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First trip - 6 nts in Sri Lanka need advice to keep cost low

Manchester, England
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First trip - 6 nts in Sri Lanka need advice to keep cost low

Hi

I would really appreciate someone advice. We have booked our flights from the UK and will be travelling to Sri Lanka mid September 2012. We have 6 nights in Sri Lanka before we leave to travel onto Maldives.

As we have a beach holiday looming we want to spend our time travelling in Sri Lanka and sight seeing i.e. Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage and Sigiriya, or Lion Rock, caves etc. other tourist site suggestions welcomed.

We can't afford package tours which seem very expensive so need advice on DIY and how we can travel from airport to resorts. a car and driver would have been good but i believe this can be expensive. Hotels won't be a problem as I've found lots of websites where we can book inexpensive hotels but don't know where best to stay i.e. location. We will arrive in Sri Lanka at 9am and so can travel anywhere preferably central to attraction site (would welcome suggestions) We then want to make our way back to Colombo on day 5 so that we don't have far to travel on the day we leave for the airport and we can also spend time in Colombo.

All advice would be grateful received.

Thanks in advance.

Bhav

Manchester, UK

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Fredericia, Denmark
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1. Re: First trip - 6 nts in Sri Lanka need advice to keep cost low

I could suggest you base yourselves in Kandy - easily reached by bus from the airport. However, buses in Sri Lanka are not really suited for large luggage.

Buses are extremely cheap, but can be very slow if you need to make changes.

With an early start Sigiriya can be done as a day trip by bus from Kandy (with a change in Dambulla or a tuk tuk for the rest of the route. Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and Hill Country (Nuwara Eliya) can also be done as day trips by bus.

From Kandy you can take the train back to Colombo.

Hans

Manchester, England
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2. Re: First trip - 6 nts in Sri Lanka need advice to keep cost low

Thank you so much for your prompt reply.

We do have luggage as we'll be travelling to Maldives and then onto Dubai for a few nights so bus may not be the best idea. Is there any other way? would a taxi be very expensive? Do all the locals taxi drivers speak english? Someone has suggested Habarana as a place to stay being centrally. can you please tell me if Kandy would be better. Also suggested to me was locations to visist inc Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa Sigiriya and Dambulla which you've suggested.

I don't mind staying two nights in two different location then finishing with 2 nights in Colombo before we travel to airport. with this in mind would you be able to suggest two good locations. Also where is best to stay in Colombo for shopping and restaurants and site seeing etc.

Thanks in advance.

Bhav

Edited: 25 July 2012, 22:30
Brisbane
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3. Re: First trip - 6 nts in Sri Lanka need advice to keep cost low

Firstly, perhaps you could define "expensive" because internet hotel prices are often more expensive than can be obtained through other means, such as organising a driver who can get that for you cheaper and at some times of the year negotiating with guesthouses on the spot. For me, transport is the issue when I am sort of time so I would book a driver, in your case for the round trip, as that takes care of baggage, time, security, trips, accommodation, know how eg eating places, bathrooms, routes to sites . . . and, if he is a licensed guide, cultural and historical information to add to your experience. I think km rates for round trips are Rs45 or so. More for one way.

Secondly, two nights in Sigiriya area would allow you to see and do a lot without rushing. Maybe even three with an elephant safari in the afternoon to see them in their natural habitat. Take a night from Colombo as there is little to do there. Negombo, IMO, is more interesting and close to the airport for departure.

Two nights in Kandy would allow you to do the usual things there and with a driver you could go a bit out and see tea estates and waterfalls and return for the night.

So, perhaps PM people for driver recommendations and get some quotes to see if that would be expensive for you, or not and then decide.

Have a great time in Lovely Lanka.

Archi

Edited: 26 July 2012, 01:09
London
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4. Re: First trip - 6 nts in Sri Lanka need advice to keep cost low

Hello there,

First trip to Sri Lanka & sure you do not want to spoil your holiday travelling by bus around the country, I personally do not think that will give you any pleasant experience of that holiday at all. Train would be much better if you really need to cut down you expenses but limited sites you could do with train.

I would suggest day 1- Airport-Sigiriya / day2-Anuradhapura & back to sigiriya same hotel/ day 3- Kandy ,en route Dambulla / day 4-kandy day5- Negombo , (en route visit pinnawela ) which is closer to airport for your departure next day..If you hire a chauffeur guide/driver this trip should be around 150-160£ excluding site entrance fee & hotel prices. Depending on your budget you can bring down the cost by staying in guest houses/ B&B's etc or else re-route your plan to use train half way through & hire a driver for the rest of the journey ...

have a good time,, i have done the same.. travelling Sri Lanka & then Maldives & had a lovely time..

Manchester, England
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5. Re: First trip - 6 nts in Sri Lanka need advice to keep cost low

Thank you so much Archi and Ondr for all for your advice.

This is very helpful.

Thanks Bhav

6. Re: First trip - 6 nts in Sri Lanka need advice to keep cost low

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7. Re: First trip - 6 nts in Sri Lanka need advice to keep cost low

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