From my first trip to SL primarily going by bus, train, tuk tuk and a few times by taxi.
A big thanks to this active forum where so much knowledge is shared and made my trip a delightful experience and a special thanks to Sue given me so many good advises.
Arrived late at night (had booked the first night and transfer to Negombo) and after having exchanged money and bought a sim card at the airport, I arrived at 4:00 am at Canal View where I got a little coffee. Got barking down prices of the room to $ 14 after seeing it. Transfer cost me $ 15 (would definitely not recommend the place (despite the lovely pool and nice people).
Had previously decided to proceed to Anuradhapura next day by train to Puttalam and the bus forward. So after breakfast I spent the day in Negombo and enjoy all the local activities on the beach and also got time for a canaltour where I saw a lot of different birds and some waterlizzard, but seems not quite the trip was worth the price. (Rs 2500). Met on the evening 2 young Dutchman who had booked another night at GH, which they were sad about and we decided instead to share a taxi the next day, which cost me Rs 2500 and was worth every penny when I was still a little tired after the flight. Had the day before booked Grand tourist (2700 B & B) and got a good room with great views. The evening was spent with the manager, planning the next day and a good part of Arrack.
Next day - rented a bike (Rs 300) and decided to explore the ancient city with a guide (Rs 1500). It can definitely recommends, since I got a lot of knowledge on what I saw, but also drove around and saw different part of the city and countryside (the trip took approx. 6 hours).
Decided to stay another 2 days and spent the next day to see a lot of the things that you do not get seen on a guided tour and had also received some great input for temple and caves.
Last day I took a tuk tuk (Rs 700) to Mihintale and also paid for a guide (Rs 450). He showed me and explained about the many sights and caves to explore along the way (and carried me the rest of the way to the top). Mihintale is really a great place and I can definitely recommend that you use a lot of time here, and why there are no tourists, I do not understand?
After 3 wonderful but also quite tough days in Anuradhapura, I took the morning bus to Polonnaruwa, which cost me Rs 102 and took 3 hours. Had been recommended Devi Tourist Home ( Rs 1500 B & B) and it turned out to be a really nice place. Basic but clean and with a nice veranda in a lovely garden. Unfortunately it started raining and when it was pouring down all day, it was time for relaxation and reading mu book. In the evening I saw a giant scorpion in the direction of my room, but after giving it a slap with a mat it was gone. Was told by the owner Hamid, that he actually only saw the huge black scorpions 2 times, so you could say I was lucky?
After a good night sleep of I went by bikecycle to the ruins. They are not as impressive as in Anuradhapura and is quickly seen, but it's interesting and on bikecyckle you get easy around. The other guests went on safari in the afternoon, but since I had decided to go on safari at Yala, I stayde at the GH talking a lot with Hamid and his wife, which for me is always interesting and gives a good insight into local conditions.
Next day it rained constantly and I was offered (for a small fee) to drive with Hamid to Sigiriya where I had booked accommodation at the Flower Inn, (1200 B & B) situated in the heart of the city and within walking distance to the rock. In the afternoon it cleared up and after a time, (rice and curry for lunch in town Rs 160) I went to Sigiriya Rock. As it began to rain again, I decided to stay on the ground instead of climbing up - and I will be honest - after Mihintale, 30 cigarettes a day and a really bad physics I did not mind. The view is certainly amazing, but I will also go to Hill Country, so enough time to see and climb for beautiful viewes.
Had actually planned that I should proceed to Dambulla by bus next day, but since it's still were raining I found out that at 6.30 in the morning there was a direct bus to Kandy, and I decided to take it instead. Cost me Sr 100 and took only 2 ½ hours.
More to come for those who still bother to read about my trip?