Our last few days in Sri Lanka were spent at the Frangipani Tree on the South Coast of the country. The hotel was based about a twenty minute tuk tuk ride to the world Heritage Sight of Galle, five-ten minutes to the beaches of Unawatuna and of course a five second stroll to that amazing pool at the Frangipani Tree.
The weather did take a turn for the worse, which in some ways was a bit of a relief from the hot sun, we were venturing out of the Peak Season into the beginnings of the Monsoon so we had actually done quite well to have had as many blue sky days as we did. So we tended to have breakfast in the sun, either chill on our terrace with a book or venture in to Galle when the clouds broke early afternoon, to then venture back to poolside to chill out until sunset. Oh yes we were on this!
The World Heritage site of Galle Fort is a definite must see. The Fort is full of Dutch Colonial Buildings, markets of bustle, colour and spice, and surprisingly full of one off little boutique shops, cafes and hotels. We spent a good few hours (albeit probably our hottest few hours in Sri Lanka) strolling around the shops, picking up vintage posters from Stick No Bills which now happily hang in our kitchen. Scarves, bags, and wooden elephants were also purchased, I could have shopped for days. After a walk to the Light House and along the fort walls, peering down on to the town was as eye opening as being inside the walled city, a place where mosques and christian colonial churches stand next to each other.
As the humidity peaked and the heavens opened we took cover at the utterly stunning Galle Forte Hotel with Lime and Soda’s a plenty watching the rain come down. If I ever do return to that part of the country I will most definitely save some pennies to stay the night. If you get the chance to pop in for a drink, do take a look around the hotel.
A quick tuk tuk ride home and the sun came back out, you guessed it we were back by the pool, before a quick scrub up and off out to dinner at Why Beach. After nearly two weeks of Sri Lankan Curry we opted for Italian food. The food and setting was beautiful and as it was out of peak season so, so quiet, we almost had the place to ourselves. However the views out to the water are supposed to be stunning, so hot tip, go at lunch time, to eat up those views.
For the penultimate day we jumped in a tuk tuk and did a little beach hopping, starting at Wijaya Beach. This was a perfect corner of Sri Lanka, if you want a picture perfect beach, then this is the place. Palm tree lined shores, the softest sand and peace, the perfect bay, just watch the water as although it is completely transfixing, is particularly rough. We spent a good chunk of time chilling on the beach and feasting on curries and smoothies at the Wijaya Beach Cafe, a really reasonably priced and completely chilled out friendly place….We even returned one night for dinner. Next we jumped onto the nearest tuk tuk round the corner to Unawatuna Beach. This for me had a really different feel, a lot more commercial, mega crammed and although once a stunning bay with more swimmable waters it didn’t appeal as much to me. The devastating Tsumani of 2004 destroyed this part of the country and in rebuilding it, it is said that owners ignored advice on building too close to the waters.
On our final day in Sri Lanka we took ‘sloth’ to another level, we soaked up as much as the Frangipani as we could, ate all three meals there, took walks along the beach, bathed in the pool, finished our books, spied the sea turtles bobbing around in the waters and watched our final and most special sunset of our whole time there. It was heart stoppingly beautiful and I have to say I did shed a tear or two on the prospect of leaving Sri Lanka.
Those turquoise waters, soft golden sand, palm trees galore, tuk tuk craziness, mouthwatering and flavourful curries, passion fruit straight from the tree, roaming elephants, tea plantations, the smiliest, kindest most welcoming people- such colour and a spirit I had not yet seen in any country.
Sri Lanka your painful past, yet heartbreaking, is now left behind, what a beautiful country so diverse in landscape, culture and history and we only saw a little pocket of it…..I dream of returning and exploring more wonderful parts, but for now I take these ten days and I treasure….(although I may edit out that beat up van journey!) We will be back!
We booked the whole of our trip independently .
Flying with Emirates
We slept :
Columbo: Casa Colombo
Kandy: The Ellerton
Tangalle: The Last House
Galle: The Frangipani Tree
We booked all the hotels via i-escape
Thoughts and Tips for Sri Lanka Travel
We travelled from Colombo Fort to Peradeniya (Kandy Hills) by train which took about 3 hours and purchased the tickets on the day. Go to the Tourist Information for any help. For more comfort try to travel 1st class, however we were in 2nd class and although super busy it was more than okay and a fun experience, do try to get a window seat.
For train times and prices check here Sri Lanka Railway
Make sure you plan your train times before you arrive in Sri Lanka, although you cannot pre book tickets have an idea and arrive in enough time at the station, it is busy and queues are long.
If I were to go again I would definitely plan and organise all other journeys from place to place. It is not the easiest country to get around so don’t waste time when you are there, especially if your time is limited.
Our hotels recommended drivers for some journeys and also arranged accommodation for the drivers.
Take lots of Deet and Sun Cream, its is warm appropriate clothing if you are visiting temples and towns.
Have an INCREDIBLE time!
More thoughts and tales from our Sri Lanka Trip here:
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