Travelogue >> Colombo

The capital Colombo is a vibrant city with a distinct colonial touch to a lot of its architecture.
You can't help but notice some of the streets beautifully lined with trees, some of which are close to a century old. There's a lot to be seen and done here - a great place to shop for clothes, gifts, Ceylon tea, gem stones and crockery.

Drive past the majestic Town Hall and stop at the nearby Museum for a look around. Go down to Galle Face Hotel in time for High Tea and watch the breathtaking sun set lounging on the famous checkerboard. (This is across the street from Cinnamon Grand)

Eating out: If you are a foodie, Colombo is your gastronomic paradise - from Swiss, Mediterranean and Latino restaurants to the best Dim Sum, Sushi bars and traditional Sri Lankan hoppers and curry, and the freshest seafood anywhere in the world. Night life in the city is picking up once again, and one has a good selection of night clubs and pubs to suit all age groups and music tastes from the yuppie techno and new age to the retro 80's and 90's evergreens. There are several casinos for those who wouldn't mind some roulette or poker.

Shopping for clothes is a treat in Colombo - A lot of branded export surpluses find their way to the local stores and one can get a good selection of clothes for all age groups and at very attractive prices.

Ceylon Tea is known the world over for its distinct flavour - an ideal gift for a loved one back home. Zesta and Mlesna are the two better known brands. Mlesna also has some unique ceramic souvenirs (all tea related). They have a large outlet in Majestic City mall, Bambalapitiya, Galle Road Colombo and also one in the departure terminal at Colombo airport.

Gemstone and jewellery stores can be seen at every corner of every street in Colombo - suited for all budgets and tastes. Sri Lanka is well known for its blue sapphire and pink sapphire (Sri Lankan Ruby) besides a whole lot of other semi precious stones.

Crockery: Two of the leading brands of crockery in the world are made in Sri Lanka - Dankotuwa and Noritake. One can go to their factory outlets and purchase crockery sets for a fraction of high street prices. It is safe to carry back home since these outlets are experts at packaging the pieces.

If you are an art lover, you must try and be in Colombo over the weekend (starting Friday afternoons), when amateur artists line one of the streets in the city with their canvases. It's a visual delight for all. Name of Street: Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha (old name: Green Path)

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