I made plan for this holiday about 3 months ago. And the destination I chose this time was Colombo, Sri Lanka. My friends asked, why Colombo? Why not somewhere else? Well, why not? I have not been to Colombo. I have not seen how the place is, how the people are, and the food especially so why not? And for us Malaysians to go there, we don’t need a visa!

A week before that, I was all hype up and excited to go. After my last backpacking trip on the 1st of January, I have not gone for a holiday of my choice until now.It was all about work. But this trip is different from work trips. And that explains the ‘extra excitement’ , giving me the adrenaline rush.

The best part, the night before my flight, we had a party as we celebrated winning the Skytrax award for World’s Best Low Cost Airline, 2nd year in a row. So, with no sleep for the past 24hours, and the after party effect, I was quite blur and wasn’t expecting anything ! 😉

Flight was about 3hrs++ and we arrived about 15mnts early. Just before leaving the plane, I was a bit nervous. From the history, from the stories. To top that up, when friends knew I was going to Colombo, they kept asking, why Colombo. Is it safe? Are you sure? You know you are going alone right? Bla…bla…bla…..

But, from the moment I stepped out of the plane, it was like a dream. Everything was perfect. Everything was unbelievably amazing. It is all beyond words.

I only had about 72 hours to explore. So, this time round, I had planned my stay in Mt Lavinia and Negombo, where they have a nice beach close to the airport. The first 2 nights was in Mt Lavinia,where I stayed in a hostel which costs me around USD 8 a night. Clean, safe and just felt like home. The owner,is a nice lady who built the 10 bedroom house about 25years ago , having a vision of turning it into a bed and breakfast concept. Not bad huh? And the bonus point – it was only about 7 mnts walk to the beach and all the seafood restaurants!!

(I was lucky as it was low season and I got the room to myself!)

Then people there are friendly and nice. They do speak english and even if they don’t, they will get someone to help. I had to ask help from people when I have dogs coming near me (I’m scared of dogs actually 😉 and they were helpful! Coincidently, I arrived on Wesak Day where they celebrate it like we celebrate Hari Raya here!

The food is good. Its a little bit like malay and indian food but spicier. And because it was also during the Wesak Day celebration, I got to try the local vegetarian dishes other than the seafood. Halal food is easy to find. Love all of them! If you have the patience, you could queue up and get free food coz this is the time where people give out free food and the queue could come up to a few hundred mtrs long! Well, I almost wanted to queue up for the free ice cream 😉

For budget travellers like me, you can always take the public buses. Its safe and fast and its really cheap. My trip from Mt Lavinia, which is about 1 1/2 hrs trip to the airport, 2 buses, costs me only about 140Rps (USD1.20) No hassle except that you need to make sure you take the correct bus, from Mt Lavinia to Fort Colombo no 100 or 101 and from Fort Colombo to the airport is no 187.

The final night , I decided to get a place in Negombo, where they say another place with a nice beach. Oh yes it is. It is nearer to the airport too as my flight the next day was very early in the morning. I just fell in love with the place. It is not crowded. It is peaceful. It is definitely beautiful. The sunset was perfect. With the sound of the waves, sea breeze, and the locals finding seashells on the beach during sunset, I just love every moment of it.

Even though I have limited friends in Colombo, people that I know from work, they have been very, very nice to me. I am so touched with the hospitality, the warmness given by each of them and their friends and families. They really made me feel like home. It is as if like going back to my own hometown. Amazing! I even felt as if I was there before. The treatment that I got was beyond words. Embarrassingly, I had tears when I was leaving Colombo and the Flight Attendants thought I was sad leaving my boyfriend behind!! Hahaha…..

I know I will be coming back again to Sri Lanka. Next time, I am going to go to Kandy and the beach down south, Hikkaduwa as they say it is even more beautiful than Negombo.

Oh yes I will return, definitely…..coz I’ve fallen in love with Colombo….


Safina started her journey with AirAsia as an instructor at AirAsia Academy. She love everything that happened in the Academy. Be it teaching, facilitating, handling visitors, motivating, every single thing. She’s passionate about teaching and sharing her life experiences. She's currently based in Jakarta with Indonesia AirAsia team. Apart from loving her job very much, she also love basketball (once a basketball coach), diving (she said it's the only place she could float and "fly" like superman!), running and writing. So, here she is, being part of the World's Best Low Cost Airline, hopefully to share all the experiences, stories, places or anything and everything under the sun :-)

  • Lye Yee

    hi…. Safina, how are you? Im Lyee i just read your Colombo travel story up there, i also decide to go alone when this october and wish to stay at Mt Lavinia also… can you give me the details of the hotel you stay cos is was so cheap….. thanks ya please email me on yess_my@hotmail.com