Mirissa at the time of writing is still something of a tropical fantasy, how long it remains so is open to question. A sleepy fishing village 4 km south east of Weligama, a small town, which has some of the most consistent surf breaks on the south coast; Mirissa is a place where complete relaxation is the only way to go.

The beach is stunning: curved and about a mile long in distance, there are no vulgar high rise buildings, instead lots of comfortable guest houses, virtually all family run, which offer acceptable accommodation and in most cases serve tasty cheap food. Mirissa is a place though to be outside on the beach, sipping beers, being embarrassed at beach cricket by the astonishingly good locals and admiring the ocean.

Surfing is there too, but be warned if you are not that good, it can be a vicious experience involving swallowing sea water and landing head first on the ocean floor.

The only tourists for whom Mirissa will not work are those in search of top end boutique accommodation- there is none, but even then a day trip will still charm all but the most heart hearted. Virtually all accommodation is beach side and it’s quite feasible never to put a pair of shoes on during your stay. Sun and Sea is a very normal looking guest house on the east end of the beach. It is run by a charming family and serve’s some of the best Sri Lankan rice and curry you are likely to find outside of the family home and at absurdly cheap prices- if never there was a place to tip this is it.

There is laid back fun to be had in the evenings at the western end of the beach at the Water Creatures Surf Bar and an excellent restaurant called Sudi Wedi which offers fresh fish for you to choose from before being cooked to your specification. Also a good place to hire surf and snorkeling equipment, there is plenty of coral and fish to be seen.

Mirissa water sports center is still work in progress, but the whale watching is recommended as is a trip to watch the iconic stilt fisherman of the south coast- a fittingly laid back conclusion to one of Sri Lanka’s most languid regions.