Tangalla Days

Tangalla Days

Dream Beaches

We arrived in Tangalla with mixed emotions. Now on the southern coast, we were undeniably in the final stretch of our tour through Sri Lanka. There was still a lot to see — the attractions of the country’s southern extreme are considerable — but our journey’s approaching end was tangible for the first time. Still, we’d only have a few days in Tangalla, a small town which occupies some of the island’s most beautiful coastline and offers a number of memorable excursions. No time for moping.

Peacocks like to preen atop big rocks. Showoffs.

After unpacking, we set right out into the city. The majority of Tangalla’s hotels and guesthouses are found outside town, toward the east. Which is fine. The town itself isn’t going to win any awards for beauty. A single strip runs through Tangalla, with the usual array of Sri Lankan shops and noisy activity. After our initial exploration, we would venture into town only in search of cheap eats and to get to the bus station.

Tangalla’s harbor is probably the only in-town attraction worth a look. An outrageous number of colorful boats clog the port, all of which were unloading stinking fish when we arrived. The fishermen were boisterous sorts, encouraging us to come aboard their ships (doubtless in search of a few extra bucks).

But though the town is forgettable, our time in Tangalla was anything but. Amazing nature, fascinating culture and interesting day trips are within easy reach. Plus, the beaches are beautiful… if difficult to swim at. Perhaps it was the time of year (early April), but the waters were stormy, and attempting to bathe in the powerful waves was terrifying. I mean, exhilarating. No, wait — actually, I do mean terrifying. Our favorite beach-side game became guessing which tourists might brave the sea, placing bets on whether they would survive, and then debating whether we’d jump in to help save them.

Location of Tangalla on our Map
Great Places to Stay in Tangalle (we chose Nugasewana Eden)

Catch of the Day
Sri Lanka Parrot
Paradise Beach Cabanas
Sand Stepper
Small Tangalle Island
Stranded Boat
Tangalle Bay
Adventure Couple
Dream Vacation
Storm in Sri Lanka
Rough Sea Tangalle
Sri Lanka Yoga
Palm Sunset


  • jan

    Looks like a beautiful place.  Hope your bravery wasn’t put to the test!  It is easy to brave in the surf when there are lifesavers ready to rescue you!

    April 21, 2012 at 6:28 pm
  • jay

    Hi        Are they wild pineapples…the green and orange fruits,just curious..

    May 26, 2012 at 10:10 am
  • Ian King

    I am indexing my Sri Lanka photos and am also trying to find out what these pineapple looking palm fruits are.  Maybe Palm Oil fruits?

    January 23, 2014 at 7:46 pm
  • Martin

    Another “highlight” in Tangalle is the Market. Every wednesday and saturday there is a colorfull market near the bus station. Since the town has nothing special to see there are not much tourists coming to this market and you can strawl through the shady market and watch the vendours selling all kinds of vegetables. This is also an oportunity to take good pictures. We were visiting Tangalle in Jan 15 and the sea was actually quite OK for swimming (better in the morning). We stayed at the marakolliy beach (about 2km east) at just opened http://www.shivasbeach.com. The place isn’t in the lonely planet yet so it’s completely unspoiled with rather authentic staff. There are a lot of other new and very relaxed places out there. We even saw turtles laying eggs one night.

    February 23, 2015 at 6:52 pm