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Sri Lanka: Itinerary set - need fine tuning help!

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Hi Fodor-ites!
Need some help with the next stage of planning our trip to Sri Lanka :)
I look forward to your valuable input.

So our flights are booked. (yay!) We're arriving at 12:55am on December 28th.. so we'll have to get a hotel for 27th/28th probably..
Where should we book? Colombo? Or Negombo?

I think Colombo is about an hour away from the airport? and Negombo is only 20-30min or so?
We will probably stay the last night of our trip in Colombo.. so I'm fine with Negombo.. however...
We need to buy train tickets from Nuwara Ellya to Ella.. I know I can get those in Colombo.. not sure where else I can get them along the way?

So this is our itinerary
Dec. 27/28th 2 nights Colombo *or* Negombo
Dec 29th/30th/31 3 nights Dambulla (or Sigiriya)
Jan 1st/2nd 2 Nights Kandy
Jan 3th/4th 2 nights Nuwara Eliya
Train to
Jan 5th/6th 2 nights Ella
Jan 7th/8th 2 nights Galle
Jan 9th/10th/11th Hikkaduwa
Jan 12th 1 night Columbo

January 13th Fly Out 7am

I don't mind being in Columbo arrival/departure (it's a big city) but by the time we arrive and catch a nap we would only have half a day/night before moving on at the beginning... and then half a day/night before we leave. We've seen an Anthony Bourdain and there are several yummy places (Ministry of Crab) that might be nice to visit. :)

*My biggest concern/question is just making sure we can get the train tickets*

Any thoughts/suggestions are welcome! Including any hotels and restaurants. I've been doing quite well looking at Booking.com for hotels. But personal experience/input is great. Will be booking those this week.

Thanks everyone :)

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