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Colombo

Sri Lanka's former capital (the modern capital is next-door Sri Jayawardenpura Kotte) has one of the most perfect settings in Asia. Stretching for 14 kilometres along the island's western shore, it has a sheltered harbour that attracted Indian Ocean traders long before the Portuguese arrived in 1505. Even in modern Colombo, a busy city of over 600,000 people, with hectic traffic and soaring residential and office towers, there are still patches of the charming "Garden City of the East", with its abundant foliage and gentle sea breezes.

There are lakes, canals, tree-lined boulevards, open-air markets, temples and colonial buildings. Many of the latter can be found in two of the oldest districts, Fort and The Pettah (the old market district), next to the harbour, where all the colonial powers - Portuguese, Dutch and British - have left their mark. The National Museum collections include Polonnaruwa bronzes, demon dance masks, puppets, a Children's Museum and a library containing over 4,000 palm leaf manuscripts, or ola, Sri Lanka's oldest written records. In Pettah, the Dutch Period Museum in the 17th-century governor's house is full of domestic details and fine period furniture. To the south is the tiny, delightful Buddhist temple, Gangaramaya, near Beira Lake.

Contemporary Colombo is full of great shops - for upmarket shopping and excellent restaurants try Kollupitiya and Bambalipitiya, near the elegant residential area of Cinnamon Gardens - or York Street in Fort. There is a thriving art scene and the Sapumal Foundation Gallery at Barnes Place sells Sri Lankan paintings dating back to 1920 (open mornings only and closed on Mondays & Tuesdays).

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Key

6.927468,79.848358,5
There are no foreign lands. It is the traveller only who is foreign.
Robert Louis Stevenson

Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
Ampersand’s details preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet/direct booking age. Shalmali was a delight to work with – before and during our trip.
- Mr David Wallace, North India
We have been on expensive and luxurious holidays in the past, but the service and communication Ampersand has provided has far exceeded those offered by other agencies.
- Susan Ford, India

From our Instagram

Don’t miss out on #Teardrop’s new boutique hotels while touring #SriLanka 🇱🇰
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Each sleek property brings a fresh twist to the traditional hill country - from #NineSkies in #Ella to #CamelliaHills in #Dickoya, plus #Goatfell in #NuwaraEliya 🍃
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Monks in #Myanmar (#Burma) 🇲🇲
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Buddhism runs strong through the country’s veins - not only are 90% of the Burmese Buddhist, but many children are monks in training and call ancient monasteries home 🧘🏽‍♂️
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#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Fine red shells blend seamlessly into the powdery white seashore of the #KomodoIslands to create this natural wonder - the otherworldly #PinkBeach 🏄🏼‍♀️🌊
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Dive into its crystal-clear aquamarine waters to explore one of the richest marine environments on Earth 🌏
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🎌 Hot off the press - #AmanKyoto is set to open at the end of this year (November 2019) & we can’t wait! 🎌
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Located in a secret garden behind the Golden Temple #Kinkakuji, this new property will offer a secluded retreat in the ancient Imperial city complete with beautifully-designed interiors by the celebrated #KerryHillArchitects
Set within an inviting oasis of elegant palms and eucalyptus trees, #Amanbagh stays true to its name 🍃(‘Peaceful garden’ in Sanskrit and Hindi) 🇮🇳
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One of @jamesjayasundera’s favourite hotels in the world, #Ampersand believe that there’s no better place to enjoy rural #Rajasthan than this luxurious idyll
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✨Brand new blog post curated by one of our specialists: ‘5 Unmissable experiences in North India’✨
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Follow the link in our bio to read about some of Ampersand’s favourite cultural experiences in #Varanasi, #Calcutta, #Delhi & #Mumbai 🇮🇳
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You’re bound to meet friendly locals like these in #Vietnam 🇻🇳
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Tour this wonderful country with us to immerse yourself in its energy, sweeping landscapes & fascinating history
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#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Treat yourself to a stay in #Amangalla - the stately grand dame of #GalleFort while in Sri Lanka 🇱🇰
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Not only will you step into a bygone era here, but you’ll also have all the surrounding sights right on your doorstep 🏰
Ampersand’s Top 10 Luxury Sailboats 🌊
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@silolonasojournsphinisi @sailtigerblue @voyagemischief @alilapurnama @alexaprivatecruises @duniabaruadventures @lamimayacht @burmaboating @mutiara_laut @ultimateyachtsco
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Explore our #Highlights to see our hotlist and get inspired to take your own nautical adventure 🗺🇮🇩 🇲🇲
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#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience

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