The City Safari is suited to those on a budget or who are visiting Colombo for the first time and want to get an overall city tour experience with an edge. The City Safari will take guests to some of the hottest seasonal attractions and sights. All entree fees, snacks, flowers for ladies, cold water included to the cost. We accommodate for guests who may want to bring their own food/snacks and drinks and stock the onboard cooler (we are happy to stop at the supermarket if they wish).
You will visit Pettah market. Pettah is Colombo's biggest, most functional market space. It's loud, crowded and infinitely full of interesting and useful things - it's one of those places you either love or you hate (it was the former for us). At first glance, the place seems chaotic and bordering on mad, what with the streets being packed inch to inch by trishaws, hawkers and wooden wagons. But if you know Pettah and know what to get where, you can walk away with some very cool stuff at ridiculous prices. Also with the right attitude you can make friends with some very interesting people here. We've tried to put together a guide to Pettah here. We obviously haven't covered every single thing about the place - there are continually new businesses popping up and little old shops in corners that are yet to be discovered. But we've tried to give you an overview of Pettah streets to help you navigate through the busy market block.
Wandering through Pettah market, you will be able to visit spice market next. It’s the secret world of Pettah where the nation’s spice and food merchants hold daily court and preside over the daily price of food. Down these narrow streets of spices and other food items there are just lines of non-descript ground level buildings most of them painted in beige, and nearly all of them full with bags and bags of foodstuff. Certain shops, especially down Old Moor Street, specialise in spices. They deal in bulk. Cardamoms from all the way Deraniyagala, cloves from Matara, cinnamon from Matale, nutmeg from Gampaha, coriander leaves, cumin, fennel, black pepper, fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, tamarind and all the other spices that Sri Lanka produces meet at Old Moor Street in Pettah. Including the ones imported. All are displayed in small silver bowls on the desks of the street’s spice merchants – to be sold retail or bought wholesale to be distributed island wide. Take a walk along these streets to experience the wonderful spices, condiments and other food items that make the vibrant island cuisine.
Thereafter, you will visit another colonial gem, the Old Dutch Hospital; once a functional hospital during the 17th century. Dutch hospital has been used for several different purposes, over the years. It is believed to have existed since 1681, as recorded by German Christoper Schweitzer. The Dutch established the Colombo hospital to look after the health of the officers and other staff serving under the Dutch East India Company. The hospital's close proximity to the harbour allowed it to serve Dutch seafarers.
In the middle of the tour, you will escort to Curry Pot Restaurant to have lunch. Like almost every other rice and curry joint in Colombo, here also you'll find a massive table on one end of the room with 15-20 clay pots with curries of various sorts. They serve their food on lotus leaves with lunch sheets underneath. You get to choose one protein and 4 curries to go with the rice of your choice and we opted for their Mutton Rice & Curry, Chicken Rice & Curry and a Chicken Fried Rice..