Thalpe is a particularly sleepy little village in a very languid part of the world, that has no obvious attractions other than an unspoilt and charming beach. For a variety of reasons though it has spawned a sea front of utterly decadent hotels, without in any way feeling over crowded.

Thalpe is the spiritual home of the fun loving and wealthy Galle Fort ex pat crowd. It started at Beach Wijaya, a gated bar/ restaurant and small hotel. This is a place for long boozy days to turn into even longer and boozier nights. The food is also good and the atmosphere one of refined class giving it a bit of a thrash. There are gorgeous sun loungers from which to admire the ocean and occasional surfer ( the surfing is not great, but for the beginner good fun and a welcome break from being smashed around in the more established surf spots.)

From these simple beginnings places have popped up all along the coast and in all vast private grounds, so there is never any feeling of being hemmed in. The beach is long as well and there are plenty of little coves if you want privacy. Nico’s, Apa Villa’s, Cantaloupa Aqua and Frangipani are all in their own way lovely places to visit and stay. Cantaloupe Aqua is the best place to party and has regular DJ sessions at weekends while the Apa Villas are the most therapeutic and has even by Sri Lankan standards a pretty special swimming pool.

For those with an interest in culture and history Thalpe is still a good base for Galle Fort being about 5 miles to the east, even though its devoid of any itself other than the odd passing fisherman but for those wanting some classy beachside fun, Thalpe is an absolute must.