Jan/ Feb trip to Sri Lanka?

Oct 25th, 2007, 10:17 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
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Jan/ Feb trip to Sri Lanka?

We spent 2 weeks in Sri Lanka in 2000 and greatly enjoyed it, despite the civil unrest. Now we're dithering over whether to go back...

In 2000, we stayed with a Canadian friend in Colombo and borrowed her car and driver for two trips (Cultural triangle; Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Galle and beaches). It was all SOOO easy, for a pair of S Asia neophytes.

If we were to go back:

1. What should we expect to pay for a car and driver?

2. Are there places we have not seen that we should see?

3. Where to stay in Colombo -- and out of town?

4. I've checked out (mostly for fun)some of the high-end hotels, especially in the SW, and am staggered at the rise in prices in 7 years. Yet I also read that tourism is way down and many hotels are empty. Can we expect discounts from the Internet/ rack rates?

5. How intrusive are the security measures? We saw guns and were VERY briefly stopped at roadblocks -- and passed 5 or 7 separate security checks in the airport. But some threads suggest it's worse now...
tedgale is offline  
Oct 25th, 2007, 10:30 AM
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Re. the discounted lux hotel rates:
the 2 Amans in Sri Lanka just cut their rates in half (still quite pricey, though) and the new Fortress Hotel hotel on the beach near Galle is offering "buy 2 nights get 2 nights free"...I think the price works out to about $130 or so per night (quite a deal considering the rates were >$500 when they opened recently)
cruisinred is offline  
Oct 25th, 2007, 11:11 AM
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We have an entire staffed luxury villa on the beach near Tangalle (southeast) for $350/night with full board through boutiquesrilanka.com.

Car and driver really depends on distance and timing - we were quoted $50 per day.

Have you stayed at Kandalama at Dambulla in the cultural triangle?

As far as activities are concerned, it seems you've hit the major sites. Have you done a safari at Yala or one of the other major parks?
Craig is offline  
Oct 26th, 2007, 06:29 AM
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Dambulla, Pollonaruwa.

You don't need a car and driver - buses and trains are fine.
chimani is offline  
Oct 26th, 2007, 04:21 PM
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Thanks for the advice. I was aware of Kandalama from earlier threads and may pursue that. It has ben quite thoroughly discussed on this board.

(I'm a newbie to this forum but did research earlier threads.)

The Fortress also looks quite enticing.

RE Yala: Wasn't there an attack there in the last couple of weeks?
tedgale is offline  
Oct 26th, 2007, 05:03 PM
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Regarding the "attack" near Yala, there have been isolated incidents on Sri Lanka over the years including bombings at the airport. If this makes you feel uncomfortable don't go. I personally wouldn't let the situation there influence my plans.
Craig is offline  
Oct 31st, 2007, 11:45 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
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From what I just read on the Foreign Office website, it looks like Yala might be closed? http://www.fco.gov.uk/servlet/Front?...=1013618386451

If true, I hope that isn't the case during your upcoming trip!

katesy is offline  
Oct 31st, 2007, 12:16 PM
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Yala was only supposed to be closed for a couple of weeks so it should be opening again shortly.
Craig is offline  
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