Worth the walk up.
I have mentioned in my Unawatuna introduction page that the main draw here is the beach and that is undoubtedly what the vast majority of travellers come here for. There is, however, one other thing to do if you are not intent on topping up your tan and that is to visit the Buddhist shrine at the "far" end of the beach from the main road. It sits on a rocky promontery and you cannot miss it. In terms of Buddhist places of worship it is neither old nor of huge significance but it is worth the walk up the not too taxing steps to get there if only for the view.
I believe this place may not be very old and may be a modern response to the appalling effects of the tsunami which claimed so many lives on the South coast of Sri Lanka not so long ago.
I would issue one plea to the traveller. There are a few signs at the bottom requesting you to remove your footwear, and please do so, this is the standard practice in a Buddhist place of worship. I winced somewhat as I watched a group of four young Australian men, all fully shod and tramping about the place shouting, laughing loudly and swearing in their conversation. Appalling behaviour, would you act like that in a Church? This place is holy to the local people, please treat it as such.
As I said, it is not hugely exciting but then little in Unawatuna is, save for the beach, and it is worth the effort to climb up and have a look.
- Religious Travel
- Budget Travel
Vamos a la playa.
I really do hope that I have got the title of this tip right and I have not offended any Spanish speaking members. If I have got it correctly, I believe it translates into, "Let's go to the beach" in English. Frankly, Unawatuna is all about the beach, there is little else to excite the traveller about, if it is a beach you want, well this is a beauty. I do genuinely hate to sound so negative about Unawatuna as I mentioned in my intro page for it but it really did nothing for me.
I fully appreciate that different travellers have different requirements and some want to do nothing but relax for a certain number of days on a gorgeous tropical stretch of sand. If that is what you want, I offer these images to hopefully assist you in your decision as it looks like a lovely place to do it. It is certainly hugely popular, especially with Sri Lankans at the weekend.
As always, I leave the reader to make up their own minds.
- Budget Travel
Excellent place for a drink.
I have always tried to be completely objective in my tip writing here on Virtual Tourist and have always declared an interest should there be one. This is the case here. On my daytrip to Unawatuna my good friend and expert on all thing Sri Lankan Jo104 had asked me to drop in and say hell to a friend of hers, a fellow South African who ran a place there and I duly obliged. The place in question was the Kahuna Club which I found easily enough, having previously looked it up on Google maps. It is on the road down from the main highway on the left hand side and well-signed.
I wandered into a well-kept complex with a main building and various cabanas dotted around the place. It all looked pretty quiet but I was greeted by a charming young lady who I believe was the manageress. Having explained the situation I was shown to Mally's private cabana and we chatted for a good half hour. He is a most amiable chap and it was a pleasure chatting but he had to go to market to obtain the produce for the evening's meal as he always liked to have it fresh. He entrusted me back to the care of the young lady and took his leave.
The place was fairly quiet, as I say, and I can only presume everyone had gone to the beach which is the main attraction in Unawatuna. I drank my beer on the delightful verandah and had a bit of a wander round, including the "sneak peek" of the cabana included in this tip, which was left open, presumably for airing after being serviced. It looked charming. I know some members write tips about places they have not stayed on the basis of having had a look at the rooms and obtained the tariff etc. but I do not like to do that and so I shall post this tip here as a thing to do. If you want a quiet drink away from thye hurly-burly of the main beach strip and perhaps read a book or catch up on your e-mails in very pleasant surroundings, this place may be for you.
- Beer Tasting
- Wine Tasting
- Food and Dining
Unawatuna has a coral reef and this outfit offers diving with full equipment. Special rate of eur60 for 2 dives or eur40 for a single dive. The assistant instructor Suri Perera is very nice and professional he speaks German, english and a bit of spanish and has had experience abroad. Yiu would be in more then capable hands with Suri by your side.
- Water Sports
- Diving and Snorkeling
When I first came to Jungle beach in 2011 it was a almost like a secret beach however now it us well sign posted and there is even a restuarant there. To get to jungle beach you can either take a tuk tuk or walk through the forested road & rocky path to get there. It took me about 45min - 1hr to walk up and less to come back into town. En-route was a small king coconut stand I will make a separate tip about this.
The beach is lovely and the water clear & deepish I felt safe swimming here. There are several green deck chairs which appear to be for free use I never paid be careful of the strong sun though.
I believe that on wednesday evenings in season time there is a dj beach party. Bring a picnic or eat something at the restaurant.
- Budget Travel
the old colonial city fort is worth a visit.the surroundings of the light tower are nice.
also a lot od shops for clothes and souvenirs like MANSION on the churchstreet and SHOPA DISPLAY GALLERY on the pedlarstreet,67, a women cooperative,
and eat of drink something by MAMA' S GALLE FORT ROOF CAFE,I prefer to sit at de terrasse douwnstairs,leyn baan str.
in the modern city there is a supermarkt cargils food and a good bakkery, south ceyla in the same street near the busstation
also a tourist information in the park behind the busstation
Voted one of the worlds best beaches
When I was sifting through our photographs and working out what tips I would write, I imagined that as we spent 9 days in Unawatuna I would have lots to write!
Funny that, as it turns out I have only one tip!
Unawatuna is a small village and the beach is the main focus. It is quite narrow with beautiful sand, and now that a lot of rebuild has happened there are restaurants and accommodations back along the beach. (Unawatuna was hit badly in the Tsunami)
Sitting at the restaurants some days the sea would come up to my feet! We took long walks along the beach, swam in calm shallow waters, and chilled out on our terrace playing cards.
Unawatuna is a beautiful place - I will one day return for sure.
- Budget Travel
I did two dives, including wreck dive with Sea Horse Dive School. The owner Rohana, is helpful and very friendly. E-mail: email@example.com. Each dive is US$30 and 5 dives US$125.
Another dive school in the other side of the beach is Submarine Divind School. The price is the same. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Best Ayurvedic massage in the world
if you're in Unawatuna and you've got an hour free, visit the Calm spice garden for the best massage in your life! A mother and daughter do a 1hr, 4 handed proper Ayurvedic full body massage for 1500 rps. The spice garden is a 5 minute walk out of town on the main road, down the footpath to the hotel flower garden (if you've got a copy of the lonely planet,) but it's signposted from the road and it's painted bright yellow, so you cant miss it. The women only earn about $15 a month, so if you think they did a good job, feel free to tip them. They also do a range of other massages and herbal steam baths, but they know their stuff!
- Spa and Resort
- Women's Travel
See the temple
There really isn't much to do in Unawatuna other than top up your tan and relax. The village itself is very quiet and there's not much nightlife. You can go out on a boat or do some snorkelling but other than that the only place of interest is the Buddhist temple on top of the hill at one end of the bay. It's a short and easy climb up some steps. All there is to see is the imposing white dome but there is also a superb view - of peaceful Unawatuna bay itself to one side, and the rather more ferocious sea crashing against the rocky cliffs to the other. On a clear day you can sometimes see the outline of Galle fort in the distance. Worth the walk any time of day but its particularly beautiful to watch the sunset, when there are usually a few locals having a good time with a guitar and a few bottles of arrack.
The guys at Full moon resort saved this monkey during the Tsunami, and he is a hit here. Watch him do all the monkey tricks.
- Road Trip
Laze on the beach
I did nothing but lazed in Unawatuna. The Full Moon resort was my abode, eat, sleep, read Paulo Coelho, sleep...eat..smoke..buurrrhhh...you wont get a better view!!
Pagoda & Buddish Temple
A stroll up at western end of the beqach to teh top of the hill rewards you a pagada and a nice ocean view of the jungle beach on the other side.
Have a tour by Catamaran
Here are lots of fishermans and you should try to have a chnce to see how they catch fish. may be you can go to sea by Catamaran with them
- Plenty of choices
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