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How To Reach Trincomalee
Located on the east coast of Sri Lanka, overlooking the harbor and 147 km northeast of Colombo is Trincomalee, the administrative HQ of the Trincomalee district and a major resort port city, in Sri Lanka’s eastern province. With a populace of over 99,000, this city is built on the Trincomalee headland, which separates its internal and external harbors. Having one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka and sparkling white sand, Trincomalee is surrounded by rock formations, wildlife and hilltops and a trip of 2-3 days will have you asking for more here! There are roughly 6 ways of traveling to Trincomalee from Colombo, by flight, train, bus or taxi.
The nearest airport to Trincomalee is Sigiriya, about 81 km away. On arrival at Sri Lanka’s International Airport, you need to hail a taxi for the Domestic Airport which is about 33 km from Bandaranaike Airport and will cost you approx. 700-900 INR.
You can then take a flight from Colombo Airport. Sri Lanka’s local airline Cinnamon Air provides scheduled flights to Sigiriya which works out for all who prefer an experience of witnessing nature’s beauty from the skies. The plane ride costs INR 16,000-39,000 for a 30 minute flight, not a very cost-effective way to travel! From Sigiriya, travel to Habarana which is 15 km approx. from there, and will cost you INR 700-850 in the taxi. From Habarana, there’s a train for Trincomalee every 4 hours, which takes about 2 hours and 24 minutes.
From Bandaranaike International Airport, about 1.4 km ahead is the Katunayake Bus Station from where you can catch a bus to Colombo Bastian Mawatha Bus Terminal. From the CBM Terminal, walk 11 minutes down to the Colombo Fort Station from where there’s a train for Trincomalee 5 times a day and takes roughly 3 ½ hours, which makes it one of the best ways to reach Trincomalee. The Journey between Katunayake Bus Station and Colombo Bastian Mawatha Bus Terminal can be made in 45 minutes and a bus leaves for this route every 30 minutes. The train journey from Colombo Fort to Trincomalee will cost you INR 110-370.
There are two ways to travel by Road to Trincomalee. One is to travel by bus and the other by taxi. From the Bandaranaike International Airport to the Katunayake Bus Station, it takes about 16 minutes on foot, from where a bus leaves for Colombo Bastian Mawatha Bus Terminal every 30 minutes and costs INR 56. On arrival at the CBM Bus Terminal, there’s an hourly bus for Trincomalee which takes about 6 hours and 50 minutes to reach, costing anything between INR 110-150.
Another option is to either drive down or take a cab. The road distance between Bandaranaike International Airport and Trincomalee is 3 hours and 58 minutes, about 236 km; and costs about INR 6,000-8,000. While self-driving will cost you about 1,300-1,900 on fuel, in addition to car rental charges.
Being a small town, walking may be a tad frustrating in Trincomalee, with flocking beggars and street hawkers hassling tourists. For longer trips, hiring a tuk-tuk is feasible.