After a long deliberation on whether I should take off from work (as if the company cannot run without me for 2 days), I finally decided that the family of 4 should go on a holiday. This holiday was meant to be very special as this would be a holiday with the Fabulous Four before the Fantastic Five (My brother is getting married soon).. After thinking over for quite a long time and convincing my dad that we should GOOO… we finally decided to go to a “Foreign Country” with a desi budget and the option readily available was SRI LANKA. We just had about 2 weeks time when we had to plan everything (I dint want to take a package). I must say, its all an easy task.
Step 1: Booked the flight tickets which were cheaper than a domestic flight ticket from Bangalore to Mumbai.
Step 2: Raid Google for read everything available on tourism to hotels to food to people to shopping.
Step 3: As the raid (I better name it research) goes on we had to apply to Visa. As a retort to India for not giving Visa on Arrival to Sri Lankans, effective from January 1st 2012, we need to apply before hand for the visa. Its a very simple process. In fact we got our visa in less than half an hour of our application. For your info here is the link to apply for the visa. (https://eta.gov.lk/)
Step 4: Once you understand that, you need contacts and references to go to a new place, I found one reference who can help me with hotels and transport in Sri Lanka. there you go! I found the right man. Here is the link for such contact too. (http://www.enjoylankatours.com/). I totally recommend this tours.
Step 5:I just shot a mail, with the plan I had in mind, the places etc and in less than a day I have my itinerary ready with me. Negotiated the price offered(Be a real Indian) and end of story
Step 6: Just GOOOOOOOOOOO…!!! Have loads of good time.
It was a four day holiday and we fit in as much as we can.
Places covered: Colombo, Sigiriya, Dambulla, Anuradhapur, Trincomalee, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya and Pinnawala.
Types of places visited: Hindu temples, beaches, tea estate, spice gardens, elephant orphanage, historically important palaces, Buddhist temples, cultural show and city tours.
1. Most of the historic places in Sri Lanka are at high altitudes which means you need to walk a loottt.
2. It is not so difficult to get vegetarian food but South Indian food is not guaranteed.
3. Food is expensive. We actually carried snacks from India :-p
4. INR, SLR or USD.. if you have any of these you are good to go in most of the places. You will find people everywhere to convert your money.
5. All the prices quoted in the shops are meant for Western foreigners. That is too expensive.
6. There is entry fee at every single place ranging from SLR 500 – SLR 3000.
7. SAARC countries have a different price at every place. So please carry your passport.
8.Do taste their tender coconut water. Its yummy and the coconut is orange in colour.
9. It was hot but surely was not unbearable.
Special mention: Hospitality at every place and Politeness from every person.
As a concluding statement, it was really a memorable trip. I am glad this happened.