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Advice needed for Colombo and Bendota

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Jan 20th, 2012, 05:20 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 443
Advice needed for Colombo and Bendota

Greetings Fodorites! We have just booked a last minute trip to Sri Lanka. We will be spending 2 nights in Colombo and 2 days in Bendota. We leave Jan 23.

Have you been to either place? Do you have suggestions for places to eat and people watch and how to get around? We fly into to the airport at 10:20 PM so we were going to hire a taxi to the Taj Samudra where we are staying. Then we wanted to figure out an affordable way to get from Colombo to Bendota and then from Bendota back to the Bandaranaike airport.

We are in our 30s and are taking our first trip as new parents (leaving our tern month old with the folks). We plan to hang out at the beach in Bendota and do some people watching in Colombo and enjoy our first time alone as a couple since the baby was born. It is a bit of a pricey trip for us so we are looking to save where we can, having splurged a bit to stay in a Taj hotel.

I apologize in advance that I do not have time to do a search of the forum as I am staying with my folks in Mysore and have very limited access to the internet. So please don't lecture me. Please respond only if you have something constructive to say. We went to the bookstores around my parents' house and could only find the Lonely Planet (published in 2009) and figured it would be a waste to buy it for the exorbitant price they are charging. I was hoping to check back here on Sunday and Monday to see what you folks have to say.

I promise to do a trip report as a thank you (initially we had hoped to go to the Maldives but chose Sri Lanka instead). Happy 2012!
usernameistaken is offline  
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Jan 20th, 2012, 07:37 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,543
Here is a link to my TR on Sri Lanka

http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...-and-curry.cfm

The 5th post covers a couple of days in Columbo (can't help with Bentota as we only passed through.

I wasn't terrible enamoured of Columbo but with only 2 days, I would suggest heading to Galle Face Green to people watch and, if you are feeling brave, sample the food stalls. It is also worth stooping for a drink at the historic Galle Face Hotel.

Down by the harbour we had a great (and cheap!) meal at harbour 365. Also there are good "short eats" at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel close to Galle Face Green.

If you are into markets then an hour or two wandering around The Pettah, the old Tamil market area is interesting but completely manic.

Barefoot is a famous and very interesting shop on Galle Road which also has a very good restaurant. Along teh same road as Barefoot is the area of Bamballapitya. We visited a South Indian Dosai restaurant (veggie) there called Saraswathe. It is very basic e.g. eating with your hands but the food was terrific - a great place for a quick lunch.

As for your transfers, I believe the train now runs from the towns on the south coast into Columbo and thence on to the airport but when we were there they were very infrequent and slow (but very cheap!). A taxi or tuk tuk is probably your best bet but bargain hard for a decent fare. The bus is an option but will take a long time.

Have a great time!
crellston is online now  
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Jan 20th, 2012, 09:21 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 694
Try the "Dutch Hospital" in Colombo, very close to the Taj and a great new place in town with many nice restaurants.
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Jan 20th, 2012, 09:31 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 22,506
My Sri Lanka TR is here: http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...-sri-lanka.cfm

Colombo is at the end of the TR. I was keen to visit Colombo as my father had been there during WWII but was disappointed. I stayed at Galle Face, which is a nice place to check out. If you want a rest you might do better to spend longer at Bendota.
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