I've read a lot of helpful advice already on these forums, so I'm sure that you will be able to help me with a few questions. We are looking to travel to Sri Lanka in June, July or September next year.
I have a reasonable idea of an intinerary - we don't want to rush round too much, we want plenty of time for relaxing. We would also prefer to spend time with Sri Lankan people, rather than trailing round the typical tourist sites. For that reason, we are wondering how feasible it is to do most of our travelling independently, or whether the best option really is to hire a car and driver/guide
Here's our idea for a two-week holiday
2 nights in Colombo (we like cities, so definitely want to spend some time here)
2 nights Kandy
3 nights Ella
2 nights Uda Walawe / Sinharaja
4 nights Unawatuna near Galle
1 night Colombo / near airport
A few questions:
1) I know we can get a train from Colombo to Kandy, and from Kandy to Ella. How could we get from Ella to Uda Walawe or Sinharaja, and from there to Galle / Unawatuna? Or do you think we would be better of hiring a driver?
2) We definitely want to take at least one rail journey. Which is more spectactular - Colombo to Kandy, or Kandy to Ella?
3) Which would you recommend out of Sinharaja or Uda Walawe at that time of year? We definitely would like to see elephants!
3) Recommendations for the best place to stay for a final night before flying home would be greatly appreciated.
4) We are planning on staying in guesthouses rather than hotels, as we would like to get to know some of the local people. Bearing that in mind, where do you think would be a good place to arrange a cookery lesson. We would love to do someting like walk round a local market, learning about the spices etc, then cook with our host and eat together.
Thanks in advance for your advice,