August 24, 2008

Serendib Srilanka: Colombo

It took a lot of time convincing mom that I will be safe in Srilanka…. Finally after 3 months she agreed! And what a trip it was!! We were a gang of 4 girls (or women…what ever!?)… Who had a blast!!

Srilankan Airlines had a 3 night 4 days package at affordable prices – This included to & fro air ticket, taxes, airport/hotel transfers & breakfast. All of us could afford it & still shop a lot. So with some apprehension about the deal (will there be some surprise charges…) we reserved our tickets & happily landed in Colombo.

The airport is very clean and has some duty free stores – they had a wide range of perfumes & liquor. All of us lost track of time & finally realized that we spent about an hour buying stuff – we ran to collect our luggage if it was still there – thankfully someone kept all of it aside. There are some bank counters to exchange dollars to Srilankan rupees in the airport. We got 109 Srilankan Rupee/dollar. Thankfully our hotel coach was still waiting to pick us up and we reached the hotel post several security checks at various check posts.

We stayed at the Taj Samudra – Beautiful property, huge rooms & good service. We hardly slept with excitement, we were the first ones to land in the coffee shop for breakfast & then embarked on a sight seeing trip. The hotel provided us an a/c car at a very reasonable price. The city has a rich cultural heritage. We saw several Buddhist temples, churches & Hindu temples. My favorites are the Beira Lake Temple & Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple. We also saw the commercial district, Town hall, Independence square, we ended this evening at the spa.

Next day was dedicated to shopping…It’s like leaving a couple of kids in a candy factory. We shopped till we dropped. House of fashion & Odel are worth a mention. We picked up a variety of branded shirts/T-shirts for like 200 Srilankan rupees! Good quality & low prices…so now you know why we went there the rest of our trip & filled our bags! I looked for more excuses & more people to gift so that I could buy more.

Food was not a problem as you have a lot of variety. We tried Srilankan – good – close to Indian food. The seafood is delicious. Followed by icecream at Gelato almost everyday of my trip!!

In between we made time to go to the casino....No profits - but won whatever we gambled on ;-) These casions are very small when compared to the one's in Las Vegas. Dont expect a "real casion experience"...its just fun. thats it!

All good things have to come to an end….so did our journey. Several cherished memories & hope that I will go back another day to explore more of Srilanka.

Find Information about Srilanka

Open air fish pool @ Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple

Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple

Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple

Seema Malakaya Temple in the Beira Lake

Taj Samudra Hotel

View from the hotel room

Shopping at ODEL

One of the local market's

View from Raja Boujan Restaurant(from top floor)

Srilankan Family


akanksha said...

hey..Thanks for the visit to my blog..M glad u liked it.
Urs is another good one out here...

About the post,,, well, vacations are always fun and have some moments that are cherished for long...

every creature from venus would shop till she drops! Nice post!

Smruti said...

Hey Shillu, this was a wonderful post. I am sure you enjoyed every bit of your trip. This blog is great ... keep posting.
- Smruti

Anonymous said...

Hey there! I somehow came across your blog. Well, Awesome photos! I hope you had a blast.
Umm, (just out of curiosity), You haven't mentioned the total expenses anywhere in your blog! How much is actually 'reasonable' ? 4 nights and 3 days seems feasible. If it is really reasonable, I might plan a trip too!

Shillu said...

Akanksha, Smruti: Thank you so much!

Naveen: Thank you. Definitely had a blast! Well, when we went it cost us about 14k. The last time I checked as its off season - it was about 10k/head along with a free ticket to India Srilanka cricket match. For more details please check the Srilankan airlines website. Feel free to contact me if you need more details.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. 10k/head seems like a good deal.. Thanks again!