The south-west region is popular due to its proximity to the airport. The main attraction is the historic Galle city and it’s fort, which is a world heritage site. Here, upmarket luxury and character-rich boutique properties are easy to find, a lot of them with a heavy influence from the colonial period. Along the coast in both directions there are numerous coastal towns and villages such as Bentota and Ahangama, perfectly located to allow visitors to discover the region’s vibrant cultural heritage and miles of pristine beaches.
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Places to Visit
Ahungalla is an ancient fishing hamlet 9 kilometres north of Ambalangoda. A small town with a beautiful sweep of sandy beaches to its north, it is renowned for its famous mask carving, batiks, hand woven cotton and traditional dance. The Ambalangoda School of Dance specialises in teaching the southern forms of dance like masked dancing and devil dancing
Bentota The coastal town of Bentota has some of India's finest beaches, allowing for pure relaxation, while the seas here have a huge variety of fish, including large specimens such as barracuda. The area also benefits from the calm waters of the Bentota river, which are good for sailing. Away from the coast, the beautiful Brief Garden makes for a great day out. Once a rubber estate, it was converted by renowned landscape artist Bevis Bawa and features a Japanese water garden and several walled gardens following different themes. It is also possible to visit Bevi Bawa's house, a private museum with a wonderful collection of antique Dutch furniture, sculptures and paintings
Kalutara is approximately 42 kilometres south of Colombo and known for basketmaking and producing excellent quality mangosteens (delicious, sweet fruit). The town itself is bisected by a busy major road with small shops, business, markets etc. on either side. The Gangatilaka Vihara, the Buddhist shrine situated by the bridge across the Kalu Ganga has a hollow dagoba, the inside of which is decorated with a frieze of paintings. By the road there is also a sacred Bodhi Tree where drivers can stop to make offerings.
Wadduwa The small resort of Wadduwa lies 32 kilometres south of Colombo and 8 kilometres north of Kalutara on a quiet stretch of the coast, near to a small fishing community. A railway line runs close to the beach, which is fringed by swaying palms. At times currents here can be strong and the sea rough.
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