SRI LANKA- COLOMBO.
Wife: Why don’t we go to Sri Lanka?
Me: But you said you wanted to go there with your friends.
Wife: Yeah, I don’t think that’s going to materialize any time soon and we have 4 days off now and I think we should put it to use.
It was quite a task to zero in on a location to spend the four days we had taken off. I somehow always wanted to visit Sri Lanka, since I had heard a lot of wonderful things about the country.
The best time to visit Colombo would’ve been December or January, considering its equatorial climate, but then we also gave it a second thought and realized, we kept pushing our visit to Sri Lanka, for some reason or the other, and despite the fact that it is so close geographically to India, I had never visited it.
I started searching for places to be visited in Colombo and realized that out of 4 days we had, 2 were to be utilized exploring the city and the other two would involve travel and unwinding post travel.
Honestly, I’d have preferred a direct flight from Bangalore to Colombo, but the flights were ridiculously pricey. What pettifoggery, I thought! I started looking for flights by using the round-trip option, and to my surprise I stumbled upon an Indigo flight option, which had 1 stop onwards in Chennai, and no stops while returning back to India. Sorted and booked. Now, let the hotel hunt begin!
We started looking for hotel options to suit our budget and also that satisfy certain criteria. The criteria being:
1) Closeness to downtown Colombo
2) Proximity to all the places to be visited
3) Close vicinity to the best recommended cafes (Wife is a graphic-designer and she has an obsession for cafés. Let’s just not get there!)
Hotel bookings were easily sorted using websites like happyeasygo, or wegotravel, or booking.com. Got a good deal and booked Hotel Mandarina on Galle Road.
Being a traveler with an Indian passport, a thought that constantly lingers in my head before planning a trip is the additional visa cost, and the painstaking immigration process.
Plot twist! Visa got sorted with just an online application. Hotel booking confirmation was needed to complete the application so yeah, good thing I booked that first. I got two emails from the Sri Lankan immigration, one for acknowledgement and one for approval, wherein the latter is the more important one.
Visa, flights, hotel, all checkboxes ticked, it was time to pack some shorts, shades and sunblock.