Palm Beach Hotel

N051 De Saram Road, Mount Lavinia, Colombo, Sri Lanka

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Forum Posts

LKS vs USD vs INR

by nytouringsl

I'll be touring SL, basically in Colombo, Nuwara Eliya and Kandy. My question is which of the above currencies are widely accepted?
Lets say if I buy a plate of rice and curry, will I be paying $5 = INR250=LKR550? Or is it cheaper to transact in LKR?

Re: LKS vs USD vs INR

by ViajesdelMundo

You need to get/change money when you arrive, as you need to use LKR for any and all purchases, other than credit cards.

There are several bank counters at the airport which give very good rates, better than the hotels usually, and to my experience, the same rate as in the bank in Colombo.

So, definitely get some Rupees before exiting the airport, and in Colombo there are ATMs available, as well as bank and hotel counters.

Re: LKS vs USD vs INR

by HansDK

The currency in Sri Lanka is Sri Lankan Rupees (LKR). Paying with anything else (if accepted) will be a bad deal for you.

5 of the 6 counters are bank counters - last being Thomas Cook, so of course they give same rates as banks at the given time.

Officially you can't change Indian (and Pakistani) Rupees in Sri Lanka, so you will not be able to change at banks. Some money changers will accept Indian (and Pakistani) Rupees.

Re: LKS vs USD vs INR

by GrumpyDiver

Using the local currency is almost always best.

Travel Tips for Colombo

Sri Lankan Hospitality

by daryll

I never forget how gentle and caring the people of Sri Lanka. They really genuinely provide their service from heart.

Galle Face Hotel a former British administrative building during the colonial time still one charming and unique on its own. Hotel staff are extremely helpful and caring. I felt trap in the colonial time (a nice way of saying)

Tourist info a Fort Train station

by socheid

Fort is a big train station on the Northern part of Colombo city centre. Trains from there around the rest of island are very inexpensive.

There is also a tourist info place that I found useful. the 2 guys working there were helpful not only in providing info on trains, they also provided info on other transport, events and also booked my hotel for me for later on that night.

There was a couple of German people and a Japanese guy there at the same time as me and usual there was very qiuickly a conversation broke out among us sharing tips and experiences.

Unlike the Tourist Board office near Galle Road, tourist info at Fort station opens on Sundays.

Food

by srupesh

If u are budget or backpack traveler here is a tip regarding meals one of the common & good way of having food in a restaurant.

When u go to a good decent restaurant; their menu cars would’ve a particular page called Set Menu. I would prefer going for this as it cost low US$1–2.5 depending on the items included in the meals.

In menu card they always include what’re the things added to this plate of meal. So u can have your own choice. If u aren’t eating some of those stuff added either u go another choice or tell the waiter, not to include them. The quantity is sufficient and would be really great meal.

Why?
If you’re going to a restaurant and ordering food mean; you’ve to order noodles/rice separately then 1 or 2 curry & at last will be costing a big amount. But this choice u can finish off the meal spending merely US$1 or 2.

Enjoyment
Don’t think this only suitable for travelers traveling alone or single. This will be great experience if you are traveling more than one person too.

I’ll tell my experience when my friends and myself go restaurants. We’ll always go through the Set Menu’s! & everyone orders a different dish which does vary in price. We share the food (obliviously little) and eat! At the end of the day I’d have tasted more than 2/3 dishes. That’s why I said it’s really enjoyable; unlike ordering foods through the same old menu card style; it’s totally a different experience.

Hidden Cost
Most of the restaurants only ask the amount quoted in the menu card. But in some restaurants when they bring the bill they’d have added Tax + Service Charge into that. Once the same thing happened to us; thank God we’d money with us.

Caution
The restaurants dedicated to high class and targeting tourists mainly won’t be having this Set Menu’s.

Note
In a restaurant we ordered the same dish for 5 but we felt quantity was poor. From that day we ask tell to bring in diff. plates or order diff. items

Holidays used by Locals to Travel

by srupesh

There are few holidays considered very important to locals. You have to avoid using local transport traveling looking for an accommodation. If have any pre booked transport means and accommodation there is nothing to worry. There are two main holidays considered very important here and I have given description on other holidays too.

Main Holidays
Shinhala & Tamil new Year Holiday –April – (2 days)
Vesak Poya Holiday – May – (2 days)
The full nation is on the move. Follow the above rules I motioned here.

Depawali & Thai Pongal or Hindu Holidays!
The above conditions will mostly effect when going to Up Country. The other places are rather ok when comparing with the Up Country.

Ramzan & Hadji Festival or Muslim Holidays!
The above conditions will mostly effect when going to East. Traveling towards down South won’t be mostly effected in case of accommodation if you don’t have nay pre bookings. But a friend told me that some times there will be crowded buses as there are some Muslim dense areas in down South. The other parts are ok when comparing with the East and some parts of down South.

Christmas & New Year (Jan 1)
The New year is half working day here and Christmas is not celebrated much as the Christian population is only 2%. These two holidays are rather some thing similar to Poya holiday!

Independence Day
Its also have to be treated similar to Poya holiday. But some parts of the Colombo city will be closed due to various reasons. I do agree that most of the visitors go away from Colombo to places like down South on these days. Be little cautioned about your transport on this day.

Sri Kailawasanathar Swami Devasthanam

by call_me_rhia

When we decided to visit Colombo, a hindu temple was part of the deal - so we chose the Sri Kailawasanathar Swami Devasthanam because it's supposed to be one of the oldest in Colombo.
Of course when we had to pronounce the name to the tuk-tuk driver it did not seem like a good idea anymore... it took us some minutes (and a passer-by translation) to let him understand where we wanted to go. The temple was as beautiful as we had expected it to be: richly decorated and colourful; inside there are shrines dedicated to Shiva and Ganesh. It's located in Colombo 11, behind the Fort Railway Station, at Captain’s Gardens

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