Colombo Warnings and Dangers
Colombo is the commercial capital and the largest city in Sri Lanka, but there are some warnings and dangers for your journey.
Con Artists and Scams
Generally, there is not a lot of crime against tourists here, but taking the usual precautions will usually keep disaster at bay. Don’t walk the streets late at night or alone. Don’t keep all of your valuables with you at the same time or exposed in public. Don’t give strangers too much information. They may ask for money or a ‘donation’ for a cause. Just walk away.
Taxi Price Gouging
Taxis are well regulated here the same as in the U.S. They must post their prices and give you a receipt if you ask for it, but beware! Some taxi drivers try to ask for a higher price anyway. If the price seems too high and they don’t want to give you the recipe, it is your right to refuse to pay to them. In case of an argument, you can call police.
‘Helpful’ People to Avoid
Keep your baggage close to you otherwise it will be loaded on a trolley and the person will try to charge you. When you get off the train people will try to give you information on cheap hotels. Don’t fall for this. Stick to your original plan or follow the guide book. Also, just walk away if the person who you just asked for directions tries to charge you for them. He may give you the wrong information.
Cold and Spicy?
Normally, if a food is cold and sweet then it’s not spicy, right? Wrong! If you do end up with your mouth on fire, don’t drink water. Plain white rice or pineapple will soothe your burning tongue.
Best Time to Travel
Monsoon season is November through March. In central Colombo, you may want to ask the locals about swimming before you go. There are strong rip currents and the sewer runs through here. There is also coral in the waters so you want to save your feet and wear shoes, fins, or even reef shoes.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about warnings and dangers for Colombo.