Who doesn’t crave for a luxury 5 star vacation ! “Ayubowan” Srilanka welcomes you with this greeting meaning “Long Life”.
They also have a museum with memorabilia from famous guests who have stayed and even have the car that Prince Philip used while he was stationed in Colombo! The elevator is a part of history too with manual shutter installed in 1900’s.
Sea Spray bar and veranda with its panoramic views of the Indian Ocean provides the best cocktail and sunset match. Even if you are not staying at this hotel, do drop in for a drink or a buffet. Food is absolutely yummy and the variety is amazing. It would be one memorable experience, I promise!!!
Take a dip in the pool or a relaxing massage after roaming around in the sun. Colombo is hot and humid ..around 30-33 degrees would be the best you could ask for. There is a small private beach and would find that romance, history and food are intertwined with beach settings.There are sunbeds and umbrellas from where you can soak up the lovely sunset. Delicious food and dip would make you want to make this moment last forever.
A Day Trip to Galle is what I had in mind for next day.Colombo to Galle in an air-conditioned private sedan booked thru Viator costs USD 200. Safety is key for a solo female traveler like me and Srilanka takes care of its visitors very well, I should say.Our guide a Marine Biologist, quit his high flying job and joined the university to pursue Diploma in History be a certified tourist guide. He wanted to be with his ageing parents and so left sailing and exciting cruises. We all long to come back to our nest at the end of the most exciting journeys. Don’t we ? He gave a lot of insights about Srilankan History, about Buddhism and and how the tooth of Buddha moves to the most powerful kingdom and its king becomes the custodian of the sacred tooth relic.
Settled in for 2 hour trip (depending on traffic) to Galle via the expressway. Explore the tucked-away Jungle Beach. Its easy access to the water and sheltered bay makes it ideal for snorkeling. Next, head to Habaraduwa to visit the Sea Turtle Farm and Hatchery, a non-profit dedicated to helping sea turtles survive into the next generation. The center was founded in 1986, and has since released more than 500,000 sea turtles into the ocean.Here is thing about Sea Turtles, they live for 200-300 years and the Chinese are very interested to debunk the myth on longevity of life; and their amazing plan is to add turtle eggs to their menu.Turtles have been used in Chinese traditional medicine to treat a wide variety of ailments and diseases also.
Sea Turtle Poaching and high demand in China drives the local fishermen to sell these eggs which are found on the beaches in the black market.They are poached not just for meat, but also for the value of their turtle shell, which is used for almost anything – for accessories, for guitar picks, bags, you name it and they will do it.
The road from Bentota to Galle along the coastline is one of the most scenic one. Thanks to Sri Lankan laws, no buildings can be bigger than the surrounding palm trees, so no concrete block come in way of you and the beautiful scenery! Despite all the boom in tourism, you won’t meet many people as you take a refreshing stroll along the beach – not even in peak season, which gives the beach a wonderful touch of intimacy. This is definitely the number one a solo woman traveler destination !
In the afternoon, visit Galle Fort, National Museum and the Maritime Museum. You can also explore the Lighthouse, Finally, stroll the streets of Galle, admiring its architecture and sampling its many cafés. The dutch colonial architecture is what is unique about this island country. My first time in Srilanka and am totally love struck by its natural beauty.
Watch cliff-divers jump off the ramparts into the sea. Rampart Restaurant with the Fort view is of the oldest in town and offers sea food delicacies with a Srilankan touch. It was a tough battle for the fish lover in me. Settled for a batter fried prawns with some rice and salad. This was the yummiest ..best prawns that i have had!
The walk along the fort is beautiful; The real beauty of Galle emerges as you wander through the narrow lanes of the dutch town lined with little shops, old churches, art galleries that still oozes its colonial charm.
Next on my list are the stick fisherman in Weligamana. For someone like me who is from Kochi (the land of chineese nets) to go and watch fishermen means, there has to be something extra ordinary about it. And this one truly was! It is mind-boggling; Fishermen in Sri Lanka use stilts to catch a fish. Stilt Fishing is an old tradition practiced by around 500 fishing families in Galle.
They usually fish during sunset and sunrise. The fishermen sit in an elevated position, balancing about 1.5 meters above the water. So with one hand they hold the stilt and the other hand they have a fishing rod or a line to catch small mackerels, which are then transferred to a plastic bag tied around their waist or the pole. It seems they don’t use a bait either on the hook. An interesting sight I should say.
Am all set to end my day at Galle with a hotel drop-off back to Colombo.
Life throws amazing opportunities at us sometimes and every day I am thankful for all the blessings. This vacation was truly one of those !!
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Did the fisherman ask for money….
Yes, and so I didn’t take a selfie with them. I was told that real fishing happens only during early morning and evening hours, rest of the time they are just sitting there to pose for tourists.
I’ve just moved to Colombo and I’ve started writing about my new life here. This would be an amazing weekend away!
Oh wow , enjoy your stay in Colombo. I had a rocking time
How is the public transportation there? Is it backpacker friendly? Many of the people i met rented a private driver but am wondering if it is easily accessible through public transportation. Any advice?
Srilanka is an ideal destinations for backpackers. Public transport is not great for foreign tourist, having said that there are trains and buses from Colombo connecting almost all parts of Srilanka and are very cheap. Just be prepared for non-air-conditioned , crowded journeys in humid weather. Here is my backpacker experience http://goo.gl/P9k9ZC