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Top things to do in Galle

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Ranked #1 of 24 attractions in Galle
Travelers' Choice™ 2014 Winner Attractions
Category: Historic Sites; Cultural
Owner description: Galle Fort: a journey to the past See the remnants of a Dutch past at a World Heritage Site. . . . Galle has been the... more » Owner description: Galle Fort: a journey to the past See the remnants of a Dutch past at a World Heritage Site. . . . Galle has been the emporium of foreign trade since the dawn of commerce. The Dutch Fort, which has been declared a World Heritage Site, surrounds the older part of the town and is situated on a headland of which three sides overlook the sea. The ramparts of the Fort are over 2.5 km in circumference and provide a pleasant and interesting walk. The historian Sir Emerson Tennant claimed that Galle was the ancient biblical city of Tarshish. This city is said to have traded with King Solomon, the Persians and the Egyptians. In 1505 a Portuguese fleet led by Lorenzo de Almeida heading for the Maldives drifted accidentally into Galle. It is said that on hearing a cock crowing (cock means "Galo" in Portuguese) they gave the town its name. Another explanation for the name is from the Sinhala name for rock 'Gala', plenty of which are found in the harbour area. When the Portuguese arrived the town was already a thriving trader's port and an entrenched settlement in the lowland territory of the Kandyan Kings. It was however not until 1587 when the Portuguese were able to control Galle. The Dutch then arrived, overthrew the Portuguese and took control of Sri Lanka in 1640. It was the Dutch who had a major impact on Galle and the town still retains its characteristic Dutch architecture, the streets differing little from the times of Dutch occupation. There is Leyn Baan Street (Lijnbaan meaning rope walk in Dutch), Lighthouse Street (previously known as Zeeburg Street) and Great and Small Modarabaay Streets (Modderbaai meaning mud bay). The Galle Fort built by the Dutch in 1663 was handed over to the British in 1796 'in a state of complete repair' as certified by the officer taking charge. The British did not alter Galle as they concentrated their efforts on Colombo. Therefore the Fort remains a significant monument from the Dutch era. « less
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Ranked #2 of 24 attractions in Galle
Category: Architectural Buildings; Historic Sites; Landmarks/ Points of Interest; Cultural
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Ranked #3 of 24 attractions in Galle
Category: Specialty Museums; Museums
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Ranked #4 of 24 attractions in Galle
Category: Mountains; Outdoors
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Ranked #5 of 24 attractions in Galle
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Ranked #6 of 24 attractions in Galle
Category: Nature/ Wildlife Areas; Outdoors
This national park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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Ranked #7 of 24 attractions in Galle
Category: Churches/ Cathedrals; Cultural
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Jungle Beach (Unawatuna)
Ranked #8 of 24 attractions in Galle
Category: Beaches; Outdoors
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Ranked #9 of 24 attractions in Galle
Category: Historic Sites; Cultural
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Ranked #10 of 24 attractions in Galle
Category: Historic Sites; Cultural
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Mihiripenna Beach (Unawatuna)
Ranked #11 of 24 attractions in Galle
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Ranked #12 of 24 attractions in Galle
Category: Lighthouses; Landmarks
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Ranked #13 of 24 attractions in Galle
Category: Museums
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Ranked #14 of 24 attractions in Galle
Category: Religious Sites; Cultural
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Ranked #15 of 24 attractions in Galle
Category: Churches/ Cathedrals; Cultural
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Ranked #16 of 24 attractions in Galle
Category: History Museums; Museums
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Ranked #17 of 24 attractions in Galle
Ranked #18 of 24 attractions in Galle
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Ranked #19 of 24 attractions in Galle
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Ranked #20 of 24 attractions in Galle
Category: Historic Sites; Cultural
http://www.wend.ca/?p=2194
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Ranked #21 of 24 attractions in Galle
Category: Tourist/ Visitor Centers; Zoos/Aquariums
Owner description: Galle and Mirissa in Southern Sri Lanka has now established itself as the world's top spot for watching the Blue Whale, the... more » Owner description: Galle and Mirissa in Southern Sri Lanka has now established itself as the world's top spot for watching the Blue Whale, the largest creature to have inhabited our planet. During the season, Blue Whales can be seen virtually everyday at a strike rate of over 95% just a few nautical miles from the shore, which is unprecedented when compared to sightings of these animals in other parts of the world. Sperm Whales too may be seen occasionally in pods numbering as much as 50 individuals, and on a 'good day' you may have views of both Sperm Whales and Blue Whales in the same field of view! Acrobatic Spinner Dolphins may also be seen, sometimes in super pods which can number over a thousand. Whale watching in Mirissa has emerged as one of the biggest and most positive stories for Sri Lanka's growing tourism industry in recent years, thanks to the efforts of Jetwing. Jetwing Lighthouse, an icon of Galle has been the home of whale watching and played a pivotal role in researching, promoting and branding the product to the world since its inception in May 2008. All whale watching excursions from Jetwing Lighthouse are conducted by the resident naturalist Anoma Alagiyawadu, who is singularly distinguished by his reputation as Sri Lanka's foremost whale watcher, who has now completed 700+ excursions top sea. With such a wealth of experience and knowledge, Anoma and Senaka Weerasuriya, a PADI certified diving instructor who was certified in Australia and has vast diving experience at places such as the Great Barrier Reef and a lover of marine wildlife as well as a recent addition to Jetwing Lighthouse, have teamed up to create the Jetwing Whale and Dolphin Center.This is the first purpose built information and research centre in Sri Lanka, and aims to educate and create awareness of these magnificent creatures. At present, 28 species of cetaceans (whales and dolphins) have been recorded in Sri Lankan waters and sightings from Mirissa alone include Brydes Whale, Blue Whale, Pilot Whale, Orca, different types of Dolphins, however very little is still understood about their behavior or why they are seen in these waters. « less
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Ranked #22 of 24 attractions in Galle
Category: Historic Sites; Cultural
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Ranked #23 of 24 attractions in Galle
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Ranked #24 of 24 attractions in Galle
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