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Negomba for Families

Kent Family
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Negomba for Families

Hi everyone, I wondered if you could give me advice on what to do in Sri Lanka for a family with a young child.

We decided to opt for the Jetwing Beach mainly due to the transfer time and accessability to other areas. My son is 5 and I have read lots of comments about restaurants and bars outside the hotels, are these suitable for children? (not that we would be out extremely late but I would prefer not to spend all my time in the hotel)

I also saw some bad comments on the elephant sanctuary and one member had written there was another place with only 8 elephants which were kept in better conditions?

Although we are planning the trip as a get away for the normal rat race for a while, we would like to see some of the real Sri Lanka while we are there............anyone have any ideas?

Any other suggestions would be great too, I was wondering how much money to take as there very different costs from people on trip advisor. We are going for 10 days and will want to spend atleast three or four days exploring.

UK
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1. Re: Negomba for Families

Hi,

Starting with the restaurants and bars..

Yes there are plenty around that area that will be Ok for a family

One that I particularly like is the King Coconut Restaurant, 11 Poruthota Road.... Eat inside, although the front is open onto the beach or eat at one of the tables on the beach. Food is excellent and they cater for all tastes.

About 5 minutes stroll from your hotel.

Most of the bars, double up as restaurants so as you walk on the street near your hotel you'll see plenty of places where you can sit and have a drink inside or out in the garden areas .So you can enjoy a cold beer while watching the ( Sri Lankan ) world go by.

The Elephant Orphanage... I don't think the animals thereare badly treated at all. Some people go there, see an eephant which is restricted with a chain and assume cruelty Not so.

As most female animals come into season, so male elephants come into " must ". In other words they are rampant and ready. Usually you can tell from the gland near the eye which secretes a liquid . Makes them look like the are crying.

When a male elephant is in must they can get stroppy and unpredictable, so they are restricted during that period. A male elehant running amok can cause a lot of damage, so it's a necessary precaution.

Other than that, the elephants wander around freely as they play in the river and are taken to then top field at feeding time.

The other place that you've heard of is probably the Millenium Elephant Foundation. Almost next door to the Pinawella, Orphanage. So easy to visit as an alternative.

The number of elephants there varies, sometimes as few as 3 or 4 but one big advantage is that at this place you can get an elephant ride and also get in the river with them to wash them off. So maybe much better for a five year old.

Check the costs out , you might like to visit both as the big herd in the Orhanage , about 70 elephants is pretty impressive as well.

Seeing Sri Lankan life... I always enjoy wandering around Negombo town. Negombo isn't really a holiday town. There just happens to be a huge beach an it's near the arport, so hotels, guest houses, bars, restarants and gift shops are there aplenty, but you're in the middle of ordinary life as wel.

A wander around the town centre is great to see the shops, markets and busy street scenes.

The fish market. Doesn't sound very exciting but it's well worth a visit. Early you can see the fishing boats coming in and unloading and then the market in full swing as every one goes there to but their fish. Your 5 year old might enjoy seeing fish from shark, tuna, seer fish, sword fish etc down to octopus, squid, and other small stuff including the huge areas of fish laid out on the beach to sun dry.

A river trip. As you walk along the beach you'll find plenty of fishermen working on their boats and nest. Ask one of them and he'll know who will take you on a trip up the river. It's a good trip taking about 3 hours or so. A coupleof miles up the coast then in through a river estuary , up the river and canals. Lots of birdlife as well as probably spotting some big water monitors. ( like 3 or 4 feet long crocodiles ).

For your inland trip to the elephant orphanage or,the elephant foundation, you'd be best to make it a two day trip and include a visit to Kandy. That would mean a night out in Kandy . Not very expensive. There are plenty of really good guest houses and budget hotels in Kandy at low cost.

That way, you could leave negombo, visit the elephants, then drive on into Kandy.

In the evening, if you're up to it, there's a Cultural Show , beside the lake, behind the Temple, show is every evening and includes mask and costume Kandian dancers, fire walkers, etc.

Still more , if you're up to it, the show is from about 6 pm to 7 pm. after it you could go to the temple of the Tooth about 150 metres away from the show venue.

I think it's the best time of day to visit the temple as there's a ceremony going on then,. Drums beating , flutes playing and it all seems more mysterious after dark.

Next day, wander into town. There's three or four markets every day. A two storey mixed market. Meat, fruit, veg, downstairs and everything you could dream of upstairs.

A long street market running down towards the train station.

A clothing and and materials market at ground level and also unerneath.

A covered, indoor local fruit and vegetable market near the back of the prison. This one is fantastic for the colour and atmosphere.

A couple of hours around there, then go to The Botanical gardens. Take a picnic lunch . The youngster and yourselves will be impressed with th different species of trees. Huge mahoganies,canon ball trees, sausage trees, an amazing variety of palmsand tee ferns, plus the big colony of fruit bats and the monkeys.

After a couple of hours there, it'll be early afernoon. Get your driver to take you to Dambulla. It's about 1 3/4 to 2 hour drive, to the Buddhist cave Temples. The scenery on that road is good so it's not a boring drive. Once you get there, on the walk up to the caves, thre's lotsof monkeys running around every where to keep the 5 year old happy.

Then the return drive to Negombo. About 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

I know thats packing stuff in a bit but if you thought it was too much you could always miss out one of he venues, perhaps the Kandy markets .

Costs, a driver and car should cost you about 6000 to 6500 rupees a day . Overnight accomodation in a good guest house about 2500 . plus the entry fees for the elephants, the kandy temple, the Botanical gardens and Dambula.

OK, thats a feasible and ,I think, interesting trip with a mixture of places to visit but you could work out what sits you and what doesn't.

Rod,

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: Negomba for Families

We are travelling with our 5 year old in August to Sri Lanka for 17 days. We travel every year with our son, so we have worked out what works best for him. We are starting at Negombo for 1 night as we arrive early hours of the morning and then picking up a car and driver and going up to Habarana for 3 nights and visiting local sights. We will do half day trips and come back to the hotel after lunch for a swim and a relax as all day touring is too much for our son and we are on holiday too and don't want to be stuck in a car all day.

In Kandy we have 3 days at one hotel and will visit the surrounding area with half day tours and spend a bit of time at the hotel in the pool and also give him time to relax. We will do similiar things on the rest of our itinerary.

There are Turtle hatcheries on the coast and the beach will keep them entertained and an elephant ride somewhere along the way. I think there is a fun park that Hans mentioned somewhere in Sri Lanka.

Good luck with it. Just try no to fit too much in one day.

Birmingham, United...
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3. Re: Negomba for Families

for the fun park did you mean the leisure world waterpark at Kaluaggala ?

http://www.leisureworld.lk/

England
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4. Re: Negomba for Families

What a great response you gave for the family - it has helped me but would like to know if end of august is not a good time to visit Jetwing beach due to the rain fall.

Thanks for all the other points

England
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5. Re: Negomba for Families

What a great response you gave for the family - it has helped me but would like to know if end of august is not a good time to visit Jetwing beach due to the rain fall.

Thanks for all the other points

Fredericia, Denmark
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6. Re: Negomba for Families

Hi,

Next to mid December to March, end July to mid September is the best time to visit Sri Lanka. You will encounter some late afternoon/evening showers, but that is very refreshing.

Hans

have spent the month of August a couple times

England
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7. Re: Negomba for Families

Thanks again for your help - we are going late august with 2 older teenage daughters - like it not too hot but in england we get too much rain.

Kent Family
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7 posts
48 reviews
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8. Re: Negomba for Families

Thanks everyone for your great replies, I really appreciate it.

I think we will opt to stay away from the Jetwing Beach for a couple of days, it will easier on my son with the car journeys.

Thanks Rod for the tip on the evening trip to the sacred tooth temple!

9. Re: Negomba for Families

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