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Solent Richard

Colombo Day Visit.

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Many cruise lines now schedule stops at the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo.

 

My wife and I made our first ever call there earlier this year on Cunard's Queen Victoria.

 

It's a fascinating city with lots of colonial and cultural history and is relatively easy to navigate on a day visit.

 

So much so that I have just written and published a full review of how we got on there on my cruise blog. Here's the link, I hope you find it both useful and interesting...

 

https://solentrichardscruiseblog.com/2019/08/09/one-way-to-do-colombo/

 

 

707597444_SambodhiChaithya.jpg.b52f23edc332ff12f6232dab67700f78.jpg

 

37548529_SeemaMalakayaLakeTemple1.jpg.49cc311e4cc8e8de17165f05371c9e97.jpg

 

 

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Thanks for sharing - some good pics, provoking happy memories for us.

 

We were there for four nights about 3 years ago and got through less than you!!!  We had a great time though and we took it easily in the heat before the rest of our tour and stay holiday.  We will be back for another 4 nights in January during another tour and stay holiday, before joining a cruise ship to Dubai.  sri Lanka is a great country.

 

If you return and are latish in port I suggest you stroll along Galle Face Green late afternoon and head to Pettah between about 5pm and 7pm.  Pettah is manic at that time.  We walked out of the fort area of Colombo towards Pettah as many people were leaving work and heading for the train station.  Then happily got lost in Pettah amid the crowds and over large wheel barrows - keep well away from those though as they can not stop once they get moving and it will be like a large truck had ran over you.   

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Thanks for that Richard, we are scheduled to port there next year. So glad things seem to have settled down, as we were afraid we might miss it.

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Hello Richard, 

Many thanks for  your blog,  very interesting  for our next first  visit  at Colombo, (just one day,  on our cruise).  Please,  can you  tell me how long it takes to make the same visits ?   And should we negotiate the price  of tuk tuk ? 

Thanks you  in advance  for your response.. 

Have a good day 

 

Muriel 

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book a private tour to the elephant

orphanage  fabulous day

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On 9/3/2019 at 7:44 AM, windsor26 said:

book a private tour to the elephant

orphanage  fabulous day

 

I assume you are referring to Pinnawala.  That may well be a good option for some people, but they should be aware that it is some distance away and is also badly thought of now.  Even main holiday companies like Kuoni and others do not advise their customers to go there.  

 

As I understand it, there is no wish by the organisation to release the elephants back into the wild and many have actually been bred there, rather than being taken in as 'orphans'.  They are also kept in chains at times, which is nowadays looked on as cruelty.

 

I do not mean to totally criticise your suggestion, but think people would be well advised to look it up on the net, along with it's current reputation.  I am no great animal activist, but our preference when on a holiday in Sri Lanka was to go to a national park and see the animals in the wild, though that is not an option for a call into Colombo on a cruise ship.  There is an 'Elephant Transit Home' further south, (near Udawalawe national park), which takes in rescued and elderly elephants and that is a recommended organisation to visit and hence support, but again far to far away to visit on a call into Colombo.

 

Everyone needs to make their own decision, but Pinnawala is just a tourist attraction and exists for that reason, though I think the origins of it were different to what it has turned out to be now.

Edited by tring

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55 minutes ago, windsor26 said:

 

 

It was three years ago we booked our first tour/stay and Kuoni (and other UK holiday companies) definitely discouraged visiting and thereby supporting it at that stage, although we had asked to do so.  A good number (if not all) of the young elephants you saw were probably bred there - as I said it is a tourist attraction now.  Yes the human contact with the animals in Pinnawala is one of the things criticised as it makes it impossible for them to be returned to the wild, which is what more ethical organisations do.  I did see pictures of some of them in chains which had been posted on reviews from people who had visited three years back, but may be just certain times/places and as I say different people have different opinions and the decision of whether to visit is up to each individual - likewise we looked into it ourselves and made our own decision not to visit (but we did consider it).  I was admittedly surprised that cruise ships are still offering tours to there, but all they want to do is make money so will offer whatever will do that.  Any comments made when visiting Pinnawala will obviously be in support of themselves, so I would not expect the full truth to be told at that stage.

 

There is lots of criticism of riding elephants now in other parts of Sri Lanka and other countries as well, since they are very badly treated (beaten etc.) to train them, (which is worse than Pinnawala) whereas it was not long ago that riding elephants was commonly accepted.  The UK travel companies do support the organisation I mentioned further south as it is considered to be ethical and we will be going there on our travels during a pre cruise tour/stay we have booked for next Jan/Feb.

 

As I said I am not a raving animal activist and I do visit zoos in other countries, including the UK,  but ones with a good reputation were the animals are respected and well treated.  I am glad you had enjoyed your visit though - no disrespect to yourself or even anyone who still wishes to go there after searching the net for more information.  I just want people to make an informed choice and I will leave it there.

Edited by tring

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