Sunday, June 5, 2011

Second Honeymoon in Maldives: First Time in Colombo


We arrived in Colombo around 7.15 am.  We were done with the immigration, customs and luggage collection within 30 minutes.  We exchanged some local currency at the airport and proceeded to the arrival hall where our driver that we rented for the day was waiting for us. Our flight to Dubai would only be at 3am so we had a whole day to explore Colombo.

Our first stop of the day was the Mount Lavinia Hotel.  The hotel is one of the colonial hotels in Colombo with the other being Galle Face Hotel.  It’s located on a cliff right by the beach giving nice views of the beach area in Colombo.  We had a breakfast buffet at the Governor’s Restaurant at the hotel. The food wasn’t terribly good for a 5 star hotel. 

With our stomachs filled, we were off to do some clothes shopping.  Colombo is supposedly famous for cheap tshirts & woman’s dresses.  We stopped by Glitz, Paradise Road with Calvin buying some cheap t-shirts and Lydia some dresses. 

We next went to the Gallery Café for some coffee and cake.  The café was in what I think an old house or mansion and very nicely decorated.  Definitely some place I would recommend to visit.

By now, it was around 1pm and we were starting to feel the effect of spending the night at the airport in Kuala Lumpur.  We initially had a massage booking for 4pm but moved it to 2pm since it would be a nice way to get some rest.  We spent the next 3 plus hours at Spa Ceylon with a 2 hour full body oil massage and an hour foot reflexology package.  

We left the spa around 5.30pm with the sun about to set.  We next headed to the Galle Face Hotel to enjoy the sunset with a couple of local Lion beers.

For dinner, we went to Nihonbashi, a Japanese restaurant which was strongly recommended by Yiling. The restaurant was just a 5 minute drive from the hotel. We were initially pretty apprehensive of eating Japanese food in Colombo.  How can Japanese food in Colombo be good? We ordered a nabe set for both of us since Lydia’s tummy wasn’t feeling too well and was craving something warm and comforting.  We were pleasantly surprised that the food was really good.  Nihonbashi was definitely better than some of the Japanese places that we’re restricted to in Penang.  Wasabi ice-cream was interesting and it’s not bad and something to try but definitely not on my favorite ice-cream favor list. 

We finished dinner at 9pm and since it was raining and  we had nothing left to see, we headed back to the airport even though our flight was not for another 6 hours.  The airport is about 40 kilometers from Colombo and takes about an hour car ride.  When we got to the airport, the check-in for our Dubai wasn’t open yet and had to spend the next 2 hours waiting.  Colombo airport is definitely a place one would want to spend as little time as possible at.  There’s really nothing much to see and do landside.  The 2 hours waiting for the check-in counters to open for our start of the Emirates First Class experience seem to take forever…

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