Colombo’s amazing Pettah district still possesses the energy that it would have had in the late nineteenth century when the streets were teeming with ox carts and alive with the sounds and smells of the sea, as rubber, tea, cinnamon, kittul treacle, rope and peacocks were loaded aboard ships…
– Take a walking tour of the capital city’s historical Fort and Pettah districts
– Learn about the city’s colonial past and pick up some photography tips
– Visit historical sites such as the Dutch Period Museum and the Dutch Reformed Church
– Sample some fiery street food!
– Recap your walk over iced cold beers at the Dutch Hospital Complex
Experience a delightful afternoon wandering the streets of Pettah and marvel at the hidden colonial treasures in the company of Mark Forbes, as he narrates to you a story based on the history of Sri Lanka.
Mark, a Colombo native, has hosted walks in Colombo for several years under the Colombo City Walks banner; there’s no one better suited to guide you through the bustling open air bazaars of Pettah and take you through the colonial Dutch mansions. The walk will take you away from the typical tourist spots and allow you to truly experience the history of the old town that has evolved into Colombo.
The Colombo City walk lasts between 3 to 4 hours and kicks off during the late afternoon. This way, you will be shielded from the scorching heat of the early afternoon while still soaking up vitamin D from the sun. You will be picked up at your hotel by Mark and his wife, Ruvi, and be taken to the outer streets of Pettah where the walk will commence. Along the way, you will explore a handful of the many lively streets that sell everything from textiles to electronics to spices. Hidden within these streets you will find yourselves coming up to the Old Dutch Museum where you can feast your eyes on the pristine architecture of the mansion that was built in the latter part of the 17th century and was initially the residence of Count August Carl Van Ranzow. Thereafter, you will proceed to the commercial hub of Colombo, Fort,where you will find another colonial gem, the Old Dutch Hospital;once a functional hospital during the 17th century, the complex is now host to high end restaurants, bars and shops.
Mark will stop here for a drink with you and he will give
you time to admire this location but be warned that if the photographers’ eye in Mark sees the possibilities of a spectacular sunset, he may rush you through so that you will move on to the lighthouse just in time. The walk will come to an end at the historic Galle Face hotel, the oldest hotel east of the Suez, via a half kilometer walk along the Galle Face Green promenade that is usually busy with young and old alike.
This walk will also be a great opportunity for photography enthusiasts to take some beautiful pictures of Dutch and English colonial architecture, portraits of persons of all religious and ethnic backgrounds,not forgetting breathtaking sceneries that are not mundane ‘typical’ photographs of Sri Lanka.