Sri Lanka Day 1 - Colombo
My journey to Colombo was smooth and uneventful thankfully; traveling with Emirates is always good. I even managed to sleep a little bit. I arrived in Colombo in the morning around 8:30am. After going through customs and collecting by suitcase I made my way outside. I had a driver waiting for me at the airport but finding him was a challenge. After you exit the custom area, you are greeted with dozens and dozens of drivers holding up signs with names. So I started at one end of the large group and made my way reading every sign until I found my driver.
Before exiting the airport I purchased a Sri Lankan sim card from the phone provider Dialog. It costs me nothing, like 6 euros for way enough data for my 10-day trip. I recommend anyone traveling to get a local sim card, if of course your phone is unlocked. It will save you so much money, so do not use your expensive data roaming. Dialog worked really well all around Sri Lanka.
The ride from the airport to my hotel in central Colombo took about one hour. I was introduced to the Sri Lankan traffic. Basically there are no rules, no lanes, a lot of car horns honking and tuk tuks everywhere driving like there is no tomorrow. By the end of the trip I was totally used to this driving madness.
After checking in at Mandarina Colombo Hotel and freshening up, I headed out to lunch with some friends. We went to Upali’s restaurant that offered local dishes. It was a great introduction to Sri Lankan food. I told them I was vegan and they were very accommodating. They had a lot of vegetables curries which were delicious.
After catching up with old friends, we went to explore the city. We took our first obligatory tuk tuk ride and walked around all afternoon.
At night I was exhausted from the journey and the day and went to bed early at 8pm for some much needed sleep with no dinner.
The next day I was picked up early in the morning by my chauffeur-guide and headed towards Kandy.