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Help - Cultural Sri Lanka

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Help - Cultural Sri Lanka

My husband and I will be arriving in SL on Christmas Day. We want to visit Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Kandy and Nuwara Eliya. Do you know how to do this on a budget? What is the best place to stay to see the majority of sights?

Thanks Lynda

Fredericia, Denmark
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1. Re: Help - Cultural Sri Lanka

Hi Lynda,

You can cover Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya from a base in e.g. Dambulla, Sigiriya or Habarana. Then you have to move on to Kandy and finally to Nuwara Eliya as these 2 are too far from Cultural Triangle to be done as day trips.

How many days do you have at your disposal?


St Austell
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2. Re: Help - Cultural Sri Lanka

Hi Lynda

To see all the places you mention, you would ideally have 3 different bases; one in the Cultural Triangle (for Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya), then another in Kandy and finally one in Nuwara Eliya (although I'd suggest you stay in Ella instead which is far prettier than Nuwara Eliya and has a great choice of good guesthouses).

Kandy is the most central of your 3 locations and you could do quite a lot of touring from there, ie some of the C.T. attractions and, in the other direction south of Kandy, the tea plantations, waterfalls and higher hillcountry. However, to avoid long drives and wasting time on the road, it's best to do it by moving from place to place.

It's quite easy to do on a budget. I usually stay in mid range guesthouses which cost around £15 - £20 per double room B & B on average and for this you can get some very comfortable accommodation. Cheaper is available too if you don't mind the occasional cold water shower and clean, but fairly basic room. Using public transport to get around is really very cheap indeed and I do this all the time, but I still think it is worth paying for a driver to show you the sites of the Cultural Triangle and to save time waiting around for buses in this particular region. If you wanted to go it alone after that, it is quite simple to get a bus from, say, Dambulla to Kandy and then a train from there into the hillcountry.

All the best


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3. Re: Help - Cultural Sri Lanka

Would totally endorse Sue's suggestion of having your own transport for Dambulla, Sigiriya and the ancient cities, where public transport is a little less convenient. If time or money is limited, I would suggest cutting out Polonnaruwa and stopping off at Mahintale instead - this is close to Annuradhapura and is possibly one of the more spiritual sites - brilliant early in the morning as the sun rises and before the majority of visitors arrive.

Bus to Kandy where you can use tuk-tuks and do a lot on foot and then a train from Peradeniya Junction (7Km from Kandy town centre) to the Hill Country.


4. Re: Help - Cultural Sri Lanka

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