I am a fan of social spaces. Spaces where people can meet and hang out without having to pay through their teeth for tasteless or boring food and beverages. Places where friends and families can have fun (laugh loud and walk and turn cartwheels if needed!) for hours on end.
Sri Lanka lacked such places, because we had not invested in recreational spaces. We had a thriving coffee shop industry, where only the rich could afford to hang out, but not free places that people actually wanted to spend time at.
Now, suddenly, we have a few really good places. Viharamahadevi Park has been done up nicely, Diyatha Uyana is a whole new area with a different concept, and then there is Urban Wetland Park in Nawala. There are more, but let me first talk about Diyatha Uyana because of its popularity.
Situated next to Water’s Edge (and the wonderful Boardwalk), Diyatha Uyana has now become so popular with families and friends, and even lovers. The 3D art on the walkway is an attraction for everyone. Camera after camera clicks and there are queues of people waiting to go stand on the designated spot for that hair-raising picture (though sadly that aspect is ruined because of the gleeful smile on the person’s face).
The walkway continues towards the rabbit hatches and around the small lake, which is less explored but still quite nice. Those who do not explore the rabbit hatches can be found around the areas around the walkway, especially those areas that overlook the Diyawanna Oya, which have seats. Sitting on the green green grass is also a possibility, if the security guards don’t shoo you out 🙂
At night, the place takes on a surreal beauty that is so different to that of the afternoon. The place is open till 11pm so there is plenty time to actually spend there.
So for the review: The place is nice. And it is a great place to hang out at. (Also, takes care of a long-felt need). There are plenty stalls with food, though I have yet to come across anything more interesting than fruit juices (then again that’s just me). And now, there are kids’ scooters for rent, so the kids have things to keep them entertained when the running around stales 🙂
Head there around 4.30pm, get something to drink, start walking around exploring the art by about 5, stand on the “pier” for a bit and watch the crowds go by, walk all around (including the rabbits) and finish off at the walkway that leads to and goes past Boardwalk by about 7/7.30pm so that you can see how the place looks lit up. Maybe get some dinner at Boardwalk, while listening to some good music.
There is a lot of space at the car park (both at the entrance and the dedicated park towards the Water’s Edge), so no need to stress over parking. All in all, a good place to relax at with whoever is important to you. 🙂