Sprawling for 50km along Sri Lanka’s azure seafront, Colombo can seem mind-boggling at first. But once you get used to the diesel fumes, you can enjoy a whole world within the city limits. Simple Buddhist shrines jostle for space with technicolour Hindu temples. Businessmen shout into their smartphones, while carefully coiffured ladies in white gloves and 1950s suits pass by on their way home to upmarket Cinnamon Gardens.
Sri Lankans depend on hydroelectric power generated by the island’s many waterfalls.
Once you have had your fill of bargaining – everything from designer knock-offs, fruit and necklaces to tourist tat – in Pettah Market, join the courting couples on Galle Face Green Promenade for the most famous sunset in the city. Or else take a tri-shaw (a three-wheeled rickshaw) to the beautifully restored Old Dutch Hospital for a cold drink in the hottest spot in town.