colombo sightseeing tour

Why 2020 Is The Year To Visit Colombo?

Why 2020 is the year to visit Colombo? Because Sri Lanka has been able to contain the novel coronavirus very successfully in the backdrop of most other countries are heavily suffering from novel coronavirus. No COVID-19 patient found in Colombo for more than 70 days as of 31st July 2020.

In the backdrop of COVID-19 pandemic tourism to Colombo as well as to most other cities across the world have dwindled in great amount since march 2020. According to experts, tourism will not be back to normal until 2021 and tourist visit to Colombo will remain low like most other cities in the world. However, with a very successful campaign against novel coronavirus, Sri Lanka emerges as one of the safest holiday destinations for 2020.

Why 2020 Is The Year To Visit Colombo?
Gangarama temple

History of Colombo

According to the historical notes, the merchants from many countries such as China, India, Arab, Egypt arrived at Colombo harbour in order to exchange their goods with the local traders and collect local merchandises such as ivory, gems and spices. Even though Colombo was an important port of call in the region over many thousands of years, the story of modern Colombo starts with the arrival of British colonial rulers in 1796.

Therefore, modern Colombo is considerably young in comparison to the 2000 years old temples, stupas and lakes in the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka. However, Colombo has seen its own share of history in its lifetime, including occupation by Portuguese, Dutch and British and fight for freedom that changed the course of Sri Lanka.

Visit Colombo museum

History of Colombo and Sri Lanka – new and ancient – is on display at the Colombo national museum, which is the main museum of Sri Lanka dedicated to Sinhalese civilization. Located just about a kilometre from the city centre is visited by a large number of local travellers, which is one of the best places for locals to experience the rich historical past of their civilization. Colombo national museum is an important state institution that shares the treasures of Sinhalese civilization with travellers, therefore, visit of Colombo is always combined with the museum.    

The museum of Colombo has a fascinating collection of historical artefacts and most of them are very rare evidence of Sri Lanka’s culture. For locals, the museum of Colombo is an opportunity to introduce their rich historical past to the world. Beyond the museum of Colombo, the city offers a wide range of other important tourist places, fine dining experiences and recreation facilities, Sri Lankans are very eager to share why foreign travellers should visit sprawling capital and why they love living there.        

colombo museum
Colombo museum

Why do people love Colombo?

Colombo is the home to more than 2 million people, which makes around 10% of the total population on the island.  Colombo has an energetic pulse, according to the residents of Colombo. The people of Colombo attributes the city’s energy to the multi-cultural society and the natural environment found here. Every single part of Colombo has its own vibe and culture where these facets shine.

Part of Colombo has modern, upbeat, club side. The travellers get rural, lush green vegetation and wetland habitats just outside of the city centre. Travellers can feel the ancient vibe in some places in Colombo and some of these places are stranded in the busiest part of Colombo. One of the most fascinating things about Colombo is this fascinating blend of old and new within its borders, Colombo has managed to sustain all these different entities.

Colombo has a sizable Chinese community, these Chinese ex-pats working in many development projects in Colombo. Shin Chuan, one of the Chinese ex-pats working for one of the biggest hotel projects in Colombo, opine that Colombo has a uniquely exciting buzz. “As you hit the road, you are greeted by many thousands of vehicles and TUK TUKs, weaving through each other like ants, but everyone is trying to keep the sound pollution at its lowest, therefore, honking is very rare.”

Sea food

Visit Colombo: the food scene

The food scene is always being an important part of Sri Lankan life, so is in the city of Colombo. There has been a huge development in Colombo in the past and simultaneously there has been a renaissance in the food scene, with a glut of new restaurants.

The culinary culture of Colombo is spiced with the essence of many nations; therefore, the travellers are will on track to have a global taste as well as hearken back to Sri Lanka’s traditional roots. Usually, every foreign traveller tastes the traditional food varieties on their visit to Sri Lanka, at least the staple diet of Sri Lanka, rice ad curry. Rice and curry are the hearty national dish of Sri Lanka, which is served in a combination of rice with any number of items such as fish, vegetable, lentils, papadam, chicken, beef, salad, chutney, fried onion, chilli paste, grated coconut.   

After the rice and curry next popular food items of the visitors of Sri Lanka is the seafood. It is a common belief that Sri Lanka is one of the best places to sample delicious fresh seafood. Being an island Sri Lanka is surrounded with Indian ocean, which is a great source of fish and a large number of seafood restaurants are dotted along the beach and most of them are concentrated on the beach resorts and cities such as Colombo, Bentota, Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna.   

Near the southern border of Colombo is the wide sandy beach known as Mt. Lavinia beach, which is very popular among the local traveller for get-togethers. A dozen of restaurants lineup along the beach and serve the foodie travellers from everything from rice and curry to Sri Lankan street food. It is a perfect opportunity for travellers to enjoy delicious Sri Lankan as well as international dishes while enjoying the cool breeze of the Indian Ocean.

Galle faces green of Colombo, which can be described as a street of culinary dreams. The vast plain alone the Colombo beach, Galle Face Green, near the port city offers a perfect opportunity to enjoy delicious Sri Lankan food variety such as vade, fish bun, fish roll, egg roll and many fast food items.   

What’s it like living in Colombo?

Colombo is the pulse of the Sri Lankan economy and hustle and bustle is an integral part of Colombo. The rapid development of this emerging metropolis has resulted in a large influx of people to the city from remote areas in search of jobs and other opportunities. Therefore, most part of Colombo is very crowded and can be a tedious task to move around, especially during the rush hour.

Accessibility to transportation is easy and straightforward and offers many options like the train, buses, Taxi, Tuk Tuk etc. The cost of transportation is also very affordable compared to most other countries in the region. The monthly transportation cost is on average 210% cheaper than they are in Singapore, according to price comparison site Expatistan.

While transportation is one of the cheapest on the island compared to the cost of most other cities in the region, food, housing, clothes and all other basic ingredients to live in Colombo cheaper. According to Expatistan, you would need at least 1,301,465 ₨ (SGD $9,622) in Singapore to maintain the same standard of living that you can have with 492,000 ₨ in Colombo. Below is a comparison of the cost of living between Colombo and Singapore.

cost of living comparison colombo and singapore

MS Clair Wolfgang, a German national and work as the resident manager for a leading German outbound tour operator, said: “It is best to adopt a laid-back attitude during your stay in Colombo, as things might not always going according to your plan.”

Things are a little bit different in Sri Lanka compared most European countries, E.g. the life in Sri Lanka is slow and lethargic, “Don’t go with the fixed mind, like a fixed schedule or particular structure of the organization, it could make you disappointed,” said Clair. “Colombo teaches you to just go with the flow and to savour the lessons learned along the way, said Clair.” 

English is widely spoken in Sri Lanka; The language is deeply rooted in the society, which was introduced and by British administrators (1796 AD-1948 AD). During the British colonial era, English had been the official language on the island. Today English is one of the widely spoken languages on the island.    

Speaking English is a distinct advantage for newcomers makes it easy to navigate around Colombo. “in Colombo People are good at English, and you can easily communicate with them,” said Clair.

Living in Sri Lanka was a dangerous affair in the past from 1983 to 2009 due to the ethnic conflict. But the militant group that fought against the legitimate government was completely crushed in 2009, and since then the picture of Sri Lanka dramatically changed in the eyes of world travellers. There had been a tourism boom on the island since the end of the militant groups, which was based in north and east.

port city
Port city Colombo

Visit Colombo: the port city

The government of Sri Lanka is successfully implementing its plan to extract a part of the sea near the city, with the port city project which is also called Colombo International Financial City (CIFC). The port city will be the lifeline of Sri Lanka’s economic upon its completion within the next few years. The port city is the biggest development project of Sri Lanka so far and it was funded by the Chinese government.

The first phase of the project, a portion of the sea is filled with sand, is already completed and an empty space with an extension of 269 hectares is already added to the Sri Lankan map. It is expected to see a boom in the construction industry within the coming decades based on the port city. The plan includes creating a well planned city with hotels, conference halls, prime residencies, recreation centres, parks, roads and greenery.   

The future of Colombo and Sri Lanka as whole seem to be bright with the newly elected ambitious leader. A large number of development projects on the pipeline. The president of Sri Lanka has instructed the officials to expedite the ongoing development projects such as highways while state enterprises are instructed to eliminate the corruption and turn them to profit-making ventures.

In the backdrop of most nations around the world are suffering from novel coronavirus, Sri Lanka has been able to control the COVID-19 pandemic very successfully. The civilian life of Sri Lankan people turned back to normal after 3 months lock-down from march 2020 to July 2020 and since then the life of Sri Lankan’s go about as usual without any hindrance.  

Tourism is a very promising industry to Sri Lanka and with a very successful campaign against the pandemic, Sri Lanka is in the forefront as a safe destination to world travellers. Many travellers are already making inquiries for Sri Lanka trips for the coming months. The government of Sri Lanka had planned to open the airports and harbours for international travellers from 1st august 2020, but it was delayed as the repatriation program of Sri Lankan foreign workers is not completed yet. According to the information the reopening of the airport will be delayed until mid-august or end of august.  

As the lockdown restriction is slowly removed around the world, nearly a half a million of people that are working in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry is eagerly waiting to receive foreign travellers and start with their usual duties and help the travellers to get to known the cultural, historical, wildlife and many other aspects of Sri Lankan life.   

Why visit Colombo with Seerendipity

Seerendipity tour is a fully locally owned travel company with the head office in Colombo. The highly experienced local staff is a key strength of Seerendipity tours and they can plan your dream holiday to Sri Lanka.

Best price for your Sri Lanka trip

When you book a tour with us, you directly book the tour with the local company, it means there are no middlemen and therefore you can guarantee the best price. Simply get in touch with us and let us know when you travel and what you like to see.

Local expertise and personalize service

Our staff make a personalized program for you, which you can change until you find the best package for you. You can also browse our existing tour packages for inspiration; all our ready-made tour packages are customizable and can be tailored to meet all your expectations. Write us on admin@seerendipitytours.com

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