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Trip advice please

reading, uk
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Trip advice please

More help/ advice on our trip please. Back in May, we posted a request on TA for advice and got excellent feedback. We then booked a Mercury 14 day trip to Marawila, the last 2 wks August. Since then we have been reading TA and the guide books and we now have a list of places we want to see.

So here is the trip:

Anuradhapura?? Mihintale, Ritigala, Polonorua, Dambulla, Sirigaya (early Morning).Habarama for elephant ride. Kandy (temple & Gardens), Pinnewale or MEF for more elephants? Train from Nanu Oya to Ella. Then stay in Ella (at Tea Garden Guesthouse) for some walks and Tea plantations. Back to Marawila.

Now more questions please: How long should we allow for this trip (we do want some rest as well)? Equally, we would rather cut down the itinerary, we want to enjoy the places we visit. Should we do this in 2 shorter trips from Marawila? Would it be practical to take a 1 day trip to say Anuradhapura & Mihintale from Marawila and cut these from the main itinerary? Have we got the order right? Should we do the Hill area before the Cultural Triangle?

Thanks in advance (when we get back we will post feedback)

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka
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1. Re: Trip advice please

Hi there,

Indeed A'pura and Mihintale could be 'cut from the trip' and are a day trip from Marawila. But still you'd be retracing your own steps, and in the next trip again drive the Marawila-A'pura road to reach Habarana.

A reasonable sequence for the other sights, in 5 days (4 nights), would be

* Day 1 Polonnaruwa daytime and Habarana elephant ride. Overnight Sigiriya

* Day 2 Sigiriya morning climb, Dambulla temple, Kandy (temple)

* Day 3: Morning to Peradeniya Gardens and then Pinawela. Afternoon to Ella

* Day 4: Train Ella-Nanu Oya (so reverse from planned), pickup by driver at Nanu Oya, walking and tea plantations

* Day 5: Long journey back to Marawila.

Hope this helps a bit,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

UK
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2. Re: Trip advice please

Hi

I wouldn't advocate cutting Anuradhapura and/or Mihintale from your itinery.. Anuradhapura is most impressive with the huge , ancient Dagobas and the sacred temple of the Bodi tree.

Mihintale , to me, is the most beautiful Budhist site in the country.

If you did cut those two, you'd still be going past them to get to the others.

Morning 1..

From Marawila to Anuradhapura, visit site and continue to Mihintale.

Morning 2..

visit Ritigala then on to Habarana for the elephant ride about lunch time and Polonorua mid afternoon.

Morning 3,,

Climb Sigirya, on to Dambulla and in to Kandy.. Evening visit the Cultural show and the Temple of the Tooth.

Morning 4.

Early stroll through the Peradeniya Botanical gardens, then about mid day drive to Pinawella for the elephants,

Morning 5..

Drive from Kandy to Newara Eliya, ( Nanu Oya ) stopping off at a tea factory for a tour and the Ramboda falls for a tea/ coffee stop amid amazing scenery.

Get the train from Nanu Oya to Ella. I agree with the Tea Gardens Guest House.. Make sure that you get one of the top rooms. There are two rooms above everything else with a huge 270 degree wrap around balcony.. Stunning views. If you can contact them while your on the way they specialise in cooking a curry in banana leaves.. It's gorgeous but takes time to cook so best pre-ordered.

Morning 5 ,,

back to Marawilla

This is a busy schedule but as you'll be seated comfortably in an aircon car between sites i don't think it's too bad. If you did decide to spend more time somewhere or stretch a day somewhere, if your driver/guide is any good, he could easily phone ahead and adjust the accomodation bookings.

Rod.

Colombo
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3. Re: Trip advice please

Hi,

I suggest few places around that is worth of visiting.

Demodara nine arched bridge on the railway track to Badulla.

Demodara Railway station which is a wonderful creation of architecture which referred as looping to loop. The train comes from Ella to Demodara station and stops then travels through a small mountain and then travels beneath the railway station.

Ella gap for stunning views.

Nishantha

London
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45 posts
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4. Re: Trip advice please

My Family and I will be at CPB at the end of July begining of August. I would suggest that you go and see Samudu of Slimline Travel (Out of hotel gate turn left cross the causway and its the Green Building)Last time we were there he was working from home so when we go this time we will have to find it ourselves this time. If you contact him when you get to the hotel he will advise you and sort out your trip. On top of that he is a really nice guy.

If you need any more info either post it or drop me a message.

Enjoy your stay

Dave

london
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216 posts
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5. Re: Trip advice please

Hi !

Just got back from a wonderful and long trip to Sri Lanka.

Visited most of the places that you have mentioned.

I think that you could either make two trips; one to see Anuradhapura and Mihintale.

And another to see the Rest,

or Go on a full blown trip to see all those.

If you decide to split the trips into two, then you should stay at least one night in Anuradhapura.

Then Stay one night in Dambulla and see Minneriya Park as well as Sigiriya from there and one night in Kandy and then to Ella through the Tea Plantations and Nuwara Eliya

If you combine everything though, you would be able to see more though you would spend the same amount of days on tour. That would be four nights, five days.

My trip was fortunately planned and executed perfectly by my driver, who has hands on experience, and was well timed. And at the end of the Tour, we were not tired at all. and we are going back as soon as we can too.

Cheers !

Richard.

Bath
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27 posts
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6. Re: Trip advice please

Hiya,

Am new to TA but am going to Sri Lanka at end of September and am also staying at CPB so thought I might piggy back on this thread!

My partner and I mainly want to do Kandy and elephant orphanage/ millennium foundation which from other threads I see is usually an over night stay.

We are also interested in Galle and maybe Yala but don’t really want to do more than 2 one night trips or one trip with 2 nights.

I see there is a national park north of Marawila, it this comparable to Yala?

Assuming we do Kandy/Elephant in one trip, would people recommend an extra night to take in Yala and/or Galle or a separate trip elsewhere.

I know this has been covered elsewhere but what sort of money are we talking?

Thanks in advance.

Carmen

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka
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7. Re: Trip advice please

Hi Carmen,

>elephant orphanage/ millennium foundation which from other threads I see is usually an over night stay.

>I see there is a national park north of Marawila, it this comparable to Yala?

It (Wilpattu) will be after reopening 'somewhere this fall' now that the war is ended. It had quite some infiltration problems.

>Assuming we do Kandy/Elephant in one trip, would people recommend an extra night to take in Yala and/or Galle or a separate trip elsewhere.

Would split in 2 trips, each overnight, because they are in totally different directions. One trip Pinawela/Kandy and other one Yala with on your way back spend some time walking the lovely Galle Fort ramparts and streets..

>I know this has been covered elsewhere but what sort of money are we talking

Count for Rs 35/km for driver/car. Would be Bentota-Pinawela-Kandy 180 km (x 2) and Bentota-Yala 240 km. Add entrance fees and accomodation to this.

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Fredericia, Denmark
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8. Re: Trip advice please

Hi Carmen,

The national park north of Marawila is Wilpatttu National Park, but it is still not opened to the public.

Hans

Fredericia, Denmark
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9. Re: Trip advice please

Count for Rs 35/km for driver/car. Would be Bentota-Pinawela-Kandy 180 km (x 2) and Bentota-Yala 240 km.

_______________________________________________

Expect a couple of Rupees more per km now, as the price of petrol/diesel have recently increased.

Marawila-Pinnawala-Kandy 120 km (x2), Marawila-Yala 365 km (x2).

Hans

Bath
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27 posts
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10. Re: Trip advice please

So it seems like 2 one nighters are best;

Kandy/Elephants and

Yala/Galle

That would work out well as it includes the main things we want to see.

Thanks for the advice.

Carmen.