This is one of the most touristy places of Sri Lanka.
Although there are some good reasons for that, that also means that the locals here are well-trained in milking the dollars out of you. Be prepared to say ‘No, thank you’ several times per, well, every moment or two.
But even in a place like this, not all people are like that: in the fishing harbour, people don’t ask anything from you. I did feel a certain out-of-placeness there.
Apart from the fishermen – and women, so I’ve been told – with their primitive boats, there is off course the sea. The beach is great, though the water can be pretty rough.
Then there’s also the canal system, mainly dug by the Dutch (and before them by the local Singalese). The Portuguese have been here too: there still are quite some catholics and two nice churches in town.
This town can be a good starting point for a tour through the country, although I would only recommend that for experienced travellers. Alternatively, you can come here after a tour for a couple af days rest before taking the airplane (the airport is a mere 200 roepies away by tuk-tuk).