Sri Lanka: what a change compared to India

Trip Start Jan 28, 2012
Trip End Mar 12, 2012

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Flag of Sri Lanka  , Western,
Sunday, March 4, 2012

We are already three days in Sri Lanka after a transition day of travel from Madurai to Chennai, a six hours wait for the flight to Colombo. And what a change we experience, Sri Lanka is much more advanced than India is, the streets are remarkably clean, the roads are better, the traffic is much more disciplined, there is less noise by honking and the shops present their goods better. Sri Lanka is also more humid than India, and in combination with the temperature of 31, 32 degrees makes us shower at least twice a day.

On the first day we organised ourselves a round tour by going into the nearest travel agent from our hotel on Galle Road we found in the local telephone directory. We went for a combination of the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka in the North, Kandy, and Galle. On the Saturday morning we continued to take an auto rickshaw to the Gangrama Buddhist Temple, where we saw many interesting things, washing of an elephant, many Buddhas, Hindu statues, VOC porcelain plates and a vase with the same logo.

A next auto rickshaw brought us to the Dutch Museum in a crowded Petta. Museum for the Hollanders, says a sign on the outside. It is housed in the Governors residence of the Dutch-East Indian Company. It has some basic but interesting displays, paintings, furniture spread over two floors. The quality of the exhibits need to be improved.

After a long walk that made us soaking wet we had a nice lunch on the veranda of the Galle Face, a posh hotel on Colombo's boulevard that Chris and I remembered from our travel in 1978 and 1979 respectively. We continued on our nostalgia tour by searching for the Dutch Reformed church, or the Wolvendaal church. After three other Portuguese churches we finally got there. Here we met a Singapore couple with Dutch ancestors. From them we got the address of the Dutch Burger Society of Ceylon, where later in the afternoonwe had a guided tour and a nice beer at the club that looked like a photograph from the colonial days in the 1920s. In the evening my good friend from the water sector Ranjith Wirasinghe and his wife took us for a lovely dinner at the Golf Club.  
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Cor Dietvorst on

I visited the Dutch Museum in 2006, together with former colleague Bep van Oostrum, it seems that little has changed. We looked for the Dutch Church, but nobody we spoke to had heard of it. The atmosphere in Colombo must be more relaxed now, then there were military checkpoints everywhere.

Serendib Vacations on

Can country is more productive in terms of tourism if we further protected sustainable tourism with environmental conservation for sure.

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