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Solo female in Sri Lanka?

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I'm really surprised to be writing this, as usually I'm the first to tell worried woman that they'll be fine - just dress conservatively and take normal precautions. Maybe a couple of unpleasant incidents on my recent trip to the Middle East have made me more cautious, but I'm taking the warning in Lonely Planet's "Sri Lanka" more seriously than I otherwise might.

"On the whole women travellers are treated with respect, but we've also received reports of sleazebag behaviour on buses, inappropriate propositioning and sexually explicit name calling."

"Women travelling alone may be hassled while walking around at night, or while exploring isolated places. ... specific feedback about women being physically harassed on the Kandy lakeside at dusk."

And of especial concern to me: "We strongly suggest not travelling on trains alone as we've received warning from women who have been sexually assaulted on such trips."

I took trains round India with no problems. I've taken trains in a lot of places, with just a couple of potentially worrying incidents (Siberia and Ukraine) and had every intention of taking trains in Sri Lanka. Now I'm wondering whether I should take a group tour instead of going solo.

The alternative would be to do as Kathie and Craig did, and book a car and driver, but that always seems excessive for one person - and wouldn't it be expensive?

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