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Author Topic: what to see in Sri Lanka  (Read 1082 times)
Lloyd Mayeda
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« on: February 28, 2012, 07:24:08 AM »
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We will be travelling in Sri Lanka for ~10 days in April (some flexibility, exact dates and itinerary not finalized).

Any suggestions from ppl familiar with Sri Lanka for places to visit (or avoid) would be greatly appreciated.
« Last Edit: February 29, 2012, 04:38:13 PM by LloydMayeda » Logged
Lloyd Mayeda
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« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2012, 04:44:43 PM »
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Our trip to Sri Lanka has been moved to April (rather than mid-March).  In addition to flying into Colombo (the capital city) we are planning to visit Kandy and the central highlands and hopefully the ancient cities of Polonnaruwa and Ahuradapura.
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2012, 06:19:25 PM »
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In travels to over fifty countries, Sri Lanka remains among my very favourites.  In fact, it's the only place I've been back to that was better than I remembered.

Will you have your own vehicle?  I highly recommend renting a car, without a driver if possible.  Public transport is, or was, poor.  I used a motorcycle on both my trips and it was very satisfactory.  Sri Lanka is a motorcycle paradise, traffic notwithstanding.

Sigirya (definitely make the climb) should be on your list.  As well, Horton Plains and World's End (stay in the guest house at Horton Plains and dress warm) are worth the journey. The towns of Nuwara Eliya, Haputale and Bandarawela are nearby and they'll show you the definition of a "salubrious climate"  Perpetual springtime. 

Visit a "tea factory" and some tea plantations.  There are excellent photo ops with the tea pickers and tea rivals rice as a photogenic crop.

There are several National Parks if you're in search of wildlife photography.  For me, the ancient cities that you've already planned to visit, the landscape and the culture are the reasons to go.

"Guest houses" are everywhere and they provided economical, basic housing and a chance to engage with the local economy. 

The southern beaches were incredible, but I imagine that the tsunami of 04 has changed all that.

Sri Lanka isn't equipment-friendly.  It's dusty, dirty and humid.  Beware rapid temperature changes that promote condensation if you stay in air conditioned premises.

Here's just one reason why I love Sri Lanka: In downtown Colombo, my  screw-mount (Pentax) 85mm lens dropped off the camera, bounced off the motorcycle gas tank and disappeared into the heavy traffic behind me.  I couldn't stop and I gave it up as gone forever.  A few minutes later, stalled in traffic, two small boys appeared at my side, gasping for breath.  "Sir!" was all they could manage.  One of them held the lens, the other the lens cap.  Dented, it still worked perfectly. Decades later, I still have it.

Have fun.  I wish I was back there myself.

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Lloyd Mayeda
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« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2012, 05:20:00 AM »
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Thanks for your very informative reply Peter.  Although heart stopping and heart warming as well ... I will do my best to not drop any equipment!

We are both in our 60's and although reasonably fit we do not plan to do any serious climbing (maybe a bit of hiking). Our mid-30's son will be with us and is the designated driver if we rent a car but we have been advised that driving a rental car is not a good idea in some of the out of the way locations due to our unfamiliarity with the roads and traffic issues.  We are leaning to engaging a driver/guide (with his own car) for parts of our trip.

Thanks again.  Smiley
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2012, 10:57:35 AM »
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Having your own driver solves many problems and allows many otherwise-denied insights in to local events, especially if they speak good English.  If you can afford the driver, by all means go that route.  I couldn't afford one. : )  I wouldn't worry too much about your son driving.  Speeds are low, dangers usually obvious.  Caution rules.

Have fun. Report back.  With pix!  Grin

Peter
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