Once you are in COLOMBO or if you want to make any round trips or day excursions to the vast variety of attractions SRI LANKA offers, you need a experienced and trustworthy GUIDE & Transport. LAKSIRI FERNANDO is a well experienced TOUR GUIDE LECTURER approved and Licensed by the SRI LANKA TOURISM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY and greatly recommended by the Guests who have visited through many leading Travel Agents time & again. He has a very reliable and very comfortable NEW TOYOTA HIACE KDH 200 VAN with dual Air-conditioner and very comfortable seatinf for 5 - 6 passengers. The charges are very Economical when you contact him direct and has many packages. He could recommend very good hotels at reasonable rates.
For early morning flights from Colombo Airport (Sri Lanka), wait on the main road outside Central Bus Station.
Mini buses pull in here, before 06:30am, to pick up passengers.
They display the number 187, and charge 200 Rupees, and link up with the free shuttle, which then goes to the airport terminal. A tuk-tuk would charge 1500, private vehicles 2000 Rupees. Trip takes around an hour, as many locals get on & off along the way.
If you are living in malaysia or singapore, you can fly to colombo with Air Asia, MAS, SIA , sri lanka airline or cathay pacific. Air asia is a budget airline and the cheapest. This airline fly from KL early morning and arrive in colombo at about 7.45 am. the journey takes 3 1/2 hour . So you have plenty of time to visit colombo on the same day. The colombo airport is about 30+ km to city centre and spare your time about 1 hour for the journey. the colombo airport is very convenience and if you are a muslim traveller, there is a muslim prayer room at the 1st floor. Anyway sri lankan are very friendly. Just ask anything if you are not sure , they are very willing to help you…
Kandy -------------> No: 1
Galle --------------->No: 2
Trincomalee -----> No: 49
Polonnaruwa ----> No: 48
Anuradhapura ---> No: 4, 15, 57
Kurunegala -------> No: 6, 5
Sigiriya -------------> No: 47
Badulla ------------> No: 99
Nuwara Eliya ----> No: 79
Matara ------------> No: 32
Ratnapura -------> No: 3
Batticaloa --------> No: 48
Ampara -----------> No: 98
Negombo --------> No: 240
Int Airport -------> No: 187
Main Bus Stop in Colombo is at Pettah/Fort Station
The most cheapest way to get to the City from Airport is the BUS.
Turn left after coming out of the arrival lounge and walk until the end of the shades passing the TAXI Booking counters, and wait just few minutes, or you may find a red color shuttle bus already there, its free of cost and will take you to a nearby Bus Stop, take Bus Number 187 (This is not special Airport Bus and there is no Space for Big Luggage) if you take the second last seat on the left side there is enough space to put your luggage. Travel Time is around Hours and a half or little more.
This Bus will take you to Pettah (Fort Railway Station) the standard fare is SLR31.00 but but some time they charge extra if your luggage occupy another seat.
From Pettah to Airport or vice versa, there are Air conditioned VANS 22 seater (Same Number 187) If you have big luggage, yo may have to buy 2 seats, cost SLR 75 each, this Van will take you to the transportation center near the airport from there you have to get the Free Shuttle Bus (as mentioned above)
Metered Taxi's are non existence and what they call Taxi is rented automobile and may cost around SLR2000 to 2500 to get to the city which is just 35 kilometer.
There is a tourist info desk at Colombo airport that I recommend of you don't have a transfer arranged for when you land. The tourist info people can give you info on the bus services from the airport (the public buses cost peanuts) and also on taxis. When you step past the barrier outside arrivals you will be met with people after your business for the best price they can get. Use the tourist info desk so that you are equipped with the right info to make the best decision for yourself in the face of prospective rip offs.
I had the destination in my mind and I asked for a few directions, got the required bus to reach there and then i was at liberty to roam around. Get into any bus for a joy ride doesnt matter where it takes you. Keep asking for directions so that you can come back from where you started.
What is really great about these rickshaw drives is that they can take you to any place fast.
It's rather safe and if you've got really good skills you can bargain and get very good price.
This is actually what you should do always :)
For Rs40, you can take the private minivan No. 187 from Pattah ( Bastian Mawatha Bus station) to airport. It leaves regualarly. However, the one that I took did not stop at the departure terminal. Instead, I had to walk about 100-200M from bus stop to terminal. Take note of this.
As you may note all minivan tends to be very overcrowded, even the stepway. Sometimes the bus may charge you extra for your lugguage.
Traveling by Bus is really easy way travel around the island and not only that it is chepest way rather than Privet Taxi services, Sri Lanka possesses an extensive network of bus service to all parts of the Island, offering a reasonable quality. There are 2 type of service available,
one is the bus service which are maintaining and handling directly by the government and the other type is the Privet buses, it is maintaining by the privet owners, normally quality and the servicesd vise the government Bus Service is superb, but they have very limited buses, but the privet sector having large number of buses and their servive some times cost of both kinds of bus is very cheap, and services are often crowded.
Train trip around the Sri Lanka it is a enjoyable way to see Sri Lanka. You can go and visit to all foremost traveler towns by trains, in the Railway Department has few first-class carriages, air-conditioning and dining cars are available.
The government to operate on the principal routes launches new fast services,
including an inter-city express service linking Colombo with Kandy, the histry of the Ceylon Railway was started 2 centenaries ago,
The Railway, then known as Ceylon Government Railways, was imagineed in the 1850’s as an device to expand and amalgamate the country. Service began in 1864, with the structure of the Main Line from Colombo to Ambepussa, it was expanded to the east. The first train ran on 27 December 1864 and the line was formally unlocked for traffic on 02 October 1865.
The solitary international airport in Sri Lanka is the Bandaranaike International Airport it is located at Katunayake, its nearly 32 km from the main commercial capital Colombo; it is very easy to get a Taxi and or you can use luxury buses running frequently between the city and the airport .
Inside the airport you can see the modern facilities, Airport facilities include bank counters for money exchange, bar, restaurant, and tourist information.
The nationwide airline of Sri Lanka is Sri Lankan Airlines. Before it called as Air Lanka and then it is converted to Sri Lankan airlines You can buy Air tickets at several airline office and travel agency with diverse rate; researching the present circumstances of the market is advised.
I had arrived on the morning flight from Trivandrum and had more than 12 hours before the next leg of the journey.
While hanging around the airport premises, met Sajin an autorikshaw driver originally from Galle . With a little bit of calculation and bargaining he agreed to drive me around Colombo for as long as I liked and wherever I wanted to go.. so I decided to go to Galle Fac Hotel, then Fort Railway Station, Wella watta, Mt Lavinia and then stop at a typical Indian Restaurant where the local people ate, such as himself.. Five hours later, we had become friends, I had heard his life story and we had a nice visit...
if you want to go easy, cheap and fast from the south of Sri lanka to the capital, use the train.
The prices are cheap!
You will see a lot, and on the left side of the train you will see the sea.
On every stop people come in the train to sell delicious food. Try it!
Three wheelers are the main and best way of traveling inside Colombo. Some do call them as trishaws or autos too. They could be found in any part of the country. They’re widespread in cities, roads, towns and every where. The three wheeler drivers will always stop & ask whether u want his service when they are vacant.
If you don’t hire a private vehicle and depending on the other transport modes this one of the choices that u can’t avoid or have to depend on. Normally you can hire them in the nights too, unlike buses.
When traveling in three wheelers always ask the price first and get inside before the journey. Normally they will say big price and you can ask them to reduce the amount for a better deal.
Even if they don’t reduce the price pretending that u are not interested will make him to reduce the amount. Else simply avoid him saying no, and go for another one. You can know the exact price by asking at the desk or reception in your hotel by telling them your destination.
In case when u don’t know the price for the journey ask him how much he wants for the journey. Then you negotiate with him to reduce the amount by 1/2 or 2/3 of the price will be a better deal.
The normal rate is for a kilometer is around Rs.20. There was a recent price hike in the fuels therefore u won’t be able to go on the same price if u had paid when visiting in the recent past.
Keep changes in Rs100 and Rs50 when u travel because by the end of the journey both of you will find trouble in changing the Rs1000 notes. And sometimes if u don’t have Rs50 then you end up paying Rs100 that’s another Rs50 extra to him.
How to avoid
If you don’t have change tell the driver on the way to your destination that you want to change money to pay him. So he can go to a shop or boutique and change it for you.
Else u can ask him to stop near a good shop and buy a cigarette packet or a big mineral water bottle, or a mega Coke or Pepsi bottle or something else to get the money changed.