The stretch of coast from Galle to Matara is characterised by coral reefs running parallel to the shoreline which create areas of protected water between the beach and the reef. These calm, shallow lagoons make wonderful safe areas for bathing. They also create the perfect conditions for stilt fishing; an activity which is now so synonymous with Sri Lanka that it is surprising to find out that it was only introduced here as recently as the Second World War.
The most famous area for stilt fishermen is Weligama but sadly nowadays their catch is more likely to be 500 rupees from a tourist to pose for a photograph than bounty from the ocean. A little further south near Matara however it is still possible to see stilt fishermen perched precariously above the water actually catching fish.