Posts tagged Colombo

Letters from Sri Lanka: Colombo, an Exotic Metropolis on the other Side of the World…

My dear travelers, today is the perfect time to delight you with new travelogues in the “Travel Letters” section that you have all loved during the 7 years of the Mr.M blog. The past 2 years have been very difficult and uncertain for many industries, but one of the industries that lost the most during the pandemic is tourism. Things are slowly returning to the normal, the old life we all know well continues and we have the opportunity to do the activities we love once again.

Just one email from my friends from the Ministry of Tourism of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka was enough to get out of the comfort and fear zone due to the current health situation and go to my favorite dream island that I had the opportunity to visit for the first time in 2018. If by any chance you want to remind yourself what my first adventure in Sri Lanka looked like, you can visit this link where you can find all the travel stories that accompanied my first visit to this exotic country.

The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, is an island country in South Asia. If we look at its geographical position, the island is located in the Indian Ocean, southwest of the Bay of Bengal and southeast of the Arabian Sea, and is separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Manar and the Palk Strait.

An interesting fact is that Sri Lanka shares a maritime border with India and the Maldives. There is one fact that few people know about, and that is that Sri Jaiavardenepura Kotte is the legislative capital of Sri Lanka, while Colombo is the largest city on the island and also a financial, political and cultural center.

The members of the team, which consists of people from the Ministry of Tourism and the National Tourist Board of Sri Lanka, really made a real effort to devise a travel itinerary and program that will inspire every traveler to spend their vacation in this distant exotic destination. When you come to Sri Lanka, you realize that all the roads lead from Colombo to further unusual places on the island, so that’s how I started my adventure.

My best travel buddy during my adventures around the world – Bric’s

Colombo is the largest commercial city on the island, the city center of Colombo alone has a population of almost 6 million people. This metropolis is the financial center of the island and the main tourist destination. Colombo is on the west coast of the island and next to the Greater Colombo area which includes Sri Jayavardenpura Kote, the legislative capital of Sri Lanka and Dehivala-Mount Lavinia.

Many people often call Colombo the capital because Sri Jaiavardenepura Kotte is located within the urban / suburban area of Colombo. Colombo is a unique, bustling and vibrant city with a mix of modern life, colonial buildings and historical monuments.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the manager and staff of the The Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo, who really did their best to make me feel at home. This nation is known as one of the best hosts and due to its cordiality and exceptional hospitality they are at the very top in the tourism industry.

My first day in Sri Lanka began with a tour of Colombo with the selfless help of Mrs. Rajini de Silva Mendis, who is the founder of the largest travel agency Ebert Silva Holidays in Sri Lanka. The members of her team made an effort to fulfill my plan and program and to spend an exceptional day in Colombo. Let’s (re)discover the beauties of this exceptional city together!

If we take a good look at the geographical relief of Colombo, we can conclude that it is an unusual mixture of land and water. The city has many canals and in the heart of the city is Lake Beira. The lake is one of the most prominent sights of Colombo and colonists have used it for centuries to defend the city. Today, this lake is becoming a local tourist attraction, where various public events are held every day, such as regattas and theater performances on the shores of the lake. The northern and northeastern borders of the city of Colombo are “drawn” by the river Kelani, which meets the Indian Ocean in the part of the city known as Modera.

Now we come to the favorite part that interests all true adventurers… What to visit if the road leads you to Colombo?

Galle Face Green city promenade is located in the heart of the city along the coast of the Indian Ocean and this locality is equally interesting to tourists and residents, believe me, it never leaves you indifferent. Galle Face Hotel is a historical landmark on the southern edge of this promenade.

The Gangaramaya Temple is one of the most important temples in Colombo. The architecture of the temple shows an eclectic mix of architecture from Sri Lanka, Thailand, India and China.

Viharamahadevi Park (formerly Victoria Park) is an urban park located next to the Colombo National Museum and the City Hall. It is the oldest and largest park in Colombo and has a large Buddha statue.

As part of the Government of Sri Lanka’s Urban Regeneration Program, many old sites and buildings have been converted into modern public spaces for recreation and shopping. The program also includes Independence Memorial Square, Floating Pettah Market and the Old Dutch Hospital and many other sites.

Now we will go together on an interesting and detailed tour of the National Museum of Colombo. The Colombo National Museum, better known as the National Museum of Sri Lanka, is one of the two museums in Colombo. It is the largest museum in Sri Lanka. The museum contains many rich collections of great national importance to Sri Lanka, such as the royal regalia of the country, including the throne and crown of Monarch Kandy, as well as many other exhibits that can “tell” you an unusual story of ancient Sri Lanka.

The Colombo Museum, as the museum was originally called, was founded on January 1, 1877. Its founder was Sir William Henry Gregory, then British Governor of Ceylon (Sri Lanka). The Royal Asian Society was instrumental in informing Gregory of his appointment as governor in 1872 on the need for a public museum, with many problems, and approval to build and open a museum was obtained by the legislature in record time.

Architect James George Smitter, who was in charge of designing the museum’s plan, was able to prepare projects for a completely new structure in the Italian style. The construction of the building was completed in 1876, and the museum started working the following year.

In January 1877, Governor Gregory declared the Colombo Museum open, in the presence of a large number of guests.

In the period between 1877 and 1999, the museum authorities undertook numerous efforts to exhibit exclusively the cultural and natural heritage of the country. Over the years, several new wings have been added to the museum and everything has been added from time to time. The museum received the status of a national museum during the period of P. E. P. Deraniiagal. He opened branches of museums in Jaffna, Kandy and Ratnapura, and a full-fledged department of the National Museum was founded in 1942. In the end, nine branches were opened, and a new school science program and a mobile museum service were also opened.

The museum has a copy of the Tara statue, three-quarters of the life-size Tara statue currently housed in the British Museum. Numerous royal jewels and the throne of the last King Kandy, which was returned to Sri Lanka by the British government, are also in the museum’s collection. The ground floor exhibition galleries are arranged in chronological historical order, and the exhibitions on the first floor are divided thematically.

The library was also founded on January 1, 1877. The State Oriental Library was incorporated into the library of the National Museum of Colombo and served as the core of the collection by collecting local publications for the past 130 years. The library functioned as the unofficial national library of Sri Lanka and became the first official library on the island. From the very beginning, special attention was paid to the creation of a collection related to Sri Lanka, Orientation and Natural Sciences.

One of the important facts is that in 1982, Dr. Thelma Gunawardena became the first woman director of the Colombo National Museum. She performed her function of the director of the museum in the period from 1982 to 1994.

From 1972 to 1991, prof. Pandula Andagama was the head of the Department of Anthropology and the assistant director of the National Museum. During his tenure, he established an anthropological deposit in the National Museum. He also organized numerous temporary exhibitions at the National Museum.

The National Museum is maintained by the Department of National Museums and while Portuguese buildings are perhaps less noticeable in Colombo, there are still plenty of Dutch and British buildings. The National Museum is visited by students, local and foreign tourists, numerous researchers and world media. Sri Lanka has a long history and this museum is a testament to their proud history.

The National Museum is the largest museum in Sri Lanka and contains collections of great cultural significance. These collections are also a good source for detailed research, especially for people studying history because they provide useful information.

The Gangaramaya Temple is one of the most important temples in Colombo because it is a mixture of modern architecture and cultural heritage. Located on Beira Lake, it was built in the late 19th century. The architecture of the temple shows an extraordinary mix of Sri Lankan, Thai, Indian and Chinese architecture.

This Buddhist temple includes several imposing buildings and is located not far from the calm waters of Lake Beira on land that was originally a small hermitage on a piece of wetland. It has the main characteristics of Vihara (temple), Cetiia (Pagada), Bodhitree, Vihara Mandiraia, Seema malaka (monk gathering hall) and Relic. In addition, the premises include a museum, library, residential hall, three-story Pirivena, educational halls and a charity hall.

Today, Gangaramaya serves as a place of Buddhist worship and a center of learning. The temple is involved in Buddhist social assistance, including nursing homes, vocational schools and orphanages. The temple is uniquely attractive and tolerant towards members of many different religions. He was instrumental in establishing the Buddhist Temple on Staten Island (USA), the Buddhist Center in New York, and the Buddhist Center in Tanzania, thus helping to propagate the Dhamma in other countries.

Seema Malaka is a Buddhist temple in Colombo, which is mainly used for meditation and rest, and not for worship. Located in Lake Beira, the temple was originally built in the late 19th century. Seema Malaka is part of the Gangaramaja temple and is located a few hundred meters east of it.

The original structure slowly sank into the water in the 1970s. in 1976, but in 1976, Sri Lankan architect Jeffrey Bawa was invited to redesign and build the temple, which we have the opportunity to see today.

The temple was built on three special platforms that hold the temple above the water and are connected to the mainland and to each other by pontoon bridges. The main roof of the temple is covered with blue tiles, and the temple is made of collected spindles and handrails in wooden finishes. The architecture of the building is reminiscent of the Kandy era.

All three platforms have a large number of seated Buddha statues depicting various sages. On the main (central) platform there is a shelter made of wooden meditation boards. On one of the side platforms is the Bodhi tree which was grown from a branch of the Jaia Sri Maha Bodhi tree in Anuradhapura. The four corners of the side platform have small shrines dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu, Kataragama deviyo and Ganesha. At the entrance to the temple there is a sanctuary dedicated to Guanyin, and in the temple complex there is another statue of Guanyin.

Lotus Tower, also known as Colombo Lotus Tower is a tower that is 350 m high. Many consider it a modern symbol of Colombo and the whole of Sri Lanka. The lotus tower is used for communication, observation and other leisure activities. According to media reports, the construction of the tower cost over 100 million dollars.

The design of this building is inspired by the lotus flower. The lotus symbolizes the purity of Sri Lankan culture and is also considered to symbolize the flourishing development of the country. The base of the tower is inspired by the lotus throne and will also be formed by two inverted trapezoids. It is planned that the color of the tower will be alternately pink and light yellow with a smooth transition – an effect that is achieved by special coating of glass.

The view from the top is amazing and as I found out there are plans to open a luxury rotating restaurant that will have the best panorama of the city in the palm of your hand. Who knows, watching this karma of mine, I might find myself in magical Colombo again in 4 years!

Sri Kailawasanathan Swami Devasthanam Kovil also known as Kapikaawatha Shivan Temple was built in the 17th century by a group of Indian Chetti traders known as “Thiruvilanga Nakarathar” who moved to Sri Lanka for business. Sri Kailawasanathan Swami Devasthanam Kovil Temple is one of the city’s most visited attractions. No tickets are required to visit this place. It is good to visit this Hindu temple during the morning hours due to less crowds.

This area is a good place for meditation because it is a special oasis filled with peace and tranquility. If you are lucky, you can attend a Hindu Tamil wedding in this temple. Indian Hindu tourists come to this temple to participate in the Poojas Temple and to receive a blessing from the temple priests.

What other interesting sights can you see in Colombo?

The two towers of the World Trade Center were once the city’s most recognizable landmarks. Before they were completed in 1997, the neighboring tower of the Bank of Ceylon was the tallest building and the most prominent city landmark.

Before the skyscrapers were built, it was the Old Parliament building that stood magnificently in Fort County with the Old Columbus Lighthouse nearby. Another important landmark is the Independence Hall on Independence Square in the Cinnamon Fields.

Even before the parliament was built, some claim that sailors approaching the port recognized the Colombo Mosque as the Mosque of Ul-Alfar. The mosque is still one of the most visited tourist places in Colombo.

Another landmark is the Church of St. Paul in Milagiriya, one of the oldest churches in Sri Lanka, first built by the Portuguese and rebuilt by the British in 1848. The Cargills & Millers building in Fortu is also a protected building of historical significance.

Galle Face Green is the largest and most elegant city promenade. Surrounded by coconut trees and along the coast, this mile-long part of the heart of the city is a constant hive of activities. The greenery is especially busy on Fridays and Saturdays. In the evening, it hosts families and children who play sports and kite flying, lovers who hug under umbrellas and health lovers on evening walks. There are numerous small food stalls and a small part of the beach. Green often hosts international and local concerts and performances, such as the World Drum Festival.

The cannons that were once placed on the ramparts of the old fortress of Colombo were placed for respect and prestige on Green, giving the city a colonial spirit. The colonial-style Galle Face Hotel, known as the Asian Emerald on the Green since 1864, is located near the Galle Face Green. The hotel has hosted guests such as the British royal family and other royal guests and celebrities from the worlds of politics and film.

My dear travelers, we have come to the end of this special post about the jewel of Sri Lanka – Colombo, which would not have been possible without the selfless help of the Ministry of Tourism of Sri Lanka in cooperation with local partners such as Ebert Silva Holidays and The Kingsbury Hotel. Colombo and Sri Lankan cultures and traditions. Of course, as always, I tried to share my impressions of this unusual city in Sri Lanka.

Time always flies when a person has a good time! A man is rich at heart if he has managed to explore the world and I am glad to always be able to find partners for my projects that help me discover new and unusual destinations in a completely different way during this global health crisis COVID-19.

I am honored to have the opportunity to work with companies that are at the top of the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this amazing adventure and for allowing me to experience the beauty of this unusual island country in South Asia in a completely different way.

How did you like this story of mine about Colombo? Have you had the opportunity to visit this city in Sri Lanka so far?

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me you can write to me below in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via email or social networks, all addresses can be found on the CONTACT page. See you in the same place in a couple of days, with a new story from Sri Lanka!

Warm greetings from Colombo,


In the next post, I will share with you my impressions from the safari!

This post is sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism of Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan Tourism Board, The Kingsbury Hotel, Ebert Silva Holidays and Bric’s brand. This post presents my personal and honest review of the destination experience.


Sri Lanka: The Island Where Dreams Live…

Hello guys, I hope you’re good and this nice time helps you to get through this working week so easily. There is still a little time left to the weekend, so the countdown can start now slowly! I think this is a perfect time to start a new series of posts and to discover all the beauties of a little paradise island country. Let me introduce you to one of the  most beautiful island – Sri Lanka!



When I received a mail from Sri Lanka’s tourism board, I couldn’t have read it all because of the excitement which I felt in that moment! The only thing I read was a sentence that I repeated in my head for a few minutes until I have finally come to myself and realized that I have the chance to visit such an exotic country: “Mark, are you ready for an adventure? Sri Lanka is calling you!”.



For a moment, I thought it was some early brilliant prank for April Fools’ Day, because the start of the trip was planned on April 1st and I just didn’t give up some importance. Of course, as always I just can’t sit like that so I checked with my colleagues bloggers.  I realized that it was time for the little Marko to visit Sri Lanka! My happiness in that moment I just can’t describe with the right words, there were tears of joy, my mom wanted to go with me, and there was a real mini drama in the house for a couple of days… After few days my mother, who as you know is my photographer, she forgave that I wouldn’t take her with me on the Sri Lanka’s trip.



The days have passed, the time for the journey was getting closer and closer, and I was secretly hoping that it was not a prank and I would really go to one such trip like that…

Three days before the trip I got my flight tickets and of course again you can just imagine me how I’m running through the house and screaming with joy, because that was the sign which I was waiting for…



The first day of the April, the unusual morning crowd in the downtown of Belgrade I hardly managed to get out and with a couple minutes of delay I checked on my flight and finally I’ve started my new adventure. That day I will remember, that is for sure! I didn’t feel the tiredness of the previous trip or the cry of frightened babies. I just couldn’t have missed reading of “professional travel literature” – Guide: How to survive Sri Lanka and some old issue of Hello magazine…



Well, landing in Doha it didn’t get to be scary as I was in India recently, so I acted like a true “professional” traveler and I went straight to the boarding gate for the Colombo.

After 11 hours of reading some “interesting” literature, few naps and 2 movies, Little Marko arrived to Colombo. First Impression: “I will die, here it has almost 37 degrees outside and it’s 4 am… God what’s waiting for me all those days!” I must admit they have very interesting airport. You wouldn’t expected to find a nice house technique at the airport itself! My mom still can’t forgive me when I told her how cheap the washing machine is. She has almost a heart attack because of sadness why I didn’t buy her a new Candy washing machine… of course it’s a joke! She was very happy when she saw a new pair of earrings, like any other woman! ?



The flight from Doha to Colombo was very interesting, although it was early in the morning and there was a lot of light there, so there was no feeling of how much hours you really traveled…

Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, is a real pearl of the Indian Ocean. The next day was interesting, together with my colleagues instagrammers and youtubers  I had the opportunity to enjoy in the magic of the Colombo. Just imagine walk the coast of the Indian Ocean and the temperature 37-degree, believe me it’s a real adventure. I was pretending that I’m hero just for two hours. I must admit that walking was worth because I’ve got a nice tan. 🙂



Sigiriya… The city of kings, a city that intrigues visitors with its history. Whether you are a lover of history or art, Sigiriya is the perfect place for you. And even if you just want to see more on Sri Lanka, Sigiriya for sure will stay in your memory for a long time.

Sigiriya or “Lion Rock” as a term or word is not widely known to people, but when someone shows the image of Sigiriya everything is changing. Almost everyone knows about the existence of this geological formation that the mighty Kings of Sri Lanka have turned into a fortress. Sigiriya is often called by people an eighth world miracle. Whether or not we will leave it to someone else to decide but it is certain that this natural formation and building is one of the main reasons for traveling to Sri Lanka. I would like to take the opportunity to say big thank you to Sigiriya Hotel for hospitality and kindness.  It’s a warm recommendation from the heart! On the picture below you can see that amazing Lion Rock from the Sigiriya hotel, isn’t it just wonderful?



The “Lion Rock” is a volcanic origin. It emerged as a hardened magma of long ago active volcano, which in the course of time has gained the shape that we now have the opportunity to see. Due to its position and natural shelters, the Lion Rock was inhabited since the prehistoric times. People who lived on and around, they left their stamp by building many caves and shelters. Since the end of the 20th century Sigiriya (Lion Rock) is on the UNESCO World Heritage list.



Since Sigiriya has no epithet of a religious building, you do not have to worry about dressing. It is very important that you know that when you visit religious buildings on Sri Lanka, regardless of the temperature for men it is important that they have to wear long trousers, they are allowed to be made of linen or some other light material for summer. Women are allowed to wear skirts or trousers just below the knee.



Guys, my advice for you is to go as early as possible on an excursion, there is a possibility that you will stay out of the crowd for a long time and the temperatures can be very high. Also the information you should know before you go on a trip is that there are more than 1200 steps on the Lion Stone, so whoever plans to climb to the very top should be in very good condition. I’ve reached the top, I really don’t even know how I did it. I thought of myself as a Rambo with that famous music from the movie, but I think I looked like a fallen mountain hiker who got lucky to get to the top! I’m honest at least! 🙂



At almost all of our excursions we met a lot of pupils from elementary schools, there were even pre-school children who always greeted me with the smile and with the famous question: “Where are you from?”. Very kind and nice children, they were really cute, even they were in a better shape than me! Whatever I am proud of myself, I have managed to climb this tall rock! 🙂





The view from the top was unbelievable, but I was most delighted when we got back to our van! ? The Lion’s rock is a real challenge for alpinists and for people who just love hiking, this was a great success for me and as I’m writing this post now, I just feel the same muscle pain which I had during this adventure. The blogging crew continues their journey and the next destination was the Kaudulla National Park. It’s time for safari guys!



Safari in Kaudulla National Park is the best activity on Sri Lanka that you shouldn’t miss. This is a unique opportunity to see the wild Asian elephants in live. This is the only place in the world where you can come this close to these wonderful animals. You can see their daily activities like eating, drinking water and swimming. Believe me it’s very interesting place.



It is very exciting when you have the chance to see elephants in their natural environment and at least feel the wild life of nature for a moment. Elephants move freely, we had a chance to see their mating…

I think they wanted to have a public! I thought for a moment to watch some reality TV show! But here the main actors are animals! ?



Third day on Sri Lanka’s adventure was slowly approaching to the end, a blogger crew came back to the hotel. Some people from the crew still had more energy to spend so they made a party. But for little Marko this day was too much and he went to sleep a little… I know, sometimes I’m very boring person!

Rise and shine sunshine! New day is up, little Marko has filled the batteries, and he has also prepared the batteries of cameras, so everything is ready for the action! Or maybe not ?! Maybe I’ll just chill a little and take another nap!



Finally, it was time for the beach! The east coast on Sri Lanka was not explored so much and we were the first group of international online media, which was visited this part of Sri Lanka. That was a great honour for us and this way I would like to thank the Sri Lankan tourism board on this amazing journey.

This was a very exciting trip, very fun when you have a good company everything is different! I was in the crew with the famous youtuber! He is well known in Canada, America and the Philippines, and he has millions of subscribers because he has multiple channels on the You Tube. His name is Mikey Bustos.

He is a very positive person, even I became a fan of vlogging now (Vlog – is making the videos of daily activities that would be interesting to the audience, a lot of bloggers and youtubers are doing that).  You can see me in his vlogs. It was so fun to make videos with him and Raquel and RJ (Romeo). Raquel and I just found out on this trip that we are real soulmates, why? We both have many interesting thing in common and both of us love photography.

Mikey, Raquel and Romeo were my companion with whom I spent most of my time in Sri Lanka. I can’t wait to see them again! Maybe we will catch up on my trip to the Philippines. Beside us, there were also professional photographers from Turkey and I aslo learned a lot of useful tricks! Thanks guys! ?



The ocean, the sun, but there is no more time to rest. Our break on the beach are interrupted by our guides and they remind us that it’s time to go on tour of the Hindu temple dedicated to the God of Shiva.



This is also one of the largest Hindu temples in Sri Lanka. It is dedicated to the Shiva, a god whose role is to destroy the Universe at the end of the existence of the world. The symbol of the Shiva is a phallus, which is an indicator of the male role in fertility and birth. Shiva is also a god of good and evil at the same time. It is easy to calm him down and at the same time it is very dangerous and very easily reveals its wrath…


The temple is very interesting and on the walls of the temple you can see God Siva in various situations. It was not allowed to take the photos in the temple, but you have the opportunity to see the diversity of colors on the photo above. I hope I have shown you this beauty and the vividness that this temple has.



After visiting the temple, we had the free time to explore the area and after that we were tired, but very happy and we returned to the hotel to charge our batteries for the new day.

Guys, we have come to the end of this first post from this series of posts about my adventures from Sri Lanka. I sincerely hope that you enjoyed and I would love to hear your opinion. Have you been in Sri Lanka? Are you planning to visit this tropical paradise? We’ll see next week what Sri Lanka has to offer us and we continue this amazing adventure! ?

If you have any questions, comments, suggestion or message for me you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as you know, you can always contact me via mail or social media, and you can find it on the CONTACT page.



I would like to thank Sri Lanka Tourism Board for this amazing adventure, as well I would like to say big thank you to hotels: Movenpick, Sigiriya Hotel and Nilaveli Beach Hotel.



This post is sponsored by Sri Lanka Tourism Board and Sony. This photos are made with the little help of Sony Alpha 7r and Sony RX100 Mark V.