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Best way to travek around in Sri Lanka

Brussel, België
Level Contributor
46 posts
11 reviews
Best way to travek around in Sri Lanka

Hi,

I just booked a flight together with my gf to Sri Lanka in september. The idea is to do a 16 day roundtrip to visit the island. No itinery has been fixed yet but this will be more ore less similar to what can be found throughout the internet.

However, I was wondering how to travel around easy and cheap without taking busses (apparently close to suicide). Some suggest to have a car with driver but i'm wondering if this is not too expensive and a risk for privacy? Is it also possible and good to rent a car for both of us and drive around? What about taking taxis from city to city?

Thanks for helping us out on this.

Kind regards,

Frederik

1. Re: Best way to travek around in Sri Lanka

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Removed on: 07 May 2012, 11:40
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
64,831 posts
231 reviews
2. Re: Best way to travek around in Sri Lanka

Search the forum with terms like 'self drive'. It is NOT cheaper than car-with-driver, often more expensive due to higher insurance premiums for foreigners. And taxi costs Rs 70+/km while a roundtrip car-driver costs Rs 40+/km, but with a minimum daily mileage and the obligation for the tourist to book acco with a free driver's quarter OR pay for an extra guesthouse room; the reason is that the taxi returns empty to his starting point and you need to pay for that petrol too...

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

St Austell
Level Contributor
3,592 posts
36 reviews
3. Re: Best way to travek around in Sri Lanka

If you are looking to cut costs, don't rule out buses for some of the time. They are not dangerous to travel on, but can be crowded and you do need to keep your luggage to a reasonable amount - no large rigid suitcases for instance, although soft sided wheel along bags are fine. The worst they can do is make you pay for an extra seat for them .. and you are talking just a few rupees.

I usually advise a car and driver for the Cultural Triangle at the very least, as buses are less frequent there and you can waste a lot of time getting from A to B. You can travel through much of the hill country by train, and once you are on the south and west coasts, buses are frequent and plentiful.

Sue

4. Re: Best way to travek around in Sri Lanka

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Removed on: 22 March 2012, 07:36
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
57 posts
8 reviews
5. Re: Best way to travek around in Sri Lanka

16 days .... ?? better book in advance and book fast !

The cricket T20 cricket world cup starts in September and rooms are really hard to get these days ....

Will recommend a private chauffeur driven vehicle, cost is not that bad ...

North East England
Level Contributor
122 posts
8 reviews
6. Re: Best way to travek around in Sri Lanka

we just did 2 weeks and we simply got each hotel to book us a taxi (mini van). the trip went from colombo to anaradhapura to ella to yala to hikaduwa. worked out very well and didnt cost much in reality.

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
64,831 posts
231 reviews
7. Re: Best way to travek around in Sri Lanka

Yes, but still probably cost 70% more than a permanent driver! Roundtrip price is based on Rs 40+/km (with a minimum daily mileage) and your one-way model is based on Rs 70+/km.

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Australia
Level Contributor
90 posts
56 reviews
8. Re: Best way to travek around in Sri Lanka

We just visited SL and travelled around with train and bus. This was fine. I personally feel a driver would cramp my style.

You could travel from Colombo to anaradhapura on the train. We then caught smaller AC bus to Sigiriya which was very comfortable (although not alot of room for large bags - but honestly do you really need alot of luggage for SL?). We then caught a similar bus to Kandy.

From Kandy you can then pick up the train which is wonderful. Very old, clunky and charming. You only need 2nd class and it costs very little. The Kandy to Ella part is stunning.

If you were going to hire a taxi anywhere I'd do it from Ella to the coast as this part is hilly and windy and may be more comfortable in a car.

After that its easy to catch buses on the coast.

Hope this helps.

Milton Keynes...
Level Contributor
6 posts
18 reviews
9. Re: Best way to travek around in Sri Lanka

Hello

I am going to sri lanka in march and have put toegther an itinerary, but am confused as train / bus times etc arent very clear on the web?? Does anyone know how regular they are and how long they take, for example my itinerary so far, i am in sri lanka for 10nts is all this do-able?? How long would it take to get from place to place.

Colombo

Sigiriya??

Kandy

Adams Peak

Nuwara Eliya

Yala National Park

Mirissa/Polyhena

Hikkudawa

Tula xx

Fredericia, Denmark
Level Contributor
37,532 posts
7 reviews
10. Re: Best way to travek around in Sri Lanka

Your itinerary is packed for 10 nights, but doable.

Train network in Sri Lanka is limited.

www.railway.gov.lk/web/index.php…

Nearest train station to Sigiriya would be e.g. Kekirawa. You can go by train from Kandy (Peradeniya) to Hatton (Adams Peak) and on to Nanu Oya (N'Eliya). Also you can go bu train from Matara (Mirissa/Polhena) to Hikkaduwa and Colombo.

You will find buses everywhere, but buses are not suited for large luggage.

Hans