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: traveling with a 1 year old
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!
So it is just over 2 months until we head back to the UK for the summer. It will be our first flight with Arthur (apart from the inter island flights on the little prop planes). I’m pretty nervous about it and so I am trying to be as organised and prepared as possible. I’m known to fret quite a bit before we travel anywhere at all so I’m hoping that by being ahead of the game I will be less of a nightmare to travel with! Although if we are traveling with a 1 year old and I’m the worst part of it then that will be pretty good going!!
Our flights were booked for us through Mark’s school. We will be flying with Emirates which I am really happy about as I know they are a good airline. I want to be as comfortable as possible for the long flights!
I had been um’ing and ah’ing about taking our pushchair back with us despite Mark’s parents having got one for us. I wanted to make sure that things would be as easy at the airport as possible. I recently read that at Dubai airport (where we have a stop over) they give you a pushchair! So this problem was sorted, we can leave our push chair here and we only have to deal with not having it for one part of the journey!
The Emirates website has lots of information about what they do to help traveling with children which I found really useful. I read that they can provide a bassinet for babies up to 11kg (Arthur is 9kg right now so I’m banking on him being less than 11kg by that time!). Arthur will be almost 13 months when we fly so we are going to have to be sure that we have lots to keep him busy. If he carries on the way he is right now he will almost certainly be walking but either way all he’s going to want to do is go up and down the isles so I’ve resigned myself to the fact that everyone on the plane will hate us but I think I’ll let him do it, best that he’s doing that and he’s happy then forcing him to sit on our laps the whole time and him be screaming!!
Yesterday I phoned up the Seychelles Emirates office and booked the bassinet and the lady said that she would put in a request so that Mark and I will be sat together also. She has also arranged for baby food to be provided. I’m really pleased that I’ve done this it has taken a big weight off my mind.
Next up we need to start planning our time while we are there. Although we will be there for almost 6 weeks I know the time will absolutely fly. We need to make sure that we get to do what we want to do but also that our family and friends get to do what they want to (mostly this will be things with Arthur, not us!!). We will be heading to Mark’s parents first and then down to mine.
I’ve started doing a little sorting of big things we will need for Arthur. Mark’s parents have already got Arthur a car seat and a push chair. My best friend, Hannah is going to lend us a travel cot for when we are with my parents so we need to sort one out for while we are at Mark’s. Then we need to figure out what we will do for stair gates and a high chair.
I also need to start sorting out what we are going to do for clothes. Mostly Arthur just wears a pair of shorts or maybe a little vest but its too hot to dress him fully, even at night. Mum bought a nice cozy outfit for Arthur to wear on the plane and we have a few things we can take for him but I’m definitely going to have to do some online shopping to have a few things waiting for him when we get there (honestly i’m very exited about this!!)
So thats it for now I think. If you have any suggestions on things we will need for summer in the UK, or any tips on traveling with a 1 year old please let me know 🙂