- Beach / Seaside Resort
- Place or Religious Monument
- Place or Historical Monument
However this can be disconcerting, so many people who decide to visit Sri Lanka have a tendency to ignore Colombo. With the international airport being closer to Negombo, a small seaside resort in the north, the temptation is really to begin by lounging on the beach instead of exploring a large city...
Personally, it is out of the question to simply pass by a city with such monumental history. First visit to the Buddhist temple of Gangarayama. It's truly a unique place, mixing the architectural styles of Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and China. I would say perhaps even Indonesian, as looking at the wall of Buddhas at the back of the temple, it made me think about the Borobudur Temple in Java. Not far from there is the Beira lake and the Sima Malaka Temple. Walking along the side of the lake, I saw that you could also picnic on the little artificial island, accessible by a bridge. It's also possible to get there by pedalo.
Colombo is on the sea front, so don't miss the Galle Face Green park, a promenade much loved by the locals who don't hesitate to bathe in the waves and the wind. I bought a small snack from a walking salesman whilst looking at the surrounding luxury hotels in the style of British architecture. I walked past the Viharamahadevi public garden, which is opposite the Colombo city hall, where the architecture strangely resembles that of the capital. I ended my day by visiting the shopping centre to buy some souvenirs and some tea.
Before leaving on my trip to Sri Lanka, I imagined Colombo to be a pretty colonial city in the Indian Ocean. Today, the reality is very different. The smell of spices has long since been overpowered by the exhaust fumes that are produced every day on the long avenues. Its expansions seems to have been badly managed and nothing seems to be able to make a visitor stay.
I advise you do what many other tourists do, which is take a taxi or bus to Pettah station. Leave for the north, the south or the centre as there is no reason at all to waste a day in Colombo when there are so many other marvels awaiting you elsewhere on the island. So, don't delay!