I just got back from a trip to Sri Lanka covering Western/ central province with my family (cousins and aunts). The travel time from Chennai is 1 hour 15 minutes. The most convenient trip ever with 4 kids on board.
We landed at Bandaranaike International Airport at Katunayake, 34 km north of Colombo, near Negombo around noon and the drove straight to Negombo, ( it translates to ” neer cozhumbu” in Tamil) . It is 35 km north of Colombu and it is a beach town famous for sea food.
We requested our travel guide to take us to an authentic restaurant that serves typical Sri Lanka food – the rice and curry platter. We are so glad that he found a restuant on our way to Negombo. The meal comprised of red or white rice, vegetable stir fries, lentil curry, seafood, poultry and red meat curries. The meal was served over lotus leaf which was available in abundance in Sri Lanka. In Hindu and Buddhist temples the Gods and Buddha were decorated with lotus and water lilly.
For me it reminded me of American Chipotle where we can pick our combination of dishes. I asked them for white rice, cabbage leaves stir fry, egg plant curry, potato masala, fish curry. We noticed that at Singhalese household yogurt / curd is not part of the main meal which is different from Tamils as we eat yogurt mixed in rice as the last dish in almost every meal. So we missed finishing off the delicious meal with dollops of yogurt.
For dessert, we tried a local flavor in ice cream. It is called Pani Cadju ( it tasted like vanilla ice cream topped with honey and nuts)
Within 45 minutes we reached Kumudu Valley resort which was located near the beach. We spent rest of the day walking around the resort and kids loved the beach. We ended the day by cooling ourself at the swimming pool.
Overall the first day at Sri Lanka was simple and relaxed. The weather was hot and humid so we kept ourself hydrated throughout the day.