Blogs from Colombo, Western Province, Sri Lanka, Asia - page 2

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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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Asia » Sri Lanka » Western Province » Colombo August 8th 2018

Credit card information for anyone staying at the Cinnamon Grand. When you arrive they block funds from your card to cover the entire room stay and incidentals. I’m here for 17 nights (find me and say hello, anyone in the area) so the amount could have bought a small, family-sized car. Let’s hope I don’t actually need to buy one of those. I had reports of propel having trouble with cards in the past so maybe this is what they mean. They will be released when I pay up but you need to make sure you have double the amount available on your card, and some! I’m going to try to pay upfront in the hope that the blocked amount comes back to me. After lying by the pool all day reading an actual book and ... read more
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Asia » Sri Lanka » Western Province » Colombo August 8th 2018

Today was a working day, so not too much to report. More curry for breakfast, it was so good I was nearly moaning out loud! The mutton curry was a bit tough but hey, I’m not complaining. And I was sitting in a MUCH better position to put my illegal lunch in my handbag. Result! A taxi had been booked for my colleague and I and arrived more or less on time. Apparently the traffic wasn’t too bad, it took about 20mins to go the 5km to the centre. The cost was 460rupees, more or less. A kind of receipt was produced on a random bit of paper the driver found on the floor of his cab. Good enough! At the end of the day I was finished first, so decided not to wait. The taxi ... read more
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Asia » Sri Lanka » Western Province » Colombo July 29th 2018

So this is the start of my 4 week experience working In Sri Lanka. I must say, Sr Lankan Airlines provide a painless experience. The flight went in a flash. So much easier to sit for 10 1/2 hours rather than the usual 13 to Singapore etc. Boarding was interesting. The announcement said please remain seated until your row number is called. Everyone immediately stood up. I was in 22,meaning one of the last. The seats are 2-4-2, and I was quite disappointed to have a buddy next to me, although he was a very p9lite medical student going home to visit his family. He shook my hand, bless. Everyone I’ve met so far has been unfailingly polite. On arrival I was disappointed that the immigration officer took no notice at all of my business visa, ... read more
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