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Sri Lanka & Jally (Hafiz Jaleel) - Jan 2011

Knysna
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Sri Lanka & Jally (Hafiz Jaleel) - Jan 2011

We spend two weeks in stunning Sri Lanka in January on a family holiday. My husband Anthony was born in Colombo and lived there for the first 7 years of his life. This was his first return in 45 years.

Anthony wanted to visit some of the places he could remember like the Galle Face Green & Hotel, the Colombo Swimming Club, the homes he lived in, the nursing home where he was born, the Colombo golf club where his father won many a competition, etc. As we could not afford to do a package holiday we planned and booked everything ourselves via the internet. I am adding the names of the places we really liked as I know first hand how confusing it is when you first start investigating alternatives to the commercial hotels.

We were lucky enough to find Jally our tourguide/driver and friend on trip advisor and I can't praise his skills enough. He spend the first week of our holiday with us, firstly in Colombo and then on a tour to Dambulla, Kandy and lastly to Weligama where he took leave as we spend the second part of our holiday in a beach bungalo - pure heaven! He also picked us up again for our return trip back to the airport and had photo's of our holiday posted on facebook by the time we got home!

Jally was a star - we emailed him the addresses of the places we wanted to visit and without fail he managed to find all of them including the address of one of the homes where Anthony lived which now has an apartment block on it - a bit confusing at first.

When one of the accommodation options was not quite up to scratch Jally quickly organized us an alternative. His driving skills are immaculate, he safely drove us through the hectic traffic, flooded roads and mudslides, sometimes having to turn around to find an alternative route but always getting us to the destination somehow. (We were unfortunate to be in the Dambulla/Kandy area while they were experiencing heavy floods) He was great company and has a fantastic knowledge of his country.

For anyone thinking of spending some time in Sri Lanka the advice I have is don't hesitate! The country is stunning the people are fantastic the food is to die for and if you want a quiet bungalow with your own private beach in one of the not so commercial tourist towns in the South, Villa Hibiscus in Weligama is an unbelievable find. It has fantastic snorkeling and safe swimming at the end of the garden, stilt fishermen in the distance, a staff of five at your beg and call with the most delicious rice & curry meals imaginable and all at a reasonable price - what an unbelievable place! Oh and surfing for my boys and a local village just down the road.

Kandy Cottage in Kandy was another hit, its not luxurious but has a definite charm. It is off the beaten track but literally only a few minutes walk from the center of town, peacefully set in a leafy valley bordering on a national park. We had 2 eventful nights there with landslides, power cuts and the road being impassable by car's - had to lug our luggage for about a half a kilometer through the mud to get there! - Unforgettable

Lastly for a stunning B&B option in Colombo we stayed at Havelock Bungalow, pure luxury, once again for a very reasonable price - the only negative here was the European menu but we found a fantastic Indian (not Sri Lankan) restaurant just down the road so no problem!

If anyone wants to get hold of Jally please post a reply with your email & I will gladly pass on his contact details.

All in all a great holiday - till next time, hopefully soon!

Tina & Anthony Robinson (Knysna South Africa)

London, United...
5 posts
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1. Re: Sri Lanka & Jally (Hafiz Jaleel) - Jan 2011

Hello,

My partner and I are looking into spending 2 weeks in Sri Lanka beginning of May. I too have read many great reviews about Jally, and thankfully he is available those weeks. Would you be able to answer a few questions for me....

Does Jally book the accommodation for us? He asked which kind of accommodation we would like. Or do we book it ourselves? We are also wanting to stay on the beach for 5 days at the end, is it ok to use his services up until then but also ask him to take us to the airport on the final day?

Lastly if you have any tips/advise/recommendations for us it would be greatly appropriated. This is our first time in Sri Lanka.

Thanks very much,

Kerry

Knysna
3 posts
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2. Re: Sri Lanka & Jally (Hafiz Jaleel) - Jan 2011

Hi Kerry

Jally is really super so you can't go wrong by using him. We have stayed in touch with him and will definitely use him again to drive us next time we go.

I booked our own accommodation because we do not like to stay in hotel's - we prefer b&b or guest houses for financial reasons. I am sure he can arrange the whole trip for you if that's what you want.

He did give me some places to consider when we first communicated but it was not really what we were looking for so I told him we would prefer to arrange our own which was no problem with him at all. We did have one place in Dambulla that I had booked that really was not good and he very quickly was able to organize another place within our budget, so if you want him to arrange your accommodation give him a budget.

We did exactly what you are planning to do. He dropped us at our villa in the south after a 5 day tour with him and then collected us again for the journey to the airport so no problem there. Just let him know that's what you are planning to do.

I don't know where you are spending your last 5 days but its worth looking at Villa Hibiscus in Welligama if you're into a not too touristy spot. The property has 2 villa's, we stayed in the older larger one, which is also slightly cheaper. The place & staff & setting & snorkeling & swimming is truly spectacular. We ate at the villa every night, the most amazing food for ridiculous cost, the only thing that was expensive was having the laundry done.

Hope this helps - Sri Lanka is a fabulous place the people are unbelievably friendly, we cant wait to go back sometime.

Tine

Edited: 30 March 2011, 20:39
Beirut, Lebanon
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3. Re: Sri Lanka & Jally (Hafiz Jaleel) - Jan 2011

plz send me jaly contacts.how much did u pay for the villa per night?

Beirut, Lebanon
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37 posts
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4. Re: Sri Lanka & Jally (Hafiz Jaleel) - Jan 2011

plz send me jaly contacts.how much did u pay for the villa per night?

5. Re: Sri Lanka & Jally (Hafiz Jaleel) - Jan 2011

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This post was determined to be inappropriate by the TripAdvisor community and has been removed.

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Removed on: 31 March 2011, 17:35
Gokaralla
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6. Re: Sri Lanka & Jally (Hafiz Jaleel) - Jan 2011

Thank U very much 4 your kind thoughts.

Knysna
3 posts
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7. Re: Sri Lanka & Jally (Hafiz Jaleel) - Jan 2011

Hi

I replied but Tripadvisor blocked the message most probably because of Jally's contact email. Please send me your email address so I can send you the info outside of this forum

Regards

Tine

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
603 posts
149 reviews
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8. Re: Sri Lanka & Jally (Hafiz Jaleel) - Jan 2011

We travelled with Jally for nine days and he was wonderful. He could not do enough for us. We have travelled many places in the world and had many drivers. We found Jally to be a real gem. He was keen to give us information on his country and was very protective of us. He was more than a driver and also a qualified tour guide who could tell us about places we visited so we did not have to pay extra for other guides.

He does get very busy, so it pays to book in advance.

Anyone that wants his contact can pp me.

Cheers

Tania

Gokaralla
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139 posts
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9. Re: Sri Lanka & Jally (Hafiz Jaleel) - Jan 2011

Thanks Tania

Edited: 05 April 2011, 07:25
10. Re: Sri Lanka & Jally (Hafiz Jaleel) - Jan 2011

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Removed on: 12 April 2011, 13:01