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anilpradhanshillong Says: These cave temples are the best preserved and biggest in Sri Lanka. The rock rises to a height of 160 m (520 ft.) from the surrounding plains and houses more than 80 documented caves along its 2000 feet length. However, the most important are 5 caves, which contain priceless...
We hired a car & driver for a few days, who sorted out all our accommodation & entrances. We gave a list of the places we wanted to visit. He wittled that list down to a realistic size & off we went.
I would definately recommend doing this rather than hiring a car. the driving is crazy here.
The main Columbo to Galle road was built to be a normal 2 way road. It is not unusual to see at least 4 lanes of traffic on it!.
Updated Apr 5, 2004
There are many vendors on the climb up to the cave temples. A simple, "no thank you" will suffice unless you've shown interest in what they are selling and then they are pretty persistent.
Sometimes vendors at tourists sites are selling handicrafts at ridiculous prices but sometimes not. Some prices at sites were right in line with what the stores in towns charged for similar items. Other times, there was a serious markup - cultural triangle fund publications, for example. Even after bargaining, you may pay a bit for the convenience of buying off the side of the mountain.
Once you've looked at something, it may take lots of "no, really, I'm not interested"s to shake them. Keep in mind that they are trying to make a living. There are no vendors inside the temples.
Updated Feb 1, 2004