Editor’s note: This month CNNGo heads to the island nation of Sri Lanka. Previous episodes can be viewed on the CNNGo page.
Starting in Sri Lanka’s freshest seafood market and the renovated racecourse in Colombo, this month’s CNNGo episode then ventures beyond the capital city to the seaside city of Galle and the tranquil tea farm-filled countryside.
Ministry of Crab
Sorry, Singapore. Chili crabs are actually from Sri Lanka.
Singapore may be famous for its chili crab, but most of those clawed creatures come from Sri Lanka’s seas.
The mission of the Ministry of Crab is to reclaim the crab crown for Sri Lanka.
Here you can get chili crab (spicier than the Singapore version), garlic crab, curry crab and ginger crab.
Freshwater prawns almost as big as lobsters are also served.
Formerly a racecourse and an airfield, Colombo Racecourse is now an international rugby ground.
From its original use as a horse racing track in 1893 to a temporary airfield in 1922, the Colombo Racecourse has been through several incarnations.
These days the newly-renovated Colombo Racecourse — though it’s held onto its original architectural integrity — functions as an international rugby ground and features new restaurants and shops.
Colombo Racecourse, Colombo
Quality souvenir shopping and a coffee break from the capital.
An oasis in the middle of the city, Barefoot offers a peaceful cafe setting enclosed by a gallery featuring local artists and a shop stocked with handmade and natural products.
It’s the perfect answer for anyone in need of quality souvenirs and a break from the Colombo noise.
Head back to 1500s at Galle Fort.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site in the south of Sri Lanka, the Galle Fort still maintains a lot of its 16th century charm and is open to visitors.
There’s plenty of shopping within its walls, yet it doesn’t feel like a tourist trap.
Galle Fort, 65a Lighthouse St, Galle, Sri Lanka; +94 91 223 2568/9
Borderlands whale watching
Whale watchers have a 70% change of spotting one of the burly beauties.
Locals say you’ve got about a 70% chance of seeing a blue whale when you go whale watching in Mirissa.
Your best bet is to take a private whale watching tour.
There are a variety of options — the default seems to be large boats with crowded tours.
If you’re happy to splurge, it’s worth taking a private boat for $100 per person.
Borderlands‘ whale watching tour, Weligama; +94 11 441 0110/2504602; from $175
Ceylon Tea Trails
The Ceylon Tea Farm shows visitors how the popular drink is grown and harvested.
Dilmah offers an experience that fully immerses visitors in the world of tea.
From living like a tea plantation owner in a luxury bungalow to learning how the tea is harvested and processed, you’ll leave here with a whole new respect for your humble cuppa.
Ceylon Tea Trails, Castlereagh Bungalow, Hatton, Carolina, Norton, Wanarajah Road, Hatton; +94 51 738 8401; rates from $405 per night
Dharshan Munidasa, co-owner and chef, Ministry of Crab
Ishara, media personality
Dilshan Michaels, media personality, TNL Radio
Indi Samarajiva, founder, Yamu
Roz Freeman-Attwood, spa consultant
Thana Sritharan, chairman, City Construction Contractors Ltd
Dee de Silva, former director HR, MAS Holdings
Malik Fernando, director, Dilmah Tea
Merrill J. Fernando, founder, Dilmah Tea
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