Discovering Sri Lanka: A Journey near Indian Ocean from Colombo to Galle

Updated: 14 June, 2023 seen 41
  • Colombo is the commercial capital of Sri Lanka and is known for its blend of modern and colonial architecture. Some of the must-visit attractions in Colombo include the National Museum, Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple, and the Viharamahadevi Park. The city is also a great place for shopping, with markets like Pettah and Colombo City Center offering a wide variety of goods.
  • Bentota is a coastal town in Sri Lanka known for its beautiful beaches, water sports, and seafood. Some of the popular things to do in Bentota include water skiing, windsurfing, and jet skiing. The town is also home to the Bentota Turtle Hatchery, where you can see baby turtles and learn about turtle conservation efforts.
  •  Galle is a historic coastal city in Sri Lanka that was once a major port and trading hub. The city is known for its Dutch colonial architecture, which can be seen in landmarks like the Galle Fort and the Dutch Reformed Church. The Indian Ocean, which borders Sri Lanka, is a major attraction for visitors to Galle, offering opportunities for swimming, surfing, and whale watching. The waters around Galle are home to a wide variety of marine life, including dolphins, sea turtles, and colorful fish.

At the start of 2022, we traveled to Sri Lanka for about a two-week-long life-changing journey.

In this article, I'm sharing my travel notes with listing places of interest we visited. Also, make sure to watch our short video from this trip: Sri Lanka, Colombo, Bentota and Galle

The Tbilisi-Doha flight was good, with plenty of legroom. The plane seemed a bit outdated, a Boeing A230. But for a less than 3-hour flight, it was very decent.

The biggest surprise came at the Doha Airport, where we had reserved a business lounge with an option to stay at the so-called cubicles. It turned out they were on a first-served basis. I thought, "Alright, we got scammed."

Nevertheless, after some 40 minutes, we got our cubicle. It was nothing fancy, but better than nothing. We managed to get some sleep at our cubicle, and soon we were boarding the next plane departing for Colombo, Sri Lanka.

On the plane, I met a nice Sri Lankan software developer. We talked a bit, and he told me about Asian careers in Qatar. It turned out he hadn't been home for two years because of the pandemic.

Before booking the plane, we reserved Hilton Apartments in Colombo and requested an airport shuttle. It was approved for USD 35. After arriving in Colombo, we were asked to fill out a few more declarations and forms related to health and crossed the border.

Our driver waited for us, and soon we were taken to the Hilton Colombo hotel in Colombo. Here, we ordered a nice dinner with some fish and chips, rice and beef, and more. I also got a complimentary adapter for European/Sri Lankan plugs.

The next morning, we visited the hotel swimming pool and were surprised at the cold water in it, despite the temperature being +30 outside. The hot pool located inside helped.

After visiting the pools, I made a list of the top 3 sightseeing places in Colombo and caught a tuk-tuk on the street. The driver agreed to take us to the first location for 100 Sri Lankan Rupees.

We arrived at the temple, paid the entrance fee of 800 Sri Lankan Rupees, walked around, and took a lot of photos. When leaving the temple, another tuk-tuk driver approached us and offered to show us the top 10 places in Colombo for 1,000 Sri Lankan rupees. I quickly agreed, as I was against walking. We made stops at a few places, and I took photos and videos. We decided to skip some places from the list and return to our hotel.

In the evening, we visited the pool again, hoping it would be warm, but it was pretty cold again. The hot inside pool helped. Later in the night, we booked the next hotel in Bentota.

The next morning, before breakfast at Hilton Colombo Residences, I asked if they could help us arrange a transfer to Bentota, and the hotel helped. We were asked about 12,400 Sri Lankan rupees (around 60 USD) for the transfer.

In about two hours, we arrived at the Bentota Taj Spa Resort, checked in, and got a nice ocean view room. We went to the swimming pool and spent a few hours there. In the evening, we went to the ocean, and I took some amazing drone footage. Nice.

We spent a nice 2 nights here, and during our stay, we met Bata, a local tour seller at the beach. He sold us a day trip to the Madu Ganga safari boat, a visit to the Turtle hatchery, and a local spices and herbal garden. On the second day, I bought a surfing class again from Bata. Surfing was very fun. I took some more drone footage in the evening, with lightning in the background. Awesome.

In the evening, we agreed to cancel our plans to visit Kandy and instead spend the rest of our days near the Indian Ocean. We booked another 5-star resort spa located about 12 km away and paid 1,500 Sri Lankan rupees for the transfer. Once we were in the car, the driver started to sell us his awesome tours. Well, that's how it works here, I guess.

When we arrived at the Cinnamon Bay hotel, we were assigned a superior room. I made a little fuss and we were upgraded to a nice deluxe room for free. There's no victory without a fight! We enjoyed swimming in the deluxe pool, kids pool, and at the nearby Beruwala beach.

We also ordered a boat trip to the nearby Barberyn lighthouse for USD 30 the next day. I wasn't very excited about what I saw, but I'm just a very spoiled tourist, and it's hard to excite me. But what can you do? At least I made some nice drone footage.

I asked the same guide if he could provide us a day trip to Galle and the surrounding area. He agreed, but he was asking for USD 150. I tried to bargain, but the guide was not very flexible and wouldn't agree to a lower price. The next morning, before breakfast, I ordered the same day trip from another driver for USD 50.

We got a very nice and friendly driver who took us to a jewelry shop to exchange money, then to the moonstone mines where we learned how moonstone is mined out of the ground and bought some jewelry.

We made a short stop at the Tsunami victim memorial and were then taken to the amazing Galle Fort, where I met a Latvian-speaking craft seller named Jeffrey and made some nice drone footage.

We had a lovely dinner in Galle city and were later taken back to Beruwala by our driver with stops to buy some fresh fruit and visit temple elephants. It was a lovely day. With the same driver, we agreed that he would take us to Colombo the next morning for 8,000 rupees.

The next morning, we also ordered PCR tests to be done at our hotel. We woke up early, did the test at around 8 am, had breakfast, and spent a few hours at our deluxe pool, where we met a very curious baby lizard. At 12 pm, our driver arrived and our drive to Colombo started.

Despite the location being quite short, about 60 km, we spent more than 2 hours driving. Crazy! In Colombo, we checked into the Marino Beach hotel.

The hotel has a rooftop infinity pool, where we took a nice swim and ordered a few milkshakes. Sandra did some shopping at the nearby mall, and we went to bed early as we had a morning flight from Colombo airport. We had to leave at 6:30 am.


Hamad International Airport

Hamad International Airport is the sole international airport in the state of Qatar, and the home of Qatar’s flag carrier airline, Qatar Airways. Located south of its capital, Doha, it replaced the nearby Doha International Airport as…

Bandaranaike International Airport / Colombo, Sri Lanka

Bandaranaike International Airport,  commonly known as Colombo International Airport is the main international airport serving Sri Lanka. It is named after former Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike and is located in a suburb of Negombo,…

Hilton Colombo Residence Apartment Review

Located in the heart of Colombo city, Hilton Colombo Residence offers rooms and suites with panoramic views of the city, harbor, or the Indian Ocean. Boasting an outdoor pool, it also has a fitness center, squash court, and tennis court.…

Gangaramaya Temple in Colombo

Gangaramaya Temple is one of the most important temples in Colombo, Sri Lanka, being a mix of modern architecture and cultural essence. Located on the Beira Lake, it was completed in the late 19th century. We were for the second day in…

Seema Malaka Buddhist temple in Colombo

Seema Malaka is a Buddhist temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The temple is mainly used for meditation and rest, rather than for worship. Situated in Beira Lake, the temple was originally constructed in the late 19th century. Seema Malaka is a…

Colombo Town Hall

The Town Hall of Colombo is the headquarters of the Colombo Municipal Council and the office of the Mayor of Colombo. Built-in front of the Viharamahadevi Park, Colombo, Sri Lanka, it is the meeting place for the elected municipal council…

Viharamahadevi Park Colombo

Viharamahadevi Park, formerly Victoria Park, is a public park located in Cinnamon Gardens, Colombo, situated in front of the colonial-era Town Hall in Sri Lanka. We had a chance to discover this lovely park and try some mango drinks in the…

Independence Memorial Hall in Colombo

Independence Memorial Hall is a national monument in Sri Lanka built for commemoration of the independence of Sri Lanka from British rule with the restoration of full governing responsibility to a Ceylonese-elected legislature on February…

Galle Face Green

Galle Face is a 5 ha (12 acres) ocean-side urban park, which stretches for 500 m (1,600 ft) along the coast, in the heart of Colombo, the financial and business capital of Sri Lanka. The promenade was initially laid out in 1859 by Governor…

Taj Bentota Resort & Spa Hotel Review in Sri Lanka

Taj Bentota Resort & Spa -  is located in Sri Lanka's Galle District, offering breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean. Pampering spa services, an outdoor pool, and 5 dining options are provided. We booked this 5-star hotel for a 3-…

Bentota Beach in Sri Lanka

Bentota is a small coastal resort town, about a 2-hour drive away from Colombo, Sri Lanka. We visited Bentota and Bentota beaches at the start of January 2022, while staying at the 5-star resort hotel Taj Bentota and Spa Bentota beach near…

Madu Ganga River Boat Safari

Madu Ganga river boat safari is a fun and pretty easy attraction in Balapitiya, Sri Lanka We booked a tour on Madu Ganga (and a few other destinations) from a local guy at our hotel's beach (Taj Bentota Resort & Spa). We agreed to pay…

Cinnamon Island, Sri Lanka

Cinnamon Island is situated in Bentota in Sri Lanka. This is a little, but a charming island that offers a few fun activities for you. Here you will be able to learn about cinnamon cultivation and if lucky will meet a monkey or at least a…

Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery Sri Lanka

Kosgoda Turtle Care program aims to protect sea turtle eggs and increase hatching rates. I had a chance to visit Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery in Sri Lanka at the start of January 2022, during a day trip from our hotel at Bentota. After…

Spice and Herbal Garden No7 near Bentota, Sri Lanka

Spice and Herbal garden No7 is located next to the Galle - Hambantota - Wellawaya Hwy near Bentota in Sri Lanka. We visited this place during a day trip from our hotel (Taj Resort & Spa) to Madu Ganga river when returning back to our…

Cinnamon Bey Beruwala Hotel Review

Surrounded by coconut trees and vast green lawns, Cinnamon Bey features bright and spacious rooms with a private balcony. It provides an outdoor pool and 6 on-site food and beverage options. We booked this 5-star hotel at the start of…

Barberyn Lighthouse

Barberyn Lighthouse (also known as Beruwala Lighthouse) is a lighthouse located on Barberyn Island some 800 meters offshore from the town of Beruwala on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka. I noticed Barveryn Lighthouse from our hotel (…

Beruwalage Gems & Jewelry Moonstone Mine in Sri Lanka

During our latest trip to Sri Lanka at the start of 2022, we visited this small and interesting Moonstone Mine - Beruwalage Gems & Jewelry.  We were taken here by our driver / guide we ordered back in the hotel for the day trip to…

Tsunami Honganji Vihara

Tsunami Honganji Vihara is a Buddhist Monument in Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka We discovered this place at the start of January 2022 while taking a local driver for a trip from our hotel in Bentota to Galle. Our driver told us the tragic story…

Hotel Marino Beach Colombo

Marino Beach Colombo has a restaurant, outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, and bar in Colombo. 2.4 km from Galle Face Beach and 1.7 km from U.S. Embassy, the property offers a garden and a terrace. The accommodation features a 24-hour…


Hi! My name is Reinis Fischer (38), a proud dad and devoted husband. CEO and Founder of Terramatris crypto hedge fund, drone enthusiast, world traveler, photographer, and passionate lover of Georgian cuisine (vegetarian).

An ex-pat living in Georgia since 2011, I trade stocks, take photographs, work out at the gym, and many more. Here I write about travel, finance, and other things that might interest me.