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Updated by Joanna James on Sep 13, 2018
Headline for Top Things to Do in Negombo – Excursions in the modest and underrated coastal town
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Top Things to Do in Negombo – Excursions in the modest and underrated coastal town

With a pleasant community, a long line of seaside restaurants and a sparkling blue ocean, Negombo has everything one looks for in a seaside town. Here we list the top things to do in the area.

1

Main Fish Market

Fishing is a major source of income in Negombo and generations of families ply their trade in this field. Fishermen set out daily on their 'oruvas' – outrigger canoes – and return to the shores in the early mornings with their plunder. The fish are auctioned off at the Main Fish Market which is located close to the Fort. Yes true, this is a smelly business but is also a unique experience that will allow you to get your hands on rare and more importantly, fresh fish. Chefs from most Sri Lanka beach resorts regularly drop by to find the freshest ingredients for their dishes. The lagoon is teeming with marine species such as lobsters, prawns and of course the much spoken about Negombo crab.

2

Hamilton Canal

Sri Lanka and canals go centuries back. The canal in question here was built by the British agent of revenue, Gavin Hamilton. Its purpose was to connect Colombo and Negombo in order to transport supplies and items at a much faster pace. While canals are generally uninteresting, the Hamilton Canal begs to differ. Almost akin to a river, it is lined with mangrove and palm trees and boasts a wide variety of wildlife such as parakeets and monitor lizards. The banks have now been developed as a tourist attraction and it certainly looks the part. The best way to enjoy the canal is to ride a bike along the banks during the evenings. You will come across villages and other picturesque sights along the way.

3

Dutch Fort

I am sure your mind sprung to the Galle Fort. What if I told there was another one in Negombo? Albeit a bit smaller. Close to the entrance of the lagoon, you can find the remains of a Dutch Fort built back in the seventeenth century. Sadly, the majority of the grounds are now used as a prison but visitors can still view the majestic archway and the bell tower next to it. Centuries later, the bell tower still looks a work of art. The fort is easy to access from most hotels in the area such as Amagi Hotels.

4

Angurukaramulla Temple

The fascinating thing about temples is that they all have something unique that sets it apart from the previous temple. The Angurukaramulla Temple s located towards the east of the town and its biggest highlight is the reclining Buddha statue that is six meters long. The temple is thought to be over three hundred years old and contains the ruins of an ancient library. The entrance to the temple is certainly eye-catching as it resembles the open mouth of a dragon. The inside of the temple is decorated with multiple sculptures, murals as well as paintings that depict the journey of Buddhism and tales about the past rulers of the country.

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