Looking for something off the beaten track? Through Duara you can experience real Sri Lankan lifestyle in Kalkudah, a Tamil neighbourhood in the East Coast. Duara is more than just accommodation: you stay with a local family, cook and eat with them and take part in the villagers' daily activities. Your stay benefits the host family and village directly, as part of the payment goes to a local community organisation. There are several host families who can usually each host two travellers.
The Duara Travels experience includes three meals per day. You will be served local food, the same eaten by your host family. You can help them cook it and learn about Sri Lankan cuisine!
Note that there are several host families in the village. Once you make the booking, your English speaking Duara Contact, Prathap, will arrange one of the host families for you. If you are a group of three or more, you might be split into separate host families. While there are some hotels and guesthouses nearby, this neighbourhood is truly local and you will probably be one of the only foreign travellers here.
Kalkudah is surrounded by paradise beaches waiting for you to explore. Join the fishermen throwing nets into the blue ocean or take a taxi boat to an island in the middle of a lagoon. You can find totally private, untouched white sands and warm waters.
In this coastal town you get to dive into depths of the unique culture of Sri Lankan Tamils, a minority which, until a few years back, faced oppression for decades. Despite the rough history - or perhaps because of it - these people have a special twinkle of life in their eyes.
After the tsunami in 2004 destroyed the little tourism activities locals were involved in, most profits have been slipping into foreign pockets through all-inclusive resorts by the beach. Currently most people in Kalkudah rely on fishing and small businesses. By staying in this Duara village you help direct tourism income back to locals.
Zugang für Gäste
You have your own private room but the rest is shared with your host family. Conditions here are very local and simple, so do not mistake it for a luxury holiday! Be prepared to face a language barrier and overcome it by using body language and a translation app, they really work.
Interaktion mit Gästen
You are highly encouraged to be active in taking part in your host family's and the villagers' daily activities. Smile, laugh and tag along. This is your chance to experience how Sri Lankan people live in the countryside.
Weitere wichtige Infos
If you are travelling with a family, shoot us a message so we can figure out a good family price for you!
With Duara, 15% of your payment is directed to support the community around you. In Kalkudah, this share goes to Koralaipattu Producers Group. This group consists of handicraftsmen making a big variety of products from coconut, sea shells, palmyra leaves and other materials. You are also welcome to buy a few items as souvenirs or joining the artists as they work.
THINGS TO DO IN KALKUDAH:
Most Tamils are Hindus and during Hindu holidays the burst of colours in clothing and decorations is astonishing. Join your family at the temple, especially during ceremonies.
Shop local handicrafts made by the Koralaipattu Producers Group consisting of your neighbours. They can teach you how it’s done!
Join fishermen at sea.
Take a boat to a lagoon island for a swim.
Learn how to make the famous flower garlands used to welcome guests.
- Be cautious about showing affection in public.
- Show respect to the local culture and religion. Dress modestly. Especially women are encouraged to cover knees and shoulders.
- Do not show up home intoxicated or drink alcohol at the premises.
- Watch your language around children, do not publish photos of them unless authorised by parents, and do not take them outside the home without their parents' permission.
- You are entering a vulnerable community. Make sure you have a valid travel insurance. Understand, that you will be held responsible for any damage you may cause to your host family, their neighbours or their belongings.
- In case you have any allergies or special diets, inform your Duara Contact beforehand.
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Duara Travels is about more than just accommodation. It offers wholesome experiences of local life in rural, developing parts of the world. With Duara, you live with a local family in Africa, Asia or Latin America. You cook and eat with the family and get to join daily activities in the village. Forget about pools and luxury suites, get ready for bucket showers!
By choosing Duara, you benefit the village directly. Your host family and Duara Contact earn from your payment. In addition, 15% goes to a local savings group or community organisation, supporting the whole village around you.
Duara was founded in 2015 by four passionate travellers who want to rethink the income distribution in the tourism industry. We want to offer travellers the chance to make a positive impact while exploring the hidden parts of the world.