Exploring Koggala Lake in Sri Lanka

Day Trips

Sri Lanka’s Finest Lake

Koggala Lake lies in the south of Sri Lanka, just a few minutes drive from the coastal beaches. To escape the tourist crowds near Galle, head to Koggala Lake for a moment of calm serenity.

Koggala Lake from Tri’s infinity pool. The luxury resorts boasts of the best views of the lake from its pool to the villas and the water tower for guests to fully enjoy the retreat-like getaway into this quiet natural setting

 

Boat Ride from Tri

Tri offers private dhoni boat rides with a local and a resort guide. You can head to specific islands, such as Cinnamon Island or Temple Island. Or, you can simply request to enjoy a private ride around the lake and to view the resort’s property from the water. Read more about my stay at Tri here.

Tri’s dhoni boat. The resort has its own boat which can be scheduled for morning or afternoon boat rides between the intense heat of the noon sun. Alternatively, you can also hire a boat along the lake, but be mindful of prices taking advantage of tourists
Your boat ride begins. The boat comes supplied with life vests should you feel more comfortable wearing one. As it is a serene lake, the boat ride itself is not as bumpy compared to seas and oceans
A true escape from everything. The boat ride will for sure be one of your more quiet moments in Sri Lanka away from the noises of animals, the music of the locals, and the sounds of fellow travelers

 

Cinnamon Island Trap

Included with my booking from Mr. and Mrs. Smith (a luxury online booking agency) was a dhoni boat excursion to Cinnamon Island. While there were mostly negative reviews on TripAdvisor, I was excited from the description of “how the spice is grown, harvested, and prepared.”

Unfortunately, the Cinnamon Island experience was entirely anti-climatic and a classic tale of a tourist trap. After the enjoyable boat ride to the island, we disembarked to find a local host who walked a few steps to show us a single little cinnamon tree (more like a tiny bush), he then offered us tea while showing us how the cinnamon sticks are made and how the powder is dusted. Soon after, he brings out over-priced cinnamon products which is followed by an awkward silence in which you feel everyone waiting for you to get sucked into a regrettable purchase.

The local host demonstrating how cinnamon sticks are produced. Perhaps if he were more enthusiastic and interested in the process and in us guests the experience would have been more enjoyable and less of a tourist trap

 

Lesson Learned

While 600 rupees (about $4 USD) for cinnamon curry powder is really not that expensive, it was the principle of the matter that hurt more. A let down of what could have been an exciting and educational food experience.

Appeasing the let down was the enjoyable boat ride. The private dhoni boat excursion should be a must for travelers who seek a quiet escape. There is nothing like clean air breezing by on your face while sipping on a local coconut.

The serenity of Koggala Lake. The lake is surrounded by lush greenery from the mainland and surrounding islands. Occasionally you can witness seaplanes of Cinnamon Air landing on the lake, a faster and more expensive means of domestic travel

 

Travel Vlog Series

Watch my Sri Lanka Travel Vlog Series which features the boat ride and clips from Cinnamon Island

 


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