Sri Lanka was historically at the cross-roads of trade between the West and the East. Their museums showcase remnants of Chinese explorers and what their merchant ships brought centuries ago.
The Europeans came and decided to take over the indigeneous population after discovering Sri Lanka's riches. The Dutch were here, and still has a small population of descendants today.
Ironically, the museum that showcases both its local and colonial history is a European-style structure.
Surrounded by a clean ocean, there is plenty of seafood to enjoy at rock-bottom prices.
Renovate a historic building and turn it into retail. I could hardly tell how old this place actually is.
The local trains are not fast, and take forever to travel short distances. But that's an attraction in itself.
The train station area is a bustling market that is a world away from the oceanside.
Your old mobile phones also get a new life here.
The buses are not as run-down as the ones in Mumbai, but are probably just as old.
Ginger is a local specialty. I got hooked to EGB - a wonderful but just-as-sweet alternative to estern soda.
Galle Face Green is a huge waterfront promenade with the best sunset view.
Plenty of locals enjoy a stroll here after work or on the weekend.
The Fort area has a lot of historic colonial buildings. Tourists were difficult to find so I had entire streets pretty much all to myself on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
But taxi touts were in full operation, with many trying to entice me to a scam ... or elephant festival viewing.
The Kingsbury has a nice rooftop lounge where you can avoid the crowds and watch the city rumble by and the sun set in peace.
I wonder what they plan to do with this revised waterfront. Does not appear it will be an extension of the Galle Face Green for everyone to enjoy.
Cinnamon Red also has a nice rooftop lounge with a view. There aren't too many tall buildings in the city.
I came across other pockets of historic stately buildings that are still in use today but not readily accessible by outsiders.
There are many quiet pockets of the city that is devoid of humanity. Quietly browse for a piece of art to take home.
Meanwhile, an old colonial royalty quietly stares into a modern city.
Across the street, the crowds gather to have a good time.