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Help us out with a daily budget

auckland
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47 posts
37 reviews
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Help us out with a daily budget

Hi All,

We are heading to Sri lanka for a wedding in December.

We have all of the accomadation sorted as well as flights and transfers sorted, we just don't know what we should budget really.

We are staying 4 nights in central colombo (breakfast included), then heading up to Negombo for 5 nights (breakfast included).

What we are trying to sort is what we are likely to need to pay for dinner each night, the occational tourist thing and anything else that may come up.

We had in mind bring approx 450us which would get up approx 52000lr at the moment.

Also, we are flying from the Uk, is it advisable to take GBP then change at the airport or take USD and change at the airport.

Thanks in advance !!

Fredericia, Denmark
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1. Re: Help us out with a daily budget

Hi,

Take GBP and change at the airport or at banks.

You can buy a meal - hot and spicy rice and curry - from around LKR 120 in local restaurants - called "hotels". 5 star hotels will easy charge 3,000-5,000 for a dinner excluding drinks.

Hans

Edited: 20 April 2010, 14:26
St Austell
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2. Re: Help us out with a daily budget

Hi

To add to Hans' reply, if you are in Negombo, you will more likely end up spending something approaching LKR 750 per person for a substantial and excellent main course at one of the many tourist restaurants on the beach strip. Some seafood dishes will be more, but you can also get local specialities like rice and curry for much less at the same establishments .. say, LKR 400 per person. Obviously drinks are on top. We don't tend to bother with desserts as there is rarely a great choice. I have never paid ANYTHING like the LKR 3000 plus sums that might be charged in 5 star hotels ....

Definitely try out local places too, as you can have delicious light snacks at these such as freshly made rottis and hoppers for next to nothing. Buy sealed bottled water at local shops too, as it will save you a fortune on hotel prices.

Not sure what sort of tourist things you have in mind, but some of these do bump up the spending costs a bit. A visit to the elephant orphanage would set you back LKR 2000 each (plus the cost of getting there etc.) and if you head up to the Cultural Triangle, you are looking at $25 for Sigiriya, the same for Polonnaruwa or Anuradhapura (or $50 each for a ticket to cover them all, plus a few other smaller places). Dambulla Rock Temple is $10 (or around LKR 1100). In Kandy you are looking at LKR 1000 for the Temple of the Tooth, LKR 800 for the Botanical Gardens and if you see a cultural dance performance, that will be around LKR 500 I think.

Hope this gives you some sort of idea.

Sue

auckland
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3. Re: Help us out with a daily budget

Sue thank you for that information.

Im thinking along the lines of 3000 a night for food so thats 27000 over 9 days.

500 a day for snacks and water so thats 4500

And then maybe keening 20,000 for doing anything else above and beyond.

Would that be far ?

St Austell
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3,497 posts
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4. Re: Help us out with a daily budget

Hi again

It would certainly be enough for me, but probably wouldn't be enough for many people. I guess it depends whether or not you are intending to do any shopping for souvenirs and how many trips you are planning. LKR 20,000 is around £115 so would certainly suffice if you just wanted to do a boat trip on the Dutch canal near Negombo, or wanted to take buses or tuk-tuks around locally.

It won't cover longer trips with a driver of course or any real shopping and you'd be soon out of pocket at places like the elephant orphanage. Make sure you allow enough for the occasional tip if you feel it is deserved and any unexpected expenses. I always allow a bit more than I think I am going to use and have always had money to change back into sterling at the airport on departure, but I'd rather do that than run out along the way! That reminds me .. when you change your sterling at the airport, keep the receipt they give you so that you CAN change back any unused currency at the end. Also make sure to ask for plenty of small notes like LKR 100 and a few LKR 500, 50 and 20, otherwise it will all be given to you in LKR 2000 and LKR 1000 which is tricky and almost impossible for small shops, buses and tuk tuks to change.

Also I would say that there are many places in Sri Lanka where you would have plenty of opportunity to eat at truly local cafes and at local prices. Kandy is good for this and all inland towns plus several towards the south coast. Negombo's beach strip isn't QUITE as easy. There are many great tourist restaurants, all offering superb food and at much cheaper prices than the big hotels, but the choice of "local" places here is fairly limited. You say LKR 500 a day for snacks and drinks .. is that each? If that is for 2, you are pushing it a bit, as I assume this is to include your lunch? Again, fine if you can find those cheap hopper and rotti shops that I rave about, but anything other than that, you won't be able to eat for so little.

All the best

Sue

Colchester
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5. Re: Help us out with a daily budget

Agree with Sue that your budget is adequate as long as the "above and beyond" does not involve major shopping expeditions (easy in Colombo) or long trips that involve transport by taxi or overnight stops. However, you can, for example, get to Kandy from Colombo on the inter City Train (up in the morning, return in the afternoon) and a First Class return ticket is about Rs. 450/= each. With entrance fees to the Temple and Botanical Gardens, lunch and perhaps a tri-shaw to the gardens you would be looking at no more than Rs 6 - 7, 000 for the two of you. Clearly you are not going on this type of trip every day so with other days as 'cheap days' you could manage.

Sussex UK
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6. Re: Help us out with a daily budget

It really doesn't matter whether you take US or Sterling but it is definitely worthwhile changing at Colombo airport the rate is much better than the UK and local hotels (although all the hotels offer a better rate than the UK!)

Don't forget to tip - we had a great driver when we were there and he recommended tipping 100 SLR for everything. ie. not much but give it to everyone - its not a rich country and its always welcome.

Fredericia, Denmark
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7. Re: Help us out with a daily budget

It really doesn't matter whether you take US or Sterling

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, you can change both currencies in Sri Lanka.

Coming from UK why change Sterling to US dollars and then change to Rupees? You loose a little every time you change.

Hans

8. Re: Help us out with a daily budget

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