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Old 29th March 2011, 16:30   #31
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Default Re: Sri Lanka - Exotically Slow - Water, Elephants and a flying tiger

Hi Ajmat,

I am planning on going sometime this year.

1) What time of the year do you recommend. Is August a good time to visit SL?

2) Regarding Taxi how did you arrange(you mention some travel agent) Was it a package trip and what was the cost for the few days you had the taxi ?

3) Could you please give a rough split of the various costs involved ?

Thanks!
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Old 30th March 2011, 12:02   #32
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Default Re: Sri Lanka - Exotically Slow - Water, Elephants and a flying tiger

@bandlimitedlife: I had spent my honeymoon in SL last February (2010). Went there for 5D/6N as a package from SOTC. Leaving out shopping (which differs from person to person), I had spent around 44K - all inclusive. However, only after reaching SL did I come to know that SOTC is outsourcing this package to another travels/tours group called 'Aitken Spence Travels'.

So, when my two of my friends asked for my advice, I gave them the SL contact numbers of this Aitken Spence Travels and they could save around 5K-6K on this - almost same itinerary and they said that they had a nice trip too. I can give you the contact number of this AS Travels. Plz send me a PM. I will reply to it.

Seems the driver/guide who came when my friend had been there (from AS Travels) gave his card to my friend and has told that he himself can make a package at a cheaper cost. But, I am not sure of this one though.

Regarding the timing you have selected - August should be a nice time to go there.

Following are the places we visited

1. Nuwara Eliya 2N
2. Kandy 1N
3. Beruwala/Bentota/Hikkaduwa 1N
4. Colombo 1N.
We actually missed out on Galle.

However, the package consisted of all 3/4/5 star hotels and the stay, to say the least was excellent. In fact, the hotel in Bentota (Hotel Ceysands) has to be reached by boat - its between the backwaters on one side and the sea on the other side! And the view from the room was the endless sea. The hotel in Colombo (actually outskirts of the city called Hendala - Hotel Pegasus Reef) also had a some breathtaking views.

And now - back to your plan - if you are planning for a all-guys trip, you can directly land in Colombo airport and if you come out, there are a lot of tours/travels operator through whom you can book it on the spot and you will get some good bargain. One of my ex-colleagues did this when he and his friend (another he).

Another advice - do not get sim card from the shops in the airport. They charge you a lot - they asked for SLR.1000 when I asked. I got a airtel card during our drive towards Nuwara Eliya in a road-side shop and had to pay some 50-100 SLR (not more than SLR100 for sure).

Do let me know in case you need any further assistance on this!


Cheers!
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Old 30th March 2011, 12:14   #33
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Default Re: Sri Lanka - Exotically Slow - Water, Elephants and a flying tiger

@callvvijay: Thanks for the reply to my post. It is good to know that Aug is a good time and the tours / travels contacts from your end will definitely help us a lot.

We would like to plan well ahead of time and go since it will be family vacation.

Any other advice will be helpful as well !
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Old 30th March 2011, 14:12   #34
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Default Re: Sri Lanka - Exotically Slow - Water, Elephants and a flying tiger

Ajmat, excellent report. I'm long overdue for a vacation (been over 2 years now) and was listing down options. Your pictorial helped me a lot. Thanks.

Please share the travel cost and the travel agent details if you dont mind (via pm will do).

When would be a good time to visit this place? Do the kids need a passport and what are the formalities for visa's?
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Old 28th September 2011, 18:57   #35
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Default Re: Sri Lanka - Exotically Slow - Water, Elephants and a flying tiger

Hi Ajmat,
Iam going to SL in Oct 1st week. Just wanted to know how to get
Indian currency converted to Sri Lankan currency?
Which is a good option to get it done at the airport on arrival or to carry dollars and get it converted to LKR?
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Old 29th September 2011, 09:16   #36
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Default Re: Sri Lanka - Exotically Slow - Water, Elephants and a flying tiger

Quote:
Originally Posted by deepti View Post
Hi Ajmat,
Iam going to SL in Oct 1st week. Just wanted to know how to get
Indian currency converted to Sri Lankan currency?
Which is a good option to get it done at the airport on arrival or to carry dollars and get it converted to LKR?

Dosent matter if u do a conversion of $ or INR to LKR but remember "NOT IN ANY AIRPORT" Conversion rates are worst in Airports.

If you already have USD right now then it would be better to convert $ to LKR than INR to LKR coz INR has fallen over the last few days. Otherwise it dosent make any sense to convert from INR-- USD -- LKR which is a waste of double conversion charges.

I see you are from Bangalore. Call up the PoundWize guys they typically give you a good rate and also do home delivery of currency.
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Old 29th September 2011, 09:58   #37
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Default Re: Sri Lanka - Exotically Slow - Water, Elephants and a flying tiger

Quote:
Originally Posted by deepti View Post
Hi Ajmat,
Iam going to SL in Oct 1st week. Just wanted to know how to get
Indian currency converted to Sri Lankan currency?
Which is a good option to get it done at the airport on arrival or to carry dollars and get it converted to LKR?
I carried dollars and converted at airport
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Old 29th September 2011, 10:17   #38
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Default Re: Sri Lanka - Exotically Slow - Water, Elephants and a flying tiger

Quote:
Originally Posted by deepti View Post
Hi Ajmat,
Iam going to SL in Oct 1st week. Just wanted to know how to get
Indian currency converted to Sri Lankan currency?
Which is a good option to get it done at the airport on arrival or to carry dollars and get it converted to LKR?
I carried USD to SL last year. Got 100 USD converted at the airport so that I can pay for the taxi.

Rest I got converted by a money changer shop in Colombo itself. The rates at airport and hotel are not good at all.

Also, there are lot of shops which do accept Indian currency as well (but not INR 1000 notes)
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Old 10th October 2011, 13:16   #39
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Default Re: Sri Lanka - Exotically Slow - Water, Elephants and a flying tiger

Hi all,
I am back from my trip. I carried INR and got it exchanged through an agent in Pinnawala orphanage. He offered a good exchange. Some gem shops do accept INR and they also accept 1000 INR notes. But I couldn't get a good exchange rate for the Srilankan money at the airport. However carrying USD and getting it exchanged is a good idea if you are travelling to SL.
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Old 6th November 2012, 16:20   #40
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Default Re: Sri Lanka - Exotically Slow - Water, Elephants and a flying tiger

i am planing for a trip to SriLanka during Jan 2013, thanks for the post and info
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