Kandy: Sri Lanka with a toddler It has been a long time since I wrote my last post on our Sri Lanka. It’s because I had to wait until we could make our little announcement!!! So last time I wrote about our stay in Unawatuna. […]
Tag: Sri Lanka
We spent just a few days in Colombo but we absolutely loved it! Take a read to see why Colombo is a great place to visit, even with a toddler!
It gets a little bit of a bad rep as a tourist destination, but for us it was super exciting! Coming from our little island in the Seychelles and never having been to Asia before, Colombo had a lot to offer us!
Compared to the rest of the places we booked for our Sri Lanka trip, accommodation in Colombo was fairly pricey (but still so cheap compared to the Seychelles).
For this reason we opted to stay in a guest house, self catering.
This ended up being perfect for us, it really made us get out and explore our options and see the real Colombo not just a nice shiny hotel.
We stayed at the Cheritan Residences and it was really very lovely. A recently refurbished colonial house, our room was huge, and very reasonably priced.
We were in a very safe part of town, in walking distance of banks (good reliable places to exchange money!), the lovely Viharamahadevi park, the very pretty town hall, art gallery and national museum.
A couple of recommends for restaurants in Colombo:
Upalis: a Sri Lankan restaurant. I’m almost loathed to recommend this as our service was very poor compared to any we received throughout our whole Sri Lanka trip (our only negative experience with this) but the food was truly delicious. We had the sampler dish where we got to try lots of the different traditional dishes.
The Mango Tree: a North Indian restaurant. We had this as a take away after we had been to the cricket, Arthur was very tired and needed to get home to bed. The food was absolutely amazing. We loved it. Mark picked it up from the restaurant and said that it looked very nice to sit down and eat too.
Barefoot Cafe: This place is awesome, a hotspot for tourists and locals alike! Food was great and the atmosphere was cool and relaxed! Sunday afternoons they have live music, a must visit! The outside eating area was great for Arthur to run around in. The Barefoot shop is amazing too, they sell really lovely stuff!!
Something that pleasantly surprised me every day was just how friendly the Sri Lankan people were. I think Arthur was a big help with this, everyone loved him! We didn’t really notice a lot of tourists, particularly in the area we were staying. I think a lot of westerners tend to avoid Colombo as they feel there’s not much to offer, possibly another reason why people were so friendly to us!?The few tourists that we did see were all there for the Cricket. England were playing Sri Lanka for the last match of a 1 day cricket tour. We had tickets to see that too. I don’t like cricket but after going I TOTALLY get the appeal of going to see it live. We had so much fun!
I’m aware this is such a ‘Mum’ thing to say but being able to easily use a pushchair was fantastic, pavements are 100 x better than we are used to in Seychelles.
Tuk Tuk drivers. Where to start? These guys may be the biggest reason why I loved Colombo so much. The traffic there is definitely crazy, but these guys cut through it like a hot knife through butter!! They find gaps that every time I was sure we would never fit through, there was definitely more than one occasion where I just had to put my hands over my eyes because I was sure we were going to hit someone! Seriously these guys have got balls, there’s no patiently waiting, it’s GO GO GO all the time!!
Arthur absolutely LOVED going in Tuk Tuk’s. We would put him in the Moby wrap whenever we went in one so that he was nice and secure!
I think what I loved best was the drivers trying to push their luck with the prices. Apparently you are supposed to use a meter in Colombo but not all did and we learned very quickly that the prices they set were easily knocked down….we found it quite addictive and found ourselves often haggling over 50 rupees, which is about 25p!! It wasn’t the price that really mattered to us it was the fun in the bargaining!!
There is lots to see and do in Colombo, in the short time we were there as well as what I’ve already mentioned we also squeezed in:
Two Buddhist temples: Gangaramaya a massive temple and Buddhist museum. A rather amazing place with some gorgeous and some rather strange things inside, overall the best description we decided on is ‘Wonderfully Kitsch’
The other temple we went to was the beautiful Seema Malaka, the temple on the water. This place was really peaceful, I loved it. Well I did, until I got pooed on by a Crow, then I liked it less!
In both the temples Arthur stayed in the moby wrap. He definitely wasn’t bored at either one, lots of unusual things to look at!
The Dutch Hospital: a lovely place to eat and do a bit of shopping
The Pettah: a huge outdoor market selling a wide variety of very random things. It’s crazy there, really noisy! In the Moby wrap, Arthur slept through the whole lot!
Of course we did lots of wondering around and just taking in the sites.
After Colombo we headed to Unawatuna near to Galle on the south coast! I’ll write soon about how we got on there!
You may have seen this on my instagram and I’ve been excited to write about it…
We will be spending Christmas in Sri Lanka!!
This is something I’m not sure we would have ever done if we were not an expat family. First of all the cost would be a lot more to go from the UK then it is from Seychelles. It isn’t just that though, we have a a relaxed attitude towards different ways of living that I don’t think we would necessarily have if we were still living in the UK. I feel like we are a lot more adaptable then we were before, I’m not sure I would have dreamed about traveling around a ‘non western’ country on holiday with a 1 year old but now it’s something to be excited about.
There’s a little bit of a back story with Sri Lanka for us…..
Before we moved to the Seychelles, we watched a cooking show called My Sri Lanka. We were so excited as we thought the food would be similar to how the food would be here (and it is and isn’t all in one go but that’s another story!). Anyway, while watching the show we got an idea of how beautiful the country is and it definitely made us want to go there one day.
Fast forward to around 6 months ago and we hear that they are starting flights from Seychelles to Sri Lanka! Of course, we didn’t think that we would be able to go because of Arthur being so young!
Our neighbours went this summer and said that not only was it amazing, they saw people on holiday with kids there! We started reading a few sites such as Globetotting and Jetlag and Mayhem and got to read about and speak to a few different people who have been there with kids.
Knowing this, Arthur being so adaptable when we went to the UK this summer, and it being Mark’s 30th birthday we decided we were going to do it!!!
Flights are now booked and we’ve been busy planning our trip. We are there for 18 days.
Our plans at the moment look a little bit like this:
The first few days we will be spending in the capital of Colombo. Next we will move down to the south coast to a little hotel near Galle. From there we have to go back to Colombo and take a very scenic train ride to Kandy where we will be for Christmas and for Mark’s 30th birthday.
We are treating ourselves to a rather beautiful little hotel in Kandy for this time. We are so excited about this place and Kandy in general looks so amazing!
As of yet we are unplanned for the last couple of days so we still have some planning to do!
I’ve put a little Sri Lanka Pintrest board together where I’m pinning some lovely pictures of the places we will be going to if you fancy a little look.
Being a bit of a melting pot between Buddhism and Hinduism it won’t be particularly Christmas-y, so in a way this is a perfect time to go while Arthur is still a bit young to really get what Christmas is all about! We have never been to Asia, (apart from Dubai airport on the way to the UK but i’m not sure that counts!!) and we are so excited to take in the culture, which will be so different to anything we’ve seen before.
I also feel so privileged to be able to introduce Arthur to all these different experiences and cultures, okay so he probably won’t remember them, but it will be really cool to show him the pictures when he’s older, and I’m sure that it can only positively impact him!