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The Best of Galle Fort

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Though the crazy monsoon weather we experienced during our two weeks in Galle soured our moods and ruined planned excursions, it did give us the chance to explore the Fort neighborhood in full — particularly its restaurants, cafes and bars. Here were some of our favorite spots during our time there.

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For Food: Indian Hut – Yes, they may have brazenly ripped off the name and logo of Pizza Hut, but I hate that restaurant, so this counts in their favor. You’re not going to find a cheaper or tastier meal anywhere in the otherwise overpriced fort. With its great upstairs location looking out over the southern ramparts, a menu packed with Indian and Chinese favorites, and down-to-earth prices, we found ourselves at Indian Hut over and over again. The main branch just outside the city requires a 250 rupee tuk-tuk ride, but is bigger and cozier.

For Working: The Heritage Cafe – A number of cafes in Galle Fort offer wi-fi, but the only place where I found it to be reasonably stable was at the Heritage Cafe, on the corner of Pedlar and Lighthouse. Heritage opened just six months ago in the Fort’s old bakery, and offers good coffee and comfortable tables nicely secluded from the hustle of town. Plus, service is speedy and the staff is uniformly nice.

For the Sunset: Fort Dew – One of the only places in town where you can get a reasonably-priced beer, and blessed with the best western view in Fort. And the most amazing thing is that it’s nearly always empty. Just go up to the top floor around 6pm and take a seat for the show.

For Sleeping: Sea Green Hotel – We couldn’t have been happier with our choice of accommodation in Fort. The rooms are nicely priced, clean, comfortable and air-conditioned. The small staff is friendly and willing to assist in any request. There’s a roof deck and a mid-level veranda with views that rival Fort Dew’s, and an adjoining restaurant with decently-priced, yummy food. Link: Seagreen Guesthouse Galle

For Cheap Eats: The Kiosk in Court Square – When you just want a lunchtime rotti, you won’t find a better one than at the kiosk just across from the Magistrate Court. It’s extremely popular with locals and our rottis were always freshly prepared. Grab a couple, then head onto the ramparts for a great lunch.

Enjoy our final images of both the new town of Galle and its Fort — a cool, and very individual corner of Sri Lanka.

Galle on our Sri Lanka Map
Guesthouses in Galle

Dutch Church
Churches of Galle
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Galle Moments
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Outside Galle Fort
Galle Travel Guide
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Freezing in Galle
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No Horning in Galle
Hotels in Galle
Galle Grows
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IN Sri Lanka
Galle Tower
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March Galle
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Mirror Room Sri Lanka
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Galle Corner
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Mamas Roof Top Galle
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April 30, 2012 at 10:26 am Comments (7)

The Jungle Beach at Galle

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After visiting the gleaming white Japanese Peace Pagoda which provided a wonderful view of Galle Fort, we climbed down toward the true destination of our day trip — Jungle Beach. Not another person in sight, just twin stretches of deserted sand trapped between the ocean and Rumassala Rock. Having just experienced the soul-crushing lameness of Unawatuna, this beach was exactly what we needed. Peace, solitude and gorgeous nature.


The fact that the Jungle Beach was completely empty was a minor miracle. It’s not exactly a secret — you can clearly see it from the Fort, and everybody in Galle knows exactly where it is. And getting there wasn’t even difficult: a 400 Rupee tuk-tuk drive to the pagoda, and then a quick ten-minute downhill hike. So, why do 72,319,310 people pack onto the beach at Unawatuna, and nobody comes here? I don’t know, and I don’t care.

This was the best bit of beach we’ve found during our weeks on Sri Lanka’s south coast. It’s worth the effort of searching out.

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Hotels in Galle

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April 28, 2012 at 4:15 am Comments (4)

Galle Fort – Our Final Stop in Sri Lanka

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Guest Houses in Galle Fort

After two and a half whirlwind months touring Sri Lanka, we pulled into Galle with exhausted bodies and tired minds. This would be the last extended stop of our 91 days in the country.

Yes, that’s lightning behind the lighthouse. Nature and man, working together!

We were actually spending our nights in Fort, not Galle. That might sound like an unnecessary distinction, but the peaceful neighborhood demarcated by the old stone walls of the colonial fort feels a world away from the noise and hubbub of modern Galle. It’s so disconnected, that we’ve come to think of Fort as an entirely different city.

Fort occupies an area roughly 130 acres in size, and about a kilometer from north to south. Apart from a smattering of tuk-tuks, tourist buses and old-timers, traffic is very limited on the neighborhood’s few streets, which provides Fort with a tranquility I had reckoned impossible in Sri Lanka. We were instantly charmed — after so much time in congested cities, Fort would be an excellent place to relax in our final weeks.

There’s a heavy expat presence here, mostly British, whose influence is unmistakable. Upscale restaurants occupy nicely restored colonial buildings. A variety of shops and boutiques offer selection (and high prices) not seen elsewhere on the island. The sight of an older British gentleman puttering down the street on his moped is commonplace, here. I did a double-take on our first afternoon, when a white guy at the Peddlar’s Inn asked his friend if she was going to play cricket with the gang, later. “Say what? That’s not what tourists… ah, yeah. You live here.”

Fort has a sleepy, comfortable rhythm that threatens to make us lazy. Dangerous, given the abundance of things to do and see around Galle. But you know? A chilled banana coffee does sound good. Who cares if it’s pricey? We can afford it, and we can afford to relax for another hour. Or two.

Location of Galle Fort on our Map
Hotels in Galle

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Viewpont Galle
Swimming in Galle
Sri Lanka Crabs
Galle Walk
Galle Streets
Middle Street Galle
Climbing Galle
Fat Boy
Oiled Palm
Needle Girl
Street Art Sri Lanka
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Tarzan Parking
Pink Wall
Sunset Seats
Bye Bye Birds
Galle Night Window
Old Time in Galle

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April 24, 2012 at 12:05 pm Comments (4)
The Best of Galle Fort Though the crazy monsoon weather we experienced during our two weeks in Galle soured our moods and ruined planned excursions, it did give us the chance to explore the Fort neighborhood in full -- particularly its restaurants, cafes and bars. Here were some of our favorite spots during our time there.
For 91 Days