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Bus from Bandaranaike to Pinnawala?

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Dubai, United Arab...
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Bus from Bandaranaike to Pinnawala?

Is there a bus coming from Bandaranaike Airport to Pinnawala? We're arriving at 3AM and we would like to go straight to Pinnawala to catch the morning bath.

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Colombo, Sri Lanka
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1. Re: Bus from Bandaranaike to Pinnawala?

Hi there,

More or less.

1] Take EX03 or 187 Colombo-bound bus (free for this stretch) for 1 km to Katunayake bus stand, or if you have little luggage walk there. The buses leave from far northeastern side of Arrivals pavement.

2] Take a Kandy-bound bus from there, but doublecheck that it passes Kegalle - not all do as there's an alternate route through Kurunegala which might be more popular esp. during the night when frequencies are low (maybe 1 x per hour).

3] At Kegalle, or more precisely at a junction about 3 km east of Kegalle, exit the bus. There are hardly buses Kegalla-Pinawela-Rambukkana hence it's best to take a tuktuk here for the few km to Pinawela.

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Dubai, United Arab...
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2. Re: Bus from Bandaranaike to Pinnawala?

Thanks Erik. Do you think there are buses available at 4AM?

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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3. Re: Bus from Bandaranaike to Pinnawala?

Hi again,

Yes but low frequency. 187 and/or EX03 maybe 1 x per hour, hence it really makes sense to walk the 1 km you need them for or grab a tuktuk outside the gates. Kandy buses also maybe 1 x per hour, and beware that not all pass Kegalle - so you might have to prepare a plan-B if the first bus would do Kurunegala, then you'd either have to wait for next Kandy bus or find another route. Seeing the time of the day then I would simply stay on that bus to Kandy and travel backwards to Kegalle on the then-frequent Colombo buses...

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

PS The Bus stand - Kandy buses do pass by outside the same Arrivals gate as where you'd grab a tuktuk but we never recommend trying to grab a bus during their route if you also can grab it as its starting point. E.g. due to luggage, readibility of its destination signs etc. etc.

Dubai, United Arab...
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4. Re: Bus from Bandaranaike to Pinnawala?

Thanks for getting back. Do you think it's better (time and comfort wise) to travel to Pinnawala using the route above or via Colombo Fort by train?

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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5. Re: Bus from Bandaranaike to Pinnawala?

Hi again,

Well the first train from Fort leaves 6 AM'ish or so but the first one which halts in Rambukkana might be later even. But if it fits timewise the train option might indeed be better, just take bus 187 or EX03 to Fort station.

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Dubai, United Arab...
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6. Re: Bus from Bandaranaike to Pinnawala?

Thanks Erik. Is there a bus going straight to Sigiriya or Yapahuwa rock fortress if we plan to go?

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7. Re: Bus from Bandaranaike to Pinnawala?

Hi again,

Nope, those are far more complex. Sigiriya: Katunayake bus stand to Kurunegala, another bus to Dambulla and a 3rd one to Sigiriya. Yapa: Katunayake bus stand to Kurunegala, another bus towards Anuradhapura, exit this one at Maho. From Maho to the fortress there might be an irregular bus service but it's only a few km hence a tuktuk might make sense too.

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Dubai, United Arab...
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8. Re: Bus from Bandaranaike to Pinnawala?

Hi Erik,

Are both 2-3 hours away?

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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9. Re: Bus from Bandaranaike to Pinnawala?

If you mean from airport and by bus: much more. Yapahuwa something like 3 hours from Katunayake bus stand including wait time at Kurunegala (but excluding wait time at Katunayake bus stand), Sigiriya 6 hours from there as you have waits both at Kurunegala and Dambulla and the almost 200 km Airport-Sigiriya even by cab already takes 4.30-5 hours...

Have fun,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

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