Tissa is a gateway to Yala National Park. It is a charming village with lots of scenery and some ancient archaeological ruins.
There are no trains that come out here yet.
There are regular buses from most major cities in the south. Expect about a 4-5 hour journey if coming from Galle.
It is mostly walkable. You may also take local buses with the help of friendly villagers. As normal in Sri Lanka, a tuk-tuk is never far away.
Take a walk around Lake Tissa and the surrounding wet lands. It is full of all sorts of wild life. There are small dirt roads that take you through farm fields and modest homes. It is a great way to see how real Sri Lankans live. Along the main lake, there are often locals fishing with cane poles. Right behind them another person is breading and frying these tasty morsel to sell to anyone passing by. Stay out of the water though as crocodiles are masters of camouflage. When the weather is good, it is a great way to pass the time, while waiting for others to join your safari party or is a budget way to taste the tip of what Yala National Park has to offer.
K Holiday Resort, Aluthgoda Road (In the town center, close to bus stand), ☎ 047-2239304. AC and very cheap, simple non AC rooms with attached bathroom, big communal balcony, recently opened by a motivated couple. They can arrange tours, but are not at all tour-pushy as most of the competitors. One of the few places in Sri Lanka you can have a conversation with a female host in good english. A restaurant will be opened in spring 2012.from Rs 1000.
Mihisara Lake View Guesthouse, No. 257-5 Debarwewa,Tissamaharama, ☎ 094777003337. The 6 well appointed rooms of the Mihisara Lake View Guesthouse are all en-suite and fitted with hot water. A/C rooms are available. Food and service is exquisite and cheap Jeep tours can be arranged to Yala National Park. Well worth the stay.
Hotel Tissa, Main Street, Tissamaharama (Right on the beginning of main street). checkout: 11AM. Central hotel close to the bus and train station. Operated by a very friendly and helpful family. Rooms are ok and relatively clean. Restaurant serves a small, but freshly cooked menu for affordable prices (400-600 Rs for a curry). 1000-2500 Rs.
Sakura communications is a comfortable air-conditioned cafe with good prices. They are around the corner from the bus station next to Commercial Bank.