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Cool climate, great scenery, colonial feel
Can't think of any.
In a nutshell
a must visit.
All tea pickers in Sri Lanka come from India - and more in particular from Tamil Nadu. Their family were brought from India by British colonisers between 1820 and 1840 to work on coffee and tea plantations, and their children and grandchildren are still stuck in their ancestors' jobs. Picking tea is hard work: women have to pick 20 kilos of tea leaves a day, yet very few are looking for a better job. Why? It's because these people are still stateless: the are no longer Indian and in many cases not yet Sri Lankan, which means a general lack of right. No right to vote, no right to work officially, no right to obtain state land. So they are stuck in the only job that's available for them.
Written Dec 4, 2004
Watch out for the locals standing outside near hotels. They certainly look cheesy!
Since they don't give you what they promise, you might need to look elsewhere! - Accommodation is a bit tight during April ->June, so be well informed when booking.
For example: Some hotel might look good from outside, but the bedding & furniture might not be up to standard (So check the rooms first)... In my case I need my big bed in the middle of the carpeted room, with lamp stands & hot water and big window to poke my big head through PLUS clean bathroom :-)
Unique Suggestions: If you fall into these traps and find yourself in a crappy hotel, leave immediately (you might loose 20$ or 40$ for the stay) - But its worth the trouble.
There are plenty of good cheap hotels nearby, that are Clean/Comfy & Respectable!
Traveling to places also consists of traps, many would ask for double (especially if your a foreigner) The normal rate is 1$ for every 2 Km within a limited area (5 km radius). Longer journey by Van would cost less (around 8$ for 20 km)
If your going with a Tour Guide(local), ask him to do the negotiating, while you stay totally hidden from view :-)
Fun Alternatives: Down almost every lane there will be several hotels. And likewise there will be a proportional number of traps.
Go for hotels that have stuff price marked, like room rates/ bar rates / food rates /drink rates /travel rates/ rates rates :-) If they dont, look closely at the Reception Area. If the people are professional & friendly, then your set. If they look friendly and not professional - GET OUT ASAP!!
Most decent hotels will look very colonial from the outside.
Always remember to check out the rooms & surroundings. Do Not Trust some of the weird locals since they would LOVE to have you stay there, and will paint a VERY BEAUTIFUL picture!
However quiet employees in nice suits are the ideal candidates to maintain a good relationship! (some might be incompetent, but my policy is: Rather incompetence than a Cheater)
Most of them are pleasant! And you will come out a Happy Camper!
Updated Mar 29, 2007