Negombo trip highlights in Sri Lanka for Travel Photo Mondays
My first visit to Sri Lanka was in the city of Negombo, a thriving fishing community that still has strong ties to its fishing industry and lifestyle and supports this colorful community. Needless to say when I visited the city, one of the main attractions to experience was the lively fish market on the ocean front with expansive views of the western coastline of Sri Lanka. The fish market is also a regular outdoor market with an expansive seafood pavilion that sells a variety of fish and shellfish to fishmongers, restaurants and other industries all over the Island.
Negombo outdoor produce market
The fresh fruits and vegetable vendors outside of the fish market were quite busy when I visited selling their wares and all the excess scraps are not wasted and given to the cows and other animals in the area including a slew of stray cats that loved frequenting the markets and knew where to go for a fresh bite. King coconuts are very popular in Negombo and are this orange color when ripe and ready to drink and eat the delicious flesh below – cost twenty cents a coconut.
The fish market at Negombo
Another fascinating part of the city included all the main temples and churches which worship almost side by side in relative peace. Close by is the large cathedral of the city called St. Mary’s cathedral which took 50 years to complete. There is a surprisingly large catholic population in this spiritual city and the cathedral is well-loved and maintained.
In fact the town is ruled by a large Christian population including the Catholic faith and the town is lovingly called “Little Rome”. This is one of the main reasons that Pope Francis visited Sri Lanka in 2015 to see and pray with his faithful Catholics parishioners and increase the visibility of Catholics in the country.
The painted blue murals on the ceiling against the creamy yellow walls and stained glass create a colorful and inviting palate to explore the interiors of the cathedral, it’s a magnificent church with just the right amount of details and local craftsmanship that makes this spiritual place shine.
Negombo Buddhist Temple
The colorful Buddhist temple and compound were a combination of renovated and dilapidated buildings in need of restoration but still interesting to visit and filled with murals and amazing details. I was followed by three monks that didn’t speak any English but were hoping for a nice donation to continue their restoration efforts, so they were kind enough to turn on all the lights and show me some of the unique paintings and dioramas of the Buddha in various stages of enlightenment.
The huge Buddha with the large mouth tiger were definitely an interesting entrance to the main temple which were filled with intricate sculpture reliefs and dioramas like the scene above and below.
Luxury Accommodation at Jetwing Blue
When I visited Negombo, I stayed at the luxurious Jetwing Blue hotel facing the expansive beach and Negombo coastline just outside the main city. I can’t say enough about the wonderful and large bedrooms and ultra luxe amenities of this beach hotel. The rooms are refined and simple in a modern organic style with all the perfect amenities built into each room. I love how the turn down service at night is well attended with lights set up, closed blinds and just the small details that make the night time sleep so easy and comfortable.
Enjoying the beaches at Negombo
North of the main town, the beaches at Negombo are expansive with large white sand that seem to go on endlessly. Where I stayed at the Jetwing Blue hotel, the grounds and beach area is raked daily and care is taken to collect garbage left on the beach. It really is a beautiful and exotic beach destination. Fortunately I also hung out on a late Sunday when it felt very festive with food vendors and all the locals enjoying the last free Sunday and sunset before the start of a new week.
Late afternoon to sunset is the perfect time to unwind and enjoy the coastline when all the crowds have disappeared and you practically get miles of beach to yourself with these golden sunsets. I loved my stay at Jetwing Blue and the long sunsets at the beach to the late evening with a nice cold bottle of ginger beer a favorite local drink .
Thanks for visiting the Negombo Highlights in Sri Lanka for Travel Photo Mondays, I hope you enjoyed the tour of this colorful city. Please do check out the other participating bloggers below for today’s linkup.