Sri Lanka in November

Old Aug 8th 2015, 10:00 am
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Default Sri Lanka in November

So me and 'er are thinking of doing a a few days in Kandy and I'm wondering if any members have any advice to share. The plan would be the fly to Colombo, taxi to the railway station and train up to Kandy. This would most likely be in November.

Another possibility is Merissa but apart from a great beach there doesn't seem so much to do there but I stand to be corrected.

Normally I would hire a car but having researched this a bit I'm nervous about using the roads at all in Sri Lanka
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Old Aug 8th 2015, 11:00 am
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Default Re: Sri Lanka in November

Originally Posted by InVinoVeritas
So me and 'er are thinking of doing a a few days in Kandy and I'm wondering if any members have any advice to share. The plan would be the fly to Colombo, taxi to the railway station and train up to Kandy. This would most likely be in November.

Another possibility is Merissa but apart from a great beach there doesn't seem so much to do there but I stand to be corrected.

Normally I would hire a car but having researched this a bit I'm nervous about using the roads at all in Sri Lanka
IVV I have never lived in SL but visited many times.
I understand a car with a driver is easy to get and very reasonably priced and he driver will have accommodation and meals provided by your Hotel up in Kandy
DO NOT drive there! It s all a bit crazy......
There is a cool hotel near Colombo called The Mount Lavinia you could use as base camp.
Super super local chef and a place with an interesting History too.
I am not sure there is a train service to Kandy but I could well be wrong.....

Perhaps someone living in SL would know today's rates for a car and driver
Probably best to have something arranged but for sure someone working at the hotel will have a 'cousin' who has a car.
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Old Aug 8th 2015, 12:06 pm
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Default Re: Sri Lanka in November

Hi,

It's great to hear you visit Sri Lanka this November.
I am from Sri Lanka and here are some few tips for you;

Yes, there is a train service TO Kandy. In fact, the train ride to a Kandy is one of the most admirable trips among many including Srilankans themselves, as most of the times 1st class observation car in the train is fully booked. It captures breath taking sceneries on its way to Kandy that you will never catch in your car ride.
Check the following link for train travel information.
Reservations
An interesting article about this train ride can be found at;
World`s Most Beautiful Train Trip? Sri Lanka Train Travel -NerdNomads

You'lllove Kandy for its humid, cool climate and where you get the chance to visit a variety of wonderful locations in a few mile radius.

However, visiting down south like Mirissa is the totally different story.
If you love golden sandy beaches and sky blue sea, well neddeless to say down south must be your destination. Although I love Mirissa, my heart always chooses Tangalle.
Apart from beaches you have a lot of places to visit. However, they are dispersed all over the place and you'd love them if you a restless traveler. Few of these plays are Yala National Park (Yala National Park Official Site | Yala Safari | Yala Sri Lanka | yala | yala jungle | sri lankan jungle | www.yalasrilanka.lk | government of sri lanka yala national park | bungalow in yala | sri lanka tourism), ancient ruins and stupas in Tissamaharamaya, Hot water Wells in Madunagala, Turtle watch Rekawa and temples such as Mulkirigala and Weherahena. And on your way to down south, you can always stop at few other places such as Galle.

There are many things such as Whale and Dolphin watching and surfing you can always do in other parts of Sri Lanka. If you are looking for history, you can always a round trip that covers Dambulla (Sigiriya is of the highest importance), Anuradhapura and Pollonnaruwa. Regardless of where you go, they all come with different sets of options.

Well, Srilankans are used to a different set of ethics in driving (mostly reckless as I experienced from a recent visit), so driving is not an option for you. You could always hire a threewheeler (tuk tuk) for a short ride, but be cautioned to get on a threewheeler with a taxi meter fixed so you pay a reasonable fare between Rs.35-50/ km. And although I am not quite sure whether Nano cabs ( a smaller and a cheaper version of a car hire) is available in all areas of the country, it does worth a look as there fare are reasonably priced.

And also, Sri Lanka is an Island so we have seasonal rains. As I know North-East monsoon starts in mid-November, where very heavy rains and lightning can be expected in some area of the country which will wash away your plans if you are in the wrong part of the country. So plan prior to leaving. Check whether the things you plan to do can be done in November such as watch whales and visit Yala park. And book a place to stay prior to leaving, this will first keep you safe and second will save a significant amount of money in opting for a last minute accommodation.

Finally, enjoy Sri Lanka. Visit as much as you can and try our mouth watering food as much as you can.

Enjoy your vacation!!!
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Old Aug 8th 2015, 12:28 pm
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Default Re: Sri Lanka in November

Wow - great second post maya_123, thanks so much for all the info - you too Poolie. Your enthusiasm encourages me no end! It may be that the wife and I do 2 separate trips, the first to Kandy and then another one Mirissa and Tangalle. I'll probably come back with some more questions as I get further into planning this, so keep a good look out for me please.

Last edited by InVinoVeritas; Aug 8th 2015 at 1:59 pm. Reason: Second not first post
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Old Aug 8th 2015, 12:41 pm
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Default Re: Sri Lanka in November

I'd just like to say that I am jealous. Sri Lanka on my bucket list. Maybe next year. Anyway you check it out first then you can pass on info to me

Actually IVV.....there's a lady I know who goes to my art club in Penang, who used to live in Sri Lanka and (I think) travels back now and again, so will see if I can get some info.
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Old Aug 8th 2015, 12:55 pm
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Default Re: Sri Lanka in November

Now I want to go back and see more!!!!
The food yeah..wonderful curries especially my favourite!! Hilton Hotel roof top buffet!!
There is a strange restaurant in Colombo called the Cricket Club Restaurant.....(not a club though) Have had a few wonderful nights in there supping Lion Beer I think it was...........sheer rocket fuel and too easy to drink.
I would love to take that train for sure and get to see all the places I never had time when working.
Please do try egg hoppers for breakfast............somethng as a surprise for you to order
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Old Aug 9th 2015, 5:22 am
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Default Re: Sri Lanka in November

Originally Posted by PoolieAbroad
Now I want to go back and see more!!!!
The food yeah..wonderful curries especially my favourite!! Hilton Hotel roof top buffet!!
Well, if you love Hilton you should try the 'Kingsbury' hotel's restaurants. It used to be something else, got renovated and became one of the bests in Sri Lanka in no time. Their buffets are the best!!! I love their sky lounge- breathtaking views.

Check this out for more info.
https://www.thekingsbury.lk/dining/sky-lounge

Cheers
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Old Aug 9th 2015, 12:41 pm
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Default Re: Sri Lanka in November

Originally Posted by maya_123
Well, if you love Hilton you should try the 'Kingsbury' hotel's restaurants. It used to be something else, got renovated and became one of the bests in Sri Lanka in no time. Their buffets are the best!!! I love their sky lounge- breathtaking views.

Check this out for more info.
https://www.thekingsbury.lk/dining/sky-lounge

Cheers
Oh that looks Brilliant!!.........This is indeed new since my last trip about 3 years ago now.

How is the Galle Face these days? Last time I tried it was well before the renovations and it was 'unusual' to say the least.
tiffin served in a square outside from dented and ancient silver pots!
Prince Phillip's old car parked outside and the most ancient splendid lift in the world. Well looked after and polished by the chap in charge of it.
Ahh Such happy memories of trips to SL....
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Old Aug 10th 2015, 8:36 pm
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Default Re: Sri Lanka in November

Well, when I was back it was closed for renovations. Yeah, it is a classy hotel. They maintain a lot of traditions since the beginning.
I have not visited it recently, but honestly their restaurants used to be overrated and overpriced.

I like Cinnamon grand as well. If you have not visited yet, it is a good place to visit as their chefs are not so bad.
Colombo Hotels | Official Site Cinnamon Grand Colombo | 5 Star Hotels

There is another renovation in Colombo 07. Food markets happening there in weekends. Considering the location, price might be bit high.
Arcade - Independence Square | Sri Lanka trendiest and most grand Shopping complex

And an interesting development happening just opposite the Galle Face Hotel. Heard it is going to be a hotel from famous Shanghai Hotel chain.

However, if you are a food lover there are a lot of other places you should visit.

Visit the followings if you have time;
gigantic egg hoppers- Kaema Sutra

Toby's state- visit the one in Mt. Lavinia. It is a renovated old house with a grand collection of antiques inside. Worth a stop in your trip.
https://www.facebook.com/TobysEstateCMB

Achcharu Kade- Heard that they have an amazing collection of fruit pickles (achcharu are not usually sour in Sri Lanka) and mouthwatering authentic food. I'll try it in my next visit.
https://www.facebook.com/theachcharukade

Finally, there are a lot of places that you can find in the following websites with reliable reviews.
Restaurants and more in Colombo and Sri Lanka � YAMU
https://www.zomato.com/
They worth a check before you plan any type of food hunting and adventures.

Cheers
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Old Aug 14th 2015, 2:14 am
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Default Re: Sri Lanka in November

We simply fell in love with Sri Lanka during a three week visit some years ago.

We did hire a tuk tuk and driver for a fixed price to get around locally in Galle . We also availed ourselves of a car and driver who was happy to motor us around Sri Lanka for the best part of a fortnight or more. It was a great way to be able to target the things & places we were interested in and also to learn and experience first hand from a local. Didn't do that randomly but used a Sri Lanka base company.

Wonderful experience and I would do it again in a flash, however we were also spoiling ourselves with some of the posh places we stayed.

For Kandy we stayed at the Tea Factory Hotel & for a couple of nights in central Sri Lanka we stayed at the Kandalama.
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Old Aug 14th 2015, 5:31 am
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Default Re: Sri Lanka in November

Originally Posted by BEVS
We simply fell in love with Sri Lanka during a three week visit some years ago.

We did hire a tuk tuk and driver for a fixed price to get around locally in Galle . We also availed ourselves of a car and driver who was happy to motor us around Sri Lanka for the best part of a fortnight or more. It was a great way to be able to target the things & places we were interested in and also to learn and experience first hand from a local. Didn't do that randomly but used a Sri Lanka base company.

Wonderful experience and I would do it again in a flash, however we were also spoiling ourselves with some of the posh places we stayed.

For Kandy we stayed at the Tea Factory Hotel & for a couple of nights in central Sri Lanka we stayed at the Kandalama.
Thanks for the tips BEVS. The Heritance Tea Factory looks amazing but is a couple of hours outside Kandy so I'll have to figure out the best way do this.

And thanks again maya_123 for all your suggestions.

I'm quite surprised how expensive Sri Lanka is by Asian standards.
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Old Aug 15th 2015, 2:29 am
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Default Re: Sri Lanka in November

Originally Posted by InVinoVeritas
I'm quite surprised how expensive Sri Lanka is by Asian standards.
Well, tea factory, Kandalama and all the hotels mentioned above are five star hotels and are serviced to International standards. And most of these belong to multi national companies. So, they don't come cheap.

There are loads of other options such as hotels with less standards and other options such as motels and guest houses that are affordable and will suit your budget.

I have also experienced that some other Asian countries such as Indonesia and Singapore are less expensive for short visits. However, no visit to a new country comes without cons when you compare it against another country.

Cheers
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Old Aug 15th 2015, 7:24 am
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Default Re: Sri Lanka in November

Originally Posted by maya_123
Well, tea factory, Kandalama and all the hotels mentioned above are five star hotels and are serviced to International standards. And most of these belong to multi national companies. So, they don't come cheap.

There are loads of other options such as hotels with less standards and other options such as motels and guest houses that are affordable and will suit your budget.

I have also experienced that some other Asian countries such as Indonesia and Singapore are less expensive for short visits. However, no visit to a new country comes without cons when you compare it against another country.

Cheers

As this is the India section, the question might be, for a holiday why not go to South India instead?
Chennai has everything --hotels of every grade, beaches, restaurants,
beautiful temples, shopping, music, coffee etc.
Certainly my favourite Indian big city.

(Not that many bars or alcohol outlets though).
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Old Aug 15th 2015, 12:22 pm
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Default Re: Sri Lanka in November

Need a Chennai topic..no?
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Old Aug 15th 2015, 12:52 pm
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Default Re: Sri Lanka in November

Originally Posted by Bipat
As this is the India section, the question might be, for a holiday why not go to South India instead?
Chennai has everything --hotels of every grade, beaches, restaurants,
beautiful temples, shopping, music, coffee etc.
Certainly my favourite Indian big city.

(Not that many bars or alcohol outlets though).
I must say I find the whole Pondicherry-Chennai area very appealing from a tourist perspective.

But my problem is that I cannot visit India as long as the female sexual abuse issue is on-going. I am hardly a fervent supporter of women's rights but I do find it absolutely unacceptable that Indian law allows men to abuse women without much in the way of legal sanction.

Sorry, but my only way to influence this issue is to refuse to visit the country. I am very shocked that a few of my female friends still find it within themselves to overlook this matter and take their holidays in India. That almost appalls me more!
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