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Trip Report Kathie's 2007 Adventures in Sri lanka

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Planning: Sri Lanka has long been on our list of places we'd like to visit. This year, we decided to go. We used some of the reports posted here (such as ccc's experience) and we bought two guide books: The Lonely Planet and the Insight Compact Guide to Sri Lanka. I found that there were so many places I wanted to visit in Sri Lanka, I had to draw up my list then eliminate half of the destinations. In particular, I wanted to visit and stay in the rainforest. However, given our time constraints (12 days) we chose to concentrate on the Ancient cities/cultural triangle area plus some relaxation time in the tea country. We also did not have the time to visit any of the beaches in Sri Lanka.

We also kept up with the current news in Sri Lanka, mostly relying on the New York Times, BBC and Reuters. Since the conflict in Sri Lanka continues, endlessly, it seems, we wanted to be aware of the issues and of what areas were safe and which were not safe. At no time during our year of planning did we feel we should cancel our trip because of the conflict.

I also asked questions on this board. I appreciated the input I received from fellow Fodorites. In particular, I'd like to acknowledge the assistance from Mohammed in Colombo and the usefulness of sharing information with Craig who is also planning a trip to Sri Lanka.

While I rarely use travel agents to book trips, the experience of ccc with Boutique Sri Lanka and my own experience with trying to book hotels in Sri Lanka on my own made me decide to use www.boutiquesrilanka.com to book our hotels and car and driver.

Getting to Sri Lanka: We already had roundtrip tickets between Seattle and Bangkok, as we typically use Bangkok as our entry point to Asia on our annual trips. So I only had the flights between Bangkok and Colombo to book. I used Eddie at the AmEx office in Bangkok to book our Thai Air tickets, as I usually do, aniwat@seatoursthai.com Note that most flights into Sri Lanka arrive after midnight and the return flights leave Sri Lanka in the very early morning hours (ours left at 1:20 am). This is true for Thai Air, Cathay Pacific and Singapore Air.

Itinerary:

Arrive Sri Lanka just after midnight and overnight at the Villa Araliya near the airport in Negombo.

Drive to Dambulla and stay 4 nights at the Kandalama while visiting much of the ancient cities area.

Drive to Kandy and stay 2 nights at the Kandy House while visiting the Temple of the Tooth and the city of Kandy

Drive to Dickoya in the tea country to stay 4 nights at Ceylon Tea Trails

Drive to Negombo and fly back to Bangkok after midnight

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