Stilt Fishing in Unawatuna – Sri Lanka

Stilt fishing is a fishing method unique to the people of Sri Lanka. The local stilt fishermen use stilts to catch their fish. You will find these stilt fishermen in Unawatuna, a small fisherman’s village close to Galle in Sri Lanka.

By: Jlaulo

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Sri Lanka

Getting to Unawatuna:

You can get to Unawatuna by train or bus, but I really recommend renting a scooter. That’s what I did, and you get to see so much amazing stuff you wouldn’t see if you were taking the bus or a train.

The drive from the capital (Colombo) where the airport is and to Unawatuna is approximately 4 hours by scooter without stopping. But there’s so many amazing spots on the way there such as hikkaduwa, so I would recommend to do it in a four days drive.

stilt fishing

Stilt fishing


You will end up by paying 6 dollars a day for a scooter, and the train tickets costs literally nothing.
Average price for food is about 400 Sri Lankan rupees a meal. A beer is 400 rupees as well.
Accommodation is usually about 5-7 dollars a night. Depends on if you will stay in the “party hostels” or the cheaper ones.
The fee for fishing on the poles were 500 rupees, but it’s so worth it.

Where to stay in Unawatuna:

I would recommend to stay in “Jungle beach hostel in Unawatuna. It’s on a hilltop close to jungle beach. The scenery is amazing, and you’ll find animals such as monkeys by the beach.
It’s also very close to Unawatuna beach, which is also nice.

stilt fishing stilt fishing

How much time will you need in Unawatuna

You won’t need more than a couple of days in Unawatuna. My favourite thing about the place were that it was so close to the place where they fish on poles. And the jungle beach was amazing as well.
Two days is more than enough.

When is the best time for Stilt fishing in Unawatuna

I was there in January, but I was told by the fishermen that the fishing season started in October, and that was the best time to go there.
But then again, I went there in January and had an amazing time. I even got a fish when I was fishing from the pole.

What to do there

You should try to fish in the poles, that was one of the best experiences I’ve had.
Spend some hours at the jungle beach, and try to find some monkeys on your way down there from the mountain.

stilt fishing

What not to do

There’s not really any tourist traps there, but my main tip is to not spend to many days there. Drive a bit further down south, and spend more time in Mirissa.
And don’t by the local pants (baggies). I bought two pairs, and those lasted for two days. The quality was horrible.

Why should Stilt fishing be on my bucket list?

Sri Lanka itself is now my favourite country in the whole world. It’s just and amazing place where you get to see so much new things. Such an amazing and beautiful place. I wil go back there for at least 3 weeks every time I will travel in Asia.

My favourite thing about Sri Lanka was fishing on the poles in Unawatuna, even though my favourite place there were Mirissa.

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