Unlike other capital cities, the densely populated city of Colombo also qualifies as a metropolis by all standards, which obviously leaves you wondering about exciting things to do in the city.
Unfortunately apart from finding ways to avoid the red route on google maps for ever lasting rush hours and swarming into shopping streets and local eateries, there isn’t much to do.
Just when all other alternatives failed to fit my itinerary and I made peace with the inevitable stay in Colombo, the other non compliant half of my brain and my efficient googling skills rose to the occasion and saved the day(two days to be precise).
Galle Fort and fishermen village
Galle is a well connected suburban region, at a distance of 2 to 2.5 hours from central Colombo. If you are looking for a convenient beach getaway without having the hassle of changing hotels, then Galle’s golden sands and clear teal waters await you.
While you wait for the sun to shine bright and give you a perfect golden tan, you can head to the fishermen village in Galle during the early hours to witness still fishing. This unique way of fishing usually begins at dawn and goes on for a couple of hours.
Dwell in the past with the well preserved 16th century Dutch architecture of the Galle Fort. Boomerang the waves hitting the shore and instagram #postcardperfect #nofilter pictures with the light house from 1938 in the background. I would say, enjoy a picturesque sunset standing at the flag rock bastion, but this aint the 90’s. 😉
Madhu River Excursion
Head to madhu river in case you don’t enjoy making sand castles. Experience the wetlands of Srilanka and the wildlife that comes with it. Visit scarcely populated islands in the river and take the finest cinnamon sticks and nature’s blessings home by feeding all the dead skin off of your feet at the fish spa.
Galle Face Green
A little confusing it may sound, but Galle face green is not located in Galle to begin with. Colombo’s beach is naturally gifted with a self sustaining green strip along its side called Galle face green. The locals treat it like a recreational park and the actual beach has been tapered down by building a wall where the sea side park begins.
Get your gadgets ready because the park has a small pedestrian platform standing on top of the sea that offers a beautiful view of the port on the other side.
The road side vendors may not be shouting “garam aanday” on top of their lungs but the feeble wooden carts decked up with street food will remind you of our very own clifton beach.
The independence day monument
Just another thoughtful monument that represents the spirit of freedom and comes with more emotional than historical value for the locals. Behind the independence monument you might notice a spectacular find.
No literally!! Right behind the monument, what may look like a museum is actually a great place to unwind after a tiring day in Colombo. The building was originally constructed in 1889 as a lunatic asylum and was abandoned post war. In 2012 the building was restored as a shopping arcade.
If you too are a sensitive soul, you might feel the walls of the arcade tell heart wrenching stories of the first inhabitants of the building.
The old dutch hospital
Srilankans do know the art of restoration and renovation very well. Another similar structure from the seventeenth century is the Old Dutch Hospital that is now home to several clubs, boutiques and restaurants. Get your reservations for the ministry of crab and indulge into Srilanka’s finest culinary(sea food) and cultural experience.
Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple
If only I had spent less time devouring the complimentary breakfast and snoozing my alarm a couple of times in the morning, I would be able to give you a first hand account of Gangaramaya temple. You will find this buddhist temple mentioned in almost every guide book and pamphlet you find in Colombo. From what I have heard from the locals, the view of the lake from the temple adds a special vibe to this place of worship and it is the added serenity which the followers and tourists enjoy. This temple still is’nt scratched off my bucket list.
There is more to my survivor series from Srilanka. Stay tuned to find out.