Sri Lanka - Trip Ideas for One Week

Old Mar 8th, 2011, 08:37 AM
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Sri Lanka - Trip Ideas for One Week

My husband and I are used to traveling quickly since we have limited vacation time and maybe travelers ADD. This will be our first trip to Sri Lanka, starting with 2 nights in Singapore and hoping for 3 nights in the Maldives. If we only have 7-8 days in Sri Lanka, what would be a good itinerary. We love wildlife, history, want to see the tea country, etc. The beaches are not important unless that makes more sense than a separate trip to the Maldives. Your input would be appreciated and we are leaving September 15th, returning September 30, 2011.
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Old Mar 8th, 2011, 03:26 PM
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You have a wealth of information about Sri lanka available to you here. Three Fodorites have Sri Lanka Trip Reports in progress - LeighTravelClub, Femi and Crellston. You can also take a look at older reports from Robbietravels, Craig and myself.
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Old Mar 8th, 2011, 03:42 PM
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I don't know if it is Fodors or my internet connection that is behaving oddly, but it double posted the first part of my reply and lost the rest.

I'll try again.

We loved Sri Lanka. I'd suggest at least three days in the cultural triangle area. You can also fit in a game drive in one of the parks in the area - we saw a large herd of elephants in our time there. You can go to Yala, but it will take more time - it depsnds on what your priorities are.

We thought Tea Trails was heaven on earth. But there are less expensive stays in the tea country, like the Tea Factory, which Leigh loved.

If it were me, I'd probably choose a beach in Sri Lanka rather than fly to the Maldives for a mere three nights. Depending on which resort you choose, you may have a float plane ride which would require you to spend the night in Male, further cutting into your beach time.

Here is a link to our photos: www.marlandc.com/SriLanka/index.htm
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Old Mar 8th, 2011, 07:47 PM
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Wildlife, history and tea country in 7 nights?

3 nights cultural triangle
2 nights tea country
2 nights Yala

It'll be a squeeze, but if you're up for it...
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Old Mar 9th, 2011, 07:28 AM
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Thanks for your ideas so far. We have done African safaris and saw elephants/leopards, etc. Would Yala be unique or similar (also saw many elephants in Thailand). Does anyone have a company they recommend for hotel bookings and a driver? We are used to traveling quickly and seeing as much as possible in one trip because we never know when we will return. That is why the Maldives is included -- we are so close and have always wanted to see the islands. Saying that, I don't want to spend my whole vacation in a car!
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Old Mar 9th, 2011, 09:33 AM
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We loved the Hill Country and if we were to return that is where we focus on. In particular the tea trails. We visited one of the bungalows at the Norwood Plantation, unfortunately not to stay but, like Kathie says it was heaven on earth! Kandy would make a good base for teh hill country.
Sirigiya and Polunuwara in the cultural trianle are doable in a couple of days.
I can't comment on the wildlife but as Femi says Yala seems to be the place. we chose not to go as we felt we might be dissappointed after previous safaris in Africa. As always, check out one of the weather for where and when you want to go. Although, having said that, after speaking to the locals over the last month, the seasons have been completely screwed up for the last couple of years. Also check the distances you will be travelling very carefully, as the distances may not seem like far but the road conditions can be poor and the driving standards even worse and drive times can be a lot longer than expected.
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Old Mar 9th, 2011, 10:22 AM
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We used Boutique Sri Lanka for booking our driver and our hotels. Thye did an excellent job, and we'll use them next time we go to Sri Lanka as well.

The BSL website has lots of info about the vrious hotels. We chosee our hotel with some input from BSl. BSL booked our car and driver and we had a wonderful driver. BSL gave us good estimates on driving time, which, as crellston says can be much longer than they look on the map.
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