taxis in negombo
1. the hotel taxi or organised trips through your travel agent are too expensive!! they tell you its safer etc etc but its just a con.BUT dont go beyond 5 km in a TUK TUK!! they will tell you they can take you to Kandy or around the inner part of the island or to all the tourist areas JUST DONT!! the roads are terrible and a lot are old cars .no lights.............cold at night/boiled through the day.
i was lucky to meet a taxi driver that speaks good english........worked for thomas cook.........will make sure you dont get "ripped off" and takes you to all the right places in a modern air conditioned car 15 to 20% cheaper than the rest!! when i watched people in tours they are ushered around at the organisers pace NOT YOURS, i was able to spend as much time as i wanted to watch the elephants at the orphanage ,have a meal, a beer and then decide where to go next......
agree with him (Ranga is his name) where you want go, how much you want to spend / if you are going to spend one night out what type of hotel and max price.....even better where you want eat.....tourist cafe 1500 rupees to have dinner............local cafe/restaurant with a very good curry 500 rupees and ranga will order all and make sure you get what you asked for...........
if you are staying in and around negombo use him YOU will NOT be disappointed and you will safe at at ease no matter where you go and at the RIGHT PRICE
his mobile number is 0094 777 600546
just tell him the hotel you are in and he will come meet you and you can discuss the whole terms and package, he is a genuine and kind guy, the type you hope to meet when in a strange country the people..................the country................i fell in love with both and i will go back again
boat trips in the sea
there are lots of nice fishemans offer boat trips in the sea for tourists.
you can talk to some one when they are in the beach with their boats or you can ask from any one.
first ask for the price and time. they will give you a good price. beware from touts. you can bargain directly from the owner.
some time boat rider need one asiistant onboard. its better for you or may be you can ask for helper for rider
Destinations visited in Sri Lanka
Dumbulla - Hatton - Kandy - Nuwara Eliya - Angamuwa - Anuradhapura
Mihintale - Minneriya - Polonnaruwa - Sigiriya - Galle - Hikkaduwa - Tangalla
Unawatuna - Colombo - Negombo
Negombo: You can do better than this.
"Alright for a night (or two)"
I have to say that I’m not a Negombo fan, it’s not completely unbearable and I’ve stayed there several times but never for more than a day or two. It’s certainly near the airport and mega convenient for a first night/last night stop, on a good day you can be in your hotel and sleeping off the worst effects of a long haul flight within around an hour of landing and there is a myriad of places to stay in every price range but shop around and read reviews on this and other sites before you book anywhere.
It’s far from the best beach in Sri Lanka, the water isn’t clear, the beach in front of the hotels is usually kept clean but elsewhere isn’t, further south you can stroll bare foot along the sand for miles, in Negombo you may need your wellies before long and while there’s some wonderful sunsets I’d get off the beach before it gets dark.
There are some similarities with Goa, for a start the Portuguese were there, it’s a predominantly Christian area, so there’s lots of churches. The Dutch also left their mark on the architecture and there’s a canal. Unfortunately the whole place could do with a bit of a clean and what surprises me is that while much the south coast has developed beyond recognition since the tsunami, very little has happened in Negombo, maybe they vote for the wrong political party.
Negombo is more popular with a slightly older set of tourists including lots of Brits, some of them swear by the place and go back time and again but younger people tend to head south to places like Mirissa and Unawantuna, which are more laid back, have infinitely better beaches and are simply ‘nicer’. If you want a more 'established' tourist resort try Bentota.
These places are quite a hike from the airport and the transfer can be an ordeal after a long flight but I’d seriously consider any of them over Negombo.
So lot’s of people spend a night in Negombo and then move on, others settle in and then take a trip inland in a hire car complete with a driver/guide and if that’s an option I guess it’s as good as base as any. Personally I don’t rate the elephant business at Pinnawala and I find the ‘ancient city’ of Kandy hard work but others rave about both, it’s a matter opinion. If you’re going to travel I’d advise a visit to Sigiriya, a run through the Tea Estates around Hatton and on into the Hill Country.
There is more ‘joined up’ nightlife in Negombo than in some resorts in that there is a series of bars along Lewis Place (which is a little north of the main town, where the hotels are) but for lively think ***-up more than party and if it’s busy (like at weekends when the Colombo crowd arrive) think rowdy more than vibrant. If you are a woman travelling alone the usual precautions apply only maybe more so.
Negombo is a major tourist resort and while it’s relative friendly most people are out to fleece you one way or another. If you know this part of the world you won’t need a lecture from me about tout’s but it really is epidemic in Negombo and whereas touts in some places usually expect to do or trade something for your money, a lot of people here appear to prefer deception, do beware the easy charm and remember that you are a resource. It’s not just that everyone has a younger sister or brother in dire need of expensive surgery; it can be much more sophisticated than that.
For all its faults, it’s a friendly enough place and there’s lot’s going on but other than that I wouldn’t recommend it, I wouldn’t judge Sri Lanka on Negombo any more than I’d judge the UK on Blackpool and I certainly wouldn’t advise anyone to spend their entire holiday there.
This is a fairly negative view of one particular resort in Sri Lanka, there is much more (not always negative) info about the country on my Sri Lanka page, for that and for travellers tips on things to do (and not to do) and some places to see in Sri Lanka please click here
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