22
Jan
10

The Brief, Yet Definitive Guide to Jaffna

The Food

The first thing we did when we got to Jaffna was eat. Do not do this. You will find mediocre fish and mutton thrown at you and get ripped off in translation when 150 in tamil turns into 180 when spoken out loud in English by the cashier. Instead, walk around a bit, weigh your options, look around for places that sell things like paratas or fried rice. The freshness of the east coast paratas have spread here as well, and you can’t go wrong with a simple dish of dhal and saambar. If looking for mangoes, look elsewhere. Preferably your back yard if you have a tree. Mangoes round here taste the same as mangoes grown everywhere else. Even the karuthacolumban trees grow in other parts of the island. Like my back yard.

The Scenery

The scenery is one of Jaffna’s strong points. Unfortunately for them it is littered with signs saying “Danger: Landmines” and other such dire warnings like “Warning: Perverts Abound”.  The place is not what you will expect, instead it will be lush and green for the most part, and have palm trees and elephant pass monuments sprinkled around the landscape. You will also see the occasional bullet ridden building but nobody cares about that, yeah?

The People

Are a mixed bag. Just like anywhere else I guess. There will be extremely helpful people and extremely creepy people. They all speak Tamil and only a few speak Sinhalese. Bus conductors are a worthy mention in that they don’t yell quite as offensively as those in Colombo. Instead, they are gentle and soft, like the name “Himal”.

The Beaches

Are awesome. Well, some of them. There are supposed to be a few beaches in Jaffna that are awe-inducing, but we only saw one. Maybe this should be re-titled “The (kinda) Definitive Guide to Jaffna”. Point Pedro will give you the thrill of being at the top of the island, but that fades quickly when you realize India is just above you and most of it is further north from where you are. Casoorina beach was our beach of choice and it looked like a bit of foreign land washed up here during the tsunami. It probably did, seeing how even the locals pronounce the name a half dozen different ways.

The Sights

Are few and afar. There is an old town and fort, an enormous Kovil near Casoorina beach, the Nillady beach near the Navy base at Point Pedro and sometimes, a solar eclipse even. In addition to this, there are a few remote places that just look… awesome.

Conclusion

Go to Jaffna. It is safe and fun to be at now. It also has possibly the beast beach I’ve been to in Sri Lanka. It might take an eternity and half to get thee but trust me, it’s worth it.

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25 Responses to “The Brief, Yet Definitive Guide to Jaffna”


  1. January 22, 2010 at 9:15 am

    nice post. I’m sure you didn’t think much of “You will also see the occasional bullet ridden building but nobody cares about that, yeah?” but this might be considered offensive by some. It is after all a very sensitive subject 🙂

    I can’t wait to go to jaffna and see the beauty of it and taste the wonderful food and meet people there.

    Please share pictures of point pedro if you can!

  2. 2 Dee
    January 22, 2010 at 9:26 am

    lol 😀 I enjoyed that. lol’d at himal 😀

  3. January 22, 2010 at 9:38 am

    @dee
    It IS soft, isn’t it? 😀

    @B.I
    Thanks, glad you liked it. I meant that line kind of sarcastically, since most travelers going there would only treat the ruins as something else to take pictures of, and not signs of just how real the war was to some people. We didn’t get many pictures of point pedro, since it was full of people, and the ones we did look like wellawatte beach. They’ll be posted on sinhalayatravels.wordpress.com shortly 🙂

  4. January 22, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    @whack & rsz
    gee, thanks a lot :p

  5. January 22, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    Are Whack and RSZ grading your post?! 😛

  6. January 22, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    They graciously decided to up my comment count on this post :p

  7. January 22, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    Monkey Landmines!

    …and 10!

  8. January 22, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    Thanks.. short and sweet Guide to Jaffna 🙂

  9. January 23, 2010 at 12:44 am

    *makes a mental note: Jaffna*

    Nice one Jerry, thanks a lot for the tips.

  10. 13 Chavie
    January 23, 2010 at 7:37 am

    Definitive Guide to Jaffna??? 😛

    13… eeek! 😐

  11. January 23, 2010 at 8:30 am

    Jerry,thanks for the clarification, and my apologies for not getting the sarcasm 🙂

    So, I have a couple of questions about sinhalaya travels, but I should prob go to that site. Hehe.

    Keep posting! Loved the short, to the point guide to Jaffna.

  12. January 23, 2010 at 9:43 am

    I see u have met Himal 😉
    Be careful, I am told he can be quite addictive.. One thing, that boys got skills!

  13. January 23, 2010 at 11:55 am

    @sabby
    forgot your pills today I see ? 😛

    @KP
    You’re welcome!

    @SI
    Glad to be of service 🙂

    @chavie
    I know. 13!!! HOW!?

  14. January 23, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    Haha and PaparéBoy lugged those mangoes in his sack for a back-pack all the way to Colombo!

  15. January 23, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Mmmm..mangoes..
    Bbbb..beach…

    Naice.

  16. January 23, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    Paratas? As in Parathas? (Shallow) Fried bread that may or may not be stuffed? I thought it was a North Indian obsession…

    • January 24, 2010 at 7:57 am

      YOU! Long time no see!
      How’s uni? Life? 😀

      Yes, they’re found all over sri lanka, though not always any good. Plus we don’t call it ‘fried bread’ :p

      You’re in delhi yes? My brother’s wandering around there on vacation as we speak!

  17. January 25, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Hi 😀

    Uni and life are both okay… your brother’s in Delhi, is he? The city is submerged under construction equipment! It’s bloody mental!

    So, how have you been? Has your Mom come back? How’s the food situation? 😀

    Your brother can have good parathas here, if he goes to the right places… actually, he can have just about any kind of food here… we’re experts at eating! It’s really all we do.

    • January 25, 2010 at 7:44 pm

      He says he’s freezing his ass off 😀

      Mom and bro coming back on the 29th. I seem to have survived, miraculously. Brought enough cereal to last three meals a day for at least five days yesterday 😀

      Hopefully he won’t find any places. My envy can only take so much 😛

      Also, does that contact thing on your blog still work? Sent you a message about posting comments on your blog…

  18. June 9, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    “and get ripped off in translation when 150 in tamil turns into 180 when spoken out loud in English by the cashier” ?

    Hahahahahaha xD


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