Unawatuna: My perfect unperfect beach

Unawatuna, a village in the south of Sri Lanka, just near Galle. I fell in love with it. This is my place on earth. Although… I will not pretend that this is the most beautiful beach in the world, because it’s not. There is no wide coast with white sand, where palm trees bend over the turquoise water. Yes, yes, exactly the same like in colourful brochures of travel agencies.

I did not expect wide wild beach, because I know that these places are not easily accessible. I was expecting just a sandy beach, warm water, clean affordable guesthouse and good inexpensive food.

sri lanka - unawatuna - beach

At the beginning we (me and my two friends from Australia, Robin and Kj, whom I met on Sri Lanka) wanted to stay in Welligama but so many negative things happened that we wanted to change the place. First of all, there are almost none beach bars in Welligama and it’s more place for surfers than for swimming and sunbathing. Maybe that’s why our tuk-tuk driver offered us some weed. No, thank you. Moreover, we couldn’t find the accommodation and when we already did it was far away from the beach, far away from the centre and… with cockroaches in a bathroom. That was the only place where I slept with bugs! In the morning we decided to go to Unawatuna.

sri lanka - unawatuna - beach

And we couldn’t make better choice! It was like a paradise for us!

No, no, forget about those travel office’s brochures. Those colourfully-sweety-picturesque-perfect. The reality is different.

sri lanka - unawatuna - beach

sri lanka - unawatuna - beach

But for me it is perfect! I’m going to go back there. Not once, not twice. More often. I just want to go back there! To my ideal beach!

Ok., the excitement wore off a bit, so maybe I will explain why I glorify Unawatuna so much.

Accommodation and food

First of all: the accommodation. We stayed in Amma’s Guesthouse. Tiny, clean guesthouse, which lead Laki (Lucky? :D) and Bema. Extremely nice people. Such a wonderful atmosphere of that place is undoubtedly because of them! Bema always smiles in that warm way that you just need to smile back! And Laki told us how much we should for some things to not overpay.

But what is best in Amma’s Guesthouse? Great terrace from which you can see the ocean! And the beach is just 10 meters away…? You just have to cross the street (or, as Laki laughs, jump if you can). And on the terrace we spent many hours on very comfortable colonial armchairs.

How much does this perfect place cost? 2000 Rs per room with 2 beds, so it’s like $8 per night per person, do you understand that? And in the entire guesthouse there are only 5 rooms. This means that there can only be 10 people at once. How intimate! Isn’t it a great place?

However, in Amma’s Guesthouse they don’t cook for you but… maybe it’s better? For breakfast I ate these delicious buns stuffed with spicy vegetables from street stands or just fruits, that we bought in Galle. And for dinner?

sri lanka - unawatuna - beach

Usually twice a day … we ate seafood in restaurants on the beach. After the trip to Sri Lanka you can call me Calmari. I adore them! Devilled calmari, calmari in oyster sauce, calmari with fried rice, calmari with fried pasta, calamari with calmari… How much does cost such a pleasure? Depends on the restaurant and the particular dishes, but usually 600-1000 Rs ($5-7). Well, and because there are so many restaurants to choose from, we almost every time visited a completely different place (okay, maybe two times we were in the same).

sri lanka - unawatuna - beach

We visited Unawatuna during first week of April, when the season is almost over, so we didn’t have problems with finding a table in the restaurant. Even sometimes we were the only customers. 😉

Besides, thanks to Robin and KJ I ate crab for the first time in my life. Cooked. The meat is so soft and delicius when you it it just with lime juice, salt (and pepper) and with bread. Oh, glorious! (For such a crab we paid about $4, and in Polish restaurant you would probably pay about $15-18… But you cannot find FRESH crabs, cought just few hours ago. Such a thing just doesn’t exist in my country.)

sri lanka - unawatuna - beach

sri lanka - unawatuna - beach

What’s more, we drank gallons of the Lion beer and lime juice. It’s me, now I have an affair with lime juice. Sour, without water, so refreshing. How can you not fall in love when it costs about 1$? Awwwww…

Unawatuna and turtles

And while just lying there and drunking beer or juice, we looked at the ocean and spotted… turtles. From time to time those animals emerged above the surface for a second to take a breath. And every time one of us said “There is a turtle” in the way as if it was one of the most natural things in the world.

Well, it was. 🙂

sri lanka - unawatuna - beach

sri lanka - unawatuna - beach

sri lanka - unawatuna - beach

We also swam just few meters next to the turtles. In the milky turquoise water. It’s good to have sunglasses in sunny day while swimming, because the water is so bright, that without them you need to squint your eyes.

And because it’s like a big warm bath, we should have a big rubber duck. And we had one! In our perfect world!

sri lanka - unawatuna - beach

But the best it was in the morning, at sunrise or shortly after. When it’s still pretty cool (only 24 degrees), and the beach is nearly empty. You can sit and watch the tiny crabs running to the right and left. Then you cannot move, because within seconds they bury in the sand. And when I was sitting and not moving, there were about 15 small crabbies running next to me.

sri lanka - unawatuna - beach

sri lanka - unawatuna - beach

sri lanka - unawatuna - beach

sri lanka - unawatuna - beach

sri lanka - unawatuna - beach

But the beach in Unawatunie is not ideal. The sand is not white, and palms do not lean over the water. It is touristy. If it’s not what you expect, don’t go there. However, in low season (mid March-mid April) it’s almost empty. And I fell in love with it. For me it is perfect. My perfect unperfect beach!

When you go somewhere, do you dream about perfect beaches? Do you Google the photos or you let surprise yourself? Have you ever been dissappointed? Or maybe quite the opposite?

sri lanka - unawatuna - beach

sri lanka - unawatuna - beach

sri lanka - unawatuna - beach

sri lanka - unawatuna - beach

2 comments

  1. Such a nice article. so sorry about the incident you faced in Dambulla. yeah this is true when you travel alone some of the areas in Sri Lanka. one time i and my wife both faced a such a disgusting situation at Unawatuna anyway we managed it as we had a Police officer(who is one of my best friends) with us. again so sorry about the incident(As i am too a Sri Lankan)

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