Unawatuna | Sri Lanka

10 June 2015 – 13 June 2015

We were awake and down the hill to catch a 7am bus from Ella – Unawatuna. It was a busy local bus and we were lucky to get seats at the back. As the bus stops so often with people hopping on and off, they don’t close the doors. So with a kamikaze driver, we had to really hold on so not to fall out the door and down the cliff.

Being in the hills, the temperature in Ella was quite moderate, but as the bus descended the hill, you could feel the humidity creeping higher and higher. Six hours later we arrived in Unawatuna. Poor Ryan. He doesn’t come on holiday to spend six hours in a bus! But when you’re travelling with thrifty folk such as ourselves, you can’t say no to a $3 bus ride.

Unawatuna is beautiful.

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But being super low season there was virtually no one around.

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The dogs took up the majority of the beach space.

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Low season has its pros and cons. There wasn’t a lot of night life, okay there was no night life, but with no one around it meant we were able to get a hotel with a pool (obviously we need a pool) for a low price.

We had some really great food at a place called ‘Happy Spice.’ It was run by a young local woman and her family. The food was sensational. In fact, had we not stumbled upon Happy Spice I probably would have left the country thinking the food was just okay – not amazing, just okay. Happy Spice changed all of this. We left wanting more.

Here’s the dog at Happy Spice who sleeps awkwardly under chairs – naw!

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Built in 1588 by the Portuguese, Galle Fort was only a 15 minute or so tuk tuk ride away from Unawatuna so we spent an afternoon mooching around there.

Check out these amazing clouds.

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The bustling town inside the fort was full of beautiful old buildings.

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Some crumbling away but still functioning.

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We got caught in a down pour of rain (low season for a reason) so we jumped into the nearest cafe which just so happened to be the oldest tea room in Galle. The couple running the place had to have been over 80 year old – they were delightful. On our way out the old man says, “A gift!” and hands me two bubblegums, one at a time. “One for Mister and one for Miss” he says. Stop it! I want to squeeze him.

The next morning Michael and I took the first train Galle – Colombo to catch our flight to Kuala Lumpur. Ryan’s flight was later in the day so he stayed for a sleep in and made his own way to Colombo.

We had such a great holiday with Ryan. Good chats, good food and lots of laughs. I secretly think he might like Michael and I because the three-dream-team is making a comeback this September for two weeks of amazing-ness in Italy before heading on to Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.

I. Cannot. Wait.

Some final thoughts about Sri Lanka

What a blimmin’ amazing 30 days with the best people – Mike, Vic, Tom & Ryan. I didn’t know a lot about Sri Lanka before I came and so I had no expectations. The country blew my mind. There is so much diversity in such a small land area. Public transport is ridiculously cheap and nowhere is too far, really. The colours. The people. The hills. The beaches. THE TRAINS! Hands down, no questions, 100% yes, you should visit Sri Lanka.

Costs

Rate 1 NZD = 100 LKR | All prices in NZD unless stated

  • Bus Ella – Galle – $3.00 p/p (6 hours)
  • The Lodge | Unawatuna – $50.00 (family room/air con/pool)
  • Tuktuk Unawatuna – Galle – $3.50
  • Train ticket Galle – Colombo – $1.50 p/p (3 hours)
  • Tuktuk Colombo Fort train station – Colombo airport – $15.00
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    2 thoughts on “Unawatuna | Sri Lanka

    1. Hi there! You have amazing blog posts about many countries! I would like to ask more about the bus from Ella to Unawatuna, where did you actually go to get the bus? How long was the bus ride? Did the bus ride go straight to Unawatuna? Thank you! Really appreciate your reply and help in this! 🙂

      • Hey Melissa,

        Thanks! Pleased you like it. Sri Lanka was so much fun!
        We caught the bus on the main road running through Ella just down from the small tourist office at the end of town that goes down the hill. That probably sounds really confusing, but the main street in Ella is quite small and if you ask a local they’ll be able to point you in the right direction. The bus arrived at about 6.50am and took us almost six hours to get to Unawatuna. We had to change buses once but it was really easy to understand how to do it, again, just ask the driver/bus boy and they’ll help you out. The bus went straight through to Galle but we got off at Unawatuna.

        Unawatuna is so nice! Make sure you find ‘Happy Spice’ and have a meal there.

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