Your best travel journeys will always be last minute plans, ideas came up with on a night with close friends. Trip to Sri Lanka was the sum of one such discussion. It was going to be an extended long weekend, thanks to the public holiday and the weekend combined, said to myself let’s see a place i have never seen before. Always a good choice.
Colombo, capital of Sri Lanka, despite its small size, offers a perfect tourist brochure for anyone who decides to take a break and fly right into this beautiful beach side destination. A city with an overdose of gems ranging from expensive stones to rubies and sapphires to garnets, shinning in various colors is a sight not worth missing. Walk into any one of the million stores located at every street and you will come across well crafted gems in various sizes and cuts.
From gems to the next most famous product of Sri Lanka, their tea. Sri Lankan tea, famous that it is, is available in number of flavors leaving me surprised and astonished to find that certain flavors even exist. Strawberry, blueberry, cardamom, cinnamon and of course loved by all the very own green tea are just a few flavors that I picked up while shopping in Colombo. And of course how can anyone miss their ultimate Ceylon tea, after all Sri Lanka was at one time a British crown colony known as Ceylon. With prominent hotels like Taj Samudra, Cinnamon Grand and The Kingsbury splashed all over the city, one can check in and indulge in the best that these grand hotels offer.
Reach Colombo and spend a daytime buying local teas and watching the parliamentary buildings. Cinnamon Red hotel offers a landscape view from its top floor open cafe (non-members cannot order till 5 pm). It very cheap and sunset from the infinity pool should not be missed. Marina and Bellagio casinos are good for late night entertainment. You can also choose to visit Negombo beach and buy local wooden antiques. Alternatively, there is a wide range of beach cafes and restaurants to spend a good evening.
The natural beauty is absolutely mesmerizing. Villas are available at cheap prices. Unawattuna beach has a great night life. Hikkadua beach near Unawattuna will fill up your appetite for sun bathing with a crimson sunset in the dessert.
Travel to Mirissa for Marine Safari. It starts at 7 am and can last untill 1 pm. You may view the magnificent blue whale if you are lucky. Safari can cause sea sickness and hence take necessary precautions.
Visit Galle fort and get a fantastic view of the Indian Ocean.
Galle International Cricket Stadium
The International cricket ground. You can divide the day between Bentota and Galle.
Travel to Nuwara Eliya. Tea-estates are very scenic and the place comes alive during monsoon. However, there is not much to see other than tea factories, lakes and waterfalls.
Sri Dalada Maligawa