Night cycling city tour
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: By day, Colombo – the country’s tumultuous commercial capital – is an all-engulfing sprawl of dizzying traffic, bustling markets, high-rise hotels, tiny corner shops, temples, street hawkers and everything else you can think of. By night, as the traffic begins to filter out, the city is transformed. Well-lit streets, beautifully illuminated monuments and a warm evening breeze lend the city an air of grace. Once a popular east-west trading route and the chosen ruling place of the Portuguese, Dutch and British, Colombo has an overwhelmingly colorful history brought to life through sensitive restorations and stories passed on from generation to generation. Riding through Colombo at night is an adventure and this unique addition to Colombo’s nightlife scene is a welcome one. See the sights without the crowds, get a feel for the rhythm and pulse of the city, dine on local snacks and finish up with a beer out by the ocean. What more could you ask for?
EXPERIENCE DESCRIPTION: Cycling through the chaos of traffic in Colombo might sound a little intimidating at first, but this carefully constructed route allows you to bypass much of the bumper-to-bumper traffic allowing you a relatively easy passage. A well-driven back up vehicle even acts as a barrier between you and the major swell of vehicles ensuring that you never feel at risk at any point. Safety always comes first on this adventure, and we’re not kidding here. You’ll start out with a thorough safety briefing with your local host who will equip you with everything you need for a comfortable and practical night cycling experience from a reflective safety jacket and helmet through to glow stick wrist-bands! Starting out in Independence Square – a favorite for local joggers and also the grounds of the memorial hall commemorating the end of the British rule – you’ll take a few test rounds on the area’s bike paths before you get started on the roads. Your host will take you into the Arcade – once a mental asylum – and out to the Racecourse, where he’ll explain the surprising history of these landmarks. From there you’ll peddle through to the end of Cinnamon Gardens, Colombo’s most elite neighborhood, and after a short stop for tea and some Indian sweets you will make your way over to the commercial district of Slave Island and on to the historical area of Pettah. Here you will see the Gangaramaya and Seema Malakaya temples, the Dutch Hospital, The Grand Oriental Hotel, and the Fort lighthouse and clocktower, as well as the continually changing landscape of the city’s best known districts. The tour gives you a great introduction to the city, covering a large area and allowing you a unique insight into Sri Lanka’s often overlooked capital city. Finish up with a beer or the option of dinner at The Bavarian, a German pub and eatery overlooking Colombo’s oldest hotel, the Galle Face Green and the Indian Ocean.
includes: A local host, water, bikes, helmets, additional safety gear, snacks and drinks along the way, and one beer at the end. Dinner is not included unless specificied by your consultant.
duration: Approx. 4 hours. You may chose to stay on longer for additional drinks or dinner if you like.
difficulty: Moderate. We rank this as moderate because you will need some skill in cycling and the traffic can quite heavy. However safety has been carefully planned for on this trip and comfortable cyclists will have no problems.
suitable for children: Suitable for children over the age of 12, providing that they can cycle.
times: 5.30pm – 9.30pm
what to wear or bring along: Light comfortable clothing and trainers or shoes that you feel comfortable cycling in. You might want to bring a change of shirt or t-shirt.
important to know: The terrain is fairly flat and the bikes are well-equipped for the route. If you have any injuries or physical restrictions with the biking please let your guide know in advance.
private or not? The visit is private. That said, there may be other people around at the sites.