Getting Around Sri Lanka

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    A treat for train buffs
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    Nallur Temple
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Most Viewed Transportation in Sri Lanka

  • judde's Profile Photo

    Perfect tour organizer & excellant guide

    by judde Written Feb 19, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    just few weeks before we came back from great holiday in srilanka,of course we were looking forward for our holiday but i think none of us expected that 14 days in srilanka would be so nice one.

    we were welcome and greeted very well at the colombo airport by ranjith alwis.he was our local tour oragnizer and guide driver.undoubtedly best way to see country is to hire vehicle with knowledgeable guide is the fastest way to see the country as much as possible.

    we visited cultural triangle, anuradhapura, polonaruwa, sigiriya and dambulla caves.our next stop was east coast crystal beach and good snorkeling place but these day sea is little rough.then we came to kandy, amazing religious traditions at temple of tooth, kandy dance show is fantastic.kandy to hills we went by train which was spectacular journey via tea plantation lush mountains nice landscaping and advance you should reserve train tickets.

    ella little village we staying at one of the best view small hotel.we were little lazy but ranjith took us to climb little adam's peak stunning view from top.ravana waterfall, buduruwagala image temple we visited on the way to tissa.we were fortunate a leopard crossing in front of our jeep at yala national park.katharagama hindu temple is mixture of all religious activities.last two days before fly we were in south coast at mirissa, nice relax beach stay.

    everyone is delighted to see every visitor and tourist are treated with more respect and genuine enthusiasm than other asian if you are interested in wonderful uncrowded variety holiday with great foods nice people amazing wildlife crystal beaches and remarkable history srilanka is the best choice.

    our trip perfectly organized with small hotels luxury transport safe driving guided every visited places by ranjith alwis . Ran holidays.

    we went over there with our own but came back with fantastic meomaries,if anyone would like to book tour with this man do not hesitate to get touch with him.we highly recommend as perfect tour organizer and excellent guide.
    Mobile : +94 779941484

    At anuradhoura sigiriya Yala national park yala national park
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  • DSwede's Profile Photo

    SriLankan Airlines - Frustrating

    by DSwede Updated Jan 25, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    According to the website, "SriLankan Airlines, the National Airline of Sri Lanka, is an award winning carrier with a firm reputation as a global leader in service, comfort, safety, reliability, and punctuality." It is sad to say, but three of these five claims are being proven false right now.

    Since SriLankan Airlines is not even entertaining the idea to work with me regarding the complications and impact they caused, and due to the lack of professional service they offered, I have no guilt in publicly voicing my negative reviews. If they believe it is cheaper to push aside paying customers with legitimate issues, and rest happy thinking that public reviews will not offset their potential profit, then they are wrong. I will gladly remove this and any other negative reference if/when this issue is resolved amicably.

    I had flown literally half way around the world (from CHS~IAD~SFO~ICN~PEK) only to arrive in Beijing in the middle of the night to find my final leg was cancelled. No prior notice, no staff at the airport, no assistance, nothing - even the airline agents at the connecting airports had nothing in their systems. After nearly 6 hours on the phone with fruitless efforts to get my final flight to Colombo, the best I was offered was some 36+ hours later. No attempt to use other carriers, partner airlines, connecting airports, etc. 36 hours would negate the reason for my visit and was unacceptable. I was forced to purchase a ticket on my own to arrive in Colombo on a different carrier leaving immediately. I am not asking for them to move mountains. I am only asking for compensation on the difference between their refund for the cancelled flight (which after more than one month I still have yet to receive!!) and that of the separate final-leg ticket I was forced to purchase.

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  • Kalum Niriella: the best driver

    by Alexandrea2013 Written Jan 7, 2014

    We went to Sri Lanka for 10 days and we got Kalum's contact details from a Lonely Planet forum. From the begining, Kalum helped us giving us tips about hotels and itinerary and one of the best hotels we have been in Sri Lanka was recommended by him.
    Kalum is a good professional, very kind and with a very good knowledge about his country. Furthermore, and bearing in mind the dangerous traffic in the roads, we have felt very safe with his driving.
    Kalum is very friendly, do not hesitate to ask him about any doubt you will have.

    You can contact him :
    Green Lanka Vacations
    +94 77 685 5443
    433/1, Dalupotha, Negombo, Sri Lanka
    Tel/Fax : 0094 31 2224111

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  • Wonderful driver in Sri Lanka

    by fcmw99 Written Nov 25, 2013

    My Husband and I have recently returned from a 2 week honeymoon in Sri Lanka and we can not recommend our driver enough!

    I found Kalum from on a lonely planet forum about 9 months ago. He had been very highly recommended by a few people so I decided to contact him. From the very beginning he was so polite and happy to help in any way he could. Between us we developed a 2 week itinerary for November. I had ideas of where I would like to go and Kalum had other suggestions of places that we really shouldn't miss on our trip. Once the itinerary was in place Kalum sent me a selection of hotels to choose from, he was also absolutely fine with me choosing some of my own through tripadvisor. Once I had chosen all of the hotels Kalum got me the best rates that he could which in most cases were better than anything I could find online. The next part we were a little unsure of but I don't know why we worried so much. We transferred all of the money for the hotel bookings to Kalum which was over £1000. Obviously we were going to worry as that was all of our savings for the holiday but Kalum was great and sent receipt of the transfer as well as confirmation of all the hotel bookings.

    Our flight arrived at 4.30am into Sri Lanka and Kalum was there with a big smile on his face ready to greet us. From that moment on he felt like a friend not just a driver! Kalum had so much knowledge about everywhere that we visited and was more than happy to answer all of our questions. Personally I think he was invaluable as there were so many places not in the guide book that he took us to and the information that we received from him was better than any book.

    The driving in Sri Lanka can be a little hairy at times and we wouldn't have wanted to hire a car and drive ourselves so this was the perfect way to travel around. Kalum was an excellent and patient driver, he always stuck to the speed limit and at no point did we ever feel unsafe.

    We were very sad to say goodbye to Kalum at the end of our two weeks. If you are looking for a knowledgeable, safe, reliable, sweet and lovely driver in Sri Lanka then Kalum from Green Lanka vacations is your man, we do not have one bad word to say about him and could not have been happier with the service he provided.

    You can email Kalum at the following address and he also has a website which is worth a visit

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  • Lakie1013's Profile Photo

    New Van & Driver Fernando Best while in Sri Lanka

    by Lakie1013 Written Oct 7, 2013

    If you ever dream of visiting Sri Lanka contact Laksiri Fernando, a well experienced Tour Guide Driver, Very fluent in English and who Drives Very, Very carefully and safe. The Charges are very Transparent, Nominal and no Hidden costs what so ever. Up to six people could travel in his New Toyota KDH 200 Van with nice Comfortable Seats and Dual Air conditioner, Very Friendly and very Polite he would make you feel at home all the time.

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  • Driver in Sri Lanka

    by lee_celeste Written Aug 12, 2013

    My friends and I were in Sri Lanka from 8-10 August 2013. We had a very ambitious itinerary and travelled from Negombo to Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, Nuwara Eliya and Horton Plains before heading back to Colombo airport, covering about 900km in the 3 days. We were very fortunate to have Aruna as our driver for the 3 days which made our itinerary possible.

    The roads in Sri Lanka are mostly single-lane which means loads of overtaking of slow moving buses, trucks and tuks tuks etc can be expected - which is why you really need an experienced and safe driver. Aruna is exceptionally skillful in his driving - fast and efficient yet very very careful. He never overtakes around bends and makes sure he horns/signals/flashes high beam before and after overtaking. We felt very safe the entire time he was driving.

    He is also very punctual and flexible - he gives suggestions as to sites along the way where we can stop to visit or have our meals but leaves the decision entirely up to us. We had a late 1am return flight on the last day and he had no qualms about extending his hours and sending us to the airport late at night.

    He is a very humble and caring person and was constantly checking with us whether everything is ok and if we have carried all our belongings with us.

    His vehicle is a comfortable air conditioned mini van which can seat up to 10 people. Aruna speaks English fluently.

    We were very pleased with his services and gave him a generous tip at the end of our trip. He is no doubt an excellent driver who truly deserves this recommendation. I'm surprised he is not already mentioned in this forum.

    Aruna's email address is and his contact number is +94 (71) 837 5731.

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  • Excellant chauffeur ( driver ) guide.

    by johnbrereton Updated Apr 12, 2013

    We can highly recommend Mr. Ranjith alwis ( Ran ) Ran holidays.
    we travel 2007 our first trip to srilanka for only 5 days, and i got ranjith mail adders with good recommendation from past traveler. last December 2012 we spend 15 days round tour from airport,cultural triangle ,Hbarana,,east cost,kandy, Ella, deep south yala national park,Mirissa beach ,Galle port ,colombo ,Negambo and back to airport. for my family , Ran organize nice small hotels,transport by his new luxury van,each day was different day for us. as his motto your tour your choice according to our requirement ran plan very flexible itinerary for us.
    we had opportunity eat local foods from road side shops,visit local market,see local people life style and many more things ,Ran flexible man ,personalized service and safe driver,with very good knowledge about his country. many years experience with tourist board guide licensed.
    he guided all our visit places. reasonable rate we payed for him.
    for budget travelers do not hesitate , mail him you can get good price.
    we will promote srilanka and come back again. love srilanka. +94779941484. Ran holidays.


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  • jayasri's Profile Photo

    Selecting Driver/guide

    by jayasri Updated Sep 27, 2012

    Dear virtual tourist Members,

    In Sri Lanka only the persons who have a valid license issued by the Sri Lanka tourist Board can engage in the service of guiding.
    There are four categories of guide Services
    National Tourist Guide
    Chauffeur Turist Guide
    Provincial Turist Guide
    Site Tourist Guide
    There for when you want to select the driver/guide try to get one has guide license.

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    • Historical Travel

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  • jayasri's Profile Photo

    Best driver/guide

    by jayasri Written Sep 25, 2012

    We visited Sri Lanka for 10 days in April 2012. We really enjoyed our
    holiday which gave a good impression of the wide variety of things you can
    see and do in this beautiful country. Jagath is a very reliable driver, will
    never over speed and brings you anywhere you like. His English is good and
    his knowledge about Sri Lanka in general and especially Buddhist temples is
    very good. During longer trips he would suggest some restaurant where we
    could eat and we never got ill and it was always tasty. He is very discreet
    and modest and will never sit at your table or force you to visit certain
    shops if you don't want. His van is in good condition, has proper seatbelt
    and easily fits a family of six people. he told as also he has Toyota car. For more details can visit his web site email

    Jagath and his van
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  • zcgbt36's Profile Photo

    Amazing driver and guide

    by zcgbt36 Written Sep 3, 2012

    Look no further :
    A driver and possibly the best guide in Sri Lanka: Kalum Niriella.
    We were planning to drive through Sri Lanka only for 5 days but we ended up driving around with Kalum for the whole holliday.
    Kalum is a true gentleman professional and incredibly knowledgeable.

    You can contact him :
    Kalum Niriella
    +94 77 685 5443

    Made our holliday and incredible one.
    Thanks again

    Giorgio and Marina

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  • Excellent Driver Service

    by sophietrv0425 Written Jun 27, 2012

    When we planed our trip to sri lanka one of my friends gave me an email address of driver service.
    She said that theyhad the service and highly recommended.
    We also mail to the company called Gorgeous Lanka.
    the lady who owns the company responded very quickly and arranged us a fantastic tour.
    From the air port Niranjala had a very good communication with us. has done very good coordination through out the whole tour.
    Our driver Nishantha also very good person of his 30's .Speaks good English. Very helpful.
    Also their prices seems to be very reasonable.
    Company is Gorgeouslanka

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  • IndoBound's Profile Photo

    Self Drive in Sri Lanka - 2012

    by IndoBound Updated Apr 27, 2012

    I know I was struggling to find much information about self drive in Sri Lanka, so I've posted some comments below from my own experiences over the last few weeks:

    Who to hire with:
    Europcar [Aban Tours] have a a desk at Colombo Airport along with a few other local operators (who all looked good). Don't expect the full Western experience when collecting the car (it took me 1.1/2hrs+ to finally get in the car despite having pre-booked and paid) - Aban Tours appear to be operating as Europcar under a branding licence only. Otherwise not too bad and I've seen much worse in many other developed countries. My car was a Toyota saloon in good condition but had a lot of miles on the clock (about 125k+).

    Driving in general:
    If you're not a confident/relaxed driver then don't drive in Sri Lanka. If you have experience of Asian driving (or perhaps Paris/Italy) then should be no problems at all.
    So long as you quickly grasp the right of way system... which is the greater the size of vehicle takes priority, then there should be no real surprises.
    I actually found the driving quite relaxed due to the slower speed limits which most drivers seemed to keep to (buses/lorries excepted). Lots and lots of pointless overtaking, but just always drive expecting the unexpected.

    Colombo has good roads, the A2 along the coast is also very good. The new Highway from Colombo to Galle was brand new, excellent and deserted (toll of 400 rupees). The entrance on was still being built which I'm sure will be sorted in no time.
    The B roads were manageable but some did turn into lumpy dirt tracks.

    There's no real ring road so we had to drive through Colombo to get to the new Highway - this took 3 hours so prepare for lots of stop start. Very busy and roads crammed with vehicles.

    Outside of Colombo:
    Roads are much more relaxed with relatively few cars. Vehicles are mostly slowish tuk-tuks, mopeds, nutter buses (just let them pass) and lorries. For timing, work on an average traveling speed of about 40km per hr.

    New Motorway:
    The new highway is great and takes about 1 to 1.1/2 hrs to drive the full length (Colombo to Galle).

    We dropped the car at the departures at the airport with zero problems - approx 10 mins only

    We travelled with small children and having our own car proved a real benefit. Air Con, big boot, flexibility etc
    We paid approx 50EU for a GPS SatNav from Europcar (just ask when you pickup). Was a bit rubbish and we hardly used it. We wanted it as as a security blanket - however I'll be using a good map next time.

    Must have an international Driving licence. I didn't bother with the Recognition permit (available from Colombo AA Office) and no-one checked me in two weeks of car use. I wouldn't have expected it to have been any real problem to be without anyway?

    Self-Drive v's Driver:
    Most people moving around opted for a driver. The Drivers mostly sat with the tourist during their meals and it seemed very awkward to us. We had complete flexibility without a driver asking us to visit his brothers shop or similar! Having a Driver may sometimes help secure the best/cheapest places but offset that by having to feed drivers/guides etc. If I needed to pop to the shop I get in the car and done. With a Driver you need to tell them when to be around or have them always hanging around.. personally, this would have driven me bananas.

    Hope this helps!

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Road Trip

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  • experienced driver Sri Lanka

    by erikvh Updated Apr 17, 2012

    We were recently in Sri Lanka with a team of Belgian travellers. If you are looking for an experienced driver we would like to recommend Mr. Siroshan Silva.

    He is a very good driver, with a lot of experience and he knows Sri Lanka very well. It’s possible just to rent driver+car per day for a fair price,

    but as we found out it’s even better to let him choose the accommodation too, because he knows every place for every budget.

    On the personal level he is a friendly, flexible man and very reliable man. The car (a little bus) was very comfortable with A/C.

    He has a website to contact him and his contact address is His mobile 0094 776915611.

    I can give more information or answers to your questions if necessary.

    Erik, Belgium

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  • meals109's Profile Photo

    Public Busses

    by meals109 Written Mar 21, 2012

    The busses are an excellent and cheap way to travel all across Sri Lanka, back packs are safe and stored in the back of the bus. journeys range in length, but a good time is a ride that is under 3 hours. Very easy to organise and there is a bus depot in nearly every town and just ask a local they will point you in right direction for which one to catch.
    Also the ticket men on the bus are good as well and don't rip you off, you pay the same as a local.

    Busses are also excellent entertainment and a good place to strike conversations with locals. Plus people come on the bus and sell nuts, ice cream, snacks etc so you will never go hungry.

    Plus they look awesome and the first three roles are reserved for religious people.

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  • Very good driver to be recommended!

    by buabuababy Written Feb 27, 2012

    We could really find a good driver, Mr.Chamara Perera, 31,Male.

    He is honest and gentle person, and took great cares of us in reasonable English and fair cost.

    We strongly recommend him as a driver of your trip in Srilanka.
    If you are interested in his driving, please contact, directly.
    You can feel at ease and spend good holidays there.

    Mode: AROUND
    Phone: His phone:94772165150
    Type: Car/Motor Home

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Road Trip
    • Budget Travel

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Comments (1)

  • Apr 12, 2013 at 2:37 AM

    Excellent chauffeur guide ( driver guide )

    We can highly recommend Mr.Ranjith alwis ( Ran ) when we travel both times to srilanka he organize our tour with small nice hotels and transported by his luxury van.
    we spend 15 days round tour my family really enjoy with companion with ran.
    personalized service,safe driver and professional guide with many years experience. we had opportunity eat local foods from road side shops,local market and visited local house see life stye in general peoples.
    very reasonable rate,flexible man,and luxury not hesitate get his service.
    Srilanka tourist board licensed chauffeur guide.

    Ran holidays. Mobile no +94779941484.

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