Digital nomads, remote jobs – these words have earned their respect within the past years. More and more journalists, freelancers, software developers, bloggers are going nomadic, liberating themselves from space and starting to live dream lives. Bali and Chiangmai have been among the most popular destinations in Asia for digital nomads – there you can find everything starting from healthy food, cheap accommodation to the established community, and that all living on a tropical island.
The past month I have been living in Sri Lanka and the question about this island being nomadic-friendly has been bothering me a lot. Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, has got several cafes where you could potentially work, but who wants to live in Colombo with traffic jams, noise, and lack of good beaches if only 3 hours down South the island reveals its real tropical beauty? Mirissa, Unawatuna, Weligama – you can find everything here, but the Internet. Walking from one cafe to another in the search for the good Internet has not been successful. Generally speaking, Sri Lanka is not as developed tourist-wise as other tropical Asian countries, which will definitely change in the next few years. Digital nomad community is not established here either, there are no co-working or co-living spaces like you can find in Bali, for example. However, I managed to find the most nomadic-friendly area in the South of Sri Lanka, where you would find almost everything that each remote worker would appreciate. The area is called Dikwella, it is located 40 min to the east from popular touristic places, which not only makes it cheaper accommodation wise but also offers less crowded long bounty beaches. Below I list the places that will make Dikwella the Sri Lankan paradise for digital nomads:
- VERSE COLLECTIVE
Verse defines itself as a hotel and a co-work space, which opened in December, 2017, basically, several months ago. Its location (1 min to the deserted bounty beach), facilities (the fastest Internet I have had in Sri Lanka, yoga classes, coworking area) and the overall relaxing atmosphere with great design solutions make this place my absolute top on the list. For skater lovers, there is even a small skate ramp on the verse territory. Food is slightly overpriced but less than 5 minutes on foot you can find many great local places that offer the buffet menu for 1 Euro.
Within 5 minutes walk form Verse the direction Hiriketiya bay you can find a great space/cafe/hotel with daily yoga classes – SALT. Great place to chill, eat healthy vegan/vegetarian food, or drink a smoothie after the evening yoga session.
3. HIRIKETIYA BAY
If you pass SALT, within another 1-minute walk you will find an extremely beautiful bay, my favorite in the South of Sri Lanka. Hiriketiya beach is one of those rare locations that are not spoiled by tourists yet. It has everything you always wanted to experience – soft sand, palms, waves that slowly break once they enter the small bay. This is also a great place for surfers, who are already confident enough to go to the big water alone but are not experienced enough to catch aggressive waves.
Why not enjoy the early sun rays while surfing in the morning in Hiriketiya bay, grab lunch in one of the local places nearby, have a productive work session in Verse, recharge your energy during a yoga session in Salt and meet the sunset in the Dikwella beach, which is a beach that starts right next to Verse and stretches for at least 1 km. Other digital nomad destinations definitely have more variety, but it always takes time to find the perfect combination of everything. After living one month in Sri Lanka and having struggles with lack of proper working facility, I never thought I would accidentally find everything I was looking for here, in Dikwella Sri Lanka.