Welcome to Sri Lanka: Meet Colombo!

With Dutch winter in full galore, I couldn’t help but to escape to another warm sunny place on this earth. Friends of mine visited Sri Lanka last year and their stories made me wanna jump on the first plane going there. So adios amigos, we are going to Sri Lanka! With my brother as my travel buddy I started this very special trip. No preparations once again, just seeing where the wind will take us. Starting off in Colombo Sri Lanka turned out pretty quickly like any other Asian country; warm, chaotic, super friendly and not in a hurry at all (except for traffic).

jetwing ayurveda pavilions negombo sri lanka
Paradise at Jetwing Ayurveda Pavilions

Staying at the Jetwing Ayurveda Pavilions in Negombo made sightseeing pretty hard. We could’ve easily spend our days hanging by the pool, having a typical Sri Lankan Ayurvedic massage or 2, and sipping fresh juices all day long. Nothing wrong with that. However, there’s more to Negombo and Colombo than chilling.
sailing boat negombo beach sri lanka

pettah market colombo sri lanka
Pettah Market

Colombo street life

The streets of Sri Lankans capital Colombo are filled with colors. Whether it’s the tuktuks, the food, the beautiful sarees of the women or the temples and mosques, dashes of colors cover the city. We spend most of our time in the chaos of the Pettah area walking around the markets. This is the place for treasure hunting and indulging in street foods. It seemed like it didn’t matter what time of the day you’d be visiting, it was crowded all day every day. Not with tourists however, so we got a taste of the city like I prefer it. Just going with the flow of the city’s rhythm.

street vendor people pettah colombo sri lanka

hindu women streets of pettah colomobo sri lanka
Hindu woman walking the streets of Pettah

Crab heaven

Just a short walk from the Pettah markets there’s a whole other world called the Fort area. While Pettah is crowded, busy, chaotic and lively, Colombo Fort is probably completely the opposite with its grand colonial buildings and quiet streets. Not the most exciting area to spend a lot of time exploring, but do visit Ministry of Crab. This place is heaven. Make sure you’re hungry, ‘cause you won’t be able to say no to anything they have on their menu. Crab, crab, crab and more crab, and alright some other tasty seafood as well.

restaurant ministry of crab colombo fort sri lanka
Ministry of Crab
ministry of crab restaurant colombo fort sri lanka
Can’t resist this, right?

Charming Colombo

Although Colombo might not be the prettiest city ever, or will make you wanna extend your stay, visiting it is still worth it. The city gives you a pretty good insight into Sri Lankan city life, without the tourist traps and buses full of Chinese (no offence..). Soak up the culture, the way all the different religions live peacefully side by side, let the locals tell their stories, eat delicious street food (try Kotthu!!) and let Colombo secretly charm you anyways…


trcuk transport pettah market colombo sri lanka
Would you think something else could fit in there?
pettah red mosque colombo sri lanka
The Jami-Ul-Alfar or Red Mosque in Pettah
colombo streets pettah market sri lanka
The streets of Pettah filled with shops and vendorscolombo streets hindu temple pettah sri lankasarees pettah market colombo sri lanka

pettah streets colombo sri lanka

red mosque pettah colombo sri lanka
The red mosque in Pettah

truck streets pettah colombo sri lanka

Photos by: M. Barends©

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