“This now looks like every other big city” was my first thought when we landed in Colombo. Over the last few years, the city’s cultural charms have slowly given way to modern skyscrapers and globalised aesthetics, at least in the financial and business districts. Perhaps appealing to investors and multinational businesses, its fading individuality makes the culture-traveller feel a tiny bit blue.
The Southwest coast of Sri Lanka offers an ideal break with plenty of interesting experiences. Here are 9 must-do things to add to your list for your next visit:
Walk Along Galle Face Green
1pm may not have been the best time, but the walk along the Galle Face in Colombo was one down memory lane. We started at the Kingsbury Hotel, and walked up to the Galle Face Hotel, checking out the old Parliament and the pelicans on Beira Lake en-route.
The stroll through what felt like a bustling construction site gave us the opportunity to identify all the new buildings that had appeared since we’d last been 3 years ago.
We watched the dredging to build the new Port City in progress, and observed the fish trapped in pools of water left by the receding tide. In the evening, the green offers a refreshing walk by the ocean and a delightful stretch to indulge in romantic rendezvous, while munching on snacks and beverages from the kiosks.
Have an Iced Tea at the Galle Face Hotel
Overlooking the Galle Face Green is the iconic Galle Face Hotel, one of the oldest properties East of the Suez Canal. On our way in we spotted a bride in traditional attire rushing to the ballroom – every inch of her saree covered in magnolia beads, followed by her groom in a puffed sleeve coat and elaborate headgear.
We toyed with the idea of peeking into the decked venue, but found a comfy spot at the hotel’s Traveller’s Bar offering a view of the ocean and manicured lawns instead.
As we sipped the pina coladas and iced teas, we couldn’t help but feel a tinge of excitement knowing that the likes of Arthur Conan Doyle and Mark Twain sat in this very spot to be inspired by the Indian Ocean and the mysteries of Ceylon. Beverages start at around LKR 500. Continue reading The Best of Sri Lanka’s Stunning Southwest Coast