My first stop in the aptly nicknamed Wonder of Asia, Sri Lanka, was the tranquil southern beach town of Galle. I was invited to stay at the darling Take It Easy Beach Huts that are located just 10 minutes west of the Galle Fort in Pitiwella Beach. I was fortunate that during my four day, three night stay it only drizzled a bit some mornings and was otherwise quite dry for the rainy season, especially after the floods that just tormented nearby areas.
The four brightly colored beach huts are made of locally sourced natural materials. Beach huts like these take a lot less energy to create, and maintain, making them a responsible accommodation option. The green hut, where I stayed, is the closest to the sea, just mere meters from the shoreline. The accommodation is simple, without any frills, but what it lacks in amenities it makes up for with a cozy hammock tied between two palm trees, a long stretch of sandy private beach, the most incredible sunsets, zillions of stars to be spotted on a clear night, and the soothing sound of the ocean to lull you to sleep. You can book a stay at the property on Airbnb and save $40 off your first booking of $75 by using my referral link.
I woke up each morning at Take It Easy Beach Huts as the sunlight streamed into my hut and the sounds of the morning tide crashed into the shoreline. Being in such close proximity to Mother Nature invoked a strong sense of oneness with nature within me and provided motivation to continue with my morning yoga practice. I find it to be much easier on my knees and ankles to hold certain asanas when my mat is spread out over sand. I honestly can’t imagine a better way to start the day than sun salutations towards the sea to show gratitude for being in such a beautiful place.
While visiting Galle you’d be amiss not to make a trip to the ancient fortified peninsula remnant from the Portuguese rule during the 16th century. The fort itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and while it is not that exciting to explore it is one of the best kept European fortresses in Asia. If old stones are not your thing at least head down to the tip of the Galle Old Town to admire the Galle lighthouse and climb the Flag Rock Bastion for views of Crow Island, the Japanese Peace Pagoda, Jungle Beach and the blue hues of the Laccadive Sea. The houses of worship within the peninsula give visitors a taste of how blended the community is, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, and Hindus all reside in Galle and often their temples are seen right next to one another. I really loved the gleaming, white Buddha outside of the Shri Sudharmalaya Temple.
On the same street as the temple is my favorite restaurant in the charming Galle Old Town, Pilgrims Hostel. The boutique backpacker accommodation in Galle Fort also operates a charming restaurant in which the owner of Pilgrims is also the chef! I paid them a visit to discuss their work with a local charity for disabled persons, Sambodhi Home, and was treated to a delicious freshly caught grilled yellowfin tuna steak.
The next day was spent exploring the surrounding Galle area thanks to Maike, the owner of Take It Easy Beach Huts, who also runs a professional tour company. After visiting the local market to pick up egg rolls, fish buns, mangosteen, and coconuts we headed off to our first stop, the Japanese Peace Pagoda. I was really fascinated to see the Buddhist Temple as just a few weeks earlier I had hiked some 1,300 meters up into the Himalayas to visit the Japanese Peace Pagoda in Pokhara, Nepal. There are 80 Peace Pagodas in the world, new bucket list?
From the temple, it is a quick hike down through the jungle to the namesake Jungle Beach. The beach here is stunning due to the natural cove, lush surroundings, and local people enjoying the surf, sand, and sun. This was the only beach where I was actually able to enter the sea in Galle due to the rough monsoon waters along the coast. While the ocean is gentler at Jungle Beach there are lots of huge coral formations that are hard to see as the water isn’t very clear. Stepping on one will really damage the sessile animal and also leave you quite scratched up so swim carefully. Please don’t remove coral from the ocean, there is actually plenty of dead coral that has washed up onto the shore so if you must take some home, select a piece that is in the sand.
After a swim in the sea, we shared some veg roti and fresh passion fruit juice, then hopped back on the bike and made our way towards Dalawella Beach. This is where the Instagram-famous palm tree with the knot swing can be found. Unfortunately, the family who runs Dream Cabana, the property which the tree belongs too, refused to let the swing down. They are fearful the tree could break due to upwards of 50 tourists lining up on a daily basis during the season to take a turn on the swing. But do not be fooled, they were not concerned about my safety. Instead, they worry that without the palm tree and swing their business will suffer so they prefer to keep the swing for patrons in the high season. I did try offering them a very generous sum to let down the swing but to no avail. Luckily, Maike knew of another beach swing and we were able to capture some great moments there. It’s in a secret location that I swore I wouldn’t share.
Thank you for Take It Easy Beach Huts for hosting me in Galle, Sri Lanka. All opinions and photos are my own. This post contains affiliate links, please read the Miss Filatelista disclosure policy for more information.