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Sri Lanka report


mikebell

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To avoid Songkran madness I visited the above island.  Here are some travel tips to be aware of:

you and your wife need a visa ($50) obtainable in advance.

In Thailand I avoid the underhand ++ establishments as it's just an underhand gouging of customers.  In Sri Lanka, it is impossible to avoid in tourist areas.  Irrespective of the poor service, you are charged 10% AND a further 17% in taxes = 27% more than the printed price!

Alcohol (even the local brands) is very expensive - we were charged the equivalent of 9 UKP for 2 gins and one tonic in a non-descript hotel; more in up-market hotels.  You can only buy liquor in special shops which have prison bars to prevent robberies.

The final insult to Sri Lanka and its tourists came at the airport in Colombo.  I had carefully conserved my rupees to buy duty free on my way back to Thailand.  You cannot use Sri Lankan currency in Sri Lanka's capital's airport!!!  They accept only $s!

You cannot get a decent coffee.  The food is bland.

The scenery was nice with lots of wild life which you could view by paying a premium.

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The food is bland ? I am puzzled by that. When I lived in Kuala Lumpur there is a large Sri Lankan community and the food was sublime, great spice coconut milk curries and seafood. Maybe you got the tourist version ?

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19 hours ago, mikebell said:

You cannot get a decent coffee.  The food is bland.

 

I only know Sri Lanka from long free stopovers when flying with SriLankan Airlines. But from what I have tasted the coffee is OK and the food is fantastic. Vastly better than both Indian and Thai food. I could eat Sri Lankan food forever and never get bored, though the lack of pork is a bit of a downer. And, as mentioned, it is a tea island so the tea is excellent also.

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23 minutes ago, KittenKong said:

Transit (2 days) visa still free. Otherwise up to USD40 depending on your circumstances.

 

https://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa/visainfo/fees.jsp

Thanks.

 

just to add that visas for big brother to the north have changed recently for the better. E visa now good for 60 days stay and re entry allowed plus tourist visa up to 5 year validity. 

 

Link to VFS Bangkok not uploading from Vietnam where I am.

 

cheers.

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1 hour ago, Mahseer said:

just to add that visas for big brother to the north have changed recently for the better. E visa now good for 60 days stay and re entry allowed plus tourist visa up to 5 year validity. 

 

A couple of months ago a friend of mine was charged double for his Indian eVisa (USD100 instead of USD50) and so far he has been unable to get it refunded.

 

Personally I think that countries that charge so much for short tourist visas are mad. Many people must be put off by these fees; I certainly am. In this respect Thailand is very sensible, though they make up for it with the dual pricing for national parks.

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