Local ingredients and fantastic combination of flavours as

Foozoo Kitchen offers a Vegan Food Menu in Colombo, Sri Lanka

The Foozoo chain which runs Mahasen by Foozoo and Mahasen Terrace by Foozoo in Colombo as well as Weligama by Foozoo in the south have opened up a takeaway dining menu. Featuring some of the best Vegan Food in Colombo Sri Lanka. Vegan Food menu Colombo.

the Foozoo Kitchen Vegan Menu in Colombo, Sri Lanka specialises in local ingredients sourced from local markets as supporting local businesses is a key principle at Foozoo. The food features a delightful combination of flavours like roasted coconut, grilled Tofu and the fascinating Mushroom Ambul-Thiyal.

They also offer their hit, polos cutlets. Foozoo Kitchen says that their Polos (tender jack fruit based) items are the best selling. With the wild rice options featuring traditional ‘Sunwandel’ and ‘Kuruluthuda’ rice varieties also becoming a fan favourite.

Foozoo kitchen also uses Goodfolks.shop products to add flavour and variety as that brand offers produce sourced from Sri Lankan small businesses.

Next time you are in Colombo or passing through, make sure to give Foozoo Kitchen’s Vegan Food Menu in Colombo Sri Lanka a try.

Vegan Food menu Colombo

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Official Website: https://www.foozooinfinite.com/

Our two properties in Colombo have been open right throughout the Pandemic. And we have served quite a few guests out of a desire to be helpful and available. The initial stages were particularly difficult for a lot of visitors to Sri Lanka because there were a lot of new rules and they were ever changing. But in the process of helping out a few tourists and having provided care to an even smaller number throughout the crisis, we have learned some valuable lessons that easily make us one of the safest properties in Colombo both during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.

These are the steps we take at both Mahasen by Foozoo and Mahasen Terrace by Foozoo and have been drawn up after working with local authorities, law enforcement officials and public health inspectors. Of course these may change from time to time. Some requirements and practices maybe relaxed while new ones may be introduced. So do check with us.

1. Background check on each guests travel records. You will need to speak to us directly on +94717174444 or +94112507270 or email us through contact@foozooinfinite.com and let us know the duration of your stay. We encourage longer stays because that minimises the level of exposure with the premises. We will also check your recent travel history and ensure you are not from an area that has been under enforced lockdown.

2. You will also need to confirm if you or a loved on or any persons you have recently associated has been in quarantine or poses a reason for concern.

3. We will then record your contact details (so that we can always trace back if needed) and confirm your booking.

4. On arrival you will be required to use the hand-washing station and wash your hands and the soles of your footwear before any further interaction with staff or fellow guests.

5. Masks are mandatory within the property. A complimentary mask is provided free to each guest at check in. Hand sanitisers and hand washing liquid is available throughout the property.

6. After clearing formalities you will be checked in to your room. At this point we deem that you are covid19-free assuming you have been genuine with the information provided. But standard social distancing practices and precautions are encouraged during your stay.

7.  You can order from the in-house kitchen where supplies are sourced through non-contact means. The interactions between those within the premises and those outside are maintained to the minimum possible. This applies to everything from utilities, maintenance services, breakdowns and general deliveries. All meals will be served in person by our kitchen staff.

8. You are free to order from outside but under strict precautionary guidelines.

9. If you are allowed to go outside (based on the curfew laws etc) you must always wash hands and your footwear before entering the house. Strictly no footwear in the house.

10. Once you have checked out, your room will be disinfected with all linen washed in hot water.

11. Our staff will also ensure multiple Surface cleaning and disinfectant rounds per day. They maybe wearing masks and gloves most times or as deemed reasonable based on the hotel operations.

12. We will also be limiting the number of guests at any one time. This means running the premises at 60% occupancy maximum. This combined with the Covid-19 prevention measures will make our hotel rooms more expensive than others but this is to ensure all parties are considered and cared for.

13. We are also accepting private functions such as birthday parties, wedding engagements, wedding registrations in Colombo during and after Covid-19 but in all such instances the hotel will be closed for stay in customers. Special event reservations will only be accommodated for days in which there are no existing bookings for accommodation.

 

We sincerely hope these measures make you consider Foozoo for your stay in Colombo during and after Covid-19. We hope you continue to travel and spread a message of hope and resilience so that we can all overcome this together.

 

Love. Light. Gratitude.

 

Team Foozoo

 

Colombo life during Covid-19

Life as we have known it will probably never be what it was. Even here in Sri Lanka, the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic is striking all areas of our lives. And as we strive to find a sense of normalcy, we are realising that a lot of what we had back then is possible, subject to certain conditions and changes in behaviour.

One aspect of our lives that has really changed is the socialising. And for a culture and people that love a celebration to get us through, we have to re look at how we conduct a birthday celebration, a wedding registration or an engagement. A home may not be the right place to have a gathering and a large hotel might be both expensive and the chances of exposure would be high.

Foozoo is ready and safe for your private functions

This is why the twin properties of Mahasen by Foozoo and Mahasen Terrace by Foozoo in Colombo 05 would be the ideal spaces for private functions during and beyond the Covid-19 pandemic.

The spaces are relatively modest in size to accommodate up to 25 persons. Both properties combined can accommodate a larger number of persons. We have continued to operate the premises right through curfew and have worked with the police, government officials and public health sector personnel. This has given us a lot of training and experience to deal with the unique complications.

When you reserve the space with us for a private function during Covid-19 in Colombo, you will need to answer a questionnaire on the nature of the event and share the guest list. We will then work with you to set up the space, exclusively for you and have staff ready to facilitate hygiene and prevention methods. From hand washing stations to free reusable masks, availability of hand sanitiser, pre-event disinfecting, footwear storage and post event disinfecting are all taken care of.

It’s time for more intimate and meaningful celebrations

You can also work with us on the menu and decor. We offer onsite parking and a host of other facilities. Now at Foozoo you have the private space for a birthday party, private dining, wedding registration or any other small function during and after the Covid-19 situation.

Please get in touch with us to have a meaningful, intimate, safe and responsible private event come to life.

Together we can overcome and we are here to serve you even better.

 

 

Introducing the one week tour of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a surprisingly diverse island with so much to see and do. Its abundant wildlife has earned it a reputation as the best location for a Safari outside Africa. Its history runs back thousands of years and has temples and ruined cities that rival the best such destinations in the world. Sri Lanka cuisine is fast becoming a popular choice for its vegan friendly options. Plus it has been influenced from cultures ranging from Africa to Arabia, Europe to India and China. And that’s just the tip of this tropical iceberg.

7 nights and 8 days of island magic

For any tour operator who actually knows what Sri Lanka has to offer, the task of fitting all this wonder into a compact 7 night can be an arduous task. But we have risen to the challenge with this fantastic tour that captures the very essence of the island.

So much more than a tour package

However what sets this One week tour of Sri Lanka apart is the local insights and personality we bring. Unlike larger well established companies, we draw up our tours and execute them with love. By bring in a Tour Manager who will become a friend to you on this tour, you get to experience Sri Lanka on intimate and authentic terms. With us it is not about sticking to schedules and ticking boxes. It is about letting you immerse in the island’s magic. And with a 50% of our customers returning for a follow up tour, we have set a high benchmark in the involvement, quality and service.

Our One week tour of Sri Lanka comes in three price packages ranging from budget friendly to High end indulgence. Drop us a message and get started on a week in paradise. A week that is sure to change your life.

Introducing the 7 night tour of Sri Lanka for the Gay Traveller

Island Spell by Foozoo Travel is a wonderfully crafted package tour that covers most of the have to see hot spots in Sri Lanka. This 7 night tour of Sri Lanka for the Gay Traveller features an LGBT tour guide, LGBT friendly hotels and a farewell dinner with participation from the local LGBT community.

 

7 nights and 8 days of fantastic destinations

The tour starts on the coastal town of Negombo which is LGBT friendly town. It has a host of fun bars and cafes and will offer you one of your first stunning Sri Lankan sunsets. The tour then hits the road and heads towards the historic parts. Stops include visits to the beautiful Dambulla Rock Cave Complex and the iconic Sigiriya Lion Rock Fortress.

The 7 night tour of Sri Lanka for the Gay Traveller then makes it way up country and into the hills of Kandy. Here you will be treated to a fun exploration of Kandy town and a visit to the famous and spiritual Temple of the Tooth.

The tour then descends to the beaches of Galle. Here you will enjoy a guided tour of the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Galle Dutch Fort. A visit to Bewis Bawa’s home and gardens with its gay theme is also an inclusion.

 

So much more than a package tour

The tour will also feature numerous stops for local street food, interaction with locals and culture, photo ops and will be handled by your local best friend – who happens to be a tour manager. The way Foozoo Travel handles your tour will make it feel like a real holiday with all logistics and hassles taken care of. The tour package is available in 03 price grades with the high end Indulge package including a domestic flight from Kandy to Galle. The tour makes the best sense when you travel as a group (of at least 4) as the prices become super attractive. Foozoo Travel is also happy to fine tune this tour around your specific requirements and interests.

 

It’s time for Cricket in Paradise

The dates for the England Sri Lanka Cricket Tour 2020 are fast approaching. And Foozoo Travel has just released the England Sri Lanka Cricket Tour 2020 Travel Packages. “It’s safe, it’s secure, Sri Lanka is completely back to normal and we’re looking forward to welcoming more and more visitors from around the world, says former Test Cricket captain, Kumar Sangakkara. With tourists arrivals returning to normal, this cricket season is going to be exciting and well supported by the local fans and the returning Barmy Army.

Two test matches with infinite fun and excitement

England Sri Lanka Cricket Tour 2020 Travel Packages cover both the scheduled Test Matches. The first test match between the visiting English team happens at the Galle International Stadium from the 19th to the 23rd of March. The second Test Match is scheduled to kick off on the 27th of March at the R Premadasa International Stadium, just north of Colombo City.

The travel itinerary that has been meticulously drawn up and offers the best Sri Lankan cricket experience from start to end. Your tour will start with a grand welcome at the Colombo (Bandaranaike) International Airport. You will then be whisked off to the southern coastal resort of Galle where you will spend your arrival night and the next 5 nights. This time spans the duration of the first test match between England and Sri Lanka. Time here will also be dedicated for a bit of exploring and experiencing Sri Lankan life and travel sites in Galle. The following three days will see you embark on a fantastic road trip. This will include a wildlife Safari, time in nature, a hike, train rides, a visit to a tea estate and time at the famous Temple of the Tooth in Kandy.

England Sri Lanka Cricket Tour 2020 Travel Packages will then see you transferred to Colombo to enjoy the gentleman’s game at the R Premadasa Stadium. This time will also be accentuated with activities that cover a guided tour of Colombo, cooking classes and a farewell dinner as well as an after-party.

Customise this tour to fit your time and preferences

Anyone interested in the England Sri Lanka Cricket Tour 2020 Travel Packages can speak to Foozoo Travel to have it customised to add more dates at the start or the end. The dynamic team will happily customise this holiday to fit your discerning tastes and love of the game.

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Wild Grass Nature Resort among the best Nature Resorts in Sri Lanka

The emerald isle’s scenic and natural beauty is fast becoming one of its key attractions. From lush rainforests to jungle reserves which are home to elephants, leopards and bears, to swathes of marshland teeming with hundreds of bird species and mountain forests shrouded in mist, Sri Lanka is home to perhaps the most diverse landscapes and natural beauty in a compact space. And as word spreads, international travellers are choosing Sri Lanka as a holiday destination for its green and wild spaces, just as much as they select it for its fabulous beaches, historic marvels and cultural fusion. Increased tourism to wild and natural destinations, however, puts a strain on hypersensitive environments and already threatened wildlife. And with most hotels and resorts sporting ‘Green, Eco, Nature’ taglines, it is hard for the discerning traveller to distinguish the genuine.

This series hopes to help you out by highlighting nature-based hotels, resorts and small accommodation experiences that also excel in their overall experience and service. And as a local travel agency that seeks to champion environmentally friendly and sustainable travel to Sri Lanka, we are also well informed and connected with the ground realities, sensitive habitats and the latest environment concerns. Further, we have stayed at these properties, met the teams and noted their various efforts towards a truly nature-based and nature-friendly operation.

Wild Grass Nature Resort – A perfect congruence of comfort and nature

A wonderful welcome to Wild Grass Nature Resort

We had a busy morning filled with meetings and calls that got even more complicated by a later than expected start. So we, Damith and I, were quite ruffled when we drove into Wild Grass. A large tree stood at the Centre of a clearing surrounded by what seemed like an eternal forest. 5 minutes later, having been graciously welcomed by the Front Office Manager at the minimalist reception area we found ourselves to be at complete peace.

From experience, we know that trees are living breathing beings with healing powers. But the calm and joy that swept over us felt instantaneous. In the pristine stillness, all we could see was green, freckled with the bright spots of butterflies bobbing about and all we could hear was the constant call of numerous birds overpowering the chatter of the insects.

Later, we were escorted to our villa. The pathways were wide so you could see any creature clearly ahead of you should they step up for a quick hello. The paths (which we later found out) were also well let at night but with a mechanism to switch off once we had passed on, so as to make minimum impact on the wildlife. Just beyond the paths was the forest, alive and left to its wild ways. The layout has been planned out well so that one doesn’t get lost or inadvertently trespass on the privacy of another.

The Wild Grass Nature Resort in depth

Our villa was one of 8 at the property and each of them was unique in design and layout. We stayed at a Villa named ‘Mouse Deer’ and the two of us played the part! And boy oh boy were these villas a treat. First off their architecture was simple, minimalistic and elegant. The layout was thoughtful, the amenities spot on and the cleanliness was top notch. A tough yet wonderful achievement when you consider that all this is the middle of the jungle where things can get truly messy. This also meant that the use of resources was considered well and the solid construction and high-quality facilities would last a considerable amount of time. Plus marks in our books as we also consider the strain on natural resources and construction of the properties we recommend.

Concrete, glass and timber were the main materials and were ideal for this environment. The spaces were large and airy with soothing aesthetics that enhanced the setting. A footpath that extended from our villa went straight to a lake in which some buffalo were playing in the warm mid-day sun. Large, floor to ceiling glass panels offered us beautiful views of the forest around was spectacular as an evening thunderstorm brought sheets of rain, making our stay feel even cosier.

The team had used a cinnamon-infused cleaning agent to naturally repel insects and creepy crawlies. However a few did get in and that is in no way a complaint because anyone choosing to stay here would obviously be 100% okay with sharing space with mother nature and all her wonderful creatures. But in case you are a little too sensitive to bugs, bringing your own insect repellent might be a good idea.

An amazing dining experience

Meanwhile, the food was amazing! We tried the Sri Lankan food as we feel we can identify the authenticity of our cuisine versus more standardized western fare and the team at Wild Grass hit yet another home run. The portions were generous and the flavours were just the right blend.

The elevated dining area treats you to beautifully wild views by day and star-filled night skies at dinner time. As a result the overall experience is enhanced by the connection with nature. The remote location means you cannot head out for food elsewhere with ease, but we had no complaints considering the rich menu and wonderful service.

A property that is entrenched in its surroundings and community

The following day, we prodded Mr Nimal Thennakoon, the Resident Manager who had overseen the operations for the last 6 years on all that makes Wild Grass a genuine nature-based resort. As he pointed out the property offers Bird watching excursions that incorporate the local farming community for added value, offer reasonably priced tours to Sigiriya and other places of interest nearby and one can enjoy a bicycle ride, hike the nearby rock or stroll around the 30-acre gardens. But what struck us the most was the lengths Wild Grass goes to protect the environment on a day to day basis. As a result, it made top marks when being considered among the best nature resorts in Sri Lanka.

The use of solar power for electricity, minimizing external wastage, segregation, and recycling, water treatment practices that prevent groundwater contamination are all essential practices for a truly eco-friendly and sustainable practice that shares its space with original and wild inhabitants of the area.

The importance of staying at Wild Grass Nature Resort, one of the best nature resorts of Sri Lanka

And as guests are made aware of these practices and value of nature, we believe a stay at Wild Grass is also an educational one that will leave a lasting imprint, encouraging more and more people to think and travel in a way that respects and cares for nature and the wider environment.

Finally, a holiday is about rest and relaxation. And here Wild Grass scores a perfect 10. The level of privacy we enjoyed was outstanding and the bliss we experienced, cut off from all outside contact was magical. This is why we highly recommended Wild Grass for couples who would like to connect with each other, families who need some time out and for those seeking a completely refreshing and rejuvenating holiday. Thus Wild Grass Nature Resort is easily among the best Nature Resorts of Sri Lanka.

The wildlife we saw:
Numerous birds including an eagle, peacocks and the jungle fowl, insects, butterflies, lizards, buffalo, monkeys.
Recommended Duration:
02 Nights (we only stayed for one)
Main Attractions:
Sigiriya Rock, Dambulla Rock Cave Complex, Kalu-Diya Pokuna. Don’t miss a drive or bicycle ride to Kandalama Lake which is stunning.
Food and Beverages:
Coconut Roti, Papaya Salad, Kiribath (Milk Rice) served with an assortment of curries, Mojitos
Key Strengths:
Privacy, Nature setting, Genuineness

Wild Grass Nature Resort Website:https://www.wildgrass.lk/
Wild Grass Nature Resort on Trip Advisor:https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g304141-d1747302-Reviews-Wild_Grass_Nature_Resort-Sigiriya_Central_Province.html
Foozoo Travel Tours featuring Wildgrass Nature Resort:
Coming Soon

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List of Entry Fees to tourist attractions and experiences in Sri Lanka

This article provides information on the following:

  • Prices of entrance fees for popular tourist attractions in Sri Lanka
  • Cost of select tourist experiences in Sri Lanka
  • Off the beaten path Tourist site entrance fees in Sri Lanka
  • Tourist Entry Fees to National Wildlife Parks in Sri Lanka
  • Tourist Entry Fees to Popular Temples in Sri Lanka
  • Entrance Fee to unique experiences in Sri Lanka

Last Update: 08 July 2019

All prices in this list of Entry Fees to tourist attractions and experiences in Sri Lanka are given in US Dollars. Some sites charge in Sri Lankan Rupees (these have been converted to USD where appropriate). Where prices vary, we have provided the higher value.
Discounts may apply for visitors from SAARC countries (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, The Maldives, Afghanistan)
You may need to call in advance for some of the lesser known sites and attractions or inquire from the hotel you are staying (in the area). The locals will always be happy to direct you in the right direction but cross-check with a few as important facts may get lost in the conversation/translation.
We have not included any site or attraction where animal cruelty is of concern. Please also speak to us (or your respective travel agent) about seeing animals in the wild, community involvement and sustainability best practices.
Please email us at contact@foozootravel.com for assistance

Tourist Entry Fees to Major Tourist Attractions in Sri Lanka
Entry Fees to Anuradhapura $25.00
Entry Fees to Polonnaruwa  $25.00
Entry Fees to Dambulla Rock Cave Temple  $9.00
Entry Fees to Sigiriya Lion Rock $35.00
Entry Fees to Pidurangala Rock $4.00
Entry Fees to Avukana  $6.00
Entry Fees to Ritigala Monastery  $6.00
Entry Fees to Yapahuwa $6.00
Entry Fees to Singharaja Rain forest Reserve  $20.00
Entry Fees to Peradeniya Botanical Garden  $9.00
Entry Fees to Hakgala Botanical Garden  $9.00
Entry Fees to Udawattekele Forest Reserve   $3.00
Entry Fees to Colombo Museum    $7.00
Entry Fees to Kandy Temple of Tooth $9.00

Tourist Entry Fees to National Wildlife Parks in Sri Lanka
For National Parks, the given costs include VAT, Service charges and other fees but do not include the cost of the Jeep or tips to the tracker.
Entry Fees to Yala (Ruhuna) National Park $28.75*++
Entry Fees to Wilpattu National Park $28.75*++
Entry Fees to Galoya  National Park $23.00*++
Entry Fees to Kumana National Park $23.00*++
Entry Fees to Kumana National Park $23.00*++
Entry Fees to Udawalawa National Park $28.75*++
Entry Fees to Lahugala National Park $23.00*++
Entry Fees to Maduru Oya National Park $23.00*++
Entry Fees to Wasgamuwa National Park $23.00*++
Entry Fees to Horton Plains  National Park $28.75*++
Entry Fees to Somawathiya National Park $23.00*++
Entry Fees to Bundala National Park $23.00*++
Entry Fees to Lunugamwehera National Park $23.00*++
Entry Fees to Minneriya National Park $28.75*++
Entry Fees to Kaudulla National Park $23.00*++
Entry Fees to Pigeon Island  National Park $23.00*++
Entry Fees to Galway’s Land National Park $23.00*++
Entry Fees to Ussangoda National Park $23.00*++
Entry Fees to Chandikulam National Park $23.00*++
Entry Fees to Adam’s Bridge National Park $23.00*++
Entry Fees to Delft Island  National Park $23.00*++

Tourist Entry Fees to Popular Temples in Sri Lanka
Most (Buddhist) temples, all (Christian) churches, Hindu (Kovils) and Mosques have a free entrance policy. However, you may make a donation. Some or most places of religious importance will have security measures in place.
Entry Fees to Lankapatuna – Donation
Entry Fees to Kataragama Temple  – Donation
Entry Fees to Mulkirigala Vihara $4.00
Entry Fees to Gangaramaya Temple $2.00
Entry Fees to Ambuluwawa $2.00
Entry Fees to Mihintale Sacred Site  $4.00
Entry Fees to Sacred Temple Of Tooth  $9.00
Entry Fees to Lankathilaka Viahraya $4.00
Entry Fees to Japanese Peace Pagoda – Donation
Entry Fees to Muthiyangana Vihara – Donation
Entry Fees to Kelaniya Temple – Donation
Entry Fees to Kalutara Bodhiya – Donation
Entry Fees to Kadurugoda Vihara – Donation
Entry Fees to Matale Alu Vihara – Donation
Entry Fees to Bahirawakanda Vihara  $4.00
Entry Fees to Degaldoruwa Vihara – Donation
Entry Fees to Buduruwagala Vihara $2.00

Entrance Fee to unique experiences in Sri Lanka
Entry Fees to Turtle Hatchery (Conservation) Visit Only $3.00
Entry Fees to Turtle Hatchery (Conservation) Visit & Release to Ocean  $9.00
Entry Fees to Surfing One Hour (with a surfboard, Surfwear and Instructor) $ 9.00
Surfing Board Rental $ 9.00
Entry Fees to Snorkeling (Flippers + Goggles + Life Jacket) $9.00
Entry Fees to Whale & Dolphin Watching – Cost of Boat Hire (Small) $35
Entry Fees to Whale Watching by Air $200.00
Entry Fees to Kandy Cultural Dance Show $6.00
Entry Fees to White Water Rafting $6.00
Entry Fees to Para-motoring at Bentota per person $95.00
Entry Fees to Zip-line per person $25.00
Entry Fees to Kite Surfing (1/2 Day) per Person $45.00
Catamaran Cruise Trip at Trincomalee per person $65.00
Entry Fees to Lipton Seat, Haputale $3.00
Entry Fees to Embekke Devala, Kandy $2.00
Entry Fees to Helga’s Folly Hotel Museum $3.00
Entry Fees to Richmond Castle, Kalutara $1.00
Negombo Lagoon Boat Ride per person  $9.00
Boat Hire (Balapitiya/Bentota/Dodanduwa/Hikkaduwa/Koggala) $25.00
Entry Fees to Ridiyagama Safari Park $17
Entry Fees to Knuckles Mountain Range (certain areas) $4.00
Entry Fees to Millennium Elephant Foundation, Pinnawela $35.00
Entry Fees to Lunuganga Estate $9.00
Entry Fees to Brief Garden By Bewis Bawa $6.00
Entry Fees to 2-Tank House Reef Dive with gear $60.00
Entry Fees to 2-Tank Dive inclusive of all gear (requires AOW certification)* $90.00
Entry Fees to Caving at Batatotalena $2.00
Entry Fees to Martin Wickramasinghe house $2.00
Entry Fees to Golf at The Royal Colombo Golf Club – Per Hour $55.00
Entry Fees to Nuwara-Eliya Golf Club – Per Day $33.00
Entry Fees to Dondra Head Lighthouse at Matara – Donation
Entry Fees to Victoria Park – Nuwara-Eliya $2.00
Sailing Per Person $70.00
Entry Fees to Sigiriya Village Tour $10.00
Entry Fees to Hot Air Balloon Ride per person $210
Galle Fort – Private Tour $90
Galle Fort – Group Tour  $48

Sites in Sri Lanka with Free Entrance for Tourists
Galle Face Green – Colombo – FREE
Spice Gardens – Matale – FREE
Galle Fort – FREE
Dutch Reformed Church – FREE
Red Mosque – Colombo – FREE
Adam’s Peak – FREE
Independence Memorial Hall – Colombo – FREE
Viharamaha Devi (Victoria) Park – Colombo – FREE
Dutch Hospital (Colombo & Galle) – FREE
Diyatha Uyana -FREE
Colombo Lighthouse – FREE
Kandy View Point  – FREE

Tourist Entry Fees to Museums in Sri Lanka
Entry Fees to Colombo Museum $6.00
Entry Fees to National Museum of Natural History $3.00
Entry Fees to Dutch Museum $3.00
Entry Fees to Independence Memorial Museum $2.00
Entry Fees to Kandy National Museum $3.00
Entry Fees to Ratnapura National Museum $3.00
Entry Fees to Galle National Museum $2.00
Entry Fees to Galle Maritime Museum $2.00
Entry Fees to Magampura Ruhuna Heritage Museum $3.00
Entry Fees to Anuradhapura Folk Museum $2.00
Entry Fees to Jaffna Museum $3.00
Entry Fees to National Railway Museum – Colombo $3.00
Entry Fees to Tea Museum – Kandy $6.00
Entry Fees to Koggala Folk Museum $2.00
Entry Fees to Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Museum $2.00
Entry Fees to Traditional Puppet Art Museum $1.00

Reference Site: “http://www.dwc.gov.lk/Aoldsite/index.php/en/park-fees”

For most visitors, Colombo is a drive through destination with the obligatory one night stop at most. This treatment of the Capital city could have been justified during the war years when hardly any night life or culture existed. But boy have things changed since then. Today the city is marked by ever rising skyscrapers, quaint restaurants and trippy hangouts. And there’s loads of interesting shopping to engage in too. Now of course Colombo does not compare with the big shopping destinations in the region. However this is also Colombo’s charm. And this is also a city that is spread out, holding secrets that are mostly known to the discerning local shopper. Unravelling all this and presenting it all in a fun filled yet focused experience is what the Colombo Guided Shopping Tour is all about.

Shopping may not be on the top of the priority list for a visiting traveler. And while most people spend considerable amounts of time traveling through the island they are also bound to have picked up the odd souvenir, bags of wholesale tea, gems and spices. Colombo is none of these things. Instead it offers a distinct Colombo-esque array of goods that cannot be found elsewhere. So the Colombo Guided Shopping Tour is not taking you to a long list of shops that one can easily find with a few Google searches. But will take you to the right place in a bargain market or the right designer if you are looking for fashion. The right jewelery store if you are looking for something unique and the right tea shop if you are looking for an indulgent experience. Some of these haunts are not even listed online and are private ventures known among Colombo society.

While you can purchase the Colombo Guided Shopping Tour off the rack for a fixed price, the actual tour is streamlined to fit the responses on a questionnaire. Here you can select what you are after; fashion, gems, handicrafts, lifestyle, food products etc. We then inquire as to what your budgets are, what your interests are and so on. This allows us to get an idea about the kind of shopper you are. And a fresh more customized list is created around you. If you are traveling as a group this will consider your group requirements. All other times these tours will be handled solo or for a couple and be an authentic experience. One that is made fun by featuring distinctly local snacks into the mix. This tour is a full day tour and can also be considered as an alternate tour of Colombo city itself. If you are not particular about landmarks and tourist attractions, the Colombo Guided Shopping Tour works out to be an immersive experience of Colombo life. Even for a day.

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The Sri Lanka New Year in April  – The Sinhala & Tamil New Year explained.

This is Sri Lanka’s single largest celebration and festival and usually takes place on the 13th and 14th of April every year. It is also one that is celebrated by both of the island’s main races, the Sinhalese and the Tamils. The Sinhalese refer to it as ‘Aluth Awurudda’ and the Tamil community refers to it as ‘Puthandu’or ‘Puthuvarudam’. It can be said that the festival combines aspects of astrology, Hinduism and Buddhism. It is also a harvest festival.

Astrology is at the heart of the (Sri Lanka New Year in April) Sinhala and Tamil New Year 

The sun has been worshipped by the people of this part of the world from time immemorial. And the origins of this festival can be traced to this connection. Today every aspect of this festival is interpreted through Astrology and in simple terms is all about the Sun moving from the house of ‘Meena’ (Pisces) to ‘Mesha’ (Aries). This celebration also coincides with similar celebrations of many traditional calendars in South and South East Asia.

Lead up to festivities of the Sri Lanka New Year Holiday in April 

Sri Lankans start preparing for New Year as early as February. The radio and TV stations start promoting the New Year with traditional music and reminders. Shopping picks up and houses are colour washed. New clothes and gifts are purchased. As the dates get closer you will also hear the call of the ‘Koha’ bird fill the air. This bird call is synonymous of the coming celebrations. As the days get even closer the roads get busy. So do the markets and malls. By about the 12th of April, the locals take leave from work and travel to their hometowns and villages. By the time the first auspicious time descends the country comes to an almost standstill.

If you are travelling to or in Sri Lanka this time, it is best to avoid the direction of travel of the locals. Catching a train or bus out of Colombo from about the 10th should be avoided. But transport towards the city will be relatively easy and less crowded. The opposite happens after the New Year. While most places of tourist importance will remain open, most food outlets will be closed and transport will be difficult to find at the peak of the holiday. This may last for a period of 48 hours. Most Sri Lankans take about a week off and so it will also take time for life to return to normal after the holidays. If you are travelling without the assistance of a tour company, you should plan your travel and meals in advance. It would best to book hotels with all meals.

Auspicious times and the sequence of events

Unlike the celebration of the new Gregorian calendar year at midnight on December 31, the Sinhalese traditional New Year begins at a time determined by astrological calculations. Also unlike 31st night celebrations, where old year ends at midnight and new year begins immediately afterwards; the ending of the old year, and the beginning of the new year occur several hours apart from one another (this span of time is usually 12 hours and 48 minutes, which starts when the sun, as a disk, starts to cross the astrological boundary between ‘House of Pisces’ and ‘House of Aries’ and ends when the crossing is complete.

The auspicious times are published in advance and can be found online. As each time comes and goes, the locals light crackers and engage in a specific activity. The first auspicious time to be celebrated is the one for bathing for the New Year. This involves rituals of cleansing and spirituality. Next up is the actual dawn of the New Year. The inauspicious time is a period of no festivities or importance and most people use this time to visit temples or to reflect on their lives and plans. The lighting of the hearth puts the festivities into full swing as the fires are lit and the food is prepared. Next is the time to partake in meals and transactions. All of these times will happen at different intervals and is different every year. The anointing of oil happens a few days later and the auspicious time for leaving for work can happen a full week from the first auspicious time of that year’s festivities. So as you can see it can be all very confusing for a person who is used to a countdown on New Year’s Eve.

Is there an actual festival?

Technically the whole duration from the first auspicious time to the last is a time of the festival. But you may not see much happening other than people walking about. In that sense, it is more a holiday. You will see people attending temples and Kovils, and then visiting friends and family. They will also be wearing the auspicious colors of that year. Most villages will also hold ‘Aluth Avurudu Uthsawa’ meaning New Year Festival. Here you will see people playing traditional drums, engaging in sports activities, song contestants, cooking feats and even beauty pageants. Bicycle races, cross country running and musical shows also happen. So it really is a lot of different activities happening at different times.

As a tourist, the best way to experience this is to be invited to the home of a local. Most large hotels and even the smaller ones will also conduct their own festivals.

Should you avoid this time as a traveller?

Absolutely not! In fact, it is one of the best times to travel to Sri Lanka because everyone is on holiday mood and happy to welcome you to their homes or play traditional games. The days are usually the hottest of the year and fair weather is common. Although the occasional April Shower will come down and cool everything down in the late afternoons or evenings. If you are travelling on your own then it may be advisable to spend the peak festival time chilling out in one area without travelling around too much. But if you are travel with a tour company like Foozoo Travel you can count on having all the fun aspects of this unique holiday explained and included as fun activities.

Aluth Avurudu with Foozoo Travel

This tour package lets you spend 2 days and nights with a local family and experience the various festival highlights. It can be incorporated into an existing tour or enjoyed on its own as a special experience.

Image credits: Sri Lanka College of Journalism
Image credits: Kingsbury Hotel
Image credits: TimeOut

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