Fieldresearch in Sri Lanka – an unforgettable experience in an emerging destination

April 11, 2018

After our month of researching in Melbourne, Australia, it was time to fly to our second destination: Sri Lanka. The country, that is also known as the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’, offers a variety of beautiful golden beaches, impressive mountains and jungles, as well as cultural and historical sites. The first week in Sri Lanka took place in Colombo and Galle, where we had several interesting meetings with guest speakers and tours by experienced and inspiring tour guides. For the field research in Sri Lanka, the TDM-class consisting of 8 groups, were divided in different research areas; Galle - Hikkadua Area (west of Galle), Galle Area, Middle Area and Eastern Area upto Hambantota. My group (Inga, Heiley, Veronika and I) where placed in the Eastern Area upto Hambantota to research the Micro and Small Enterprises as stakeholder group, together with group 4 (Pim, Thani, Amy and Laurene), who had to research the Medium and Large Organisations as stakeholder group.


The two groups went to Tangalle, which is the most touristic and developed place in the research area, where the group of 8 worked closely together to obtain as much as possible relevant data for the research. The experience in Tangalle was really interesting, the place offers nice beaches and cheap accommodations for backpackers. Although there was often a language barrier, the local people in the area were really friendly and hospitable towards tourists. The accommodation were the researchers stayed for most of the time of their fieldwork was really close to the beach, where there were plenty of beach restaurants and bars. However, the researchers had one favourite family owned restaurant where they sat every day.


After a week doing research in Tangalle, it was time for the researchers to split up in order to discover other parts of the research area. The group decided to split up in a way that there was always one member of each team in a particular research area. Thani, Inga and Laurene went to the Hambantota district, Pim and I went to Dickwella and Amy, Heiley and Veronika stayed in Tangalle. Pim and I took a tuk-tuk to Dickwella, where we stayed for one night in Dickwella Beach hotel, a hotel next to Dickwella beach. In a short time, we found out that Dickwella was a quiet area with a really quiet beach with only a few tourists from some big resorts. The next day, Pim and I went to Kudawella, where you can find the ‘Blow hole’ as a tourist attraction. However, it was more a tourist trap since in our opinion it was not special at all. After visiting the Blow Hole, we walked through the Kudawella area and since we did not booked any accommodation yet, we were looking for a place to stay for the night. However, the area did not offer many accommodations, so we keep on walking in the hot sun which made us melt. At the moment we were almost to tired to walk further, a really friendly Sri Lankan woman came out her house, asked us what we were doing and invited us into her house for a cup of tea.  


We went inside and had a nice conversation with this lady and explained her that we actually were looking for an accommodation, after which she called her son and offered us a complete house. So that night, Pim and I had a typical Sri Lankan house in the middle of an unknown area near Kudawella. The beds were old, dirty and stinky, we did not have any sheets or mosquito nets, the whole night there were dogs barking and the praying sound of a temple close by, and it was extremely hot that night, so it was probably one of the most uncomfortable nights of our lives. The next morning we were happy to leave to a nice beach nearby, named Hiriketiya beach, which is by the way recommendable for young travellers who like to surf and enjoy a nice vibe on the beach.

After our adventure in Kudawella, Pim and I were really happy to arrive back in our ‘home’ place in the area Tangalle, where our favourite family was happy to see us again. We enjoyed the last few days in Tangalle, after which we went back to Galle for an intensive week of group work, report writing and in the end, presentations. We successfully finished our research in Sri Lanka and are ready to go to the next destination: Bali, Indonesia!!





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© 2017 by Roel Berkeveld

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