"The South Coast" Southern Province by Maxus

Southern Province Travel Guide: 405 reviews and 1,278 photos

The South is Booming

According to Wikipedia, Southern Province “is economically backward compared to the Western province, where the capital Colombo is situated.” I don’t like the word backward and much of Sri Lanka's big money is indeed still in Colombo but civil war aside, Sri Lanka is developing fast and things are happening faster down south than just about anywhere else on the Island.

Take a trip along the south coast and you will see evidence of a huge amount of inward investment, from the newly up-market hotels and guest houses in Galle Fort (you’ll pay more for a night in the Galle Lighthouse Hotel than most people here earn in a month) past the massive extension to the university at Matara and perhaps most important of all, the site for the new international airport at Weerawila.

Add to the above the new Colombo-Matara express highway, which if it is ever finished will get you from the capital to the south coast in well under 2 hours (currently about 4 hours) and Southern Province is booming.

Economically Sri Lanka is no basket case, as Asian economies, China in particular, look for places to invest their new found wealth but the Tsunami appears to have sped things up along the south coast, which got a real hammering. Foreign aid gushed in to the area, new infrastructure is rapidly replacing old, the fishing fleet has been replaced and while some of the survivors are no doubt still struggling, others moved up the economic ladder as they inherited property from their less fortunate relatives.

People from other parts of the country will also tell you that the current President, who was born in Hambantota District, educated in Galle, ran a law practice in Tangalle and represents a constituency in the province, knows where his bread is buttered, and who am I to argue. The numerous posters you will see along the way showing a beaming Mahinda Rajapaksa performing good works certainly suggest that he is as popular as ever in this part of the world.

The coast road makes a good road trip; I have a travel page covering this area which you can get to by clicking here.

You can find other tips on Southern Province and the rest of the Island here.

Getting There

I have travelled this coast numerous times by public transport, you can get to Galle and as far as Matara by train (not the fastest way to travel but probably the most interesting) at Matara you can pick up one of the numerous buses that ply the coast road.

If you want to know more about getting around in Sri Lanka click here.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Galle Fort, the Beaches, the Sea Air and Kirinda
  • Cons:The Building Sites
  • Last visit to Southern Province: Dec 2007
  • Intro Updated Dec 15, 2007
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