Sri Lanka, the south coast – Colonial Atmosphere

SRI LANKA, THE SOUTH COAST

Yala

The park has a very rich and varied fauna, a superb environment (from the beach to the south passing the rocks in the center); wild elephants, deer in families, black pigs, mongooses, wild water buffalos, birds per thousand, crocodiles … And if you are more lucky than us, you may be able to see some wild leopards! I had booked a Jeep in advance via internet, but in fact all the hotels have good addresses (and I think all are worth it!), and can arrange it very easily. Ask to enter the park by the entrance a little further north, much less frequented. The Jeep horde that springs from the south entrance is quite disappointing. Afterwards, it is a story of luck; Our guide went out of his way to get a leopard (unsuccessfully), but eventually we were delighted with our morning watching all this fantastic wildlife.

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Lunch with view in Tangalle in a very small restaurant but I recommend: Emmalaya Rock View. The view is absolutely fantastic and we enjoyed a delicious little salad with grilled fish to choose from in the day fishing.

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Bonnavista

Surfing in Weligama; it is THE spot, very frequented elsewhere. Personally I preferred the beach of Bonnavista, just before Galle. It is less crowded and the waves are perfect for beginners or children.

Sea turtle (Sea Turtle Hatchery); you can stop on the road in one of the many marine turtle conservation centers. This one seems quite ethical (some use turtles as a business), and receives many groups of students to raise awareness about the different species that lay eggs on the beaches of Sri Lanka. They have several basins with turtles of different sizes and species; some wounded which unfortunately cannot be put back into the sea.

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Traditional fishermen in Koggala; then I owe you a little explanation. Unfortunately, the photos that you have seen blooming on the net, very beautiful besides, are not real life. The Sri Lankan fishermen have long realized that they would make more money by posing for tourists’ pictures than by fishing in the rollers against a raging sea … So yes, I did it, but I am not proud at all. Sri Lanka offers so much more authentic scenes than this one!

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Grilled lobster on the beach at Unawatuna at the Cormoran Beach Club (the only one I tried, but the others are certainly good too!).

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Galle

We had a huge favorite for Galle, a city full of history, classified by UNESCO. The ideal is to stay inside its ramparts, the Galle Fort or the Fort Bazar for example. Then you just have to walk in its lovely little streets, to walk around the Remparts where you will meet as many tourists as Sri Lankans. In particular, there are a lot of school groups that come out of the classroom and learn the fabulously rich history of their country. This adds animation to the charm of old stones!

 

Fish market: just outside the ramparts, passing through the door on Queen’s Street, continue a few hundred meters and you can observe the fishermen who unload their fishing of the day, immediately sold on small stalls all the morning.

There is also a flea market every first Sunday of the month from 10am to 6pm on Law Court Square.

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Church Street

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