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Has anyone visited Jaffna recently?

canada
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Has anyone visited Jaffna recently?

Any recent latest news about driving to Jaffna, nothern part of Sri Lanka? Please share if any to be concerned about. We are planning to drive there in end of December. Planning a tour with a driver from Colombo. thank you

Canberra, Australia
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1. Re: Has anyone visited Jaffna recently?

I think by now you will be allowed to get through to Jaffna. When I went from Anuradhapura to Jaffna end April foreigners were still not allowed in, and there were military posts all along both sides of the road. I did get to go some of the way before we were turned around as I was "white" and it was quite depressing, with displaced people in tin huts in the blazing sun, with absolutely no shade. However, my Sri Lankan friends said Jaffna was worth the trip.

The roads are, of course, horrendous, and I don't know how long it will take you from Colombo, but as long as you at least double the hours you THINK it may take you, you should be close.

Hope this helps.

Eugenia

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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2. Re: Has anyone visited Jaffna recently?

Hey, we do many tours to Jaffna regularly. There is nothing you need to worry about traveling in Sri Lanka now. All is clear and safe and Jaffna is a wonderful city to visit.

The people are friendly and are continuously smiling. The place looks like time has stood still for the last 30 years and offers a lovely charm.

Don't expect much from the accommodation though. The places are clean but has a long way to go before they can reach basis comforts.

I really hope you enjoy your trip. Cheers

Panadura, Sri Lanka
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3. Re: Has anyone visited Jaffna recently?

I went to Jaffna last May (2010). Even at that time it as very safe and roads were very good up to Kilinochchi. Now the conditions should be improved and no reason to go down.

Daily luxury buses operate from Colombo to Jaffna for 2000 Rupees return.

Journey will take about 8-10 hours from Colombo to Jaffna by bus.

Edited: 25 November 2011, 10:54
canada
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4. Re: Has anyone visited Jaffna recently?

THANK YOU everyone!!! Looking forward to it.

Preston
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5. Re: Has anyone visited Jaffna recently?

Hiya, just to add what the others have said, I was there a few weeks ago the roads are good (and getting better all the time) absolutely nothing unusual to be concerned about as far as I could see - one security checkpoint stop along the entire route - have your passport with you.

I used bus and the train, with an overnight at Vavuniya (Nelly Star Hotel). It was a good trip, Jaffna is brill.

Mark

6. Re: Has anyone visited Jaffna recently?

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San Francisco...
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7. Re: Has anyone visited Jaffna recently?

I was in Jaffna the early part of November, travelling from Sigiriya to Jaffna then back to Colombo via the elephant orphanage, in 3 days. The travel days were long: roads were either 1) smooth & new, 2) being repaired and thus down to one lane with flagmen, or 3) still broken up/"pot" holed-war torn for small bits (the least).

There were 2 checks we went through: one everyone drove through without stopping and one could miss it easily; the other everyone had to get out and have an id/passport check. I was travelling with a driver-guide in a car: the army/guard filled out a form of my dates of travel in the area, purpose, occupation, home address, etc., copy of passport. We also (were) stopped & passport checked, etc. on the way out. I noticed that the regular busses were emptied and the passengers all had to wait in a line - a different area. I don't know whether that was due to mode of travel or that I was a paleface. It was strange, but not ominous. Not everyone spoke English (why should they?), so I was dependent upon the driver guide at times, especially at the check. I did feel safe the entire journey.

I would recommend Tilko Jaffna City Hotel which has been open a year, and is in Jaffna itself. The place I stayed was more basic than a youth hostel and we discovered & toured the TIlko at the end of my brief stay.

There is much evidence of international money and projects - from China, India, the Netherlands, UN agencies, religious organizations, etc.

Along the way there were still war-damaged buildings, many observation huts (current & abandoned) and a couple of areas set back from the main road with yellow land mine warning tapes (easily avoided and few) along with the many new buildings and construction.

This all said, the people in Jaffna were friendly and my general impression was that people were busy moving on - working, building, repairing with productivity and future in mind.

It's an interesting area, with yet another different feel to it (from the many various cultures & environments in SL) and I would highly recommend making the extra effort to see this large area off the typical tourist routes.

canada
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8. Re: Has anyone visited Jaffna recently?

Hi All, I do really appreciate your comments and certainly helps to imagine the tour when being the first time visitor. This project has been a very worry some due to what went on but now looking forward to this our dream vacation. thanks again every one.

Colombo
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9. Re: Has anyone visited Jaffna recently?

"The essential guide for Jaffna and its region" is a must for anyone who is touring Jaffna. If not for this book, I would not have appreciated the tour as much as I did! The book is available in most book shops in Colombo. I saw it at Lakehouse Bookshop in Fort.

somerset uk
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10. Re: Has anyone visited Jaffna recently?

Just googled this and it said it is out of print. Any chance of finding it outside Colombo?

Richard