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Updated by Maggie Tulliver (Umanga Kahandawaarachchi) on Feb 07, 2016
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Top Five Must Visit Sites in Negombo – Sleepy Fishing Hamlet of Sri Lanka

Negombo located on the west coast of Sri Lanka is close to the international airport. Easy to visit before or at the end of a tour the town holds many lures as well as sandy beaches to relax on.

1

Muthurajawela Wetlands

Muthurajawela Wetlands

This huge wetland is found on the southern brink of the huge Negombo Lagoon. These are the largest wetlands in the west of Sri Lanka and are just 20kms from the Negombo city centre. You can easily hop on a local tuk tuk - three wheeler vehicle or drive to the start point, it takes about 30 minutes. From a point near the famous Dutch Canal of Negombo you can get on board a government run boat tour of the wetlands. The tour will take you across the mangrove forests which are home to crocodiles, huge monitor lizards and a variety of birds. Muthurajawela is quite prominent as a birdwatchers haven. Plan your visits during the mornings or late afternoons for the best sightings of wildlife.

2

The Fish Markets of Negombo

The Fish Markets of Negombo

Negombo is home to some of the best beach hotels in Sri Lanka. You can look forward to dining on the freshest seafood as well as succulent lagoon crabs and prawns when staying here. The country’s second biggest fish market is in Negombo; you will find it at the southern corner of the sandy Negombo Beach. If you want to savour local customs and typical local lifestyles do visit the market, which in local dialect is referred to as the Lellama. It is not a ‘glamorous’ location, but is full of character.

You could also find a local guide or friendly fisherman and ask for details on how fish is prepared and dried in the sun to create ‘dry fish’ another delicious local speciality. To savour the fine food of Sri Lanka make sure to select a top Negombo beach resort from a reputed chain. Amagi Hotels are amongst the options to consider. Remember to check out the Shark Market where big fish are traded; this market is located at the southern end of the bridge that runs across the Negombo Lagoon.

3

Fishing Harbour of Negombo

Fishing Harbour of Negombo

The Chillaw, Puttalam and Negombo fishing harbours are the 3 largest in the country. The harbour is located at the estuary of the Negombo Lagoon. The town located around the fishing harbour is home to folks that thrive on both water and land; as such the harbour is dotted with a myriad of boats. Opt to take a boat tour - on a traditional vessel called paruwa - across the glistening lagoon and enjoy the serene ambiance.

4

Negombo Dutch Canal

Negombo Dutch Canal

The ancient Dutch Canal is quite interesting to explore by boat. It is also called the Cinnamon Canal due to its importance in transporting cinnamon during the heydays of Dutch rule in the country. In fact the western lowlands were well known for its cinnamon plantations; demands for Ceylon cinnamon however surpassed the supply level leading to the fall of the cinnamon trade along this route. What’s left though along the canal makes for pleasant attractions to be enjoyed via an idyllic boat trip.