Sri Lanka Trip – Prologue

WB as well as I were contemplating where to teach without paying a premium for airtickets inward destination Dec. We conduct maintain shortlisted Hokkaido as well as Sri Lanka but decided on Sri Lanka every bit it's considered to a greater extent than exotic to us. I conduct maintain searched that at that spot are currently three airlines flying immediately from Singapore: Singapore Airlines, Sri Lanka Airlines as well as Emirates. Emirates alone wing 1 time daily as well as it's an scarlet oculus flying but I yet teach out along amongst Emirates every bit it's the cheapest. three months afterwards the booking, I received an e-mail from Emirates that the flying is cancelled due to operational reasons. I used Emirates alive chat as well as the client service officeholder offered me three options: refund the ticket, wing to Colombo via Dubai as well as return, immediately flying amongst Sri Lanka airline (there is no alliance betwixt Emirates as well as Singapore Airlines). I took the final selection every bit our innovation was to see Sri Lanka as well as Sri Lanka airline has amend flying timing compared to Emirates.

Sri Lanka was formerly known every bit Ceylon during the British colonial rule. Its various landscapes gain from rainforest as well as arid plains to highlands as well as sandy beaches. Sri Lanka is considered circular the twelvemonth destination, due west as well as southward coast are affected past times South-West monsoon from May to July patch the eastward coast are are affected past times North-East monsoon from Oct to January. The menstruum from Dec to mid-April is considered the peak flavor for overall weather.
Map of Sri Lanka (Source: Lonely Planet)

I did non know that at that spot are then many UNESCO sites inward Sri Lanka until I started the planning for this trip. It got me excited as well as I intend to see v out of the 8 UNESCO sites. I intend to concentrate this see at the cultural triangle as well as the highlands, skipping the beaches instead. 

I discovery that Sri Lanka is non a really tourist friendly inward price of manner of shipping as well as admission tickets. A huge chunk of the budget is spent on hiring driver as well as admission which isn't the illustration for all my previous trips.

The manner of shipping is either hiring a soul driver, taking educate or bus. Hiring a soul driver is non inexpensive as well as the charge per unit of measurement gain from USD50 - sixty per day. I read online that nosotros conduct maintain to demeanour pay the driver extra USD12 - xv per solar daytime if the hotel does non supply driver accommodation. It's cheaper to take educate or bus but longer travelling fourth dimension as well as few places which I intend to see cannot live on attain past times educate or bus. After careful planning, I decided to hire a driver for iv days as well as the solar daytime from Ella dorsum to Colombo. I enquired tour agencies as well as freelance drivers as well as decided to engage freelancer Keerthi Sandun (Hp: +94 77 017 6841). He was recommended past times a tripadvisor forumer as well as he quoted me USD300 for Day two - v as well as USD90 for Day 11. Instead of the cite accommodation charge per unit of measurement above, he requested alone LKR1,000 S$7.60 for his daily accommodation.

As the educate ride from Kandy to Ella is 1 of the virtually scenic inward the world, I conduct maintain a headache on buying the educate tickets as Sri Lankan Railways don't offering online booking. I conduct maintain read online that educate ticket are available via way but it's inflated toll as well as may non guarantee a ticket on the desired locomote date. I decided to inquire my driver Keerthi if he is able to purchase the ticket for me every bit local is able to purchase ticket via Mobitel. I'm then happy when Keerthi is able to purchase the tickets for us! He bought s reserved story for the educate from Kandy to Nanu Oya for LKR500 S$3.80 as well as opened upwards drinking glass railroad vehicle from Nanu Oya to Ella for LKR1,200 S$9.20.

Tickets to Anuradhapura ancient city, Polonnaruwa ancient urban core and Sigiriya Rock are steep, costing to a greater extent than than S$25 each. I did hesitate if nosotros should pay such exorbitant admission tickets but WB comment that nosotros may probable to see these places 1 time inward our life fourth dimension only. I conduct maintain read online that around tourist teach into the site without paying the total admission fee but it's non worth to teach caught over S$25.

Booking the accommodation is also around other boring component inward the planning every bit I conduct maintain to repeat the whole procedure six times, i.e. read hotels review, compare distance as well as toll etc.

Itinerary for this trip:

Day 1: Reach Colombo at 11.05am (GMT +5.5)
Attractions: Gangaramaya temple, Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque, Fort Area
Accommodation: Ivy Lane Hotel Colombo USD46.75 (include breakfast)
Transport: Uber from airport

Day 2: Anuradhapura
Attraction: Yapahuwa Rock Fortress
Accommodation: Lievis Tourist Homestay USD29 (include breakfast)
Transport: Private driver

Day 3: Habarana
Attraction: Anuradhapura ancient city, Aukana Rajamaha Viharaya
Accommodation: Habarana Dulwan Guest House USD18 (include breakfast)
Transport: Private driver

Day 4: Habarana
Attraction: Polonnaruwa ancient city, Hurulu National Park
Accommodation: Habarana Dulwan Guest House
Transport: Private driver

Day 5: Kandy
Attraction: Sigiriya, Golden Temple of Dambulla, Nalanda Gedige, Aluviharaya Rock Cave Temple, Kandy stance point, Sri Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic)
Accommodation: Kandy Tower Inn USD25
Transport: Private driver

Day 6: Nuwara Eliya
Attraction: High tea @ Grand Hotel 
Accommodation: Blue Luna Guest House USD27
Transport: Tuk Tuk or walk

Day 7: Nuwara Eliya
Attraction: Mackwoods Labookellie Tea Centre (Damro), Ramboda Falls, St. Clairs Falls, Town Post Office as well as the General’s House, Grand Hotel, The Hill Club Hotel
Accommodation: Blue Luna Guest House
Transport: Tuk Tuk or walk

Day 8: Ella
Accommodation: Nimsara Homestay USD19.60
Transport: Tuk Tuk

Day 9: Ella
Attraction: Little Adam’s Peak, Nine Arch Bridge
Accommodation: Nimsara Homestay
Transport: Tuk Tuk or walk

Day 10: Ella
Attraction: Cooking story at Matey Hut, Demodara Loop
Accommodation: Nimsara Homestay
Transport: Tuk Tuk or walk

Day 11: Ella to Colombo
Accommodation: Ivy Lane Hotel Colombo
Transport: Private driver

Day 12: Depart Colombo at 12.10pm (GMT +5.5) 

Budget for this trip S$1,300:
- S$200 for accommodation 
- S$400 for transport 
- S$200 for admission
- S$350 for food 
- S$150 for miscellaneous

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