Situated 195km from Colombo, Tangalla (also spelt Tangalle, but usually pronounced ten-gol) is one of the nicest spots along the coast, particularly if you just want somewhere to relax and soak up the sun. The town itself is an easy-going place with some reminders of Dutch days.
From Tangalla the white sands of Medaketiya Beach stretch for more than 3km northeast. Heading southwest there is a whole series of smaller bays and beaches. From a distance it looks idyllic, but up close it is another story. Tangalla suffered grievously from the tsunami. Thousands died in the area and hundreds of homes were destroyed, especially going northeast from the Kirama Oya. Scores of oceanfront guesthouses (with owners, guests and staff) were washed away along Medaketiya Beach. Rebuilding has been very slow, although at some point more places to stay should reappear along this gorgeous beach. In the meantime, everybody has their own tale of loss.