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The Hidden Treasures of Colombo

April 12, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 160

Colombo is the capital and largest city of Sri Lanka. The main city has a combination of historic architecture and modern life that attracts a multitude of people.

Colombo has a tropical climate with hot and humid weather throughout the year. Yet, the ideal time to visit Colombo is during the Northeast monsoon season, which is between November and April.

When you are in Colombo, besides the city, many surprises await you beneath the city's pristine shores. In fact, Colombo is home to some of the most amazing diving sites that give you glimpses of a breathtaking range of marine life. Many species of fishes and coral reef found here are unique to this part of the Indian Ocean and are yet to be identified.

Diving enthusiasts will find Colombo particularly amazing as the city is an extremely popular diving center. All facilities are easily accessible and what makes it a haven for diving is that one will not come across dynamite fishing.

Besides diving, there are many other activities that will keep you busy. To begin with, Pettah which is Colombo's colourful and busy bazaar district that offers an exhilarating slice of Sri Lankan life. At Pettah, the bustling mazes of crisscrossed lanes are crammed with markets selling a bewildering range of merchandise with specialties on each street. The streets of Colombo come alive during the Vel festival which is held in honor of Lord Sri Murugan. It is splendour to watch as the streets of Colombo come alive with colorful processions.

Other Travel Ideas in Colombo:

• Lankans are not quite popular for being shoppers of brand new books. It is said that they opt for secondhand books, which is why one can find a host of secondhand bookstores in the Fort Area. The rows of bookshops can rightly be termed a book-lover's paradise for both the range and bargains.

• While the National Museum is popular among tourists, a trip to the lesser known Dutch Museum that was built during the 17th Century is recommended.

• Independence Square in Colombo has a great amount of historical importance. For the locals, it is an inherent part of their lives. It is a buzz of activity with families taking a stroll on the lawns, young children riding their bicycles while a number of fitness enthusiasts jog and walk around.

• While shopping complexes are popular with locals milling around them and enjoying a meal outside, surprisingly, not many shop there. Instead, they prefer Pettah, Nugegoda, and Kiribathgoda, all nearby places. These places undoubtedly make for a shopping experience that's different, to say the least.

• For the foodies, besides the other popular restaurants, Sizzle is a not-to-miss. It is situated on Walukarama Road. In addition, Pilawoos restaurant that is the definition of street food for Lankans is another restaurant that deserves a place in the list of food hangouts to check out in Colombo.

• For those inclined towards the local art and culture, Barefoot Gallery Café is necessary as it features a store that sells authentic hand-loom garments, a book store, an art gallery and a courtyard restaurant.

• While in Colombo, a few words will surely keep making the rounds. Two of them are "Kade" and "Pola". These are, in a sense, words related to shopping. Kade refers to makeshift shops found on street corners that have everything. Fizzy drinks, sweetmeats and much more. And Pola are open markets staged on a certain day of the week. A typical Pola has many different kinds of fresh organic fruits and vegetable to choose from.

So, while in Colombo, try out places and food that are recommended to all tourists. Also, try out some of the activities that you just read and get the most out of your trip to the capital of the Emerald Isle. The best way to reach the vibrant city is through airlines that offers a low cost air tickets for your comfortable journey.

Shruthi Srinivas is a free lance journalist. Graduated in Mass Communication, she deals with an array of topics that includes Travel, Technology, Hotels, Hospitality, Education, Publishing, Analytics digital media.

Source: EzineArticles
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