Travel to Southern Sri Lanka

Beach near Dickwella resort

On the last leg of our trip, we were able to travel to southern Sri Lanka along the coast. Along the way we stayed at two lovely seaside hotels which felt like luxury for the end of our trip.

First, we visited the Yala National Park where we saw many types of wildlife and a beautiful sunset. It was also fun watching the locals hop out of the jeeps and walk around with the monkeys. In fact, one monkey stole some snacks from a family!

Next, we walked through giant puddles and mud to reach the Hummanaya blow hole. As the name suggests, this was a natural attraction where the waves hit the rocks causing a spray of water. There were many local tourists watching the blow hole, and along the way there were many people selling fresh fried fish. Along the coast, we also stopped at a turtle hatchery. We were able to hold a baby turtle and saw tanks of injured and deformed turtles who had been rescued.

Finally, we explored Galle fort and town with its prominent lighthouse. Fortunately it is also the location of a wonderful restaurant called the Tuna and the Crab, part of the Ministry of Crab family. Delicious food in a cool and stylish setting.

This is a short guide based on our travel to Southern Sri Lanka along the coast, and then back up to Colombo.

Galle Fort
Galle Fort
Yala National Park elephant butts
Yala National Park elephant butts
Galle Beach with locals swimming
Galle Beach with locals swimming

Highlights

  • Safari drive in Yala National Park. We saw many beautiful peacocks, spotted deer, elephants, monkeys, crocodiles, junglefowl, wild boar and water buffalo
  •  Hummanaya blow hole – interesting to see the ocean view, the blow hole and the many local visitors. There are also some fried fish stalls along the way
  • Turtle hatchery in Habaraduwa. It is also a sanctuary for injured and deformed turtles. We enjoyed holding a baby turtle. It is also the area known for the fishermen who go and sit on a stick in the ocean to do their fishing.
  • Galle fort with its walls, clock tower, ramparts, lighthouse and prison spaces
  • Galle town to see the old churches and buildings
  • Enjoy the beaches and the coastal views

Before you go

  • You may need mosquito repellant as the areas with lakes and water have mosquitos
  • It is best to drink bottled water as tap water may not agree with tourists
  • Diet soda was more difficult to find than regular so we picked extra up at stores when we found it
  • Driving is on the left side of the road, like in the UK
  • Cash machines may or may not have cash so try to exchange some money at the airport. You should have some cash for tipping
  • Try the fresh local fruits, as they are sweet and tasty
  • The rain means there can be a lot of mud so bring appropriate shoes
  • We experienced flying ants in Dickwella and there are just bugs you have to get used to. Repellent did not repel them!
Yala National Park sunset
Yala National Park sunset
Fisherman preparing to go out on a boat near Dickwella Resort
Fisherman preparing to go out on a boat near Dickwella Resort
Eden Resort and Spa
Eden Resort and Spa

Transport

  • We mostly travelled around the area by car with our driver Danan from BH Tours Lanka.
  • For the safari in Yala National Park, we had a driver who took us around in his converted Toyota truck.
  • We were able to walk by foot around Galle to explore the city

Accommodation

  • After leaving Ella our first stop was at the Grand Yala Hotel. It’s a quaint hotel right next to the Wirawila Tissa sanctuary. They had mosquito nets and air conditioning.
  • We had a beautiful ocean-view room at the Dickwella resort and spa. It felt luxurious and there was a swimming pool and beach.
  • Our last tour day was spent in five-star luxury at Eden Resort and Spa in Beruwala. Great views, pool, food, and a spa. I had my nails done at the in-hotel salon.
Yala National Park curious monkeys
Yala National Park curious monkeys
Galle Lighthouse
Galle Lighthouse
Turtle hatchery in Habaraduwa
Turtle hatchery in Habaraduwa
Tuna steak and fries at Grand Yala Hotel
Tuna steak and fries at Grand Yala Hotel
Crab fried rice at The Tuna and the Crab
Crab fried rice at The Tuna and the Crab
Buffet dinner at Eden Resort and Spa
Buffet dinner at Eden Resort and Spa
Fresh fried fish near Hummanaya Blowhole
Fresh fried fish near Hummanaya Blowhole

Food

Our first lunch was at the Grand Yala Hotel. I had a cheese omelette and chips and Kem had spring rolls and chips. My omelette wasn’t cooked in the middle so I just ate the edges. Dinner was better and I enjoyed my tuna steak and chips with fresh fruit for dessert.

We had lunch at the Dickwella resort. I had a spicy bbq chicken pizza which was so-so. Kem had Kung fu chicken (like Kung pao chicken but with cashews instead of peanuts). The buffet dinner was good. We had a choice of noodles, potatoes, carrot and orange soup, fried fish, grilled prawns and fish, and steamed vegetables. They had some desserts too so I had papaya, curd mousse and chocolate mousse cake.

In Galle, we treated ourselves to a special meal at The Tuna and the Crab, which is related to the Ministry of Crab in Colombo. We had sashimi salmon and panko onion rings, then Kem had crab pasta and I had crab fried rice. Delicious flavours!

The buffet at Eden Resort and Spa had a huge selection of food! I had some curries, rice and poppadum, and a side of spaghetti. Then I had a few different desserts including bread pudding, chocolate jelly, and sago pudding. All washed down with Lion stout beer and an arrack traditional liqueur shot.

Fresh salmon at The Tuna and the Crab
Fresh salmon at The Tuna and the Crab
Crab pasta at The Tuna and the Crab
Crab pasta at The Tuna and the Crab
Lion Stout Beer
Lion Stout Beer

FAQs

Q: Do I need a tour guide?

A: Yes it will make it easier to travel between places. And also a jeep or truck is needed for the National Park.

Q: Do people speak English?

A: Yes most people spoke some English

Q: Is it a walkable city?

A: Galle was very walkable to explore the fort and city. Our other stops were to see specific places of interest, so we drove between places and just walked around to see the sights.

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