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Sri Lanka - 18 day Itinerery advice/Improvements

Aberdeen, United...
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Sri Lanka - 18 day Itinerery advice/Improvements

Hi Everyone,

My 3 flatmates and I are planning a trip abroad next summer too celebrate our university graduation. It will be one last send off before we all go our separate ways so we'd like to go somewhere we've never been before. We have other destinations in mind also but I am in charge of pricing a holiday to Sri Lanka. I've come up with the following Itinerary for 18 days.

Day 1-3: Colombo Airport to Negombo

-days visit to Colombo

-relax and explore Negombo and beaches

Days 3-7: Dambulla

-I read that this was a good base for exploring the Cultural triangle?

-Also heard there is no longer a round trip ticket for the Cultural Triangle and there are now separate entrance fees to each site. Is it better to hire a driver/private tour to take us to Sigirya, Polonnanuwa and Anuradhapura or is it possible to visit these places without a guide?

Days 7 to 10: Kandy

-Explore Kandy city

-Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage

-Visit a Spice Garden

-See Cultural Dance Show

-Visit Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic

-Botanic Gardens

Days 10 to 12: Ella

-Halpewatte Tea Factory

-Adam's Peak

-Ella Gap Waterfall

-Ravanna' Cave and Ella Falls

-Spa at Hotel

Days 12 to 13: Day at Yala National Park

-Can anyone recommend a good place to stay that's relatively low cost?

Days 13 to 18: Galle

-We thoughts about having at least 6 nights at a hotel by the beach to just chill at the end of our holiday but I wasn't sure if Galle is the best place for this on the way back to the airport?

-Visit Turtle Hatchery

-Whale Watching

-Explore Galle town

Day 18: Fly back to UK

I would really appreciate any feedback anyone has on this itinerary - is there anything you would add in or take out?

Also travel wise I was reading the train/bus is the cheapest way to travel and I've seen many blogs which say the train journey from Kandy to Ella is especially scenic. Has anyone had much experience travelling by trains etc in Sri Lanka?

From my reading it would seem food is fairly cheap there, we are working within a budget so is £400 enough for train travel and food/souvenirs for 18 days?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Fredericia, Denmark
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1. Re: Sri Lanka - 18 day Itinerery advice/Improvements

Spice gardens are tourist traps.

There is no beach at Galle, so Hikkaduwa or Unawatuna are better options.

Adams Peak season ends at May full moon, and it's not recommended to visit outside the season.

Whale watching season at Mirissa ends in late March/April.

Hans

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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2. Re: Sri Lanka - 18 day Itinerery advice/Improvements

Lots of experiences with public transport were processed here..

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g293961-c195051/Sri-L…

Some more points:

* Triangle _can_ be done fully by public transport too, a guide is not needed for the sights. The reason many people hire a car-with-driverguide or even tuktuk there is the limited public transport connections; and in A'Pura you absolutely need a tuktuk-car or rented (push-) bike as the sights are scattered over quite a sizable area without buses coming close to them.

* Yala: Tissa has many affordable guesthouses and hotels, recently Hibiscus Garden was a fav of ours with unbeatable prices for a 3-star hotel

If you're okay with local (quite spicy and sometimes with the odd hygien risk) food in the rice & curry restaurants, yes your budget is fine.

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Bentota, Sri Lanka
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3. Re: Sri Lanka - 18 day Itinerery advice/Improvements

Hi

if You are looking for budget accommodations then replace Galle /Unawatuna to Mirissa beach.

All the best

Edited: 19 June 2014, 13:26
Fredericia, Denmark
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37,532 posts
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4. Re: Sri Lanka - 18 day Itinerery advice/Improvements

GBP 400 per person should be OK - depending on how may souvenirs you intend to buy.

Be aware that entrance fees are quite expensive.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g293961-c205891/Sri-L…

Hans

11 posts
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5. Re: Sri Lanka - 18 day Itinerery advice/Improvements

Well your itinerary seems to pretty much cover everything. I would suggest that while Galle is ideal to take a sightseeing tour, you are not likely to find budget accommodation options there. The best beaches in the island’s South coast are located in Unawatuna and Hikka. However, if you need accommodation during your tour across the Cultural Triangle, a unique choice is Aliya Resort & Spa which opened quite recently.

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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6. Re: Sri Lanka - 18 day Itinerery advice/Improvements

Aliya Resort will be around 75GBP a night.

If you're coming in the summer, then generally the beaches in the east are better.

And also, Adam's Peak is no where near Ella. You probably meant "Little Adam's Peak

7. Re: Sri Lanka - 18 day Itinerery advice/Improvements

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