Things To Do in Mirissa
The thing to do in Mirissa is to go whale watching. So as I was on such a jam packed itinerary I went there literally to do that. I arrived late in the evening, even later than I should have done since I managed to miss my train stop and had to go Matara and take a tuk-tuk back from there. And I left the next afternoon for Yala National Park near Tissa.
I did still manage to see the town and explore the beach but yeah I didn’t have a lot of time and I went for one reason really and it was completely worth it.
Whale Watching in Mirissa
Since the whale watching trips start so early in the morning, 5am, and I only had the one night in Mirissa because I’m clearly insane I booked the whale watching online prior to arriving since I wasn’t planning to arrive till the evening before, and didn’t have a spare day to wait if they happened to be fully booked for the next morning. It was important to me I had this booked in advance.
How to Book Whale Watching in Mirissa
I booked through Whale Watching Mirissa whose website seems to have become an absolute shambles now but you can email them to book.When I went the cost was 4,000 Sri Lankan Rupee ($22 USD) but that was a few years ago so check the current cost before confirming your booking.
How Does the Whale Watching Tour Work?
As is standard with the whale watching they will you up from your hotel at an appointed time and take me to the dock where the boats are to go see the whales.
What Time Do the Tours Start?
The tour starts at 7am and they provide you with breakfast and water
How Long is the Tour
3 – 5 hours
Are you Guaranteed to See Whales?
Unfortunately not. It just depends how things go on the day. There are no guarantees with nature and what I particularly liked about these boats is that they didn’t seem to be chasing the whales too much to find them which is something I’ve heard happens on other similar sea life tours, such as seeing dolphins in Lovina, in Bali.
The whale watching tour in Mirissa was incredible and I was fortunate enough to see whales. You just don’t really appreciate how insanely big whales are until you see them in real life – hard to get a good photo though.
After the whale watching I went back and checked out of my hotel. Then I went down to the beach for lunch. The beach is never the cheapest place to eat or drink anywhere, you pay for that view, but I got a great Sri Lankan curry for not that bad a price and I throughly appreciated the view.
As I mentioned above I didn’t have long to explore but I still managed to walk down the main beach after lunch and climbed up a little hill that separates the two beaches and provides what could be described as a reasonably good view ??.
Where to stay in Mirissa
There weren’t any hostels in Mirissa when I visited therefore I had to stay at a hotel. I stayed at Green Garden Guest Mirissa. The room was basic but the grounds of the hotel were lovely, the staff really friendly and it was much more reasonably priced than a lot of other options. Plus if you’re getting up at 5am to go see the whales anyway who really cares?
How long to spend in Mirissa
You only need one night there to go Whale Watching the next morning so it just depends how much beach time you want outside of this.
Moving On: How to get from Mirissa to Tissa (Yala National Park)
I got a bus from Mirissa to Matara and then from Matara to Tissa. There are a lot of rumours online that a straight through bus exists, the number 32, but it didn’t appear in Mirissa and everyone told me to get the bus to Matara and then the 32 from there so I followed their advice. From Mirissa the bus goes from along the main road behind the beach. Just ask anyone where to stand and they’ll point you the right way.
Important Information about Busses in Sri Lanka
- Getting busses in Sri Lanka is confusing. I spent at least 30 minutes wondering round the bus terminal in Matara, asking people where to go for my bus, almost getting on wrong busses (at one point I even had my luggage stowed away ready to go on one of the wrong ones) before finally managing to find the correct bus. I was even showing people the name of where I wanted to go on my phone, since they just looked at me blankly when I actually said “Tissa”. In desperation I almost ended up calling one of the locals I’d met in Galle Fort to ask, “Can you talk to them please? I don’t understand what is going on”. But I decided to persevere on my own in the end. It’s supposed to be an adventure after all and traveling by bus in Sri Lanka will certainly give you that.
- The busses are fun though. They’re cramped and sweaty but they will at the very least give you entertainment with the TV screens at the front and dance music being blasted out on them all day.
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