will close on Feb 27th.

Please save any personal content and exchange contact info with other members you?d like to stay in touch with. Thank you for your contributions to the VirtualTourist community.

"The best thing about Colombo is the road out" Colombo Favorite Tip by socheid

Colombo General: 24 reviews and 25 photos

Favorite thing: I stayed in Colombo for 2 nights and couldn't wait to get out of the place (I had booked for 3 nights but left early). I've been living in India for a couple of months and that I knew what to expect from people hassling you in the streets. Colombo is a whole league worse in my opinion.

The tuk tuk drivers come up to you in the street and seem to think that if they badger you long enough you will eventually give in. When you say to them, ' no thank you', and walk away, some them do a U turn, drive 30 metres up the street, U turn again and then start on you once more. At one point I flagged down a taxi (and I mean a taxi, not a tuk tuk) and asked how much to bar I was going to try. I was told 200 which I agreed to without arguing. I got into the front seat ready to roll. The driver then gave me some crappy line and then said it was going to be 300. I turned to my left and went to open the car door and leave. The driver then grabbed my right arm and would let me leave, saying, '200, 200, 200'. I wouldn't do business with this guy even if there wasn't a single other can driver in the world so I continued in my attempt to leave. He wouldn't let go of my arm and so this ridiculous tug of war ensued with my trying to leave the cab with the driver pulling on my right arm trying to prevent me from leaving.

Then there is people walking in the street and coming up making out they are warm and friendly and welcoming before turning the conversation on to the subject of gem stones and how great it would be for me to see some.

The high military presence (my cab was stopped at 3 cheque points on the way into Colombo from the airport and passed through dozens of others) you kind of get used to. One evening going home from a bar in a tuk tuk I was stopped 3 times on a journey of only 3 - 4 km. At one point when I was in a tuk tuk from the station to my hotel, the tuk tuk was waved down by military people one of whom then jumped in beside me in the back seat as he then tagged along for a journey he had to make.

There are suprises in bars too. I was in a German bar on Galle Road and asked for a vodka and orange. The drink was popped in front of me and I asked how much I owed. I was asked to wait a moment. This seemed a little unusual but I did as requested. A couple of minutes later I asked again and once more I was asked to wait. This seemed very strange to me and I made a point of not touching my drink (I still hadn't consumed any) until I seen the bill. I asked again and once was more was told to wait. By this time I knew something was up and made it clear I wasn't touching my drink until I seen the bill. Over 10 minutes after asking how much I owed I was finally given the tab and all was revealed - I was being billed for a double even though I didn't ask for this.

And of course there was the scams in the allegedly 5 star luxury hotels (see reviews of the Galadari and Taj hotels.

Fondest memory: Leaving the place.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Written Dec 27, 2009
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add to your Trip Planner
  • Report Abuse



“"Travel for travel's sake" - Robert Louis Stevenson”

Online Now


Top 5,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 2 6 4 3

Have you been to Colombo?

  Share Your Travels