Sri Lanka - Traveltips

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Itinerary: Colombo -> Wattala -> Negombo -> Mihintale (walking) -> Anuradhapura -> Sigiriya (hiking) -> Polonnaruwa -> Dambulla -> Kandy -> Pinnawela (Elephants orphanage) -> Nuwara Eliya -> Horton Plains (hiking, optional climbing up Adam's Peak) -> Nanu Oya (nostalgic train) -> Bandarawela -> Ella -> Tissamaharama -> Yala Nationalpark (Safari, optional) -> Mirissa -> Kogalla -> Galle -> Colombo
Fellow travelers on the 17 day Sri Lanka roundtrip with Djoser tour bus

Ayubowan Sri Lanka

The 17 day Sri Lanka roundtrip with the travelagency Djoser was - many thanks to our excellent travelguide Shathis - well organized. Also the unusual many bad weather days at the end of november and beginning of december with heavy rain he managed perfect.
Due to the extrem high humidity and day temperatures of more then 35 °C the Sri Lanka tour was very hard and tiring.

Probably we were the first tour group in Sri Lanka, who visited the wide anthice places of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa in heavy rain and climbed up over the slippery steps and rocks of Mihintale and Sigiriya mountains.

Caution to mosquito repellent in Sri Lanka:

Caution: extrem dangerous mosquito bites or sand flea bites in Sri Lanka Intensive mosquito repellent with Authan, Nobite or Zitronella is very important in Sri Lanka. Especially in Kogalla we can hardly prevent bites from mosquitoes or sand fleas bites at beach walking or swimming. First these are just tiny red spots on the skin. After a week the bites enlarged especially by my wife to deep festering wounds of one to two centimeters in diameter. A visit to the doctor is urgently needed.
The purulent wounds has to be medicated immediatelly with suitable antibiotics and leave permanent scars and ugly cicatrices in the skin. Photo left in original size of the infected wound one week after the bite.
In Sri Lanka live extrem many straying dogs. Some of these poor suffering animals have no more fur and their body is covered with suppurating eczema. Not to imagine if a mosquito first bites a terminally ill dog and afterwords people or a child.
The perfidious of these Sri Lanka mosquito bites and chigger bites is that these transforme after days or weeks in large, difficult-healing festering wounds with subsequent scarring.
One fellow traveler was bitten at a bus stop by a wild straying cat. He had immediately to a hospital for anti-rabies inoculation.
Giant squirrel in Polonnaruwa
Total excessive entrance fees in Sri Lanka for UNESCO World Heritage Site, Temples, Pagodas, Nationalparks and other historic sites per person (Date December 2012):
  US $  Rs  Euro 
Anuradhapura 25    19,23 
Polonnaruwa 25    19,23 
Sigiriya mountain 30    23,08 
Avkana Temple   500  3,03 
Sri Maha Bodhi Temple   200  1,21 
Isurumuni Temple   200  1,21 
Mihintale mountain   500  3,03 
Dambulla rock Temple 10    7,69 
Kandy Tooth Temple   1000  6,06 
Kandy Buddha   200  1,21 
Kandy botanic garden 10    7,69 
Kandy dancer   500  3,03 
Pinnawela Elephant orphanage   2000  12,12 
Dova rock Temple   200  1,21 
Blow Hols in Kudawella   200  1,21 
Horton Plains nature hiking tour   6500  39,39 
Yala Safari   6500  39,39 
Habarana Elephant Safari 1 hour.     20,00 
Total amount:     209,04 
Of course Ticket prices may change at any time, so for the latest prices ask your tour guides.
Really worth seeing are in my opinion the Sigiriya rock with the sexy cloud girls, Mihintale mountain, Dambulla cave temples, Pinnawela Elephant orphanage, the palm beaches around Mirissa and possibly climbing up Adams Peak for sunset.
Monkey in Anuradhapura
Rent a scooter in Sri Lanka

Risks in the Ceylonese road traffic:

Ceylonese drive so recklessly, as I never have experienced in any other country of the world. Even Chinese drivers are orphan boys comparing with the Ceylonese. Particularly dangerous are the public buses. They overtake at the most chaotic places and also when the oncoming traffic is in immediate vicinity.
Our Djoser tour bus driver mastered the ever-present dangers always perfect and made a very competent and safe impression. Only him we could trust, surrounded by these aggressive or suicidal Ceylonese drivers. The Djoser bus of Chinese design was comfortable and new.

Self driving is risky

In Sri Lanka is like in England or India left driving usual. In Kogalla I rented a scooter for a day and drove between Galle and Mirissa along the coast. With the scooter you can respond more flexibly to the brutal way in which the Sinhalese drive, as with a rental car.
Lanka Ashok Leyland Linienbus in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka national currency:

1 Euro equals ca 165 Rs (Sri Lanka Rupis, date November 2012). Good exchange rates we obtained at the Colombo airport, at banks and authorized money exchange offices (often located in jewelry stores).

Wonderful Hotel The Lake in Polonnaruwa
Boutique Hotel Priyankara in Tissamaharama

Beautiful Hotels in Sri Lanka

Einige besonders schöne Hotels auf unserer Sri Lanka Rundreise sind das "The Lake Hotel" in Polonnaruwa, das gepflegte "Sigiriya Village Hotel" mit Swimming Pool, Ayuvera Massagen und direktem Blick zum Sigiriya Felsen, die "Swiss Residence" oberhalb von Kandy oder in der King's Street 44 in Kandy das Royal Bar and Hotel im Kolonialstil, das "Windsor Hotel" in Nuwara Eliya, das Priyankara Hotel in Tissamaharama, the Paradise Beach Club at the palm beaches of Mirissa.
Boutique Hotel Priyankara in Tissamaharama
Sinhalese people are very friendly and laugh a lot

Taking photos:

Photographing is easy everywhere in Sri Lanka. In the museums of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa is photographing not allowed. The Sinhalese people, especially in rural areas are quite wild on "Taking Pictures". Young women are laughing confident and sexy into the photocamera. Such behavior we only experienced in China or Myanmar. Snake charmers and stilt fishermen expect a photo fee. Children are very happy about chocolate or pencils.
Only military and police should not be photographed or filmed.

Jewelry and gems

Jewelry and gems you buy best in a reputable jewelry store. Too big is otherwise the danger that the gems are not real or that the jewel is poorly finished. The head of a noble jewelry store in Kandy proudly shows us a photo. He has accompanied former German President Richard von Weizsaeker and his wife on a Sri Lanka tour.
Dealing for a cheap price is a "must" here. In tough negotiations, we reduced the purchase price for a very nice piece of jewelry with diamonds and sapphires by 50%.

Actual weather conditions for Sri Lanka:

Former German President Richard von Weizsaeker with his wife on a Sri Lanka tour
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