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Sri Lanka, Is it worth a month or just a few weeks

edited September 2009 in - Sri Lanka
Im going to Sri Lanka from Malaysia after spending 3mnth in SE Asia then headed to india to do Nepal & Possibly Bangladesh...
this in mind remembering im on a budget (4k english after flights) so SHOESTRING
MY Q???
how long would do Sri Lanka justice & how long u reckon it'll cost? Cheaper than Thailand or is it like Cambodia?
the money i dont spend in Sri Lanka i get 2 spend in India & Possibliy Bangladesh :)


  • edited 5:57PM
    we'vejust come back from 2 weeks in Sri Lanka (negombo) and had a great time, I would say that 3-4 weeks travelling around would be more than enough, we did a 3 day whistle stop tour of the main sights, unless you want to really explore ruins and temples in detail a few days in each of the main areas (beach, Colombo, Kandy, Galle) would probably be enough. Travelling around is cheap but not very fast (the roads aren't too good). Cost wise it would depend how much luxury you want, we met people that were out there for 5 weeks all inc for £1200 each via a tour operator (would be cheaper still as DIY)! Once your out there prices seem ridiculous, especially outside of the tourist areas. Just a few rupees for a coke and a snack on the street. People are very friendly though you will still see some roadblocks etc from the troubles but these are no problem for westerners and we felt very safe. Understandably, we didn't go to the north, but we were told that the east of the country is worth visiting, there is still a lot of damage from the Tsunami but it has not been commercialised and there are many deserted beaches and abundant wildlife, prices are apparently cheaper too as the gov't has eliminated taxes there to encourage investment, so it won't be unspoilt for long!
  • edited 5:57PM
    thanks Andy, reckon i'll be there for 3weeks and keen 2 hit the east for some adventure :P
    was the visa easy enough?
  • edited 5:57PM
    Even if you are not into historical things, don't forget to visit Sigiriya! It is considered 8th wonder of the world. The climbing up to the top will itself be an adventure! Then there are 1500 yrs old frscos, (topless damsels :-) as fresh as today!
    In my list of must see things in Sri Lanka, Sigiriya is the top.
    While you are there, visit Dambulla cave temple, which in the viscinity. It is another amazing thing to see.
    Now the whole country is peaceful and trouble free, you can visit the most beautiful east coast (Tricomalee, PasiKuda, Nilaweli) if you like. Tourism is still developing in those areas, but there are sufficiently luxurious hotels there.
  • edited 5:57PM
    We have been visiting Sri Lanka since 2003. We made friends with a safari jeep driver on that trip and have been in touch with him ever since. Life is inexpensive and most Sri Lankans are very friendly. We are now trustees of a UK based charity and have been back on a number of occasions since the tsunami. Some of the most peaceful places are in the south. Yala National Park is great place especially if you want to spot the elusive leopard. The people need all the support you can give. The tsunami and the Tamil war have caused such poverty and these people are proud. They hate to beg and always have a smile on their faces and a thank you on their lips. (Unlike India) The Pinwala Elephant Orphanage is a joy to visit and not too far from Colombo, but the south is more like the real Sri Lanka.

    The mountains running through the middle of the island have the tea and rubber plantations and this is another climate again. Much cooler and greener.

    This is a wonderful island to visit and if you want a taste of the Raj then visit the Mount Lavinia hotel. It is in an area called Mount Lavinia in the distant suberbs south of Colombo. The hotel was originally the home of the govenor of Ceylon and stil holds fast to all the old traditions such as high tea on the terrace around the pool in the afternoons and the doorman wears a white suit complete with pithe helmet. It's not cheap at about £100 per night but well worth one night of luxury.
  • edited 5:57PM
    I spent 6 wks in Sri Lanka over the millennium and that was on a budget. It depends on how long you want to languish on the beach and then add on a week maximum for touring the sights. The Botanical gardens in kandy were amazing, everyone tends to go to see the temple of the Bhuddas tooth, but you can see that in a few moments. I prefered wandering around the Botanical gardens - the scale of the bamboo was incredible and there was a large colony of fruit bats and a massive umbrella tree that was spanning a whole field. I agree that Sigiriya was a highlight - if you are ok with heights its well worth the climb and there were wild elephants in this region too. A really beautiful country with some amazing places to see, but it was hard to get around on public transport - there was 4 of us so we negotiated a price for a driver and vehicle which is what most others were doing.
  • edited 5:57PM
    sri lanka not very expensive, certainly safer than cambodia. there is a lot to see in this 65610sqkm island nation. there are plenty of budget hotels, restaurants, taxis etc.
  • As all above mentioned, Sri lanka is not very expensive. There are lots of budget hotels are available. Public transport is available to any point.
  • edited 5:57PM
    Hi,i spend a two weeks in SriLanka,and it was great..just people are a litlle bit to rude for me..

  • Sorry to hear about it, which part of the island you were. Generally SL people are very friendly
  • edited 5:57PM
    I am half Sri Lankan, and planning to move there in April 2010. It can be seen very cheaply, at around £10 per day for accommodation,food and travel (if you eat local, fruit off boutiques at the roadside and local eateries at around £1 to £1.50 per meal), although some of the guest houses are very reasonable. There are many places worth visiting apart from the usual tourist and cultural attractions. I (and many people I have introduced to Sri Lanka) find it a place that you can actually do very little and syill have a really good time. A great place just to chill, the locals are very friendly and will undoubtedly ask you in for a cup of tea or to visit thier village, which I reccommend and you should feel safe to do so. The wildlife is amazing and most can be seen without doing a safari (I know places where you can see elephants, crocodile etc.), and have the photos to prove it. Incedible beaches, and scenery inland, food to die for. Well worth a visit, unlikely not to back.
  • edited 5:57PM
    I forgot to mention the fishing, (big carp, catfish, snakeheads and the incredible mahseer).30 days is not enough, and travelling by bus and train can take a long time for relatively short journeys. Kurunagala is worth a visit (with very few tourists), beautiful walks, and a very good hotel on the lake shore, at around Rs. 1800 (about £10). Those of you planning to travel around Asia afterwoods may wish to visit Ratnapura to pick up some gemstones to sell on, (I reccommend the Ratna Gem Halt to stay, starting at around £5 for your room, and he also sells stones). It is perfectly acceptable to take alcohol in with you when eating in a restaurant.
  • edited 5:57PM
    To be honest 10 days will allow you to cover all the major spots. Unless you intend to setup camp somewhere or take it really slow, 3 weeks will be plenty.
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