While the distances are given in kilometres it is best that you plan your travel in terms of time as well. While roads are being fast upgraded congestion in some main highways and cities can cause delays. The best time for travel after an early breakfast or after lunch. The public transport system is dependent on Buses and Trains. Generally, these tend to be crowded during peak hours and before and after weekends on long-distance routes.
A relatively inexpensive mode of travel. Buses are operated by the state as well as by private operators. On main routes connecting cities such as Galle, Kandy, Kurunegala and Colombo you will find a comfortable air-conditioned buses albeit at a premium price. The comfort when on long journeys is well worth the extra charge.
Slightly more expensive than travelling in a bus. There is a high possibility of a seat on long-distance trains. It is definitely the most interesting way to enjoy the scenic beauty of the island as the Railway lines were intended to connect cities to bring produce to Colombo in the shortest possible time, in an age where packing crates and jute bags were the norm and refrigeration was not easy. The Railway lines run through scenic mountain passes and long tunnels into the hills, and on bridges built on over tranquil lagoons and winding rivers.
Taxis (radio cabs):
Please do inquire with your Hotel Front Desk/ Reception, as many would be happy to provide you with a taxi cab. Cars may be hired for your visits to places of interest on a predetermined itinerary at an agreed price, with information being readily available through maps, and guidebooks
This is an option that many visitors are comfortable with. The drivers of these ‘TUK TUKs’ (an appropriate name resonant with the noise made) are capable of communication no matter which language you speak. The gesticulations and the ingenious expressions they devise to explain a point is a form of entertainment in itself. Most of these now have fare meters and thus spares you the pain of negotiation, and are quite reasonable.
Domestic passenger flights:
Those who would like to arrive at a destination faster and see the island with a scenic eye can use chartered flights from the Ratmalana Airport near Colombo. There is also an option to charter a light aircraft or book a private helicopter for transfers or day trips.
The Tourist Information Center (TIC) run in Colombo by the Ceylon Tourist Board is located at 78, Steuart Place, Galle Road, Colombo 3. Tel:(+94) 112 437059(+94) 112 437060 , (+94) 112 437055
Kandy TIC – Headman’s Lodge, 3, Deva Veediya, Kandy, 0812 222661. Open 900 hrs. to 1645 hrs. on weekdays. Saturday 0900 to 1300 hrs.
Negombo TIC – 12/6, Lewis Place, Negombo. Open 0900 – 1715 hrs.
Hikkaduwa TIC – Commercial Bank Bldg., Galle Road, Hikkaduwa. Tel: 09122-223397
Airport TIC – Located in the arrivals lounge of the International Airport, Katunayake and open day and night. Tel:11 2 452411
Tourist Police Units
Special Tourist Police Units are available to assist our visitors – Hotline +94112421451
Regional tourist units can be found – http://www.police.lk/index.php/tourist-police/235
Entry fees and photographic permit to archaeological sites
Starting from $5 which will go up to $30 (Age Limit 06 – 12 Years – 50 % of above value)
Sri Lankan Rupees (LKR)
Sri Lanka is 5.30 hours ahead of Greenwich Time (GMT +05.30)
Working hours & days
Normal working hours are from 8.30 am to 5.00 pm from Monday to Friday. Saturdays are half working days from 9.00 am to 1.00 pm With Sunday being a statutory holiday. These working hours may not be observed by all service providers that you will mostly be in contact with. It is therefore advisable for you to inquire what their working hours are.