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Official Airport Taxis/Taxi scams

Loch Lomond
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Official Airport Taxis/Taxi scams

Yes, it's that question again. ;o)

I was in Sri Lanka last year but I was only going to Negombo and the cost of the taxi wasn't an issue. We are arriving again next Sunday and we are going direct from the airport to Aluthgama. Can someone remind me what the story is with regard to official taxis and where we pick them up?

Also, what taxi scams do we have to look out for?

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31. Re: Official Airport Taxis/Taxi scams

Hi

We are landing in columbo in October about 4am and travelling to Bentota and wondering how much we should expect to pay for a taxi?

We have quotes from the hotel we are staying but wondering if there are cheaper options.

thanks

Susan L

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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for Sri Lanka
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32. Re: Official Airport Taxis/Taxi scams

Hi there,

From the airport taxi desk around Rs 8,000-9,000. Excluding Expressway toll but this time of the day it's unlikely that route will be needed, and airport-Bentota anyhow is doubtful whether it breaks even. Airport-Ambalangoda and further the E-way really makes sense.

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Fredericia, Denmark
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37,532 posts
7 reviews
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33. Re: Official Airport Taxis/Taxi scams

The going rate to Bentota is approx. LKR 8,000.

Hans

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34. Re: Official Airport Taxis/Taxi scams

Thank you both very much

Susan L

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35. Re: Official Airport Taxis/Taxi scams

Thank you both

Bhopal
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14 posts
46 reviews
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36. Re: Official Airport Taxis/Taxi scams

I just paid 2.800 LRS for taxi at one of the hotel booking agency and 3.500 LRS for a decent hotel in fort area. Was taxi price fair? Is there any hotel in colombo offering a free pick up at airport? On arrival I did't spot any hotel driver waiting for passengers with name boards as it is quite common in Delhi or Mumbai. For a country struggeling for more tourists services to and from airport are quite lousy!

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka
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61,970 posts
221 reviews
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37. Re: Official Airport Taxis/Taxi scams

Hi there,

* Yes the taxi price was more or less fair

* Colombo town is much to far for a hotel to be able to afford free pickup. Just like Delhi and Mumbai such exists mainly for hotels close to airport. In Lanka the two I know of doing it are Ramada Katunayake and Gateway Airport Garden; not with name boards but with their own shuttle bus and desk.

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Bhopal
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14 posts
46 reviews
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38. Re: Official Airport Taxis/Taxi scams

Hello Erik & Sandja,

Thank you very much for your quick reply. Your message sounds reasonable to me.

However, Colombo and its airport are far away from being budget-traveler-friendly - as it was 21 years ago, when I visited Sri Lanka first and only time before. It begins inside the airport, when you have to ask someone to show you an ATM to get some money with your Creditcard.

Inside the building I didn't notice any signboard on display guiding you to public transportion. One gets the feeling, that only travelers are welcome willing to spend 500$ a day. In Colombo I was shocked that the once wonderful city is taken over by multinational companies, hotel and fast food chains, changing the skyline in a way city totally lost it's unique charakter.

Traffic conditions are terrible and exhausting, but government seems not interested in introducing mass transportation systems such as Tube or Metro train to the public. On the opposite train system to South and East has improved a lot - and is still affordable. One doesn't depend on hazardous busdrivers anymore.

Coming back to bus No. 187 - the ticketseller was extremely rude, and - after 1,5 hours on the way to airport - when I asked how many time it will take to arrive there, he said something in Singhala, which other friendly passengers told me was not very nice to say about guests. At Katunayake-busstand all passengers left the bus, and driver and ticketseller told me to exit bus, they would not go further on. Even when I insisted and told him "airport departure" he just shook his head an pushed me out.

My motivation to return back to Sri Lanka for holidays is very low at the moment. There are too many situations in which you are target of rip offs. I am more than willing to pay tips for good services, but demanding tips is far from what I am expecting in a holiday destination.

You see, it's not that I am not able to pay for a taxi, but I am an old fashioned backpacker, and I always loved to use public transportation as a way to get in contact with locals. Sri Lankan people are so nice and friendly - as long as they are not involved in the "big tourist business"! And they are happy that a foreigner is interested in their life. Normally they just see foreigners through a window of AC-cars.

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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for Sri Lanka
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39. Re: Official Airport Taxis/Taxi scams

Hi again,

Thanks for the info and agree. Shameful behaviour, the bus SHOULD have continued to the airport...

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Fredericia, Denmark
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37,532 posts
7 reviews
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40. Re: Official Airport Taxis/Taxi scams

Of course Sri Lanka and Colombo have changed in the past 20 years, but IMHO mostly for the better.

In my 35 years of travelling to Sri Lanka nobody have ever demanded tips from me.

Hans