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GETTING AROUND IN SRI LANKA
Industry: Airport Transfers       

Some useful points to consider when getting around Sri Lanka:

(TRAVPR.COM) SRI LANKA - August 1st, 2019 - Domestic flights in Sri Lanka are quite limited, distances are not vast and new expressways are shrinking travel times.

Travelling on public transport is a choice between buses and trains: both are cheap. Trains can be crowded, but it’s nothing compared with the huge number of passengers that squash into ordinary buses. Standing on a train is better than standing on a bus.

On the main roads from Colombo to Kandy, Negombo and Galle, buses cover around 40km to 50km per hour. On highways across the plains and to the North, it can be 60km or 70km an hour. In the Hill Country, it can slow to just 20km an hour.

All public transport gets crowded around poya (full moon) holidays and their nearest weekends, so try to avoid travelling then.

Air:

Options for flying within Sri Lanka are very limited.

Bandaranaike International Airport has connecting domestic flights provided by Cinnamon Air. It offers a limited schedule of expensive flights to destinations that include Batticaloa, Dikwella, Sigiriya and Trincomalee. Service is on small planes, some using airforce bases, others with floats that land on lakes and lagoons.

Colombo Airport, Ratmalanae (www.airport.lk/rma), 15km south of Colombo, is an airforce base with a terminal that handles some domestic air charters.

Bicycle:

Cycling around historic areas such as Anuradhapura and Sigiriya is the best and most enjoyable ways to see these important sites. Bikes are also an ideal way to explore the North and East via the lightly travelled roads typical of these regions.

More and more hotels and guesthouses have bicycles that guests can hire.

Boat:

With the exception of ferries used to reach the islands southwest of Jaffna, there are no ferry services of note in Sri Lanka.

Bus:

Bus routes cover about 80% of the nation’s 90,000km of roads. There are two kinds of bus in Sri Lanka:

Central Transport Board (CTB) buses :  These are the default buses and usually lack air-con; they ply most long-distance and local routes. You’ll also see buses with a Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) logo.

Private buses : Independent bus companies have vehicles ranging from late-model coaches used on intercity-express runs to ancient minibuses on short runs between towns and villages. Private air-con intercity buses cover some major routes. For long-distance travel they are more comfortable and faster than other bus services. Note that completion of the Southern Expressway has sparked the introduction of express services in fully modern air-con coaches between Colombo and Galle.

Car & Motorcycle:

Self-drive car hire is possible in Sri Lanka, though it is far more common to hire a car and driver. If you’re on a relatively short visit to Sri Lanka on a midrange budget, the costs of hiring a car and driver can be quite reasonable.

When planning your itinerary, you can count on covering about 35km/h in the Hill Country and 55km/h in most of the rest of the country.

Motorcycling is an alternative for intrepid travellers. Distances are relatively short and some of the roads are a motorcyclist’s delight; the trick is to stay off the main highways. The quieter Hill Country roads offer some glorious views, and secondary roads along the coast and the plains are reasonably quick. But you will have to make inquiries, as motorcycle rental is nowhere near as commonplace as it is in much of the rest of Asia.

Throughout Sri Lanka, Mw is an abbreviation for Mawatha, meaning ‘Avenue’.

Hitching:

 Hitching is never entirely safe, and Sri Lanka’s cheap fares make it an unnecessary option. We don’t recommend it, and travellers who do choose to hitch should understand that they are taking a small but potentially serious risk.

Local Transport:

Many Sri Lankan towns are small enough to walk around. In larger towns, you can get around by bus, taxi or three-wheeler.

Bus:

 Local buses go to most places, including villages outside main towns, for fares from Rs 10 to 50.

Taxi:

Sri Lankan taxis are common in all sizable towns, and even some villages. Only some are metered (mostly in Colombo), but over longer distances their prices are comparable to those of three-wheelers, and they provide more comfort and security. You can count on most taxi rides costing around Rs 60 to 100 per kilometre.

Hotels and restaurants can usually get you a ride for a modest cost. In Colombo you can count on taxis dispatched via apps such as Uber.

Three-wheeler:

Three-wheelers, known in other parts of Asia as tuk-tuks, Bajaj's or autorickshaws, are waiting on nearly every corner. Use your best bargaining skills and agree on the fare before you get in. Some keen drivers will offer very extensive tours; use your discretion.

As a rule of thumb, a three-wheeler should cost no more than Rs 200 per kilometre, but this can prove elusive depending on your negotiating skills. Note that three-wheelers with meters are somewhat prevalent in Colombo.

Three-wheelers and taxis waiting outside hotels and tourist sights expect higher-than-usual fares. Walk a few hundred metres to get a better deal.

Train:

Sri Lanka Railways runs the nation's railways, and trains are a great way to cross the country. Although they are slow, there are few overnight or all-day ordeals to contend with. A train ride is almost always more relaxed than a bus ride. Costs are in line with buses: even 1st class doesn’t exceed Rs 1000. Most stations have helpful information windows where English is spoken.

In addition, a couple of companies run private air-con train cars, which are attached onto regular trains. Although more expensive and less atmospheric than the 1st-class observation cars on Sri Lanka Railways, these private cars offer air-con and snacks and may have seats available when regular classes are already fully booked. Rajadhani Express runs to Kandy, Badulla, Galle and Matara, while Expo Rail serves Kandy and the Hill Country.

There are three main rail lines in Sri Lanka.

South from Colombo A scenic delight. Recently renovated, runs past Aluthgama and Hikkaduwa to Galle and Matara.

East from Colombo To the Hill Country, through Kandy, Nanu Oya (for Nuwara Eliya) and Ella to Badulla. A beautiful route, the portion from Haputale to Ella is one of the world’s most scenic train rides.

North from Colombo Through Anuradhapura to Mannar and also to Jaffna. One branch reaches Trincomalee on the east coast, while another serves Polonnaruwa and Batticaloa.

Other Lines :  The Puttalam line runs along the coast north from Colombo, although rail buses run between Chilaw and Puttalam. The Kelani Valley line winds 60km from Colombo to Avissawella.

Trains are often late. As traffic surges and efforts at upgrading the system struggle, long delays of an hour or more are not uncommon.

Colombo Airport Transfer (Private Transfers)

Booking a transfer service from Colombo Airport to the city is the fastest and the most comfortable mode of transport. There is no actual wait time when we use a taxi service for transfer and it is available 24x7 and bookings can be made in advance in www.airporttransfer.lk Once booking is made our driver is ready for the pick-up and he waits close to the arrival point and helps you with your luggage and drives you safely to your destination. The travel time is 2hrs to 3hrs and there will be no extra hidden costs charged. The cost for drop off at the Weligama city is approx 87 USD. You can reach the desired destination with ease and as per scheduled time.

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CONTACT INFORMATION
Name: Ryan Ray
Company: Airport Transfer Lk
Phone: +91 77080 00750
Email: ryan@airporttransfer.lk
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