Never did I think Couchsurfing (CS) was a thing in Sri Lanka, especially in the capital Colombo, I was proved wrong. During my recent travel to Colombo earlier this month I decided to checkout and participate at one of the two weekly Couchsurfing meetups in Colombo. I confirmed my participation a day early and informed Chamindu, who hosts the weekly CS meetups.
While two meetups are held each week, one is held at the Colombo City Hostel on Tuesday nights and the other on Friday nights at the Steuart by Citrus. Technically, the Steuart by Citrus is a gathering point from where everyone takes-off to the surrounding venues at the Old Colombo Dutch Hospital. I joined for the meetup on September 1st, Friday night at the Steuart by Citrus and arrived an hour late while the actual time was at 2100hrs. I strolled around the hotel lobby scanning everyone and quickly noticed Chamindu looking at me, he was sitting at a table with someone else who also had joined the meetup. Chamindu suggested we move to the lively Old Colombo Dutch Hospital area where we made ourselves comfortable around a concrete table and took turns introducing each other, soon we had four more joining us.
Chamindu explained that Couchsurfing meetups in Colombo are still very basic and at an infant stage. It is something he hopes to grow and expand over time and affiliate with better venues that could offer special rates on food and beverages. While majority of foreigners who join the event are tourists, the key topic is always the best places to travel and see in Sri Lanka. Chamindu shared some of the popular and off-the-beaten-track things to do in his country, including the Demodara Nine Arch Bridge in Ella, it has also become an iconic place to take railway photography in Sri Lanka surrounding the stunning views. He also told that sometimes depending on the number of people participating at the meetups, it could go on as late as early morning 0400hrs, the number of participants also could go as high as 20 at times.
I had very limited time and had to take-off to catch some other friends at Dehiwela and had to cut short. I still look forward participating at the Colombo CS Meetup during my next travel to Colombo. If you are a traveler and visiting Sri Lanka’s capital, do not forget to join the Colombo CS Meetup on Friday nights from 2100hrs onwards and do no forget to search and register for the event at the Couchsurfing website.
Below is the location of the gathering point/venue.