Getting there & away
Private buses to Colombo (Rs 200, seven hours) leave Trinco from 5.30am to 5pm, and from 9pm to midnight. Air-con buses (Rs 240, six hours) leave approximately every 45 minutes until midnight. You can use these to get anywhere en route, including Habarana, Dambulla or Kurunegala.
For Anuradhapura there are CTB buses at 7am, 9.50am and less reliably at 12.30pm. The last of the eight daily buses to Kandy (six hours) leaves at 2.30pm. Private and CTB buses to Vavuniya (for Jaffna) depart approximately hourly between 5am and 4pm (Rs 80, 4½ hours) using a very rough road. The 1.30pm bus continues to Mannar (Rs 130, seven hours).
Scheduled AeroLanka flights to Jaffna and Colombo have been suspended. With a minimum of four passengers, Sri Lanka Air Taxi (019-733 3355; www.srilankan.aero/airtaxi) will fly to Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport from Trincomalee’s China Bay airport (one way US$225). However, customers are relatively rare so you may have to charter the whole plane (one way US$900). You can book tickets in Trinco through the Sri Lanka Air Taxi agency (252 Dockyard Rd).