a VirtualTourist member from Cambridge
I have just booked a 12 night stay in the Kani Lanka resort and spa for the end of August and beginning of September. This will be my first real experience holiday as i have to say up until now i have been guilty of the whole go and holiday and lay on a beach for a fortnight!! I am really looking forward to visiting Sri Lanka and i have been doing my research on places i would like to visit whilst there. I want to ensure i do not miss anything amazing though as i have had to save hard for this holiday and wont be in a position to go back any time soon so any info would be much appreciated. Also, does anyone know any info about the Perahera festival?? and how far it is from Kani Lanka?
Also...one more thing...sorry so many questions....what is the currency i should take?
Gem :) x
The currency of Sri Lanka is the Sri Lanka rupee. If you don't want to get some before you leave, take GBP (if you are from the UK) or euro/USD/Australian dollars/whatever) and exchange as you need to. Many people also use ATMs to withdraw money. Make sure you tell your bank you will be abroad (and make sure you know what their charges will be for using ATMs).
I can't add any more info about Sri Lanka...but I hope you enjoy your holiday! :-)
Should have checked you homepage before answering.suspected from the writing style that you were in the UK! Take pounds and maybe get some rupees from your bank/Thomas Cook/wherever as well, for the first couple of days.
well, you have chosen a wonderful fascinating unique place to visit, and say you dont want to just stay on the beach the whole time, but say you have already booked at a beach resort??
anyway, on my KANDY page you can see photos of the PERAHERA: [original VT link]
and definitely should not miss it if you are in Lanka then; and also go north to the Cultural Triangle; Sigiriya, Dambulla, Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura, etc., which you could cover in about 6 days and in several of the queries recently here in the SL Forum, there is lots of info about same
sorry, to answer how far away; Kandy is in the Hill Country, about 3 hours train
trip to the north of Colombo. The PERAHERA is held at night, starting about 8pm and is approx 3 hrs long, over a 10-day duration, culminating on the Full Moon. Then, the ext day, there is the 'Day Parade'; which is also wonderful, but only about 2 hrs. and lacks the lights on the elephants and the fire dancers.
Sri Lankan Rupees (LKR)is a "closed" currency.
Don't even think of trying to get LKR in UK. It's not worth the trouble. You can only legally bring in LKR 5,000 (approx. £ 30) and the rate will be bad for you.
As you are from UK just bring ££(cash or travellers cheques) and change in Sri Lanka. There are 5-6 bank counters at arrival at Colombo Airport. They are open 24/7. All towns in Sri Lanka have banks and money changers. Always remember to get a receipt in case you need to re-exchange at the airport on departure.
Kandy Esala Perahera is 15-25 August. Nights peraheras are 15-24 August starting around 8-9 pm. The peraheras get bigger night by night as more temples (elephants and dancers) join. Perahera on 25 August is a day perahera on a lesser scale.
Kandy is about 160 km (4 hours drive) from Kalutara. By train/bus it's first about 1 hour to Colombo and then another 3 hours to Kandy. You will need to stay overnight and as Kandy is crowded in the season prices for accommodation increases a lot (double) and it is recommended to book well in advance.
You should invest at least 2-3 nights and also include Cultural Triangle (Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, Dambulla).
Should have added that ATMs are widely available all over Sri Lanka. If you prefer to use debit/credit card, don't forget to inform your card issuer of your intention so your card does not get blocked due unusual usage.
Thank you for your help and advice, it is much appreciated :)