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A Trip to Ceylon

My trip to the island of gems had a perfect timing, 14 Feb (the famous Valentine’s Day) and I found my new love, Colombo.

I took an odd flight at 2 am and I reached Colombo from Mumbai in time shorter than what it takes to reach Pune! Just before landing I peeked excitedly out of the window of the plane (as always to see the early glimpse of the terrain where I am landing) and I could only see water and few twinkling lights (ships and lighthouse) and I was totally thrilled. It had rained that morning and the weather was humid (reminded me of Mumbai). A big vehicle came to pick me up and swoosh I was off to my hotel. I stayed at Renuka City Hotel on Galle road, a nice cozy modern property.

My room at Renuka City, Colombo

My room at Renuka City, Colombo

and the cozy bed..

I dumped myself on the bed and took a quick nap to prepare myself for a series of business meetings, and more importantly the city visit after that. In the evening i took a tuk tuk and started my expedition from Galle Road.

Road right outside my Hotel

Road right outside my Hotel

Galle road is a beautiful road with commercial establishments on one side and the sea on the other. There is a beautiful beach that runs along the road to a stretch and has street food vendors all around. You would see a lot of people either taking a walk on the beach, lazing around or flying big colorful kites.

Glimpse of the beach (pic taken while in tuk tuk)

Glimpse of the beach (pic taken while in tuk tuk)

After Galle Rd I headed straight to FOSE Market , which is a local Colombo market. The market has its own unique charm, queues of vendors selling clothes, toys, fruits, vegetables, electronics etc. However if you wish to visit this market, be aware that this is no fancy market and you should go there only if you want to take a look at the old part of the city.

FOSE Market, Colombo

FOSE Market, Colombo

My next stop was the House of Fashion and other such popular shopping destinations in the city. All these shops sell a variety of Sri Lankan tea, ceramic ware and clothes. I would recommend these shops esp for tea and ceramic ware. And this is what I bought:

Collection of tea that i bought (Balisur infusion tea is a must buy)

Collection of tea that I bought (Balisur infusion tea is a must buy)

And after some awesome shopping, this is what I ate, my Sri Lankan Chicken Kottu and Mandarin juice:

My dinner Day 1 (Chicken Kottu & Mandarin juice)

My dinner Day 1 (Chicken Kottu & Mandarin juice)

The valentine’ s day looked fabulous in the city and the Taj, Samudra had an awesome dinner buffet and some Sri Lankan singers to set the mood right. For a while I forgot that I am on a business trip :p

The table decoration on Valentines Day

The table decoration on Valentines Day

The Lankan singers at Taj

The Lankan singers at Taj

Day 2 was pretty regular as I attended a conference so nothing exciting to log for that day :-p On the last day in the mesmerizing city I again went shopping and this time to the most recommended places – Lakshala and ODEL. Trust me these places are a shopper’s paradise and a wonderland for every woman! Ladies if you are going to these places please take out plenty of time else you would regret πŸ˜‰

2013-02-16 15.51.39

Sweet Monsters at ODEL

Sweet Monsters at ODEL

Sweet Monsters at ODEL

Few more eye catchers:

The Old Parliament of Lanka

The Old Parliament of Lanka

Some site in making

Some site in making

Colombo is a city where you feel at home, the people are so warm and friendly that they put you at ease. The city is pretty safe to travel even for solo woman travelers. Galle Rd would be the best place to stay as all the popular spots are in proximity. Colombo hosts a range of population and cultures from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan. I spotted a lot of tourists from China. The 5 things which got engraved in my memories in this trip:

1. The people with beautiful hearts

2. The beautiful landscape

3. Cuttle fish (the pan-fried garlic cuttle fish is a famous delicacy)

4. The colorful tuk tuk (all in bright colors blue, green, red, yellow)

5. The shopper’s paradise ODEL

The next time, i want to visit Lanka on a leisure trip and want to explore some of its most pristine countryside, maybe Kandy and Bundala! Hmm…

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Founder, Happy Roots. Passionate about agriculture, social change and rural economic development. I am on a mission to address the biggest problems faced by small and marginal farmers in India with technology and supply chain efficiencies. I work with small and tribal farmers across Maharashtra and help them connect directly with end consumers in high potential urban markets. At Happy Roots we not only build market linkages for our farmers but help them train and upgrade their skills so that we can nurture the next breed of micro entrepreneurs.

1 Comment

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