Colombo Sri Lanka
Colombo, the commercial and political heart of Sri Lanka is a fascinating mix of old and new, with a central cluster of high-rise office blocks and hotels overshadowing red-tiled colonial-era buildings and sprawling street markets which overflow with high piled fruit and vegetables, colourful silks and cottons, and deliciously fragrant spices.
Colombo is full of historical and cultural treasures. There are many magnificent Buddhist and Hindu temples, great museums and the attractions of an international harbor city.
The colonial past is evident everywhere at the Fort or the Galle Face Green. Why not having 5'clock tea at the Galle Face Hotel?
Colombo is a shoppers paradise. Along Galle Road you'll find many international franchises and up-market shopping centers.
In the Pettah bazaar everything from imported silk sarees to local Ayurvedic medicines is available.
Odel's is the best place to for inexpensive designer wear and souvenirs.
The Sri Lanka Gem and Jewelery Exchange is a place for fine gemstones, and the Sri Lanka Handicraft Board stores are good for all kinds of metal, fabric and woodcrafts of high quality.
Excursions from Colombo
Surprisingly, some of the best diving on the west coast is straight off the capital Colombo. Wrecks are the main attraction here. There's everything from commercial barges and oil tankers to small aircraft, and more wrecks are being discovered every year. Apart from their intrinsic interest, Colombo's wrecks also attract a greater variety of marine life than some other sites on the west coast.