And here we are folks, at the end of my Sri Lanka visit! Phew…better late than never, right?
The last stop on the tour was Colombo, where we spent our final few days. The busy capital centres around Galle Road and is an interesting mix of old and new, featuring beautiful colonial architecture, popular street markets, shopping and restaurants.
Our guide told us that Colombo was originally known as ‘mango’ as it was the port for green mango, a fruit loved by Sri Lankans. A quarter of the population live in slums and 40% of people are Muslim. The capital is surrounded by water and the city is 26 square km.
A few days is needed here as there’s much to do, see and taste.
Not to be missed is one of the oldest districts, Pettah which is full of shops, markets and temples. We visited Pettah Bazaar at night and it was a busy, crazy and sweaty experience!
I had read about a popular sweets shop called Royal Sweet Meat Mart (there’s no meat involved!) so I bumbled my way through the busy market to find the store and once inside, sip on a cold faluda and try a few lovely treats.
Another great area is Cinnamon Gardens (so named because a century ago it was covered in cinnamon plantations) which is much more modern and here you’ll find the National Museum, impressive old colonial homes and lots of upmarket shops and cafes.
After spending two weeks exploring the quieter and less populated towns of this small island, I found the sensory overload of this busy city a bit too much. I expect I would have felt differently if it was the first stop on the tour and not the last. On the upside, Colombo is a great city for searching for local gifts to bring home for loved ones.
Have you been to Sri Lanka? What’s your favourite city in this beautiful country?
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