Negambo beach is just outside the Colombo international Airport. Nice location to begin or finish the trip to Sri Lanka.
I took train from Kandy to veyangoda and bus to Airport and another bus to Negambo. The train ride down the mountain (Kandy is about 400m above sea level) to plain was just spectacular. Even though I wasted the whole day by taking the train to reach Negambo, the train ride made it worthy.
But if i had taken the straight bus from Kandy it would have been a 4-hour trip. With train and 2 buses it took me 6 hours to get to my hostel in Negambo.
The beach was decent but local drunk men try to misbehave to tourists for either free sex or money. So, its important to stay cautious on this beach.
Dutch canal is a famous boat ride in this area. You can hire a boat and just go down the canal for a couple of hours. It’s quiet scenic. Make sure to wear a lot of sun screen, even if it’s December.
There are a few really nice churches and Hindu temples in the town that would make for a casual half-a-day or evening self -guided walking tour.
Again, if you are not a South Indian who can blend in, it is advisable to walk with fellow travelers than by yourself.