If there is a Calm and Quite Coastal Belt with awesome beaches in Southern Sri Lanka, Its Polhena... The softest tranquil groups of small beaches along the village.. Its Surfer Friendly but the waves are not too high, But the water and the sea life and the reef is one of the greatest in Asia.. The Ravana's Ridge which relates to Ramayanaya the Great indian Legacy is going through this Sea Belt. A Must Visit place after Mirissa and Hikkaduwa. Polhena is Located in Matara. its a Small Fishery village with nice and friendly people.
Dondra Head is the southernmost point in Sri Lanka so for anyone doing a four-points tour it would be important place to visit (the northernmost point might be a little more lively just now) but otherwise they isn’t a great deal to draw you here and if you simply want a ‘worlds-end’ type experience I would try the remote and ghostly Kirinda instead.
Geography apart, the other ‘attraction’ at Dondra is the lighthouse, what can I say? It’s a lighthouse and no doubt appealing to fans of lighthouses. You have to give it to the Brits, for all their faults they did do good light houses but again Kirinda beats Dondra hands down. The lighthouse at Kirinda is two miles out at sea and when you see the waves crashing around it you wonder how it got there.
This is a new place (January 2009) which is also a hotel. We came for lunch, we had rice and curry but others in the group had fried chicken and chips, omelette etc and everyone was very happy with the food and the service. With drinks and ice cream the bill for 5 people was a little under Rs2000.
No one goes to Sri Lanka for the food and after three weeks on the road I had more or less given up finding anything to eat that wasn’t rice and curry or the just about edible alternative, short eats. But walking through Matara late one night (after several beers) I came across DKW Fast Food. When they passed me the menu I thought I may have been dreaming.
Favorite Dish: I over-ruled my Sinhalese friends, who had instinctively ordered rice and curry all round and went for what the boss recommended, mixed seafood chop suey, my dormant taste buds suddenly burst into life, it was quite possibly the best meal I had eaten in weeks.
DKW Chinese Fast Food (one of several similar outlets in Matara) cooks take away meals from six in the morning until eleven thirty at night (which in Sri Lanka is very late indeed).
There isn’t much shopping in Polhena but Matara is close enough and has everything you might need. Cargill’s is a big supermarket chain selling western type things (for when you’ve had enough rice and curry) and is comparatively user friendly, it has a butchery dept. and a pharmacy.
The people at the shop on Polhena beach were so friendly that I would call in as much for a chat as for the cool drinks and snacks they sell. It's like a million other shops in Sri Lanka with the addition of some beach balls, buckets and spades etc.
What to buy: Your guesthouse probably doesn’t have an alcohol license but will let you drink your own so it’s worth finding the wine stores which sell beer and various spirits including some western brands (we developed a taste for Absolut Vodka) for which you will pay about the same price as you do at home. Local brands are much cheaper but taste dreadful and unless you have a particularly good liver you might not be able to see the next morning.