Sri Lanka, known as the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean” has a lot to offer-strewn with cultural jewels and natural treasures. Its impressive landscapes host lush tropical forests, expansive dazzling lakes and magnificent mountain ranges. All this is scattered with captivating temples and ancient monuments, yet it remains largely untrodden by the typical tourist.
Colombo - the trade and commercial capital has long been the traditional gateway to the Orient. Sri Lanka’s largest city, it is located on the west coast and draws together all the cultures, religions and influences of foreign lands into a pot-pourri of sounds, smells and a kaleidoscope of colour. The original traders and settlers - the Arabs, Portuguese, Dutch and the British have left in their wake churches and monuments, names and religions, costumes and food and smatterings of their languages which have been absorbed into the speech of the Sri Lankan.
Today, Colombo is a fascinating city - a happy blend of east & west, past & present, with a charm of its own. A less known but amazingly true fact is that Colombo has a superb range of high-quality restaurants serving food from all over the world and some of the best shopping opportunities in Asia. The main seaport of Sri Lanka is in Colombo & adjoining it, is Pettah, a local bazaar & trading area.
Other places of interest are the beautiful Buddhist temples, Hindu temples, mosques, the historic Wolfendhal church, (1749) residential areas where you find the stately homes of the affluent, the Colombo Museum, the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall, the New Parliament in Sri Jayewardenepura, the Folk Art Centre, Art Galleries, Parks, Independence Square, the Zoo, the Ceramic Corporation famous for its well-known brand “Noritake” and ODEL the renowned shopping centre.