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Researching summer vaccation

Copenhagen, Denmark
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351 posts
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Researching summer vaccation

Family of 4, parents plus 12 and 16 yrs old children. We are considering visiting Sri Lanka during next summer.

Few basic questions:

How is the weather during the summer?

Is the country safe and tourist friendly??

Is 3 weeks too long/short or perfect to explore this country??

What should we expect??

Average daily expenditure per person in a level of a 3-4 star hotel living and eating (we would like to use public transport if safe and reliable)??

As you can see from our somehow naive questions we know little about Sri Lanka. Thus your answers might be vital to help us make our mind to carry on with our visit to Sri Lanka or not.

More detailed questions will probably follow at a later stage.

Thank you very much.

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1. Re: Researching summer vaccation

Hi there,

Hans will be able to answer these in Danish but here at least the English version ;-)

* Weather: quite decent on the southwestern beaches, nice sunny mornings and only some rain later in the afternoon. Picture-perfect on the eastern beaches, but then these are a lot further from the airport.

* Yes quite tourist friendly (sometimes too much, no need to find drivers because they'll find you :-). Generally safe, but of course petty crime exists and always safe to plan activities after dark carefully.

* 3 weeks is perfect, can see all 3 main inland areas plus a wildlife safari plus a week relaxing on some beach

* Hotels 3-4 star in summer should cost around USD 60-80 for a double on BB basis. Meals per person in tourist restaurants around Rs 2,500 /day

* Public transport is safe and reliable (--> will arrive, delays are common), but has a strict luggage limit; buses don't have space for more than a midsize backpack per person. Trains are better but don't serve all needed sights.

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Brisbane, Australia
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2. Re: Researching summer vaccation

Hi, we felt perfectly safe in Sri Lanka. We loved our time there last year so much that we are going back again in two weeks for about a month.

If you have three weeks, I'd spend a few days in each of the main sites and then spend about 10 days in a (rental) villa in the south and get to know your local village.

There are some well worn routes that take in the sites and lots of people seem to try and knock it over in about five or six days but if you do, you'll just end up feeling exhausted. Happy to pass on some of accomodation and driver details if you want as well as some things my 16-year-old liked.

West Hollywood
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3. Re: Researching summer vaccation


I would agree with your previous replies, but add a couple of things.

I would as a family of four I strongly recommend you hire a car/van and driver - we did and it gives you the freedom (expect to pay around US$50 per day). I won't name the driver we used (unless you want it) as I don't want it to seem like I'm touting. He was excellent.

Public transport is very cheap but much more hassle and very slow. Just have fun on a short train trip if you like but the network won't get you everywhere you need to go.

It will be hot. Do climb the rock at Sigiriya and no you don't need a guide.

Do keep your wits about you (i.e. don't wander in dark areas at night) - although there is little evidence of actual theft there are plenty of tourist scams (agree everything in advance).

Also don't wander around in areas off the main paths in rural areas. There are still regrettably land mines buried.

You will have a great time. Have fun.


St Austell
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4. Re: Researching summer vaccation

Land mines? I don't think you'll have to worry about them in the parts of Sri Lanka that you and most other people visit. It's perfectly safe to wander in rural areas in the south and west of Sri Lanka.

But I do agree about hiring a car and driver for some of your stay; at least for the Cultural Triangle part of it. I don't see why you shouldn't take to the train from Kandy through the hillcountry, and then buses (and sometimes trains) along the coastal stretches. We have found buses to be very accommodating of our quite large luggage bags (and often with 4 of us too). You might have to pay for an extra seat to put your luggage on, but the cost is next to nothing. We have always enjoyed using buses and have found them to be reliable and fun, as well as very cheap.

Have fun.


5. Re: Researching summer vaccation

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