I left France this November 6th for about 18 months. Before coming in New Zealand I wanted to offer myself some vacation in Sri Lanka.
To get to Sri Lanka I took a airline ticket with Air India, stopover in New Delhi. The flight went well even if the model of the airplane is not very recent and not very well equipped. On the other hand there is a point that surprised me very much, no security check! Belt attached, seat raised, etc., for take-off and landing. And even when someone got up, no remark to ask him to sit down.
Very big fog in New Delhi! After embarking we waited 3h on the plane before we could take off… This flight was more classic even though I felt like I was on a plane from the 90’s…
Here is the circuit for my trip as well as the links to the associated accommodations. (click on each destination to have a more details and photos).
– Day 1 : Arrival in Colombo and reservation at CityRest Fort (hostel). 17E/night with fees in women dormitory). => classic hostel, old shower and good big breakfast
– Day 2/3/4 : Kandy and surroundings visits and reservation at ClockInn via Airbnb (9E/night+ 5E fees). => I loved the concept! And it’s much better at the 4th with a little wind
– Day 5/6 : Ella and reservation at Ella Nature Rock via Airbnb (20E/night+ 6E fees). => Speaks very poorly English but superb view. Breakfast very good (the best I tasted in Sri Lanka) and very copious, I wasn’t able to eat everything. With an additional cost of 500LKR.
– Day 7 : Uda Walawe and reservation at Nature House (23E/night with fees). => Safari proposed by the hotel. Very quiet, beautiful room!
– Day 8/9/10 : Matara/Mirissa and reservation at Chamlie‘s house via Airbnb (13E/night + 6E fees). => The best host in Sri Lanka! He alwyas has good avices, you can wash your clothes. It’s closed to a non touristic beach but it’s not really close to Mirissa (you will need a tuk-tuk)
– Day 11/12 Galle and reservation at Souad‘s house via Airbnb (16E/night + 6E fees). => I highly recommend to spend more money to have a acceptable room. Poor quality bedding (back pain). The bathroom doesn’t look like a room you want to put your feet in and cold shower
– Days 13/14/15 : Colombo and reservation at Isuru‘s house via Airbnb (15E/night + 5E fees). => If you want a typical accommodation it is here! But basic comfort. He offers a lift to the airport (not free).
Transports in Sri Lanka
In Sri Lanka the train and bus network is very functional! If you want to take a train between Kandy and Ella I strongly advise to book on this site visitsrilankatours. It is certainly more expensive but the journey is so popular that currently there is no place bookable until 2018. It must remain places 2nd and 3rd class but taking the ticket the same morning is venture.
Before the trip it seems complicated but it’s actually very easy to take the bus in Sri Lanka! The buses to take are the red ones. If you are at a bus station, ask for the right bus, there are usually agents (in shirt) who will tell you. TukTuk drivers also generally indicate well. If you are on the roadside, go to a bus stop (well where there is a small bus sign), signal to the first red bus that passes. He will tell you if he’s going where you want or not. The bus is really very cheap (a hundred rupees for a hundred miles). There is usually a space next to the driver to put your luggage otherwise it will be proposed to put them in a trunk at the back.
Tuktuk et taxi
The price of a TukTuk is about 50 LKR per km. Ask before what will be the price of the race because for the same journey the price may vary.
A taxi / driver is usually quite expensive compared to other transport. However, this can be useful if there are no direct lines and you have big luggage to carry.
Plug socket (for european people)
You won’t have any issue using a battery charger eg (cable without ground wire), there are two options :
– either the socket blocks have 3 different systems and you can directly plug in the bottom left your charger
– either there is only the Sri Lankan system and then proceed as follows :
* switch off the plug (switch up, you should not see a red point)
* push a pen into the top hole to unlock the system
* plug your charger down
* remove the pen and activate the electricity via the switch
You can easily find ATM in Sri Lanka, however it’s rare to find one without a local commission. Cash payment is the most common in the country.
Budget for two weeks in Sri Lanka
Here is my budget off plane ticket (I took a one-way ticket since I was not going back to France).
Accommodation : 233E
Transport : 79E
Excursions : 106E
Souvenirs : 41E
A total of 560E (37,3E/day). And without the 3 most expensive things at 6000LKR (safari, whales and driver between Uda Walawe and Matara) it’s 31E/day)
For the next time 🙂
What I will do again with pleasure :
– A safari (why not in another park but neither Pinnawala nor Millenium)
– Go to the seaside trying to find a place not too touristy
– Spend a day walking in Galle
– The train between Kandy and Ella
What I won’t do again :
– Colombo, Kandy, big cities, not really my thing it that country
– Sigiriya, it’s nice but I find it too expensive for what it is
What to do in addition :
– Adam’s Peak
– Ella Rock
– East coast
– And probably other finds found on the internet 🙂