Sri Lanka Travel Tours




Colombo is the commercial capital of Sri Lanka and lies alongside the present administrative capital, Sri Jayawardenepura, Kotte. Colombo’s port was influential as early as the 5 th century when ships from Rome, Arabia, and China traded with Sinhalese kings for food supplies, spices and jewels. Many nations fought for the island’s treasures including Arab settlers in the 8C, followed by the Portuguese, the Dutch and, finally, the British who captured Colombo in 1796. This era of western domination ended peacefully with independence in 1948, followed by a separatist war fought by the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) that lasted 25 years. Terrorism was eradicated in 2009, bringing hopes of a lasting peace. Throughout it all, the city of Colombo remained relatively stable and, as well as the majority Sinhalese, Moors, Tamils, Burghers, Chinese, and Malay populations contribute towards its colourful fabric.


Colombo is in an exciting phase in its history. There is a sense of renewed ambition now that peace has been restored to Sri Lanka, but it remains a compact, manageable coastal city offering excellent value and an atmosphere all of its own. Ancestral mansions stand side-by-side with modern hotels springing up into the skyline. Street bazaars buzz right next to a few modest shopping malls. While some roads are clogged with vehicles, there remain many sleepy tree-lined boulevards. Colombo might be mildly chaotic at times but it has at its heart a relaxed and genial air.


Sri Lanka is affected by two separate monsoons which generally means that there is usually good weather somewhere on the island. Global warming has made weather patterns less reliable, but essentially the main south-west (“yala”) monsoon brings rain to the west (including Colombo) and south-west coasts and hill country largely between May and July. The less severe north-east (“maha”) monsoon hits the east coast – including the cultural triangle – predominantly from November to January. There is also an inter-monsoonal period of unsettled weather preceding the Maha monsoon in October during which heavy rainfall can occur anywhere across the island, Colombo very much included.

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