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Too much to do, too few days! Ideas?

Auckland Central...
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Too much to do, too few days! Ideas?

We are travelling to Sri Lanka on 19 May for about 9 days....not long enough to see it all by a long stretch but think we would like to spend some time in the Hill Country and some time relaxing in the sun at the beach. If we can fit in Sigiriya and some National Park time (Yala?) that would be great, but we are there to rest and would rather do a couple of things well than spend our time zooming around. Thinking up to Kandy for a couple of nights on arrival, train through to Nuwara Eliya and on to Ella (couple of nights or so) then out to the East coast (Arugnam v Trinco area?) and back to Columbo for our last day and night. Would love to go to the South West beaches but it seems from other posts that the weather is too rainy then....and we really need a rest in the sun! All ideas welcome, esp on what to try to fit in and the best beach spot in May! Thanks

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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1. Re: Too much to do, too few days! Ideas?

Hi there,

It''s choosing indeed.

* Either Kandy - Hill Country - Arugam - Yala

* Or Kandy - Cultural Triangle - Habarana safari parks - Trinco/Nilaveli

Distancewise the second option is easier, Nilaveli is 7 hours from airport and Arugam 10+ hours.

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Rome, Italy
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for Sri Lanka, Maldives
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2. Re: Too much to do, too few days! Ideas?

hmmmm 9 days... more than one night in kandy is not worth it.

id go with the first option suggested by Erik&Sandy (but would do cultural triangle instead of hill country)

Auckland Central...
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3. Re: Too much to do, too few days! Ideas?

Thanks for the ideas, new plan brewing like this:

Day One - Train to Kandy

Day Two - Train through to Nuwara Eliya and on to Ella for the night

Day Three - Out to Arugna Bay for a few days

Day Six-ish - to Yala for a night and a safari etc

Day 7 - ish - around coast road stopping where appeals but probably Mirissa or Hikkaduwa

Day 8 - Colombo for the night

Day 9 - off home we go

Alternative is to split on Day two up to Habarana, then beach at Trinco but where to after that to break up the trip back home? Perhaps there is some doubling up on the way back to Colombo so we can go through the Hill Country?

Final questions (I promise!!) can anyone give drive times (or direct me to a post where they are already listed) for:

Colombo - Kandy

Colombo - Nuwara Eliya

Kandy - Habarana

Habarana - Trinco

Ella to Arugam

Arugam to Colombo via coast road/Yala

Trinco to Colombo

Thanks a million squillion for all your help!!!!

Sussex UK
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4. Re: Too much to do, too few days! Ideas?

We did:

Colombo to Habarana (from where we went to Sigirya and Pollonaruwa) - 2 Nights (first to recover from the journey flight and then from Colombo)

Kandy (seeing Dambulla on the way) - 1 night

Hill Country (Tea Factory Hotel) - 1 night

Udawalawe (safari) - 2 nights

Beach near Galle - 6 nights

If you did something similar you could do 3 nights on the beach at the end which would give you 9 nights. You could cut the safari down to one night or do Sigiryia on the way to Habarana (depends on your flight times - we got in at 8am in the morning so had all day to get there but even then it was a long journey). Our full itinerary is on the web at www.my-sri-lankan-holiday-truths.com

Good Luck!

Bedfordshire
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5. Re: Too much to do, too few days! Ideas?

have read your rveview you refer to...it was excellent, I too enjoy planning as its half the fun! many of your plans echoed my ones so it was grreat to see my ideas in action! i now cant wait - thanks for taking the time!

Colchester
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6. Re: Too much to do, too few days! Ideas?

Which train are you planning to get to Kandy on Day 1? Inter City trains take two and half hours to Kandy - one in the morning and one in the afternoon and other trains about three and half hours. If leaving to Nuwara Eliya on Day 2 and then moving on to Ella for the night, you would need to catch the morning train from Kandy (Peradeniya in fact) and that goes at around 8.30 am, arriving Nanu Oya (Nuwara Eliya) at about 12.30.

So, unless you leave very early in the morning for Kandy on Day 1, you are going to have virtually no time in Kandy to see anything.

Suggest you look at the Sri Lanka Railways website to see the times of trains and how these would fit into your schedule. The line to look at is Colombo - Badulla.

David.

http://www.railway.gov.lk/

Auckland Central...
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7. Re: Too much to do, too few days! Ideas?

Thanks! We arrive at about 8.30am so have all day to travel which is good. I think we will try to get the morning train to Kandy, spend the afternoon and night then onto the next train the following morning. That said, if we feel like staying longer we can I guess.

That said, from what you write and what I see on train timetables it seems that to get the best from the Hill Country trip with such limited time we might be best to get a driver to take us from Columbo so we have an afternoon and evening and part of the next day in Kandy, then drive to Nuwara Eliya on the second afternoon (not sure how long that takes - lonely planet seems to say 4 hours or so?) for the night in Nuwara Eliya, then train the next day along to Haputale and Ella, staying in Ella that night

Goodness, am confusing myself!! Seems to be:

Day 1, land, drive to Kandy and spend arvo and night

Day 2, spend morning in Kandy then drive to NE for the night

Day 3, train from NE via Haputale onto Ella - sounds beautiful and amazing!!

Day 4, head to the East coast beaches with driver - Arugam

Sound do-able?

k

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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8. Re: Too much to do, too few days! Ideas?

Yes, sounds workable. The road from Kandy to Eliya was redone 2 years back and now the journey is 3 hours, with some luck.

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

9. Re: Too much to do, too few days! Ideas?

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