Having been a transit passenger through Colombo several times has always inspired me to visit Sri Lanka at least once. When an opportunity transpired, I grabbed it. As I decided to visit Sri Lanka, the main factors I considered were expenses, travel dates, accommodation, and places to visit. In fact, you would also need to analyze the weather, food, local currency, and transport.
When traveling solo, even to your neighboring country, it is better to do an in-depth study about the location. Being a solo traveler and making the trip to Negombo in the island Nation had been a wonderful experience. Certainly, a trip to Negombo is recommended but preferably during winter.
Visa requirement for a trip to Negombo
Visa on arrival facility is available although many nationals would not even require a visa to visit Sri Lanka. Moreover, you would not require a visa if your stay is shorter than 48 hrs. Anyway, I found Bandaranaike international airport to be one of the hassle-free airports. And my trip to Negombo started off well.
While being an enchanting country, Sri Lanka is also an amiable host. Accommodation options had no dearth. It was easier to book it online at a highly affordable rate.
I jogged into quite a few hotels and food outlets during my trip to Negombo. Traditional preparations of items like rice, jackfruit, fish, chicken, and other cuisines were available. If you are not used to having spicy items, go slow here I would say. Although tasty, some of their preparations did manage to tear up my eyes.
Major highlights on a trip to Negombo
Negombo is closer to the airport hence I decided to make the trip to Negombo than Colombo. In about two days you can cover all the major attractions in the city.
St. Mary's Church
Having reached the Negombo bus stand, I got the directions to go to St. Mary's Church on Grand Street. It would not have taken me ten minutes to walk. The historical Roman Catholic cathedral's built-in neoclassicism style stood tall. Constructed between 1874 and 1922, the magnificent structure effuses the glory of the colonial era in the island nation.
I could not explore the magnificent interior of the cathedral as there was a marriage ceremony going on when I visited. However, the little I could see and the exterior looks provide a brilliant view. Adjacent to the main building, you can find a small shrine for prayer and adoration.
Fishing village and fish market
I was told the popular fish market in the town was not far from Grand Street, and I started walking toward the spot. On the other side of the tourist's face, Negombo is known for being one of the country's biggest fishing villages and markets.
Since most of the people were able to speak either English or Tamil in the area, communication never caused any trouble.
A good variety of fresh fish and other sea species were on sale at the market. You could also grab other items like fresh vegetables and fruits. As you walk towards the market by the side of the sea, a large area can be seen where they have spread fish to dry. There is also a market where you can get different kinds of dry fish.
If you are a seafood lover, never miss this spot.
One of the fishermen told me I should visit the Angurukaramulla Temple next. In fact, he arranged a tuk-tuk for me. Even as the tuk-tuk drew closer to the temple, the dragon head that guards its entrance and the six-meter-tall statue of Lord Buddha loomed large.
It is a large complex where besides the temple, you can find a monastery for monks, a residence, an old library, and a fish pond. The entire complex is well-maintained and covered with green plants and trees.
The temple is believed to have been built during the reign of King Devanampiyatissa in the 3rd century BCE. One of the longest reclining Buddha statues in Sri Lanka is a notable feature here.
Usually, the visitors pay a nominal amount as a homage before entering the temple. The interior is covered with amazing paintings, sculptures, and murals that date back centuries. The paintings on the ceiling display Lord Buddha's journey to enlightenment, as well as the legends of the country's former rulers.
By the way, you are allowed to use a camera inside this temple.
Not far from there, you can find another Buddhist worship place. Abhayasekarama Temple is enchanting with its wide, peaceful complex and ancient pagoda in it.
Sri Singama Kali Amman Kovil
Interestingly, people of all religions seem to dwell here. Sri Singama Kali Amman Kovil is a famous Hindu temple in Negombo. The temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesha.
Brightly colored murals and artistic sculptures make the temple one of the worth-visiting spots in the town. Besides the statue of Ganesha in the sanctuary, there are statues of other deities too.
On the same Sea Street Road, you can find other temples like Sri Muthu Mari Amman Temple and Sri Sitthi Vinayagar Temple.
Negombo Dutch Fort
Colonization and its after-effects are reflected in different pockets of the country. The Dutch Fort is one such edifice visited by tourists.
It is a Portuguese-built structure that was later restored by the Dutch. Later, the British reconstructed it as a prison. The remnants, especially the clock tower still remain to tell the tales of the colonial era.
Along with Sri Lankan Rupee, you can also use USD. However, it is better to have LKR with you for easier transactions especially in local shops and for transportation.
How to reach Negombo? Bandaranaike International Airport is nearly 30 minutes drive away from Negombo. Although taxis and tuk-tuks are available, there are frequent buses plying on this route. At around LKR 100, you can travel by one of these buses. The ordinary buses can take a while longer compared to the limited stop, air-conditioned buses.
A Travel enthusiast and Foodie, craving to explore the intricate beauty of nature and its gift of delectable treats. Pens down his thoughts and experiences to present a delightful journey for his readers