Colombo City Travel Tips 0 173

Colombo City Travel Tips 0 174

If you are a regular traveller you wouldn’t be surprised that the commercial hub of Sri Lanka, Colombo is one chaotic place, especially during office hours on weekdays. The locals don’t enjoy having to crawl about in traffic jams, circling around buildings a multitude of times to find a parking spot or having to take crowded buses and trains to get about. Yet, so goes life in Colombo and the wide smiles on the faces of the people here betray little about their problems. If you are on holiday, since you get to choose the times you step out, where you go and how you do so, knowing a few of the rules of thumb will help.

It’s All About Timing

Frankly speaking, if you plan your trip to Colombo when the local schools are closed for holidays there is a marked difference in the traffic. Life is a lot less hectic and even at 08.00 am you might be able to get about without too much of a fuss. However, if you are not so fortunate and cannot coincide your trip at such a time, the best bet is to join the tail of the office traffic; which is around 09.45 am and plan to be back at your accommodation by 04.45 pm. The Colombo nightlife can be interesting, especially on Fridays and Saturdays, but step out only around 08.00 pm so that you spend the minimum time en route.

Base Yourself Right

If you are in Colombo to shop, see a bunch of the Colombo attractions such as the Gangaramaya Temple, the Independence Square, the Vihara Maha Devi Park or the Pettah Floating Market and enjoy the many dining opportunities in the heart of the city, base yourself at a place that gives you ample flexibility and ease in terms of getting about. When almost everything is just around the corner or within a 5 to 8 km radius, you should be comfortably poised to take on a gamut of activities everyday. If on the other hand you want to be only around the outskirts of Colombo for an odd day or two as you plan to explore other parts of the country, choose a location that provides ease of access to your preferred destination.

The Mode for the Mood

Tuk tuks though a nightmare for most other motorists are a convenient and efficient way of getting between points A and B. With the introduction of metres, they are less likely to swindle but insist that the meter is switched on when you get in to avoid a dispute at the end. A tuk tuk is a semi open vehicle which runs on three wheels; since the Colombo weather is generally warm and sunny there is no major concern of being drenched or catching pneumonia, but if it is a wet day, think before you leap in to one. Local public transportation isn’t something everyone is proud about, though it does have its uses and can be quite welcoming at off peak times. Say you want to do a day trip to the Mount Lavinia beach, get in to a train that plies along the southern track around 10 am and you might even be the only person in the carriage. If you return around 4 pm, the ride back shouldn’t be too bad either, but if you choose to stay there till nightfall, order a cab and get yourself dropped at your accommodation.

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Praveeni hails from a background of multiple disciplines including Economics, Management, Management Accounting and IT. Writing allows her to create aesthetically stimulating experience to her otherwise serious routine. She also finds simple happiness in spending time with people who are near and dear, travelling and playing Scrabble.

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