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Thinking about going to the T20 in Sri Lanka [Sept-Oct '12] - help needed.

Thinking about going to the T20 in Sri Lanka [Sept-Oct '12] - help needed.

Apr 6th, 2012, 02:09 AM
  #1  
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Thinking about going to the T20 in Sri Lanka [Sept-Oct '12] - help needed.

We have been thinking about going to Sri Lanka for several years, and with the T20 tournament taking place there this autumn, it seems like a great opportunity.

we would want to be in Colombo for England's first match [v Afghanistan, believe it or not] on September 21st and then up in Kandy a few days later for the super 8s which start on Sept 27th. After that, we would like to do a bit of touring before going home about 7 days later.

what could we fit into that sort of itinerary? we have 5 days between the first and 2nd matches that we want to see, and a week or so after we've seen the 2nd match in Kandy on the 29th.

we would like to see some wildlife, historical sites, beaches...and not dash around too much. is this something we can plan ourselves? how do we go about hiring a driver, [I'm assuming that's better than driving ourselves, but i don't know that] picking hotels, [mid-range] etc. etc?

grateful for any thoughts/suggestions you may have - thanks!
annhig is offline  
Apr 6th, 2012, 07:26 AM
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We seldom use agents, but we did use an agent to book our car and driver and hotels in Sri Lanka (boutique Sri Lanka). I agree it is best to use an agent to book your car and driver because they will take care of any problems. If you have car problems, they will trade out the car, if your driver isn't to your liking, they will trade the driver.

With 5 days between Colombo and Kandy, you can stay in the Cultural Triangle area and visit the Dambulla cave temples, Polonnaruwa, and Sigiriya. There are also wildlife parks in the area where you can see (mostly) elephants.

After your time in Kandy, decide whether you want wildlife (go to Yala) Tea Country or beach or a combination of two of these.

Here are the photos of our trip 5 years ago: www.marlandc.com/SriLanka/index.htm THis page also has a link to my trip report.

Also, there are a number of trip reports from last year here. Go to the top of the page and choose Sri Lanka from the drop-down menu and you'll find all recent posts on Sri Lanka.
Kathie is online now  
Apr 6th, 2012, 07:54 AM
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Like Kathie I almost never use an agent, but I did use one for Sri Lanka (Boutique Sri Lanka, the same one she used). Admittedly, that was partly because I was booking while traveling, but it worked out OK. I'd also recommend a car and driver, something else I seldom use. Click on my name for my TR.

Unless you're really into the historical sites you should be able to fit them in between Colombo and Kandy. You should book well ahead for Yala for wildlife - I wound up skipping it because I couldn't find anywhere to stay.

I thought the best part of Sri Lanka was the hill country, but I'm not a beach person. Colombo was a disappointment.

BTW, what is T20?
thursdaysd is offline  
Apr 6th, 2012, 09:40 AM
  #4  
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Kathie and Thursdays, thank you.

you have confirmed what i was thinking and i will check out the agent you used and your trip reports of course.

thursdays - T20 is a form of cricket in which each team endeavours to score as many runs as possible in 20 overs - a sort of "wham bam thank you mam" form of the game and the antithesis of test cricket which can take up to 5 days. England are playing Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka at the moment which has whetted our appetite.

thank you again - I may be back with some more detailed plans when I've done some [more] research.
annhig is offline  
Apr 6th, 2012, 09:46 AM
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Thanks annhig. I was taken to my first cricket match at age 4 (I grew up in the UK) and apparently I cried, which about matches my enthusiasm for the game. Except that I do watch it occasionally on TV - when traveling in India.
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Apr 6th, 2012, 10:07 AM
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and apparently I cried, which about matches my enthusiasm for the game. Except that I do watch it occasionally on TV - when traveling in India.>>

crying is what most england supporters have been doing this winter, as the team [supposedly the best test team in the world] have been playing terribly. Sri Lanka strikes me as a great place to be watching the game - they are mad about cricket, but the T20 only takes a couple of hours or so, and most of the matches are in the evening, leaving the day free for sightseeing.

just starting to look at your trip report - i think that I've read it before [as i say, we've been toying with the idea of Sri Lanka for a while] but when looking at new places, I find that i need to read things several times in order to assimilate ideas. perhaps it's my age!
annhig is offline  
Apr 6th, 2012, 10:44 AM
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Kathie - i had read your excellent report before, but this time it made more sense as i begin to work out where places are, distances and travel times.

i had a quick look at the hotels you stayed at, and was very impressed with all of them; sadly the Tea Trails are already booked for the time we would be there, but the others are available. would you recommend them? we would be doing the same sort of trip as you - staying for a few days in each place and using it as a base for touring round.

how far in advance did you book your trip, BTW?
annhig is offline  
Apr 6th, 2012, 01:52 PM
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thursdays - i was right - I had read it before. but it was nice reading it again, and I think I'm getting a much better idea of what we want.

I've e-mailed boutiquesrilanka.com with my itinerary ideas and am waiting for their reply.
annhig is offline  
Apr 6th, 2012, 02:06 PM
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annhig - a couple of other places to try are Red Dot and Quickshaws.
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Apr 7th, 2012, 12:37 AM
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thanks, thursdays.

i had already found reddot via another trip report, but I didn't know about quickshaws.

mind telling me roughly what your trip cost?
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Apr 7th, 2012, 06:38 AM
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Ann, we loved all of the places we stayed and would recommend any of them. I think we booked a good 6 months in advance.

So sorry Tea Trails is booked. I would ask to be placed on a waiting list.
Kathie is online now  
Apr 7th, 2012, 06:45 AM
  #12  
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thanks, Kathie. that confirms what i thought reading your TR.

good idea about Tea Trails - though we would have to find an alternative just in case.
annhig is offline  
Apr 7th, 2012, 06:55 AM
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Hi ann - difficult for me to tell, as I paid deposits to BSL, and then the balance to the hotels. Plus, the hotel cost entirely depends on which hotels you choose. I can tell you that I paid $770 for the car and driver on top of whatever the deposit was.

If I had it to do over, and wasn't booking from the road, I would reserve just the car and driver - the contact info for my driver is in my TR, or you can try E C D Global, who provided the driver to BSL - and arrange the hotels myself.
thursdaysd is offline  
Apr 7th, 2012, 07:21 AM
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hi thursdays - that's interesting.

we are very used to DIY planning in europe and the US, but when we went to SA for the first [and sadly only time so far] we used a UK agent and were very happy with the arrangement.

but that was BF [before fodors] and I now feel more confident booking things myself [being the family's self appointed hotel booker!]

Hotels therefore don't phase me at all, but i would be worried about the driver - what if the car breaks down, for example? also, having said that I have no worries about hotels, there are likely to be more people in Sri Lanka for the cricket and i have noted in a few TRs mention of hotel bookings not being honoured or problems with hotels - somehow I sense that I might feel happier with the comfort blanket of an agent in case things went wrong.

However, your recommendation of a driver is a good place to start - thanks!
annhig is offline  
Apr 7th, 2012, 07:32 AM
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Our driver (through BSL) also came from ECD Global. Hiring a driver through a company means that if the car has problems or you have problems with the driver, the company will take care of it.
Kathie is online now  

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