An afternoon in Galle, Sri Lanka

We went to Galle one afternoon after spending a relaxing few hours at Jungle Beach, Unawatuna.  Galle is one of the bigger cities in Sri Lanka. The tuk-tuk ride to Galle from Unawatuna was short, less than 30 minutes. We headed straight to the famous Galle fort and walked around. The fort was first built by the Portuguese, and later fortified by the Dutch when they took over. Perhaps the most iconic landmark of Galle is the lighthouse facing the Indian ocean. The views of the blue Indian Ocean were magnificent from there. I had checked the google view of the lighthouse area a few times before going to SL, and the water around it was so shallow and blue. It was of course more beautiful in reality. From the lighthouse, we could see the Japanese peace pagoda overlooking the Jungle beach (where we were at earlier in the day) across the ocean. I hadn’t realized that Unawatuna was that close from Galle.

One giant tree!

The area was quaint, dotted with beautiful churches, mosques and museums. After spending some time exploring the beautiful fort area, also a UNESCO world heritage site in Galle, we decided to walk around the city to get the local feel. My boyfriend even tried a street side lemonade, but I didn’t dare drink water from unknown source (probably unfiltered..). Luckily his immune system coped well and he was fine.

Beach in front of lighthouse
The famous lighthouse

The city was crowded, hot and noisy. But it was also very multi-ethnic and colorful. After a bit of walking and exploring, we started looking for banks for cash exchange. We found one but unfortunately we both had forgotten to take our passports and didn’t even remember the passport numbers. It must have been 5 or 6 in the evening, but it was such a relief to walk into an air-conditioned store. We bought some snacks and drinks there. We then walked back to the main bus station and started asking around about buses heading towards Unawatuna.

A cute shop in the fort area
Galle fort streets

We found one in no time and got off in Unawatuna. The local buses in Sri Lanka weren’t bad at all. Most of them that we used were clean and comfortable-ish. They are also really cheap, so if you don’t mind slight discomfort and slowness, they are a good way to get around. The bus journeys were always interesting as the little children and sometimes the adults looked, smiled and sometimes even started conversation with us. I think it was mostly because of the blond looks of my boyfriend.

Scrumptious dinner

In the evening, we had a filling dinner (very Sri Lankan as well) arranged by the guesthouse. It also consisted of my favorite jackfruit curry. Oh I had missed jackfruit SO much over the years.. I don’t know if it’s found anywhere in Europe at all. We devoured each and every dish, although they were all (except rice and daal) very hot. We later packed our bags, cleared the bills with the hosts and spent the last evening at Unawatuna beach drinking beer and watching (more like listening) to the ocean waves. Yes, it was that r̶o̶m̶a̶n̶t̶i̶c̶  beautiful.

Overall impressions of Galle:

I didn’t enjoy the noisy big city that much but just for the beautiful fort area, and its closeness from Unawatuna (or Colombo or Hikkaduwa etc), a few hours there was absolutely worth it. I read somewhere that the sunsets from the lighthouse are beautiful, but we didn’t have enough time to catch it.


19 thoughts on “An afternoon in Galle, Sri Lanka

    1. Hi M. It is similar to Nepali food in terms of most ingredients. The dishes above are: daal fry, red boiled rice, jackfruit curry laden with spicy coconut paste, spicy chicken curry, spicy green bean curry with coconut sauce and deep fried papadums. I found the overall food in Sri Lanka to be much more spicier than in Nepal! They are very generous with coconut use and chilli – like 100 varieties of them. Despite the main course already being SO spicy, I saw that it was common for Sri Lankans to also take a dried red whole chilli alongside most food and snacks.

    1. I hope it will be jackfruit season when you’re there 🙂 It’s my favorite as well. It’s not found where you live? In the Indian, Nepali and other South Asian grocery stores at least..

  1. We stayed in Unawatuna when we were visiting Galle and I actually ended up preferring Unawatuna to Galle, as I loved the mellow, chilled out and more intimate vibe there. That was brave of your boyfriend drinking the streetside drink – I’d have been too scared but lucky he was fine afterwads 🙂

    1. We also stayed in Unawatuna and just went to Galle one afternoon. Unawatuna was cool, but it wasn’t my favorite place in Sri Lanka in terms of vibes. Too touristic, in my opinion. I preferred Tangalle much more. I will post about Tangalle next 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by, Shikha!

    1. Thanks, Dai. I only liked the Galle fort area. The city itself itself was quite crowded and noisy. Maybe there were other nice things to see in Galle, but we wouldn’t have enough time for them anyway.

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