Colombo, Sri Lanka

Buddha temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka

I highly disliked Colombo, Sri Lanka.  It was hectic.  There were many scams that the locals tried to  pull on tourists. I didn’t feel safe as a solo traveler there.  I did manage, however, to find a few beautiful parks and havens away from the chaos until I could catch the next train out of there. The airport is just outside of Colombo which is the reason I stayed here.  If I had to do it again, I would stay in Negombo Beach instead of Colombo.
I stayed at the Clock Inn for a very reasonable price.  The hotel arranged a driver to pick me up from the airport. I paid extra for this, but it was well worth it because I soon learned that most of the drivers in Sri Lanka don’t know their way around at all.  It was a comfort to know that my driver would get me to the right hotel.  The easiest way to get around  is to get a tuk-tuk.  Make sure that you see the meter and make the driver use it.  If you are a woman, I recommend carrying mosquito spray or pepper spray as many of the men will flash you in Colombo, and it’s nice to have some security to get them away from you.
The best dining in Sri Lanka is in Colombo, so make sure you check out some of the restaurants such as  The Gallery Cafe, and the Barefoot Garden Cafe.
The Galle Face area along the beach is a great place to people watch, and the Galle Face hotel is a great spot to sit outdoors and sip on one of the delicious king coconuts.
To know one of the scams to watch out for, read my article called Scammed in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka Beach, Galle Face in Colombo

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7 Responses

  1. Derek Freal
    Derek Freal July 5, 2013 at 6:17 pm · Reply

    Yeah, I’m definitely glad to be a solo male traveler and not a solo female traveler…it’s such a shame the shit you all have to put up with sometimes 🙁

  2. Jennifer
    Jennifer July 7, 2013 at 3:17 pm · Reply

    That’s a bummer to hear! We flew through Colombo on our way to the Maldives in November and just flying over Sri Lanka made us want to visit. Did you find the rest of the country okay? I’d be traveling with my husband, so maybe have less of the issues you had?

  3. Mary @ Green Global Travel
    Mary @ Green Global Travel August 8, 2014 at 11:14 am · Reply

    Although it was hectic, I’m glad it wasn’t all a bad experience and that you were able to find some peace in the parks and got a few pretty shots of Colombo! Thanks for sharing your time there!

  4. Shanelka
    Shanelka January 25, 2016 at 9:30 pm · Reply

    As a Sri Lankan myself I would like to apologize to each and everyone who was scammed by the unethical tuk tuk drivers. It is a common fact that these people try to scam anyone who looks non Sri-Lankan. However, please do not judge the rest of the 20 million people based on your experince in the most busiest city in Sri Lanka.

    Corruption has always been the number one factor for the downhill of our economy. But we should also keep in mind that $1 equals about RS140 which is enough to get a bottle of water in Sri Lanka. The minimum hourly wage in the USA is what about 30% of the population earn in one day.

    Nevertheless, as much as I am disgusted by your experince in Colombo, this is a country with a massive history and beautiful beaches and landscape.

    If you know people who are planning a visit to my beautiful country, advice them to carry pepper spray or guide them on how to avoid nasty tuk tuk drivers. Since tourism is one of our main sources of income do not discourage anyone to not visit my motherland. We are a country that is rebuilding after a 30 year long war.

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