sl travel plans need some final adjustments. HELP NEEDED
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Jul 22, 2012 7:19 PM Last Post By: sandramarkkalage
Jul 21, 2012 12:18 AM
sl travel plans need some final adjustments. HELP NEEDEDHi.
Latest plans for our SL trip starting at the beginning of August;
2 nights Colombo, followed by 3 nights hill country/ancient cities inland, finish off with south and west coast beaches 4 nights on the way back for our flights.
Since we don't have much time to really explore too much inland, what do you suggest. Its come down to two options we think.
1) Position ourselves in Kandy, so we can check out surrounding ancient cities and experience the cultural capital of SL. We will miss the esala festival by a couple of days which is a pain but a problem we think for accommodation or not?!
2) Second option is to head down south to Nuwara Eliya or Ella and experience the amazing nature and wildlife. Which one would you suggest for a young couple to hang out, cafes….short walks…interesting places to stay, people to meet. Day trip to World's end, scenic train trip from haputale to ella etc. Even uda walawe nat park? A very relaxing option i think?!
Only 3 nights…..
Trip back to colombo via hill country or handy, to the coastline. talalla/unawatuna/galle then back to the airport
For 4 nights, what do you suggest our plan for the beachtime?
We will balance our transport between public transport trains, bus and hiring drivers for the more difficult routes. thanks
Jul 21, 2012 2:11 AM
First things first,,, It may be a pesonal thing but I wouldn't " waste " any time in Colombo unless I had some particular reason to be there. Compared with other Asian cities, such as Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Kuala Lumpur, etc, Colombo just doesn't rate.
I'd suggest, if your flight arrives before or around mid day, then I'd head off to Kandy the same day. If it was later in the afternoon, then head into Colombo for one night.
Then next morning take the early train to Kandy.
From Kandy , hire a car and driver for a day or two . Maybe a day visiting Sigirya and the Dambulla cave temples and next day maybe the elephant orphanage at Pinawella.
In Kandy city, there's the Temple of the Tooth, the Peradeniya Botanical gardens and some great forest / jungle walks. The lonely planet recommends the Udawatakele Forest on the edge of Kandy city but that charges National Park entry rates. If you want to go jungle trekking, better to go in the forests covering the mountainsides around kandy. If uyou want access instructions for that forest let me know.
After Kandy, get the train south through the hill country where I'd recommend at least one full day at either Haputale or Ella. Haputale is a bustling , small mountain town surrounded by mountains and tea plantations, water Falls, etc. A great walk is up through the plantations to Liptons seat.
Ella is a small mountain village, again surrounded by mountains, plantations, etc. Fantastic scenic walks here include Little Adams Peak and / Or Ella Rock.
Getting from there to the coast is easy.. Some buses start from a nearby town called Bandarawella. From Haputale, get a local tuk tuk to Bandarawella for the bus .. From Ella, there's a bus that I've caught several times that picks up in Ella just after 9 AM . and will take you directly to the southern coast.
There are other buses, as from Haputale but they entail a stop and bus change at Wellawaya.
Once on the south coast, choose your beach destination. The places you're most likely to meet up with other travellers are Mirissa,, Unawatuna,, or Hikkaduwa... All easy to get to on any of the many buses that run along the southern coast road.
If you chose Unawatuna as your beach stay you could visit Udwalawe national park as a long day trip from there in a hire car with a driver.
Also, from any of those beach areas it's easy to get a bus or train back to Colombo when you need to.
I'd see how you get on for time before allocating time to Colombo. As your stay gets near the end you can then judge whether it's worth staying on the beach another day or spending the time in Colombo.
Jul 21, 2012 6:48 PM
2Thanks Rod! its really helped. Are you suggesting we could fit Kandy (+ surrounds) and Ella (+surrounds) inside 3 nights? I would have thought thats too much in a short amount of time thats why I posted a question; which one would you suggest.
Colombo, we are there for two nights because my girlfriend is arriving late that night from australia, after midnight so two sleeps are needed before we start moving again, but i understand your point. I think we will head back to the airport direct from galle on the new expressway?
Jul 21, 2012 7:52 PM
you will have to think twice about ROB's plan, I things it is too much 4 three days.it dos not mean impossible but you will not enjoy it.what i can suggests is air port to Kandy and then to Elephant orphanage then to sigiriya and Dambulla cave temple and drive direct to Negombo
from air port to Galle,Unawatuna,Mirissa or Dikwella and then to Yala and Ella from ella by train to collombo
from collombo to Galle,Unawatuna,Mirissa or Dikwella you can use high way busses it will save 2 hours for you trains allso good but no seat guarantee
Jul 22, 2012 3:23 AM
When I suggested an itinerary, I was " wrongfully " assuming that the two days you were staying in Colombo could be included to be part of your tour.
As you say you are restricted to just the three days to travel, then I agree, there's no way you could follow the route I suggested.
With the shorter amount of time , personally, I wouldn't go for beach time. There are plenty of places where you can sit on a beach but not plenty of places where you can see the unique side of Sri Lanka.
My favorite area of Sri Lanka is the hill country with the amazing scenery, mountains, water falls, tea plantations etc.
.. Probably the second most interesting part for most people is the cultural triangle.
So, I'd recommend that you make a decision between those two areas and just stick to one of them.
Perhaps , using a car and driver,
Colombo to Anuradhapura including Mihintale.
Anuradhapura to Ritigala and on to Sigirya.
Sigirya to Dambulla foir the cave temples and then to Kandy for the remaining time that you have.
Colombo to Kandy.
Kandy south into the hill country, either haputale or Ella, then return towards the airport , perhaps via Kitulgala.
Sorry about the earlier confusion.
Jul 22, 2012 7:01 AM
No apologies needed! yeah its three - four days we are restricted to for our inland section. We do want some beach time however, thats why we try our best to balance it. If we head out first to do the 'unique side of SL' i think we can keep a little flexible push it out a day or two.
I think second option. colombo/kandy/ella seems like a better option, due to the hill country as you said - more unique than the cultural triangle. A question: if we catch the morning train from colombo to kandy. What time would we normally arrive? Any chance to squeeze in afternoon day trips to polonnaruwa or sigiriya if we hire a driver. If its possible then we would....and leave the next day for ella and the hill country.
We still want to squeeze in Unawatuna (or south coast) to complete the loop though. I know we are pushing it, but as i said before we are trying to get the inland+coast trip ticked off. We wont lock in all of it, just try to secure first few nights accommodation and take it from there.
I think after reading your suggestions along with Rod's latest, colombo/(kandy)/ella/unawatuna then back to colombo will be the best. Mirrissa/Dickwella etc....we dont know exactly where on the coast we will plant ourselves....provided we get there in the end! I think ella is most interesting personally speaking, but kandy for my chinese girlfriend who is a journalist writing an article about SL. we i think will experience more. more culture, more interactions etc.
Inland elephant orphanage sounds really exciting. Mountains, tea plantations and serenity equally exciting.....decisions decisions. The perils of travel. I am just worried if we take out kandy for more beach or ella....then we dont get the SL experience?!
Seems like ill book a driver for the side trips etc once we get to the main towns/cities....trains and buses in between we think. Booking ahead for public transport is essential? we dont mind with or without seats, we are a tough young couple!
Thanks soo much for your help! and keep it going please :)
Jul 22, 2012 7:31 AM
6more culture ))))
with out cultural triangle or at-list include day trip to Sigiriya
Jul 22, 2012 7:19 PM
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