Tripin 2017 - 2018 - page 58

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Galle & Dickwella
DAY 2-5
We began our tour of the island (the southwest corner, anyway)
by taking an amazingly affordable express bus south to Galle. The
Dutch colonial Galle Fort is a wonderfully preserved UNESCO
World Heritage site and a very pleasant area for window-shopping
and people watching. But the best part of town is the lighthouse
area and the ramparts that offer protection from the surf and great
sunset views. It’s also the perfect place to enjoy a picnic, watch an
impromptu cricket match, and relax in the warm tropical breezes.
We ended our evening with a fresh seafood meal at an outdoor café.
Pro tip: Catch an express bus from the Maharagama Station in Colombo.
Spend an extra dollar and book the air-conditioned bus: you will appreciate
the comfort and you may even get some free disco music on the loud speaker,
as we did!
For pure natural beauty, Sri Lanka’s south coast can’t be beat. Zak
and I chose to stay at a wonderfully unique small resort in Dickwella,
called UTMT (Underneath the Mango Tree). With friendly and
attentive service, excellent breakfasts and dinners, fresh fruit, tea, and
even a complimentary neck massage all included, we felt completely
pampered and welcome. After four days of whirlwind sightseeing in
Colombo and Galle, it was just what we needed. Best of all, the resort
featured a private beach and infinity pool.
We broke up our hedonistic resort-living with a short tuk-tuk ride
to see the island’s largest seated Buddha (at 160 feet). The temple
grounds were lovely, the museum interesting, and the statue
awesome. We were driven to the temple by a friendly young man
named Chamara, whose tuk-tuk was decked out with Bob Marley
upholstery and a fine set of speakers.
Pro tip: Summer is considered the off-season along the South Coast and
ocean swimming was discouraged due to undertows. Nevertheless, the
weather was fine, the number of fellow tourists was small, and prices were
much better than in high season. This is a great place for a splurge; luxury
for the price of a very average hotel in the States.
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