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18 days Sri Lanka Nov 2012

Melbourne, Australia
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23 posts
3 reviews
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18 days Sri Lanka Nov 2012

Can anyone help? First timer to Sri Lanka for 18 days with no clues on what to see, love the beach, trekking,wildlife ,Shopping, We have read that hiring a guild is the way to go or can you see the country on an independent level? Is hiring a driver the normal way to go if so what sort of prices are we looking at over 18 days?As a well travelled person Sri Lanka has me a wee bit confused. Is travelling anti clockwise a way of tackling it starting from Negombo? Love to hear from anyone with help Cheers Lee

R. M. S Antique And Brassware
Art Galleries, Natural History Museums, Speciality Museums, Art Museums, History Museums
1. Re: 18 days Sri Lanka Nov 2012

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Removed on: 10 August 2012, 07:35
Colombo, Sri Lanka
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for Sri Lanka
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2. Re: 18 days Sri Lanka Nov 2012

Hi Lee,

Well firstly the season is not optimal; esp. on the coast November can be a bit unsettled. But if you come for the many other attractions of Lanka and not mainly beach weather, it's still quite nice.

Secondly, yes you can see it indepently using train/bus BUT you are about 1/3 slower than by car-driver and have very limited luggage space in the bus. So generally if one can afford (around USD 50-60/day) and has a need for a fuller program, car-driver is best.

Yes you could do anticlockwise and spend e.g.

* 1 night Negombo to recover from flight

* 2 nights Unuwatuna or Mirissa beach, as a midway point

* 1 night Yala-Kataragama. Visit K'gama evening pooja after the afternoon safari or do morning safari instead

* 3 nights Ella-Haputale; do some light trekking there

* 3 nights Kandy, for lots of culture and nature (botanical garden, Pinawela elephant zoos). Could also do more trekking, at Knuckles mountains

* 3 nights Sigiriya-Dambulla-Habarana area. Rock fortress, old temples, jumbo ride

* 2 nights Colombo town (or Mount Lavinia) at the end for shopping

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Melbourne, Australia
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23 posts
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3. Re: 18 days Sri Lanka Nov 2012

Hi Erik thanks so much for the information you have supplied we have found it very valuable. Just a couple more questions how much does it cost from the airport to negombo and i am aliitle surprised by the cost of a driver per day why so expensive? So if we werent to get a driver backpacking on public transport would be ok? Oh just one more question is it hard to obtain accomodation the day you arrive in a town or is it better to pre book? Thanks once again Lee

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka
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4. Re: 18 days Sri Lanka Nov 2012

Hi again Lee,

1] Around Rs 1,500

2] It's still cheap compared to Oz and any other wealthy country. Petrol is not cheap in Lanka, as it is worldwide, and vehicles actually are as expense as in the West or worse due to high import duties...

3] Yes PT is fine, but 30-50% slower than car and buses are very tight on luggage size.

4] In november is easy enough to get accomodation but in bigger touristy towns where the accomodations are close enough to each other. Not in outposts, or places like Habarana or A'Pura where the hotels and guesthouses are miles apart robbing you of your bargaining power ('if price not 10% down then I walk next door').

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Brisbane
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5. Re: 18 days Sri Lanka Nov 2012

Hi Lee

The prices for driver/guide that Eric quoted are for the car/van, not the number of passengers. At the moment, the OZ $$ is getting very good rates and although self operating drivers/guides may quote in USD, you can pay in rupees, ie no need to get USD.

You wouldn't necessarily need to retain the driver for all your trip. Maybe go with a guide from Negombo/ airport to Anuradhapura/ Polonnaruwa/ Sigiriya/ Habarana/ Sigiriya then Dambulla enroute to Kandy. That way he can book your accommodation for you in the more difficult to get it places. You might spend four days with him for this. The milage rates, however, are more for a drop off hire as opposed to a round trip. From Kandy, you could hire tuk tuks locally or get buses/ private local hire to go to Ella and again beyond. You have a bit of time to play with as many people have less and want more.

Don't know where else you are going [ shopping opportunities] or what shopping you have in mind but formerly Colombo has not been worth the hassle, IMO. A recent post painted it more favourably than usual, so maybe it could have regained the attraction of the 1960s.

Have an enjoyable trip!

Archi

Colombo, null, Sri...
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6. Re: 18 days Sri Lanka Nov 2012

Hi Lee;

Don't miss Sinharaja Rain forest If you come to sri lanka. If you go to NELUWA LANKAGAMA it's good entery for sinharaja. you can see 6 big waterfalles withing 3 km range. bird watching flowers and lot more there. but you have to travel by small offroad vehical.

Gayan

7. Re: 18 days Sri Lanka Nov 2012

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Removed on: 31 August 2012, 11:05
8. Re: 18 days Sri Lanka Nov 2012

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Removed on: 03 September 2012, 19:35
9. Re: 18 days Sri Lanka Nov 2012

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