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Three weeks in Sri Lanka with 3 years old kid- Advice needed

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Dec 26th, 2013, 10:33 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 3
Three weeks in Sri Lanka with 3 years old kid- Advice needed

Hi everybody and happy holidays to all of you!
We are traveling to Sri Lanka for three weeks with our 3 years old daughter. We would
like some advise on the following itinerary. In particular, I would like some feeback on how to optimize our visit to the cultural triangle, without necessarily hiring a private car.We are on a low budget.

Does the following itinerary looks doable to you? Anything you would take out or replace, considering we are fond of wildlife, but are not up for too long walks? Any beach or activity particularly recommended if travelling with kids? Is Colombo worth visiting? Is
Sinharaja worth considering with such a small child? Thanks in advance!

29 dec. Arrive Sri Lanka. Stay in Negombo
30 dec. Full day in Negombo
31 dec: Hire private car and go to Kandy via Pinawella. Afternoon sighseeing Kandy
1 Jan: S/S Kandy. Overnight
2 Jan: Early morning local bus to Dambulla. Visit of Sigiriya.
3 Jan: Excursion to Polonnaruwa. Overnight in Dambulla.
4 Jan: Transfer to Kandy.
5 JAn: Train to Ella (is better observation car or first class)
6 Jan: Ella (tea factories, Little Adam's Peak etc.)
7 Jan: Public bus to Katagarama
8 Jan: Excursion to Yala National Park
9 Jan: Local bus to Mirissa
10- 16 Jan: Galle and beaches.
17 Jan: Negombo
18 Jan: Fly home
Thanks again for all your feedback!
Best wishes,
Fab
Fab76 is offline  
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Dec 26th, 2013, 12:09 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 694
I would advise you to completely drop the stops in Negombo both at the beginning and end of your itinerary because Negombo lacks all charm and is just a busy cheap touristy strip. Much nicer if you can re allocate this time in a place like Bentota or Mirissa etc.

Travelling by local bus with a 3 year old kid is at some peril, not for the faint hearted! If you were just a student or young budget traveller I'd say go for it but with a 3 year old, I don't know? That said the busses will get you from A to B.

I think you will be much better budgeting for a private car from the airport and go directly first to Dambulla, then Kandy, Ella, Kataragama, Yala, Mirrissa, Galle, Airport....

Dambulla is about 2 1/2 hours drive from the airport. What time does your flight arrive Colombo? If you must have a rest near the airport before going to Dambulla then do a night in Negombo else avoid it.
Mohammed is offline  
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Dec 26th, 2013, 12:40 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 31,780
This is a punishing itinerary for an adult, with for a 3 year old? All those one night stays will exhaust all of you. And I agree with Mohammed - you are better off hiring a car and driver for this trip. And he's right that there is no reason for a full day at Negombo at the beginning.

I'd choose a few places and spend at least three nights in each place.
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Dec 26th, 2013, 02:25 PM
  #4
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Join Date: Dec 2013
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Thank you for your insight, Mohammed and Kathie.

We thought to stay in Negombo because we arrive from a long journey and we wanted somewhere easy and close to the airport to adjust. Our plane arrives in the late afternoon, so it would not be possible to drive to Dambulla anyway.

Kathie, when you suggest to choose a few places, which ones do you have in mind?

Cheers,
F.
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Dec 26th, 2013, 02:40 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 398
Watch out for the high intensity radiation. If you are from northern places, USA Europe UK, with little past experience in the tropics and you have white skin (whites most susceptible), you may get very ugly, painful and DNA damaging radiation burns from the SUNBALL. Esp the child.
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Dec 26th, 2013, 11:30 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 7
You are very lucky to see the nature from as closest as possible. Sri Lanka has the untouched beauty of nature. You can explore all new things here. All the best for your journey.
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Dec 27th, 2013, 01:29 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,546
I agree you should avoid the buses in Sri Lanka. We have used buses all over the world from South America to west Africa to Asia on some of the roughest roads imaginable but one e trip in SL was enough for me. The drivers are maniacs and the we lost count of the number of the overturned buses we saw along the way.

Like Mohammed, I wasn't especially keen on Negombo but it wasn't that bad really. Just not the best place in Sl ( nice wide beach though). With a three year old in tow, I think it would be a good place to rest up and recover. It is never great to have a long flight immediately followed by a long drive, possibly at night.

We spent a month there half of which we hired a car and driver/ guide and the remaining time we did sit ourselves just turning up and finding accomodation at places, mostly along the South coast. Easy enough to do and we just rented tuk tuks or taxis to get from one place to another. I think we save a bit of cash doing it that way be not a huge amount.

Some great places on your itinerary but too many . I would lose Yala.

The train to Ella is fantastic. We did second class and enjoyed it more being in with the locals than with the tourists on the other trip we did in first class.
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