Best things to see, eat and do in Colombo, Sri Lanka: Expert expat tips

THE EXPAT

Kevin Bishop and his family moved from Adelaide to Colombo two years ago, when he took up the role of chief operating officer of the Small Group Touring Co, smallgrouptouringco.com.au

SEE

If you are into architecture, there is a plethora of colonial buildings throughout Colombo such as the National Museum and the old Cargills department store in the Fort area, which I particularly like for its chaos. There are also a number of Geoffrey Bawa buildings in and around Colombo including the Gallery Café, which is in the former offices of the famous Sri Lankan architect.

DO

Take a walk along Galle Face Green at sunset and you'll see families flying kites, and some of Colombo's best street food is served up from the vendors all the way along from Galle Face Hotel to the new port city that's being developed. Finish your walk with a Lion beer or – if you feel like something stronger, an arrak – at one of the pubs around the Dutch Hospital.

EAT

I now love rice and curry and when I am away miss it more than I care to admit. The spicy black chicken or battered fish are my staples, and cost about LKR400 ($3.30) per person: the YAMU app is a handy guide for finding what's good this week. On weekends, we try to find healthy food: Café Kumbuk at Prahna Lounge and Milk & Honey have great healthy bowls (44a Horton Pl), and Black Cat Café has the best barista in town. See facebook.com/cafekumbuk blackcatcolombo.com

DRINK

As a family, we generally go to the Good Market beside Colombo racecourse on Saturday mornings where I have a king coconut juice (save the straw and drink from the coconut) and then the vendor cuts it open and I eat the pulp. Very healthy. King coconuts are available roadside through Sri Lanka for around LKR60-100.

AVOID

Generally people don't raise their voices, so Sri Lanka has taught me to be more tolerant and patient, and to try not to be too serious. I should also mention that I have always felt incredibly safe in Colombo.

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