear perils.
  • Insured engaging in air travel unless he or she flies as a Fare Paying passenger in an aircraft licensed to carry passengers.
  • Participation of the Insured in winter sports, mountaineering and such other professional sports or any other hazardous or potentially dangerous sport for which the Insured members are adequately trained, physically fit and using proper equipment. and that too only if specifically agreed and mentioned in the policy schedule.
  • Hazardous occupation, or if engaged in any criminal or illegal act.
  • Medical Expenses in respect of Experimental, investigational or unproven treatments or treatments which are not consistent with or incidental to the diagnosis and treatment of the positive existence or presence of any Illness for which confinement is required at a Hospital. Any Illness or treatment which is a result or a consequence of undergoing such experimental or unproven treatment.
  • Naturopathy treatment.
  • Non Allopathic treatment e.g. - Ayurvedic, Yogic, Homeopathic, Unani treatment(s).
  • Under no circumstances shall this insurance contract be deemed to provide cover and no liability be incurred to pay any claim or provide any benefit hereunder to the extent that the provision of such cover, payment of such claim or provision of such benefit would expose us to any sanction, prohibition, or restriction under United Nations resolutions or the trade or economic sanctions, laws or regulations of the European Union, United Kingdom, United States of America & India

You can avail the Travel Insurance online and enjoy the benefits offered by ICICI Lombard General Insurance (Bharti AXA General Insurance*)

What Is Covered Under Travel Insurance?

Loss of passport and documents:

Reimbursement of actual expenses incurred in connection with obtaining a duplicate or fresh passport or reasonable cost of replacing/obtaining the stolen documents/ tickets if the passport belonging to the Insured / Insured Person be lost

Home Fire Insurance Contents & Home Burglary Insurance (contents):

Cover against any loss or damage of the Contents at Home of the Insured in India caused by Fire and Allied perils or through burglary and/or housebreaking while the Insured is on a trip abroad.

Hijack Distress Allowance

Payment of distress allowance in case of hijack of a common carrier for more than certain number of hours whilst on the trip. You can easily avail the allowance by filing a claim online through Travel Insurance cover online process.

Medical Expensesinclusive of Repartration  and Emergency Medical Evacuation

If you are sick or injured during the journey, your medical expenses can prove to be costly. In such cases,  Travel Insurance cover greatly helps. The insurance company also offers a cashless settlement with the network hospitals or you can also opt for the reimbursement process within 30 days of hospitalization.

Legal Expenses

Payment of legal costs and expenses incurred by the Insured towards claims from third Parties for compensation in respect of death or disablement arising due to an injury whilst on a trip abroad.

Personal Accident

Payment of compensation if the Insured sustains accidental bodily injury during a trip resulting in death or Permanent Total Disablement or Permanent Partial Disablement within 12 months of occurrence of such injury.

Trip Cancellation/Or Interruption

Payment towards the non-refundable prepaid payments incurred on the trip being cancelled and additional cost of transportation in case of Interruption: due to medical problems, personal employment problems or natural disasters or other listed reason in policy wordings.

Trip Delay

 Reimbursement of additional expenses if trip is delayed beyond a period, due to airline problems, medical problems, personal employment problems or natural disasters.

 Daily Allowance in case of Hospitalisation

 Payment of daily allowance for the days the Insured is hospitalised beyond a specified number of days, as mentioned in the Policy Schedule, for which a valid claim is admissible under the Policy whilst on a trip abroad.Emergency Accommodation

 Payment of compensation for the additional cost of emergency accommodation if the Insured/ Insured Person could not stay in the accommodation originally booked due to ­fire& flood, earthquake, storm, hurricane, explosion, outbreak of major infectious diseases.

Why do I need Travel insurance?

During a trip there are chances of unfortunate events such as loss of checked in baggage, medical emergency, loss of passport that can spoil your international trip, be it business or leisure. Travel insurance can protect you from such events ensuring that you are left stuck in foreign land.