Five kilometres southeast of Galle, the ever-expanding village of UNAWATUNA is now firmly established as Sri Lanka’s most popular resort for independent travellers and remains a pleasant spot to while away a few days, even if rampant commercialization and ever-growing hordes of visitors have now significantly eroded the village’s former sleepy charm. If you don’t mind the increasing hustle and bustle, there’s still plenty to enjoy, including a decent, if heavily developed, stretch of beach, a good selection of places to stay and eat, plus varied activities ranging from surfing and diving through to yoga and cookery classes, while in recent years Unawatuna has begun to compete with Hikkaduwa as Sri Lanka’s beach-party capital, with noisy discos thumping out beats along parts of the beach during the season. The resort also remains busy all year round, making it a good place to visit if you’re on the west coast during the monsoon.

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