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A Weekend Getaway in Colombo

By July 1, 2014March 19th, 2020Travel + Culture

A Weekend Getaway in Colombo

Anytime there’s an extended weekend in the UAE, Habibi and I, or friends, quickly decide where to vacation. During this trip, my cousin and I decided to hop over to Sri Lanka as it’s a short flight from Abu Dhabi. We left via Etihad Airlines and had a smooth flight over to Colombo.

Colombo’s airport was easy to navigate, board patrol and visa collection were efficient. We didn’t notice a lot of restaurants or eateries, but I wasn’t exactly looking either. There was an abundant of shops to transfer money; quite a lot actually. It was a hoot to see the attendants compete for customers. They weren’t aggressive but their tactics were comical.

After all of the formalities, our private driver took us to our hotel, Colombo Courtyard, where we had a late snack in the gorgeous rooftop restaurant, planned our tours, and finally landed into our comfortable, luxurious digs.

Day 1 of our weekend getaway began with a fascinating tour of the largest and oldest Hindu Temple in Colombo – Sri Kailawasanathan Swami Devasthanam Kovil.

Hindu Temples

We toured Temple of Sri Kailawasanathan Swami Devasthanam Kovil, the oldest and largest temple in Colombo.

This temple is quite stunning.

Its presence is visually fascinating but minimally engaging for non-Hindus. During the time we visited, there was a lot of interior construction; therefore there wasn’t a lot to see for non-Hindus. Devotees could engage.

No personal photos of the interior were allowed. There was a paid service for interior pictures.

Donations were strongly requested.

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Buddhist Temples

We also visited the Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple.

Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple was quite phenomenal. We spent quite a bit of time there as there were so many things to see. We saw several Buddha statues, intricate ceiling designs and paintings that depicted historic Buddhist events. Active prayer was involved, therefore proper behavior was required.

We highly recommend this temple as a part of a weekend getaway or extensive tour. The artifacts will keep both solo travelers and families engaged for hours. There is a wealth of rich history and gems of knowledge within this temple.

There is a small entry fee, shoes can not be worn, and modest dress is required.

This temple would be a challenge for parents with small children.

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City’s Waterfront

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Colombo’s beach front is relaxing and picturesque. It is a casual location good for families and couples who adore the fresh breeze and access quick bites to eat. We noticed lots of families as well as workers on break. There were small stands to purchase souvenirs and light bites.

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Highlights of Colombo

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Colombo is an exceptional and affordable city for a quick getaway. Its access to the mountains, beaches, and international airport makes it the perfect location for all types of travelers.

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