coast is five minutes from Chawton House East,
but the best swimming and surfing beach is a 30
minute tuktuk drive away. Heriketiya is a barely
developed cove with white sand and rolling waves
providing excellent surfing and swimming
Thalla beach, 10 minutes away in the opposite
direction, offers surfing opportunities,
wonderful walks and picnic areas.
Further north are Weligama and Mirissa, both
surfing and swimming destinations, also offering
surfing lessons for the beginners.
Travelling south on the way to the expansive
beaches of Tangalle is Mawella Beach. Off the
beaten track, exquisite, and great for picnics.
Chawton House East can pack you a hamper,
organise a tuktuk, and you can spend the day
exploring the coast.
City of God, as the Singhala translation reads,
has Sri Lanka's largest lighthouse situated on
the southern most point of the island. Near by
is the explosive blow hole that is so majestic,
particularly when the sea is angry! The
magnificent temple in Dondra is the focal point
of the town and centrally located. It has a huge
standing stone Buddha and houses elephants,
chained for security, in the grounds.
typically busy, small town, Dickwella has the
largest seated meditation Buddha in Sri Lanka
and it is well worth a visit. Market day on
Saturdays is an experience! The town is more
crowded than usual and the displays of fruit and
vegetables, clothing, knives, plants, cane ware
and plastics, all for sale in the market area
under makeshift tenting, is fun and fascinating.
hours north by coast road is the historic
walled town of Galle Fort. Of course it is
quicker to go via the highway, but traveling the
coastal route on a local bus it is an experience
not to be missed if you wish to immerse yourself
briefly into the colourful life of the true Sri
Galle Fort has many eateries and contemporary
shops as well as those with tourist souvenirs.
The walled fortress, dating from colonial
Portuguese and 17th century Dutch occupation,
includes a lighthouse and at one spot
boys dive daringly into the crystal clear, blue
ocean, all for another rupee or two!
and half hours west is Yala National Park.
A day trip to see wild life is possible, but an
overnight stay in camping conditions would add a
well earned highlight to your holiday.
There is a Bird Sanctuary in Matara and
one towards Hambantota.
Whale watching is possible from Mirissa and
turtle hatcheries are a day trip away.
might see iguanas and peacocks on the property,
but my young dogs, Keju and Handaya, are
fearlessly protective of Chawton House East, and
tend to chase them away!