Date of Trip: December 2011
GALLE Fort area quite tranquil and intriguing, and offered an afternoon in a unique environment. It’s worth half a day and maybe an overnight. Much of it is residential, so don’t think that there’ll be markets or street life there. The few businesses that are around are souvenir or tourist-oriented antique shops, which are quite tasteful. We had evening drinks at Galle Fort Hoteland then a great rooftop curry and rice and Ma’s Kitchen, I think it was called.
We booked a night at Beach Haven guest house. It was adequate and we’ve no complaints but on arrival it was plain that there are many guest houses in Galle and some of them had much better verandas etc than ours. The positive gush about Beach Haven in the guidebooks and on Tripadvisor was bizarre. Also the forgettable breakfast is in their dark and gloomy family kitchen. The ‘rooftop seating area’ was nonsense – it was a tiny laundry area. I’m sure you could do a lot better than this place.
For any one visiting Galle, the Old Dutch fort is a great attraction. It is open for public and is well preserved by the Galle Heritage Foundation. Most old buildings inside fort have a great history behind it. If you are to visit the fort its best that you go with a guide. A tour around the ramparts itself is a 3 km walk, which is fully worth. There are very few places to dine around the Fort area. Inside Fort there are a few hotels bit expensive. But accommodation can be found easily as there are many who give their houses as accommodation inside the fort.
While visiting the fortifications and the old city of Galle one is instantly transported to 17th century Europe. This is a UNESCO world heritage site. The architecture is primarily Portuguese. The main streets are very clean. There are several Dutch buildings as well. The Dutch Church on the periphery is a little ill kept . The Fortifications and the view from the top of the battlements are absolutely breathtaking. This old town is a must see in Sri Lanka.