Blogs from Colombo, Western Province, Sri Lanka, Asia

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Asia » Sri Lanka » Western Province » Colombo March 25th 2019

yes, 2 days ago i was in colombo, sri lanka touring in a tuk tuk. tomorrow, the 26th of march we will be in mumbai. dubai on the 29th and 30th. muscat, oman on the 31st. transiting through the suez canal on april the 6th. then 2 days in haifa, israel on the 7th and 8th. seville, spain on the 13th, then disembarking in southampton on the 16th of april. i can't believe how quick this cruise has gone. the days have just sailed by! on march 17th we arrived in singapore for 2 days. very hot and humid. it was 34 degrees by noon. i was booked on a tour and was pleased to see tony from my dining table was on the same tour. the majority of the population in singapore are chinese (76%), ... read more
in singapore

Asia » Sri Lanka » Western Province » Colombo March 9th 2019

After about 420 kms of riding our last full day was a 150 km drive to Colombo initially along a new toll road to the outskirts of Colombo where traffic slowed to a crawl. Brief stops made at Independence Square & Parliament as well a brief orientation drive around the old town before lunch & browsing at the Barefoot Fairtrade store, a showcase of handicrafts from around the country. After lunch we took a walk through the bustling Pettah Bazaar. Colombo is now a big modern city set on a huge natural harbour where office blocks stand shoulder to sholder with Colonial-era buildings reflecting the different eras of the Portuguese, Dutch & British empires. China is now the new empire, building huge new towers plus a massive sand reclamation of prime land around the port so ... read more
Busy speed sign
Moving goods in compact Colombo market
End of ride group with celebratory beer.

Asia » Sri Lanka » Western Province » Colombo September 11th 2018

We got off the plane at half 11 Sri Lankan time, it was only a very small flight. Free wi-fi in the airport allowed us to book a taxi through “PickMe” which is the Sri Lankan equivalent of Ola. We changed our money (everywhere in the airport does the exact same conversion rate, however they only accept cash, as one stereotypically rude brit abroad found out (not us)). Immediately from the airport to the hotel, a half an hour drive, the roads seemed cleaner, palm trees scattered everywhere matched only in number by the large bodies of water. I’ve already had the talk with meg about staying 5 metres from the waters edge, as the island hosts thousands of Marsh Crocodiles along with a few saltwater crocodiles too. No thanks. We stayed in the Star Anise ... read more

Asia » Sri Lanka » Western Province » Colombo August 19th 2018

After researching the many ways to see the sights of Colombo, from the budget version of the negotiated tuktuk to the super expensive jeep, we all decided to do the City Sightseeing tour, in the red open top bus. It seemed quite pricey for where we are, 30USD, but it picked us up from right in front of the hotel and dropped us back here 4 hours later. We had to go to breakfast at 7am and it wasn’t even a school day. It arrived at 7.45 and drove up to the Galle Face Hotel where we had to wait 20 minutes for some Aussies who’d been given the wrong pick up time. 2 more got on at the next hotel and that was it, 7 of us. We first went round the Fort area and ... read more
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Asia » Sri Lanka » Western Province » Colombo August 18th 2018

Hurrah for a free day to explore, and not having to be at breakfast at 7am, I had a plan today to walk around the lake at the back of the hotel, visit the Gangaramaya Temple and go to the Independence Square Mall. It was surprising on a number of fronts, but was a lovely day. The road at the side of the Crescat Mall leads down to a big lake with a temple on a tiny island. There’s a path around the edge, a few men hanging around or working cleaning and sweeping. Perfectly OK for walking around in the daytime. There was a scratchy noise which turned out to be a 3 foot monitor lizard, and a few birds. At the entrance to the temple on the island a man was sitting on the ... read more
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Asia » Sri Lanka » Western Province » Colombo August 16th 2018

So every day has been off to work by taxi and back by tuktuk, or today, as I finished early, it was time to give the local bus a go. My colleagues were finishing ,after and prefer the far more relaxing option of a taxi home too. I am determined to try every transport option going. The taxi this morning took a detour over to the beach road, as it was rammed on the one way system. The train line runs between the road and the sea, and a commuter train came by, literally with people hanging out of the doorways. It was amazing to see. The sea has been very rough the whole time I’ve been here so far and now is the start of the rainy season. I’ve been practising the head wobbling (ear ... read more
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Asia » Sri Lanka » Western Province » Colombo August 15th 2018

Following a fairly uneventful flight from Abu Dhabi to Colombo - yes we did doze and I watched Kinky Boots film, dad watched shape of water! We were pretty rapid off the plane and surprisingly quick through immigration - luckily we'd got visas beforehand - luggage collected and a nice man from the hotel picked us up so before we knew it we were in the hotel - and there was a roof top bar - rather grainy picture below - selfie and flash don't go together After a drink and some tapas it was definitely time for bed!... read more
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Asia » Sri Lanka » Western Province » Colombo August 12th 2018

Today my colleague and I decided to go to the much mentioned and recommended Barefoot Cafe, which has 3 locations, the one at 704 Galle Road being the one with the Sunday lunchtime jazz. You really need to book, all the tables under cover we’re reserved and we ended up outside huddled in the sort of shade of a tree, way out of reach of the fans. It was very hot. To get there we trotted through the Crescat Mall to the front where the tuktuks pull up, but the first ones weren’t metered. We decided to give the Pick Me app a whirl, said where we were and it came up with the driver’s name and reg number. He was a bit of a way away. We walked to the road and it looked like ... read more
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Asia » Sri Lanka » Western Province » Colombo August 11th 2018

A whole weekend free to hopefully eliminate jet lag. I had thought that today I’d go to the Old Dutch Hospital Centre, then to Pettah market, the Gangaramaya Temple and home through the park. Only the first of these actually happened, it was really hot and a bit harder to find my way around than I thought, not wanting to have my phone in my hand all the time and the hotel map being rubbish. There are 2 types of people who want to engage you in conversation, all of them are men, but not seedy or threatening. Both types start with the same 3 questions, which country are you from, are you here for a holiday, where are you going. Then it becomes clear(ish) if they are Type 1, wanting to sell you something, usually ... read more
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Asia » Sri Lanka » Western Province » Colombo August 10th 2018

Despite not particularly enjoying staying somewhere so formal/expensive, there are advantages, like coming back after a day’s work and finding fresh fruit in the room. A glass of wine would be better, but that’s never going to happen. And the breakfast is such a joy, although the Chinese stuff is a bit odd. There are up to 4 weddings a day in the central area, non-stop matrimonials here. Last night my working buddy and I thought we’d give the Noodles restaurant in the hotel a go. The prices didn’t look too bad for food, with the option of a starter sized portion of a lot of things. Being very partial to a bowl of Vietnamese pho I thought it would be right up my streeet. It wasn’t. The noodles were instant and tasted like a pot ... read more
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