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Short holiday in Sri Lanka

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Short holiday in Sri Lanka

Hi! We are doing an independent tour in Sri Lanka for five days only, in late October '07

We are first timers to Sri Lanka. We are a mature-age couple and plan to do travel by trains/public transport. We plan to stay in budget/ tourist class accommodation not luxury.

Like to see Columbo, Negombo, Kandy and Nuwara Eliya.

May not be enough time for all of them.

Any ideas/advice would be appreciated.


Colombo, Sri Lanka
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1. Re: Short holiday in Sri Lanka

Hi Liz,

As for acco I leave it to other posters like Rod - we're generally in a different category because our own 2nd house in Lanka is already tourist-class.

A suggested itinerary:

* Night 1: Colombo. Note that there is no working train from airport to town. There's an express bus, and it's the only one with reasonable luggage space (pays extra); for the rest better either use trains or have backpacker-size luggage.

* Night 2: Kandy, after an afternoon train from Colombo

* Night 4: Eliya. On day 3 all the time for e.g. Pinawela Elephant Orphanage, Temple of Tooth etc. On day 4 the morning train to Eliya (only daytime train), departs around 9 AM Kandy.

* Night 5: Negombo or Colombo

As train Eliya-Colombo takes around 8-9 hours you cannot reach Negombo solely by train. So if you want that you'll have to travel for a part by taxi, or alternatively use the Eliya-Colombo express buses. These take 5-6 hours only (shortcut route), but mind the luggage restrictions. After that Colombo-Negombo train or express bus.

Hope this helps as a starter,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

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2. Re: Short holiday in Sri Lanka

Hi msprim,

Good for you. I mean in opting to throw yourselves in at the deep end by using public transport and small guest houses.

I always think, if I wanted a beach holiday, I'd go to the Caribean.. If I wanted , just to wander around ancient ruins, then I'd go for Egypt, or Cambodia, or Greece, etc. and if I wanted to just stay in a hotel complex and be pampered I'd go for somewhere in the Med . ( cheaper , shorter filghts).

A trip to Sri Lanka is more than that, it's a unique experience which is multiplied many times over by mixing and staying as much as possible with the locals.

I'll be happy to list a few guest houses around your route and also suggest transport methods and connections.

But first, can I ask,, how much you know of whats available to see in Sri Lanka.

For example, why Newara Eliya ?? There's some great scenery if you have the time to walk around the hills, but Newara Eliya town can be seen in an hour. Plus, it's quite often , cold wet and windy.

Why Colombo?? It's a medium size tropical city , thats crowded, hot , full of exhaust fumes and not too much of interest. I went , wandered around, visited the shop most people recommend , ( O'Dells' ) came away after finding it was a rip off by Lankan standards) and hurried off to Colombo Fort to get a train to somewhere more interesting..

What I'm trying to say, is , instead of sweating in a crowded city street in Colombo you could be on the top of the Sigirya rock fortress , with the sun , the breeze and views you could stare at forever. Or... instead of shivering in Newara Eliya in the mist, you could be wandering around the hillsides of Ella, seeing the huge variety of birdlife, maybe catching site of a mongoose or two running around, maybe stopping off, ( by invitaion) at the tea pickers huts for a cup of tea before strolling to the top of Little Adams peak for yet more fantastic views of montains, valleys. water falls, etc.

So,, what do you know,, what type of thing do you wanna see, and ,, is the 5 days inclusive of flying in and out days or do you have 5 clear days.

If you'd like me to put together my idea of an itinery, including ways to get there and places to stay, let me know the answers and I'll be happy to help.

Either on here or by email, ( probably better as I can attach a few pics.). > R_Boakes@hotmail.com )


Leeds, United...
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3. Re: Short holiday in Sri Lanka

hi just read your review of sri lanka 2007 we are looking to go in december 2009 would like to do 7 nights touring 6 days beach like off the beaton track, what do you recommend, i know you did guest houses, but what beach area do you recommend


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4. Re: Short holiday in Sri Lanka


For a beach off the beaten track, the best are on the south coast.

Basically, the bigger hotel chains are spread down the west coast, then as you turn east and go along the south coast, the beaches get better, more picturesque and quieter.

My favorite beach guest house is The Kadolana Beach resort,on a beach at Kemagoda, Nilwella, Tel; +94-(0)-41-2256140 about halfway between the towns of Dikwella and Tangalle.

Lovely place with a beautiful , wide beach about 1 1/2 miles long fringed with coconut plams and , usually, the only other people on it are a few local kids.

I like to tramp around the hill country but always spend a few days at the Kadolana afterwards for the relaxation bit.


Negombo, Sri Lanka
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5. Re: Short holiday in Sri Lanka

Hi LizB.

There are good places you can stay during your tour.

Negomob - Silver Sands

Kandy - Blink Bonnie

Nuwara Eliya - Sampath Rest


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6. Re: Short holiday in Sri Lanka

Those four places in five days, by public transport -sorry but I think you will spend more than half of your time on buses and trains - not the best way to see and appreciate this beautiful island. I think you will either have to adjust your budget or your itinerary. Also think about if you want to do beaches or something more cultural. I agree with the suggestion that if you are only there 5 days, Colombo is not the best place to visit and Nuwara Eliya without you own transport could be of limited interest and will take a lot of time to reach. Kandy on the other hand, is compact and has lots to see within easy reach and transport is good. Get the Inter-City Express from Colombo (3 1/2 hours) and then use a three wheeler in Kandy to get about. Not sure about your hotel budget or your expectations hotel-wise but if you get back to me I can suggest something. Good luck and enjoy your first trip. I am sure you will want to stay more than five days on the next visit.

Fredericia, Denmark
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7. Re: Short holiday in Sri Lanka

DM, you replied to a 2½ years old post.


Uttoxeter, United...
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8. Re: Short holiday in Sri Lanka

Still interesting, and updates it for us prospective travellers!


9. Re: Short holiday in Sri Lanka

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