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Colombo

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Idiyappam

08:00

START THE DAY THE LOCAL WAY

Sri Lanka is well known for its food culture and the most authentic experience can be had at Palmyrah Restaurant. Breakfast here is usually an elaborate affair comprising a variety of dishes including two types of South Indian hoppers. Try some string hoppers, or Idiyappam, steamed, thin noodle discs made of rice flour; or Appam, fried pancakes made from a fermented rice batter and coconut milk, often topped with a runny egg. These hoppers are eaten with a variety of side dishes, including vegetable stews, chicken curry or local goat leg curry.
Gangaramaya temple
Buddha statues on elevated steps
Left: Gangaramaya temple Right: Buddha statues on elevated steps

10:00

VISIT ONE OF COLOMBO’S OLDEST BUDDHIST TEMPLES

Work off that hearty breakfast as you explore Gangaramaya temple, home to some stunning Buddhist architecture, antiques and the auspicious Bodhi tree, where devotees congregate to meditate, chant and hang prayer flags. Hand-painted scenes documenting highlights from Buddha’s life adorn the walls and ceiling of the adjoining monastery. Unlike most places of worship, this temple, established in 1885, also doubles up as a museum showcasing an eclectic array of fascinating relics and artefacts. Plus, check out the stunning courtyard where a collection of Buddha statues sit on elevated steps as they attempt to reach the sky.
Pagoda Tea Room

12:00

LUNCH AT THE ICONIC PAGODA TEA ROOM

80s pop band Duran Duran put the Pagoda Tea Room on the map when the cafe served as a backdrop for their hit song Hungry Like the Wolf. Today, this quaint tea shop still caters to a steady flow of loyal and hungry patrons at its Del Mel location. Inside this majestic off-white colonial building that boasts 19th century columns and carvings, you will find an affordable and mouth-watering menu that includes the classic Sri Lankan “rice and curry” lunch. Each serving comes with a mountain of rice topped with up to four of the day’s special offerings, which can be anything from spiced coconut, to meats and curries. Do make space for dessert, as the chocolate cake served here tastes like a slice of heaven.
Exquisite Italian architecture of the museum
National Museum of Colombo
Left: Exquisite Italian architecture of the museum Right: National Museum of Colombo

14:30

GET AN INTIMATE LOOK AT COLOMBO’S HERITAGE

Next, a visit to the National Museum of Colombo for an educational and enriching experience as you get a first-hand look at Sri Lanka’s rich cultural and architectural heritage. Constructed in 1877 by then British Governor Sir William Henry Gregory, the museum, featuring exquisite Italian architecture, is home to a plethora of precious artefacts. The two-storey building has several galleries for you to view intricate stone antiquities, paintings, ancient textiles, military weapons, and more. You can also watch recorded presentations of traditional Sri Lankan agricultural methods and customary rituals. Head to the gift shop on your way out to bring a piece of Colombo back with you
Red Masjid

16:00

SOAK IN THE BUZZ AT PETTAH MARKET

No visit to Colombo is complete without a visit to the bustling shopping district of Pettah Market. Busy, crowded and full of exciting activities, this open-air multi-ethnic market is the place to be if you’re on the lookout for a great bargain. Shop for souvenirs, knick-knacks, colourful saris, jewellery and electronics. There is also a dedicated area for food at the market. Sip on fresh coconut water as you wade through a selection of snacks, chocolates and exotic produce such as hot cobra chilies and wood apples. Take a quick stroll to the Red Masjid, one of the oldest mosques in Colombo. Marvel at its distinctive red and white candy-striped design which is a combination of native Indo-Islamic, Indian, Gothic revival and Neo-classical styles.
Whale watching
Stilt fishing
Left: Whale watching Right: Stilt fishing

DAY 2 ONWARDS

TAKE IT SLOW AND EASY

From stilt fishing to whale watching, there is plenty more to explore. Take a leisurely train ride from Colombo for a true Sri Lankan experience. Hop on the Kandy-bound train for a breathtaking view of tea plantations, and make a stop at Nuwara Eliya to visit the well-known Pedro Tea Factory. Or head to the beaches of Colombo for a spot of stilt fishing, perched on a crossbar with just a rod and some bait. This dying tradition has survived only as a tourist attraction. Have a photo taken and make a donation to help the friendly fishermen to keep this tradition alive. For nature enthusiasts, whale watching is an experience not to be missed. Join a tour and marvel at these gentle giants, and their friendly companions, the dolphins.

Explore the destination

COLOMBO

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Shwedagon Pagoda

Kandawgyi Lake

Yangon Central Station

Button 4 Text

Button 5 Text

Illustrative guide is not drawn to scale
1Palmyrah restaurant

Renuka City Hotel, 328 Galle Road, Colombo, 00300

Daily 6:30 – 10:00; 12:00 - 14.30; 19:00 - 22:30

2 Gangaramaya temple

61 Sri Jinarathana Rd, Colombo 00200

Daily 06:00 – 22:00

3Pagoda Tea Room

105 Chatham Street, Colombo 00100

Monday-Friday 07:00 – 17:30; Saturday 07:00 - 12:30

4National Museum

Sir Marcus Fernando Mawatha, Colombo 00700

Daily 09:00 – 17:00

5 Pettah Market

Keyzer St, Colombo

Daily 09:00 - 07:00

6AStilt Fishing

Koggala, Sri Lanka

Daily 05:30 – 19:30

6BWhale-watching

Colombo (In Mirissa, Galle or Trincomalee)

Seasonal

6CPedro Tea Factory

Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

Daily 08:00 – 17:00

SINGAPORE AIRLINES AND SLIKAIR FLY 11 TIMES WEEKLY TO COLOMBO. BOOK YOUR HOLIDAY NOW!

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