WDYT of Sri Lanka Itinerary

Jun 28th, 2019, 05:02 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,063
WDYT of Sri Lanka Itinerary

My husband and I will be taking our first trip to Sri Lanka. It's a stopover on the way to NZ and we want to spend ~2 weeks there in January 2020. Not sure how much hiking we will be able to do, so I have limited that. We don't mind going to a beach to see the beauty of it, but we're not lay in the sun people anymore. I've been working with Boutique Sri Lanka and I think we have a pretty standard, see the highlights trip in the works. We'll have a driver once we leave Colombo. Or do you think we could use a driver in Colombo? Your thoughts would be appreciated.

Nights 1,2 & 3 -- Colombo ( We arrive at midnight so that the first night. We like to spend time adjusting after a long flight.)
Nights 4,5,6& 7 -- Cultural Triangle (Dambulla)
Night 8 - Kandy
drive to Nuywara Eli & Take train to Ella
Nights 9, 10, 11, & 12 - Ella
Nights 13 & 14 - Galle Fort

Thanks!

Last edited by yestravel; Jun 28th, 2019 at 05:12 AM.
yestravel is offline  
Jun 28th, 2019, 09:51 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,891
Personally, we skipped Columbo. I certainly wouldn't spend three precious nights there (out of 14). We spent one night in Negombo to begin to adjust time zones. I think you have the right amount time I the cultural triangle (though one can always add time there), but a single night in Kandy is not enough IMO. I do think you will want another night there.

We loved our time in Sri Lanka! I hope you will enjoy it as well.
Kathie is offline  
Jun 28th, 2019, 10:52 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,063
kathie--thanks for your comments. We haven't reserved our ongoing flight to NZ yet, so we can spend as many or as few nights as we please in SL. I read your TR when I first began planning and even took notes on where you stayed and what you did. On our time in Colombo, we really prefer to travel slowly these days and try to get over jet lag at our first destination. If we want to add other stops we can do so without changing the "rest up" time in Colombo. I've been having trouble deciding on time in Kandy. I know you liked it based on your TR, but so many other people did not find it particularly compelling. Decisions, decisions.

Last edited by yestravel; Jun 28th, 2019 at 11:43 AM.
yestravel is offline  
Jun 28th, 2019, 12:29 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,413
I’d knock a night off Ella and add it to Galle, or extend the whole trip by a day. While Ella is gorgeous, it’s also quite small, you can walk the town in an hour. There are a couple of nice hikes if it’s not raining, but not a lot else to do. Galle is enchanting, stay in the old fort area where you have varied and interesting architecture plus plentiful restaurants. Easy day trips out of Galle too.
sartoric is offline  
Jun 28th, 2019, 01:07 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 24,987
I agree with Kathie about Colombo. I spent my first night in Negombo, and only went to Colombo at the end of my visit because my father had been there during WWII (but I liked the renovated rooms at Galle Face). I was also not especially wowed by Galle Fort. I did not go to Yala because I had left it too late to book reasonable accommodation, but would consider it if I went back.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jun 28th, 2019, 01:36 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,063
Thanks, sartoric, good to know.

thursdayd, thank you. Well, that's 2 against Colombo.
yestravel is offline  
Jun 28th, 2019, 02:02 PM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,063
Thanks -- I had seen your blog. Wonder if things have changed any since you were there?
yestravel is offline  
Jun 28th, 2019, 02:37 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4,456
Looking forward to reading more views. We spent 2 good weeks there in 2000 and I've mused about returning.
(Political tensions are a disincentive. During the civil war, we found the security in Colombo a bit oppressive)
tedgale is offline  
Jun 28th, 2019, 04:55 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,304
I had one full day in Colombo and left wanting at least one additional day. Walking the old town and exploring some of the markets were highlights as well as one of the Buddhist temples.

With one one night in Kandy, I would focus on the Temple of the Tooth and the botanic gardens. With a second day, I would recommend the three medieval temples outside of town. Whether or not you want a second night in Kandy may depend on how many temples you want to see. There will be some in the Cultural Triangle (mostly stupas in Anuradhapura).

I wouldn’t go back to Yala. Drivers are used to bunching up and crowding around the animals, leading to unpleasant experiences for fauna and people alike.
tripplanner001 is offline  
Jun 28th, 2019, 08:53 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,413
I’m another one that enjoyed time in Colombo. The manic Pettah market area, rooftop bars where you can watch the sun sink into the ocean, seaside Mt Lavinia redolent of the raj era, the fantastic Gangarama temple, there’s much to do. The Ministry of Crab is perhaps the best crab restaurant in the world. There is also Kamea Sutra for modern Sri Lankan fine dining. Both are in beautifully restored colonial buildings. I think you’d like Colombo.
sartoric is offline  
Jun 29th, 2019, 06:03 AM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,063
tp -- thanks for your thoughts. I have read the same about Yala, so we'll pass on it.

sartoric - thanks! Well, that makes 2 for Colombo and 2 against! I've read about the Ministry of Crab, but thanks for the Kamea Sutra rec.
yestravel is offline  
Jun 29th, 2019, 06:23 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,641
FWIW I felt that we shortchanged Colombo, and would have liked to spend more time there but our time was rather taken up with a) cricket watching and b) recovering from being turfed out of bed at 2 in the morning because of smoke coming into our room because of a fire in another part of the hotel we were in. So apart from the quite rushed tour our driver gave us on the day we were leaving, we saw very little of it.

And as Tripplanner may be too shy to mention it, here's her great TR from 2015 with a great description of what we missed in Colombo! [see the entry for March 6th] Also lots more good info on lots of the places on your itinerary.

On the Road in Beautiful Sri Lanka
annhig is offline  
Jun 29th, 2019, 06:43 AM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,063
annhig - Thanks--At this point, I think I've read most of the TR's on this board and tripplanners is one of the good ones, as is yours. (BTW tp is a he - maybe you'll meet him in DC.) Like a lot of cities, Colombo seems to get mixed reviews--people think it's a waste as Thursday & kathie expressed. But others find it just fine. One of the pros of this board is the diversity of opinions. I always appreciate hearing about the good, the bad and the ugly.
yestravel is offline  
Jun 29th, 2019, 06:57 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,641
I always appreciate hearing about the good, the bad and the ugly.>>

lol, that's fodors to a T, isn't it?

And apologies to TP. No offence meant. Which reminds me that I was being abused mightily by some leave supporter on FB a few days ago, being called a traitor and a few more choice words which he [as I thought] pronounced to be reasonable and not abusive as that's what I was. When however I got HER gender wrong, boy was she upset. The internet truly is an irony free zone.
annhig is offline  
Jun 29th, 2019, 07:05 AM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,063
Originally Posted by annhig View Post
I always appreciate hearing about the good, the bad and the ugly.>>

lol, that's fodors to a T, isn't it?

And apologies to TP. No offence meant. Which reminds me that I was being abused mightily by some leave supporter on FB a few days ago, being called a traitor and a few more choice words which he [as I thought] pronounced to be reasonable and not abusive as that's what I was. When however I got HER gender wrong, boy was she upset. The internet truly is an irony free zone.
That seems a bit silly -- how would you know one's gender if you've never met them IRL or they specifically state it.
yestravel is offline  
Jun 29th, 2019, 12:15 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,304
Originally Posted by annhig View Post
And apologies to TP. No offence meant.
No worries, Ann. There’s no way for you to know. Glad you’re coming to DC; I hope I’ll get to meet you.
tripplanner001 is offline  
Jun 29th, 2019, 01:42 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,641
hat seems a bit silly -- how would you know one's gender if you've never met them IRL or they specifically state it>>

Exactly. I was supposed to know apparently because her name was spelt Terri which she informed me is the female spelling. Given the myriad different ways so many people spell their names it never occurred to me. That she was so outraged by that when she had called me some pretty disgusting things was most amusing.

No worries, Ann. There’s no way for you to know. Glad you’re coming to DC; I hope I’ll get to meet you.>>

Thanks TP. It will be great to meet you too if you can make it. It's suddenly feeling quite close!
annhig is offline  
Jun 29th, 2019, 01:44 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,760
Having gone to Sri Lanka this year and not written a trip report, I do feel a bit guilty chiming in here!

I second sartoric’s comments re: Ella and Galle. We were there in the beginning of February for 2 weeks.

We loved Ella for 3 nights - but even with 2 full days, we did everything we wanted to do and still have time to chill out. 4 nights is too many and could be added to Fort Galle, which is beautifully-sited, and has a lot more to do. My only caveat is that it is a very busy city with tourists, but it has great architecture, restaurants, and even a few decent museums. Also, it was very, very hot when we were there. Ella’s weather was actually the most pleasant we had in the entire trip - it was a bit too cool for swimming, but perfect for walking. I loved the walk up Little Adam’s Peak.

Sadly, I got very ill the one day we had in Colombo, so we never did get to explore the city, which I would’ve loved to do, and it broke my heart to have to cancel my reservation at Ministry of Crab. I was so looking forward to trying it.
progol is online now  
Jun 30th, 2019, 06:56 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,641
<<Sadly, I got very ill the one day we had in Colombo, so we never did get to explore the city, which I would’ve loved to do, and it broke my heart to have to cancel my reservation at Ministry of Crab. I was so looking forward to trying it.>>


annhig is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:44 PM.