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First Time to Sri Lanka

First Time to Sri Lanka

Old Feb 2, 2018, 3:15 am
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by merittraveler
How is Pick Me? Would that be recommended over Uber?
I'd say that both are more or less comparable.

As of right now, Uber has lower fares for passengers (and thus, lower revenue for drivers), leading to an interesting situation where there is a surfeit of drivers on PickMe, and a surfeit of passengers on Uber.

The only key difference is that PickMe has a 'Trishaw' hire option. These are somewhat cheaper than the "small car" (Pickme) / "UberGO" (Uber) options, if you can stomach traveling in what is essentially a three-wheeled tin can without any safety features at all, and a dangerous propensity to roll over (notwithstanding the daredevil driving which would put Jeremy Clarkson to shame).
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Old Feb 2, 2018, 3:24 am
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by merittraveler
Looking at a resort in Yala. Is it possible to get from Yala National Park to Colombo by air? Im not having any luck with Cinnamon Air, and dont want to be in a car that long.
Direct to Yala: only via a chartered plane, unfortunately; I'd estimate that this would cost ~$1500 to $2000, one-way.

An option would be to fly to Hambantota Airport via Cinnamon Air (they are running a $150 return/per person promo these days - not sure how long it will last!), and then hire a car from Hambantota to Tissamaharama (which is adjacent to the Yala park, and most likely where your hotel would be situated - no hotels are allowed within the park premises itself).

My recommendation though would be to book a hotel in Galle (or Weligama, Koggala or Matara), and spend a night there, and then proceed to Tissamaharama afterwards. This would turn a 5.5 hour journey into separate 2.5 + 3 hour segments.

One thing to note: the roads on the Southern Coast of Sri Lanka are pretty good. It is possible to proceed all the way upto Matara on the Southern Expressway, and even from there, the highways are carpeted, smooth, and often straight for long stretches. 5+ hours in a car will still be exhausting, but the ride should be smooth.
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Old Mar 22, 2018, 3:16 am
  #18  
 
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Smile

I suggest you visit Kandy & Neuralia. There are must visit hill stations which so much to see. Best is to hire a car to get there.
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Old Feb 8, 2019, 4:45 pm
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What would be the best option to get transportation from the Shangri-La in Colombo to Galle and then a few days later back to Colombo Airport?
Would Uber work for this? Or should we rely on hotel cars? Reliable local companies?
What would be a reasonable price?
Thanks.
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Old Feb 8, 2019, 5:33 pm
  #20  
 
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What is the best time to visit when it's not raining as much ?
Is there a local Sri Lanka newspaper in English online ?
Thanks

Last edited by LAXlocal; Feb 8, 2019 at 6:38 pm
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Old Feb 9, 2019, 2:40 am
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by ChocolateFactory
What would be the best option to get transportation from the Shangri-La in Colombo to Galle and then a few days later back to Colombo Airport?
Would Uber work for this? Or should we rely on hotel cars? Reliable local companies?
What would be a reasonable price?
Thanks.
Uber has an option for transport from Colombo to Galle, and is probably the cheapest option. From what I remember, PickMe, their local competitor, also offers the same service. Kangaroo is the most reliable local cab company (with professional drivers and Prius hybrid cars), but also the priciest.

In the Uber app, I see a price of 8,000 to 11,000 LKR. Not sure about Kangaroo - the last time I checked with them (a couple of years ago), the cost was about 12,000 LKR, but the price might have gone up since, due to depreciation of the rupee.
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Old Feb 9, 2019, 2:46 am
  #22  
 
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Different parts of the country receive rain at different times of the year. The center, south, and west of the country tends to have rain from around May to July and also from October to November. The north and west typically sees rain from December to February. That said, I've noticed that the rainy season has become less and less predictable over the last several years.

Re: newspapers - "The Morning" (http://www.themorning.lk/) is probably the daily with the best online presence. The Sunday Times is decent as well (http://www.sundaytimes.lk/ - click on the "print edition" link in the header to access the detailed version).

Originally Posted by LAXlocal
What is the best time to visit when it's not raining as much ?
Is there a local Sri Lanka newspaper in English online ?
Thanks
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Old Feb 9, 2019, 7:14 am
  #23  
 
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Originally Posted by npsomaratna
Uber has an option for transport from Colombo to Galle, and is probably the cheapest option. From what I remember, PickMe, their local competitor, also offers the same service. Kangaroo is the most reliable local cab company (with professional drivers and Prius hybrid cars), but also the priciest.

In the Uber app, I see a price of 8,000 to 11,000 LKR. Not sure about Kangaroo - the last time I checked with them (a couple of years ago), the cost was about 12,000 LKR, but the price might have gone up since, due to depreciation of the rupee.
Thanks!
Do they have decent cars? I'm not thinking Mercedes S Class here, but it's 2 hour drive according to Google Maps, and I don't think that would be a lot of fun in a very small car, especially since we need space for bags as well.

Edit: This is actually for my father and I'd also like him to be picked up at the airport and driven to the Shangri-La in Colombo.
Seems like Kangaroo would be the best option for that? Because the hotel charges a whopping 60 USD one way.
Do Kangaroo drivers accept payment by credit card?

Last edited by ChocolateFactory; Feb 9, 2019 at 7:35 am
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Old Feb 9, 2019, 8:21 am
  #24  
 
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1) If you were to go with UberX (their "highest-end" offering here) you'd typically get a Toyota Prius, which is fairly comfortable. The other car types you might get are Toyota Axio(s), which are also fairly OK, and Toyota Aqua(s) - which might be a problem, given their relatively small capacity for luggage. Kangaroo Cabs only uses Priuses.

2) Yes - Kangaroo is a great option for this - and what I typically use myself. The charge should probably be around 20 USD. I believe that they accept payment by credit card, but you need to inform them of this in advance so that the driver can be provided with a CC machine. They also allow for "pre-payment" via credit card - to do so, you'll need to call them up directly. Alternately, most drivers should be willing to stop over by an ATM so that you can withdraw cash.
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Old Feb 9, 2019, 8:24 am
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Thanks!
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Old Feb 18, 2019, 11:56 pm
  #26  
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It will be my first time in Sri Lanka as well- I'm thinking of a reasonable daytime diversion from where I am ending my Sri Lanka trip (Umawatuna near Galle), since my flight out to BLR is at 6 pm (so a bunch of time to kill). Thinking hire a driver for the day, leave after breakfast, and spend the day getting to CMB. What makes sense as being reasonably "on the way" (not Galle or Colombo, I'll be hitting those en route to Unawatuna or while I am there)?
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Old Feb 19, 2019, 12:12 am
  #27  
 
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You could look at one or more of the following:

- The sea turtle hatchery at Kosgoda.
- A river boat safari on the Madu river.
- Lunuganga estate, Bentota (Geoffrey Bawa's home and masterpiece).
- Brief garden (another masterpiece of landscaping, this one by Bawa's brother).
- The Kalutara temple and sacred bodhi tree.

If you had time to look at only one of the above, I'd recommend Lunuganga (especially if you have any interest in architecture or landscaping).
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Old Feb 20, 2019, 9:39 am
  #28  
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Originally Posted by npsomaratna
You could look at one or more of the following:

- The sea turtle hatchery at Kosgoda.
- A river boat safari on the Madu river.
- Lunuganga estate, Bentota (Geoffrey Bawa's home and masterpiece).
- Brief garden (another masterpiece of landscaping, this one by Bawa's brother).
- The Kalutara temple and sacred bodhi tree.

If you had time to look at only one of the above, I'd recommend Lunuganga (especially if you have any interest in architecture or landscaping).
Thank you. I'll definitely put them on the list. I would imagine that I am leaving at 8-9 am after breakfast, traveling carryon only (no need to stand in line to check bags), so a good amount of time for sightseeing during the day.
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Old Apr 13, 2019, 3:46 pm
  #29  
 
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What plugs do they use in Sri Lanka? Does Galle have places to get a USA to Sri Lanka plug adapter? I figure it would be much cheaper to get them there instead of advance.
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Old Apr 13, 2019, 3:53 pm
  #30  
 
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Essentially all new buildings use type G plugs (three rectangular pins arranged in a triangle). Older buildings use type D plugs (three circular pins arranged in a triangle). Do note that most higher-end hotels have universal sockets .
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