Three years ago at this time I was in Sri Lanka, one of the top travel destinations that I had been lucky enough to see. The food, the vibe, the scenery and the people all contribute to the magic of this country. And everything that is fascinating about Sri Lanka is summed up in Galle, the timeless seaport at the southwestern tip of the island.

This city of 100,000 dates well over 2,000 years ago, and for the past millennium has been the crossroads for thousands of empires. But the forces that shaped the city into how it appears today started in the early 16th century, when the Portuguese arrived. As the story goes across much of the world, the Dutch then showed up, and then the British. The Dutch traders built that fort that defines Galle in the 17th century, and this is the section of town where people visit from around the world to bask in history – and today’s art colony.

The fort still stands, and while the 2004 tsunami killed thousands in the city, the fort’s walls still stand tall and much of what was in this area of Galle survived. Today, the fort’s walls make for a magnificent walk at any time of day – I suggest making sure you see the sunrise and sunset. Within the fort is an eclectic collection of architecture, galleries, restaurants and guesthouses.

A short walk from the fort, near the massive cricket grounds, is the town’s central market. Sri Lankan bananas and mangoes are not to be missed. Otherwise, in the town, there is no shortage of places to dine. Peddlar’s Inn has mixed reviews, but I had a fantastic dinner there. The guesthouse at which I stayed has closed, but there is no shortage of accommodation of in the town – but try to stay within the fort. I only spent one night here, but was lucky to have a late night flight so I had two full days. You could easily spend twice that amount of time here.

Image credits: Leon Kaye

Sri Lanka, travel, Galle, architecture, Leon Kaye

Locals certainly enjoy the views from Galle as well

Sri Lanka, travel, Galle, architecture, Leon Kaye

The fort's walls helped Galle withstand the 2004 tsunami

Sri Lanka, travel, Galle, architecture, Leon Kaye

Sunset is certainly spectacular here

Sri Lanka, travel, Galle, architecture, Leon Kaye

History certainly does not lack within the fort's walls

Sri Lanka, travel, Galle, architecture, Leon Kaye

The colors and textures of Galle beg for your camera

Sri Lanka, travel, Galle, architecture, Leon Kaye

After a Sri Lankan banana, you can't go back to Dole

Sri Lanka, travel, Galle, architecture, Leon Kaye

Early morning is a great time to explore Galle Fort's environs

Sri Lanka, travel, Galle, architecture, Leon Kaye

I had the view of a cricket match from my guesthouse

Sri Lanka, travel, Galle, architecture, Leon Kaye

Galle Fort is wonderful to wander around at all hours of the day

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of GreenGoPost.com. Based in California, he specializes in social media consulting and strategic communications. A journalist and writer since 2009, his work has appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Areas of interest include the <a Middle East, sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at leon@greengopost.com. You can also reach out via Twitter (Leon Kaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). Since 2013, he has spent much of his time in Abu Dhabi, UAE, working with Masdar, the emirate's renewable energy company. He lives in Fresno, California.