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Safety in Sri Lanka and other questions

Old Nov 7th, 2002, 05:49 AM
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RomyNL
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Safety in Sri Lanka and other questions

We are going to travel next year for 2 weeks in Sri Lanka (1 week - sightseeing with a private driver, 1 week - beach, most likely hotel Eden or Mount Lavinia Beach). Does anybody have recommendations on what to see and where to stay?
And the main question: is it safe in Sri Lanka nowadays?

Thanks ,
R.
 
Old Nov 7th, 2002, 06:45 AM
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Tangata
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I would think that at the moment Sri Lanka is very safe. There are peace talks, brokered by the Norwegians, going on here in Thailand between the two sides and by all reports they are going well. Therefore I do not think that that either side would want to upset things, in contrast to what has been happening in the Middle East.
 
Old Nov 25th, 2002, 02:10 PM
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Myriam
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Re safety, we have been touring Sri Lanka with a private driver last year. We never felt unsafe. At some places security is really very tight, for example at the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy.
We stayed at Mount Lavinia Hotel for 2 nights. Great hotel in beautiful colonial style, large rooms (ask for Baywing rooms). Various restaurants with good food. Maybe a little quiet though to spend a whole week.
Most tourist go further south for their beach holiday, or to the Maldives (like we did).
Veel plezier in Sri Lanka!
 
Old Nov 26th, 2002, 06:09 AM
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John G
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Please, go visit Sri Lanka for it is an amazing place! I never felt unsafe when I was there. Are you going to Colombo? I was there, saying at the Galle Face Hotel. Being a Buddhist, I did also visit Temple of the Tooth and the Sigiriya frescoes. I had a private car and driving, as I usually do when I travel. Maybe if I was walking around, taking public transportation I would have seen some violence?? Buddhist people (Sinhalese) are very seldom violent. I would not, however, go to the Tamil north, especially Trincomolee.
 
Old Nov 26th, 2002, 08:45 AM
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Myriam
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John,
We had afternoon tea at the Galle Face and liked it very much. We ourselves stayed at the Taj Samudra and I must admit that the Galle Face has much more character than the Taj.
We visited both Hindu and Buddhist temples and were surprised about the huge difference between the two. And I think you're right saying that Buddhist people are very peaceful. We have never met rude people in Sri Lanka.
 
Old Nov 28th, 2002, 07:30 AM
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John G
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Yes, the Galle Face Hotel is a fabulous expericence. I stayed in the Ursulla Andress Suite. (Not the kind of place you'd expect a room to be named after a former "Bond Girl.") I think Sri Lanka is an undiscovered gem. Many Europeans go to visit, but very few Americans.
 
Old Nov 29th, 2002, 04:19 PM
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RomyNL
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Many thanks for your replies!
We are going to spend one week travelling with a private driver-guide. We stay in Colombo in Hilton, in Anuradhapura in the Lodge, in Kandy in The Citadel, in N. Eliya in Hill Club.
After that we are going to spend 1 week in Saman Villas hotel on the sea.
Does anyone has any comments on these hotels? Any other recommendations what to do? to see?
 
Old Dec 14th, 2002, 01:55 PM
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ttt
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topping
 
Old Dec 17th, 2002, 01:58 PM
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dw
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I'm Sri-Lankan and resided their for 18 yrs & the names of all the hotels you mentioned (except for Saman Villas) are all well known hotels. Saman V too may be well known, just that I haven't heard of it. Hilton is the best 5 star in SL. Recommendations on other hotels -- Hunas Falls (situated between Kandy & Nuwara Eliya) is very picturesque & in the middle of tea estates & green hills.

Sites to see: Anuradhapura ruins (temples, sculptures) are very interesting. Also Pollonnaruwa close to Anuradhapura has similar cultural historic sites i.e Gal Vihare, Isurumuniya Lovers. Sigiriya is a must see --- a fortress built of stone w/ beautiful frescoes. Pinnawela elephant orphanage near Kandy is another favorite.

Colombo is more congested & westernized & I personally prefer to spend more time in the other cities that you mentioned.

The best beaches I've heard is in Trincomalee (close to the North where the war was more prevalent). I hear people are travelling their now but I would be nervous to go myself. But the beaches in the south of the country (Bentota, Koggala) are really really beautiful & the best beaches I've ever been to. Golden sand, no crowds at all & water's blue & clean to swim in. There's an off-season when the sea is too rough to get near (not sure when this is, could find out if you need to know).

Friends/family who have visited recently mentioned they feel safer. But it's good to check with hotel personnel or some you know b4 travelling to Anuradhapura or more north than that.

I could provide you more info on SL. Just re-post a message directed to "dw" on this forum & I'll reply.
Happy travels!




 
Old Dec 24th, 2002, 04:31 PM
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RomyNL
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DW,
Thanks a lot for your response! We go to Sri Lanka in the last 2 weeks of April. Do you know what kind of weather we cam expect?
Also, where that "lees safe" Northern area begins? Is it safe to go to Anuradhapura now?
I like to travel having my homework done, which means I read about the culture and history of the country well before I go there...Unfortunately, there's not much info about Sri Lanka. Can you recommend some reading?

Thanks again for your help!
 
Old Dec 24th, 2002, 06:16 PM
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John G
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Read Lonely Planet's "Sri Lanka" and hire a private guide, car, and driver. You get so much more information when you have a private guide, I don't care how much it costs. Some things in life you just have to spring for.
 
Old Jan 2nd, 2003, 02:14 AM
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Myriam
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Romy,
If you pre-booked a tour with a private driver in Holland (I suppose you did since your email address ends on .nl), you will be collected at the airport upon arrival and taken to your hotel. Your driver will meet you there. At least, that's how it was last year.
Most probably you will have a pre-planned tour including Anuradhapura, Giritale, Polonnaruwa, Dambulla, Sigiriya, Kandy, Pinnawela, Nuwara Eliya. The tours are usually the same.
If your tour is not pre-planned, please let me know and I can e-mail you the tour we made in March 2001.

These days even the northern/northeastern area can be visited again thanks to the ceasefire agreement that is still holding and this almost one year now! I have a friend who will be going to Trincomalee (which was in the danger zone) in February.
Anuradhapura has never been unsafe.

Re the weather. We were there the first week of March and it was hot, hot, hot!!! And humid as well. Best temperature for me was in the hill country at the tea plantations.

TIP: Don't forget to take a pair of socks! You're not allowed to wear shoes in the temples and on some templegrounds and the stones can be darned hot, too hot to walk on! Socks are allowed! Also take a pareo to wrap around your waist in the temples since you must cover your legs. Also a sleeved T-shirt. A practical item for men is a pair of zip-pants.
 
Old Jan 7th, 2003, 04:29 AM
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Amrita.
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Hiya Romy,
I'm S-Lanken and we are too planing to go to S-L this year.What I hear from the family that you can travel freely.
I have come across a site which gives information about S.L.
It's www.i-escape.com .Then click on Sri-Lanka and go to the places to stay.
Then click on to the place called Helga's Folly in Kandy.If you have time drop by cos it seems to be a very interesting place to go.
When in Colombo go to the shop called Barefoot in Gale road in Colombo.There you will find interesting books ect about S-L.
The best way to travel is to hire a private car with a driver.
If you can and have the time you have to visit the Geffory Bava's house and the garden.That's out of Colombo.
If you need informationa about more hidden beutiful places to visit contact me I'll be happy to help.
Have a lovely time.
Amrita.
 
Old Jan 24th, 2003, 02:00 PM
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DW
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Hi Romy,
Sorry for the late response, didn't check the site for awhile. The weather is generally 27 Celsius (avg) year round in Colombo. April is generally warmer than usual. Also the national New Year is on the 13/14 of April -- varies according to the positioning of star constellations. You maybe able to attend some festivities during this time & experience more of the culture. The following site-http://www.BootsnAll.com has several "travel guides" on SL, also check out the "Insiders" section & you can e-mail these people for up-to-date info. Regarding the security situation -- I've heard the situation is good. But check out with your hotel in SL or via "Insiders" in BootsnAll how exactly it is currently. Since I haven't been there in a couple of years, I can't be sure. I would be vary abt travelling anywhere more north than Anuradhapura.
Have Fun!
 
Old Jan 25th, 2003, 02:33 AM
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Jude
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Thank you for the bootsnall.com site. It's good. I posted a similar message to Romy about safety in Sri Lanka but no-one replied! Luckily the replies here are quite informative. We are going in August for 3 weeks and we'd like to explore the east if it's safe. Otherwise - is it worth going to the south-west at this time in view of the monsoon? We don't want big resort hotels, just simple accommodation and good food. Any tips out there?
 
Old Jan 26th, 2003, 04:31 AM
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MyriamC
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An acquintance of mine is going to the east (Trincomalee area) next month. I will report here as soon as I hear from her.
 
Old Jan 30th, 2003, 07:55 AM
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I've been doing a bit of web searching on the safety question and found this website. It makes entertaining reading.
http://travel.independent.co.uk/mideastandasia/southasia/story.jsp?story=371015
Has anyone been further south - Arugam Bay for example?
Looking forward to hearing your friend's experience in the east Myriam.
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Old Feb 27th, 2003, 01:33 PM
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dw
 
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The following site (Canadian Travel Advisory) is quite informative on Safety in Sri-Lanka.

http://www.voyage.gc.ca/dest/report-...country=276000
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Old Mar 15th, 2003, 12:46 AM
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Peep
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I just read an article on Sri Lanka and now I want to go. Has anyone been there lately? Is it easy to get around on your own, and safe these days? Is it pretty cheap to travel there?
 
Old Mar 16th, 2003, 06:54 AM
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Hi Peep,
The best way to travel in SL is by hiring a car & driver (who will in many cases be a certified guide as well). Public transportation is poor and almost unexistant outside Colombo.
We traveled in Feb. 2001 and used Andrews Travel in Colombo whose service was really impeccable.
An acquintance of mine just got back from touring the eastcoast, which has been undisclosed to tourists for years because of the war. They also hired a car with driver from Andrews Travel and were fully satisfied. For information, they paid 285 euro for an A/C new car for the whole 9 days which included the driver's food and lodging, all petrol and insurance and 150 km per day (which they said was plenty).
You can work out your own itinerary (use the distance finder on www.atsrinka.com) or arrange one in dialogue with Andrews. They will find the best hotel rates for you (or you book hotels yourself). Just what you wish.
E-mail them at [email protected]
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