Favorite thing: Colombo grew up as a major port near the mouth of the Kelani River. Its first name was actually Kalan-totta (which means the Kelani ferry). Arab traders used the port as both an important trading point and a stop-off for long journeys to the Far East and soon a significant Arab community made its home here and changed the name to Kolambu.
When Portuguese troops took over the city and other coastal parts of the country, they corrupted the city's name to Colombo in 1517. The city was re-named in honour of the explorer Christopher Colombus who had sailed to the Americas 25 years before.
The Dutch took over in 1656 and then the British in 1796 and then the Sri Lankans got independence in 1948. The name of the country changed several times but the city stayed the same.
Favorite thing: Now things have settled down in Srilanka, with a truce between LTTE and Srilankan Govt. its safe to travel to SriLanka, ofcourse u will be checked at number of places and even asked to show ur passport dont be surprised if they insist on a physical check at various places like monuments , temples...
Srilanka is a very,very beautiful country with lush green hills and clear blue waters...u can get anything from sea to treking.
Favorite thing: Breakast on the porch of the Old Galle Face Hotel is a delight. The sea and gardens, fans overhead great way to start the day!
Fondest memory: I enjoyed most the people, so anxious for me to learn more of their country, so warm and friendly!
Favorite thing: CINEMA POSTERS
Indian cinema is in Colombo what USA cinema for us... is everywhere! This huge posters in the streets are worth a stop and even a photo. They are hand-painted, with colourful images. I didn't understand the titles, but they looked like 'Rambo 14th' or something similar...
Favorite thing: SRI PONNAMBALA VANESWARA TEMPLE
Sir Ramanathan Road, 38.
The most famous hinduist temple in Colombo, though not the only one. There are many many beautiful coloured temples, with amazing figures in their incredible towers. The interiors are open, fresh and quite relaxing. Visit anyone to feel the power inside you, in despite of your religious beliefs, or even if you don't have any...
Favorite thing: CINNAMON GARDENS
Officially known as Vihara Maha Devi Park, it houses a huge Botanical Garden, the National Museum and is used by locals to walk and make picnics on weekends. In the photo, you can see me under a magnificient ficus. It houses many varietys of trees. Ebony, Fig, Loamon, Sal, Eucalyptus are some of them. A frequent sight to witness is the Bats hanging upside down from tree branches during the day. A childrens park is maintained at the southeast corner of the Green Park , featuring a small train and a zoo with numourous baby animals.
Favorite thing: You must see the many temples. This is the outside of the Hindu Temple. The beauty is out of this world. The people are friendly and willing to let visitors visit. Do not forget to give a small donation, and use manners when taking pictures. We always ask first.
Favorite thing: Take a three wheeled taxi to see all the temples. If you happen to get a nice and honest driver as we did, you will see an eye full.
Fondest memory: The visit to the temples was an experience I would never forget. The Hindu priest blessed us with the ashes between our eyes. Some people here in Kuwait think this was a curse but I believe it was a blessing.
On our visit to the Buddist temple. The high priest gave us the Royal treatment and showed us the treasures only few non Buddist have seen.
Favorite thing: The air lines lost my luggage so my first afternoon in Colombo I had to buy a change of clothes. If I ever go back to Colombo I am going to not take any thing but an empty suit case and buy all my clothes when I get there. There are clothing stores that have the same name brand clothes as in my own country for a third of the price. It was a pleasant surprise to find how inexpensive replacement clothing was. My friend got so many clothes to give his family for gifts that I had to bring some of his stuff back with me in my luggage as his was full.
Fondest memory: People in Colombo and all of Sri Lanka were very nice and friendly. The traffic in Colombo is some thing you have to see to believe. There are oxcarts, three wheel taxis, busses, lories, elephants, and minivans all sharing a few lanes of traffic that run parallel to the coast line. I complain about it now but I will certainly never forget it. The amazing thing about the traffic is that I did not see many wrecks in spite of how bad it was. The drivers are nice about letting one another into traffic. If we had traffic like that here in the United States people would be yelling out the car windows at one another. The people in Sri Lanka are extremely nice and courteous to one another and to foreign tourists. My fondest memory will always be the smiles and friendly attitude of the people I met there.