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Avoid glass bottom boats in Hikkaduwa

Hong Kong
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78 posts
43 reviews
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Avoid glass bottom boats in Hikkaduwa

This was a total rip off 30.000 rupees for 30 minutes and a complete joke. This is supposedly a government controlled price. The water was murky and you could hardly see anything except a few tiger fish. The real excitement is on the land just to the left of these boats near a reef.....where some large turtles come in for feeding. That was amazing, free and a major highlight of my trip. I happily gave some money to the man who had the seaweed.......but he tried to get 10.000 rupees out of me.

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka
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1. Re: Avoid glass bottom boats in Hikkaduwa

Price is crap indeed, it should be around Rs 3,000/boat for 30 mins at least that's what we paid some 1-2 years back. Nothing 'government controlled'. They're right that access to the beach plus reefs should cost an extra ticket of something like Rs 500/person, but if it's enforced (which is rare) that comes nowhere close to what you were asked.

As for contents: this trip is mostly useful when the sea outside the reef is clear and calm, which generally is Xmas-March. Outside of that visibility is low, the currents stir up the sand inside the reef...

Tnx,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Fredericia, Denmark
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2. Re: Avoid glass bottom boats in Hikkaduwa

LKR 30,000? And LKR 10,000 for some sea weed? Are you serious?

Hans

newcastle upon tyne
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10,357 posts
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3. Re: Avoid glass bottom boats in Hikkaduwa

Sounds like you were well & truly scammed. Hopefully other tourists will read this & know for the future.

London, United...
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809 posts
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4. Re: Avoid glass bottom boats in Hikkaduwa

Do you remember the name of boat operator/company you used?

Hong Kong
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78 posts
43 reviews
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5. Re: Avoid glass bottom boats in Hikkaduwa

My apologies.....it was 3000 not 30.000 which I still found a rip off. The man wanted 1000 rupees for the seaweed but I refused knowing it was too much and give him 500.00 Sorry all of these zeros.......but it was a major rip off nontheless......but seeing the turtles was truly amazing!!!!!!

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka
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52,719 posts
179 reviews
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6. Re: Avoid glass bottom boats in Hikkaduwa

Well as mentioned above, Rs 3000 isn't that bad. Maybe the rip-off is that they should have warned you about bad visibility of the water, will add that to the Day Trips story once there is more maintenance to be done as indeed it's an issue.

Tnx,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Sydney
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282 posts
62 reviews
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7. Re: Avoid glass bottom boats in Hikkaduwa

Hi, yes we returned yesterday. Regarding the turtles, we were also asked to pay 1,000 rupees to feed them. Having read of this previously I had given my husband 100 rps only but he felt intimidated into giving the guy 300 rps.

However, if you stay in the hotel for longer like we did, you will realise that the turtles are there most of the time and you can often either feed or see them without anyone else around. One day we had 4 all to ourselves.

We were pretty cross about the pressure from the guy but in the end my husband and him had several chats and he was very pleasant and had been doing it for 15 years.

Certainly never thought about a glass bottom boat trip - again because of Trip Advisor advice.

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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for Sri Lanka
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52,719 posts
179 reviews
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8. Re: Avoid glass bottom boats in Hikkaduwa

Well the trips _are_ great in January-February when the sea outside the reefs is calm, then visibility inside is good and you see all reef colours and fish. But it's quite seasonal and of course the sellers refuse to tell that...

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Hong Kong
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78 posts
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9. Re: Avoid glass bottom boats in Hikkaduwa

Oh good oh......glad to have been of some help!!!! :):)

Hong Kong, China
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11 posts
18 reviews
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10. Re: Avoid glass bottom boats in Hikkaduwa

The glass bottomed boats are horrible. They look for turtles and then circle round above the poor things. We did it once and felt terrible.

There used to be just a couple of oldish men doing the turtle seaweed thing, but over the last few years seems there are more. I look out for the old ones, say hi, let my children feed the turtles a bit, give them 200 or 300 rupees each. I've seen those two men clearing plastic bags out of the reef and stopping tourists from trying to ride on the turtles, so I think they are doing a useful thing and not trying to scam anyone. Neither has ever even hinted that I should pay them.

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