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Loving Sri Lanka

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Mar 1st, 2012, 03:06 AM
  #1
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Loving Sri Lanka

We are at the end of our two week trip to this beautiful country. Our itinerary including Galle, at the Galle Fort Hotel, Yala at Chaya Wild, Ella at Mountains Heavens Guesthouse, Kandy at the Nature Walk Guesthouse and we are finishing our trip up at the Cinammon Lodge. As I am writing the monkeys are joining us at the pool. We had a private guide who was wonderful. He is a birder as well as a naturalistic guide and came with us on all our hikes and game drives. All the accommodations were great but different from some small and intimate to the much larger Cinammon Lodge. We saw tons of wildlife. In Yala we saw 6 leopards one two full days on game drives plus a lot of elephants. The birds were also incredibly beautiful and extremely close and easy to see. We also went whale watching and saw both the sperm and blue whales. We were also very lucky with the weather with no rain and not too hot. We did hikes in Ella, Lipton's Seat and Horton Plains as well as Sigiriya. We we blessed with views at every place and I could not imagine how it would be if it was boiling hot. The people were so warm and friendly. I would highly recommend Sri Lanka as a wonderful destination as well as an extremely good value for the money we spent. I can also say the Aruyvedic massage treatments were very good and worth experiencing.
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Mar 1st, 2012, 06:09 AM
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I am curious, what did it cost for airfare to get there? And what are the hotel prices, tour prices, etc?

Thanks for the report!
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Mar 1st, 2012, 06:35 AM
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So glad to hear you enjoyed Sri Lanka. We loved it too, and a return trip is on our short list for 2013.

emd3, there are a fair number of detailed trip reports here on Sri Lanka. Use the drop-down menu above to choose Sri Lanka and then read the trip reports. The most recent is from NatureGirl, I can think of three from last year Femi, crellston and Leigh, then a number for earlier years - mine, Craig's and Robbietravels.
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Mar 1st, 2012, 05:59 PM
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Glad to hear you've had such a wonderful time

I would like to hear more about traveling with the naturalist. I'm also seriously considering another visit.
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Mar 1st, 2012, 10:20 PM
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So glad you had such a wonderful time. Will you be coming into Colombo at all?
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Mar 1st, 2012, 10:56 PM
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Femi- Lucky was recommended on trip advisor and we were so happy with him. He is an avid photographer and has a great knowledge of all the birds. He also did not mind the hours that I spent looking at monkeys. I think that the monkeys at the Cinammon Lodge were some of the best that I have seen. We actually saw the monkeys jumping off the side of the bank and all swimming in the water playing.

Mohammed- we are not going to be in Colombo as we are leaving tomorrow and are going to see the caves in the morning and then go to a guesthouse in Negombo until our plane leaves late in the evening. We also had a wonderful experience this morning as we went to a small local rural school and donated a full duffel bag of school supplies. The children were learning English and were anxious to talk to us and ask questions. You have a beautiful country and I can not say what a perfect trip is was for us. I would definitely recommend it as a go to destination.
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Mar 12th, 2012, 02:27 AM
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Has anyone done any hiking? I have heard the Knuckles is a good place for a day trek.
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Mar 12th, 2012, 04:05 PM
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lhgreenacres: Can you go all by jeep, we no walking say more than 1/2 a mile, into the bush and see the leopards and elephants? I have a bum knee due to a knee replacement gone wrong, but would also want jeeps/vans with Air Conditioning just in case we were not as lucky as you were with the weather. i assume we could also find, at a price, accommodations with A/C though we maybe cannot afford the price. Did you hear much about the quality of snorkeling in any nearby area, even a short flight, that was similar to Indonesia?
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Mar 13th, 2012, 09:56 AM
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Davidurmann- We did a lot of hiking. The best hiking was in the Ella area and at Horton Plains National Park. Our guide felt that the Knuckles region was not a nice as Horton Plains for hiking.

StanKase-We did do it all by jeep in Yala, you actually can not get out and walk except where we had lunch. All the jeeps that I saw were mostly open. You really do not want to be in an enclosed car as it can be very difficult to see things as we stood up a lot to be able to see better. I am not sure about the snorkeling as we did not go but our guide did say there were areas to go snorkeling although I am not sure how good they are.
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Mar 14th, 2012, 01:22 PM
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lhgreenacres; After being to Africa we had long drives out to the "bush" and it was that that portion of the time where A/C was needed. Once in the area to observe the animals the pop-up came off to enjoy the animal life. Can I assume the drives out are only 20-30 minutes.How many days would be appriate 2 or 3 full days. Were your hotel Air Conditioned?
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Mar 17th, 2012, 07:11 PM
  #11
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StanKase- The jeep were not the same as in Africa. They did not have pop tops. They are open jeeps and the only difference between the ones that we saw were some had the driver portion separated and they were enclosed so you could not communicate with them. We do not like that as when we see something we want the driver to stop and if they were enclosed it would have been difficult for him to have heard us. I think two full days is plenty as we really felt we saw tons of wildlife and lots of birds but as I said we did spend two full days. We stayed at Chaya Wild and it was air conditioned and have just been remodeled and was really nice. The buffet breakfast and dinner was also really good.
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Mar 18th, 2012, 06:02 AM
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Have you been to southern India? If so, should I consider combining 10 days in Sri Lanka with 3 weeks in southern India, or would it be too much of the same, or alternatively, a let down compared to southern India.
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Mar 18th, 2012, 04:36 PM
  #13
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I have never been to Southern India. I thought that maybe we should have gone to India as well especially since I am dying to see the tigers. After the trip I felt that doing it separately was probably better as Sri Lanka was a 16 day trip in itself and did involve a good bit of travel. I do not know if I would have been wanting to continue to India afterwards. India is still on mynlist although many people in Sri Lanka had been to India and found Sri Lanka a much different country.
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Apr 24th, 2012, 08:20 AM
  #14
 
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I'm looking for a good guide/driver for a Sri Lanka tour and would like recommendations please. Need someone with a very flexible attitude.
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May 6th, 2012, 11:09 AM
  #15
 
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hi greenacres,

don;t know how i missed this when i was researching our september sri lanka trip last month, but I'm glad i found it now, especially as we will be following a similar route to you, and even have 2 nights booked at Chaya wild, [so i was pleased to read you liked it!]

anything you particularly liked/disliked?

any tips to pass on?
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