|For a quick overview of Sri Lanka by the BBC, click here
A quick flight from Chennai got us into Colombo very early in the morning. We opted to stay in Negombo (population of ~125,000) which is closer to the airport and supposed to be a nicer option than staying in the capital city.
After a sleep-in and breakfast, we decided to rent bikes to ride around the town. A couple of minutes after getting the bikes, a huge tropical storm hit and we got soaked. The lightning and thunder were too close for comfort so went back for a nap - life is tough.
The next day we jumped on our bikes and rode around the small town in the early morning (it's very hot here). The Portuguese and Dutch had a big influence here and it shows in the architecture and history. Lots of churches and the Dutch also built a series of canals up and down the coast. Visited the local fish market and almost visited the local jail by mistake (the old fort has been re-purposed and we thought the front guard-house was the ticket office). Also stopped by the produce market and bought some fresh fruit for lunch. The tropical fruit here is fantastic! We've agreed to gorge on this while we can!
After the first couple of days in Sri Lanka we realized that 2 weeks is not going to be enough! We had mistakenly believed that given the proximity to India and history of invasions that Sri Lanka would be similar to Southern India. Not at all! We notice more similarity between here and Thailand (flavors of the food, strong Buddhist tradition, high cleanliness standards).