On my way to Sri Lanka right now, any last minute suggestions?

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General Mackevili
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Re: RE: Re: On my way to Sri Lanka right now, any last minute suggestions?

Post by General Mackevili » Mon Nov 07, 2016 12:51 am

Cam Nivag wrote:You can stick your head out the window.
I'm sold, LoL.
phuketrichard wrote:IF u do get to Sri Lana must visits are Hikkaduwa,Galle and Kandy (where the tooth is) a beautiful area and the drive up from the coast is stunning. When i did my bicycle trips this was one of the highlights of 18 months on the road

for future trips
checkout;
http://www.secretflying.com/
Cool, I "think" I'm near Galle.

I was wrong about where the diving is. I'm closer to Colombo on a beach called something like Uwannatuna. WTF kinda name is that?

Weather is shit. We're rushing the course and trying to have it wrapped up in 2 and a half days, weather permitting.

Got in from Colombo this evening, and wasn't supposed to start until tomorrow, but I spent the whole evening watching tedious safety videos from 1985.

I'm near near Galle I think, and it's on the way outta here. I'll be a bit busy, but I'll try to ask around if i can get to Kandy from here, then maybe the train back to Colombo to catch my flight.

Some famous singer just died here, so many nightlife locations were closed and nobody was allowed to serve alcohol. Not the best escape from the desert so far, LoL, but hopefully I'll walk away with a diving cert.

Image

My welcome drink:

Image



Thanks all for the great tips! Cool people here, but nothing like South East Asia. I get stared at all the fucking time, and smile back, assuming a conversation will happen, but no, they just keep on staring. WTF...

They talk really funny here. I went on a casual Tinder date (no chocolate, Satiated Parrot) which all went fine, but I couldn't help but think she sounded like she was walking me through the steps of activating Windows XP over the phone or something.

She brought a friend on the first half (after I said I wouldn't meet 4 of them, so she had to ditch 2 friends), and she worked for Google, LoL. Or so she says, who knows. Then dinner with only her to some cool place that was making brittle pancakes with eggs in them.

Image

Image

Paid a Tuk-Tuk driver $14 in Colombo to check out a shit load of massage joints over 3 hours, and they are all horrendous. The retirement age is clearly well about 60 here. :bad:

All the electrical sockets here look like pig noses plus another big hole that you're supposed to jam a pencil in to open. Fuck that shit. My survival instincts have told me NOT to go poking around electrical sockets in third world countries, so I got the owner to came do it for me. He was kind enough to leave a pencil with me, but I don't think I'll be trying it, as I have no desire to have my own topic on some Sri Lanka Expats Online discussion forum.

But these aren't complaints, I love the place, really!

Cigarettes are a whopping $8 a pack! Food and transportation are cheap. Accommodation seems ok. I paid about $37 for a private taxi, which was a little over 2 hours from Colombo to Uwantatuna through an Uber knockoff.

The Open Water Diver's course is costing $360 for everything, including the dives, equipment and all the PADI licensing stuff, so that seems ok.

And funny you mention Secret Flying...

I've been subscribed to that, which has amazing deals. I thought I saw flights to Sri Lanka for about $250, and even Sri Lankan Airways has promotions going now. However, I only found out I could take off this week as I was leaving work, and rushed home to book something. Their site seemed to not allow booking, so after calling them and being on hold for what seemed like days, I just gave up and booked a flight through Qatar instead. I also have a $100 flight credit through my credit card that I have to use before mid-December, so I just went ahead and booked a flight for $375 because I was running out of time.

Worked out anyways, as I ran into a Cambodia expat buddy who was in Doha, and we got to catch up in Qatar's lounge for a couple hours, so that made it all worth it.

Met a Chinese guy leaving the desert who said his name was "Ru." He said I was saying it wrong, even correcting me saying, "No, with an "R.""

After a few seconds of this back and forth, he says, "Not an an "R," an "R!" and then proceeds to draw an "L" in his palm.

His name is "Lu." :facepalm:
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Milord
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Re: On my way to Sri Lanka right now, any last minute suggestions?

Post by Milord » Mon Nov 07, 2016 2:27 am

Consider getting your NITROX Cert. as well. Allows tanks with 32% Oxygen to breath. Usually $10 more per dive but the benefit is that you feel great after a dive.

Also less surface time between dives so muti dives are possible and you will be less tired.

If you believe in Hyperbaric O2 chamber healing, flooding body tissue with more oxygen, than that works every dive with Nitrox.

Be very selective who they partner you with, your life may depend on it. In training, I had a partner that panicked at depth then did a powered ascent to the surface. Should I follow my "diving buddy" ? NOPE, he can die alone. :stir:
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Re: On my way to Sri Lanka right now, any last minute suggestions?

Post by boozyoldman » Mon Nov 07, 2016 3:06 am

A nice place ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unawatuna

pop in for a drink at the Closenburg Hotel. It was here that Bishop Heber composed "From Greenland's icy mountains to India's coral strand" while
the place was still in missionary hands as a rest house for clergy
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Re: On my way to Sri Lanka right now, any last minute suggestions?

Post by Sunnyside up » Mon Nov 07, 2016 3:16 am

We stayed at Unawatuna last year and really enjoyed it. A nice strip of beach with a heap of little bars and restaurants.
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Re: RE: Re: On my way to Sri Lanka right now, any last minute suggestions?

Post by OKW » Mon Nov 07, 2016 4:03 am

General Mackevili wrote:
Cam Nivag wrote:You can stick your head out the window.
I'm sold, LoL.
phuketrichard wrote:IF u do get to Sri Lana must visits are Hikkaduwa,Galle and Kandy (where the tooth is) a beautiful area and the drive up from the coast is stunning. When i did my bicycle trips this was one of the highlights of 18 months on the road

for future trips
checkout;
http://www.secretflying.com/
Cool, I "think" I'm near Galle.

I was wrong about where the diving is. I'm closer to Colombo on a beach called something like Uwannatuna. WTF kinda name is that?

Weather is shit. We're rushing the course and trying to have it wrapped up in 2 and a half days, weather permitting.

Got in from Colombo this evening, and wasn't supposed to start until tomorrow, but I spent the whole evening watching tedious safety videos from 1985.

I'm near near Galle I think, and it's on the way outta here. I'll be a bit busy, but I'll try to ask around if i can get to Kandy from here, then maybe the train back to Colombo to catch my flight.

Some famous singer just died here, so many nightlife locations were closed and nobody was allowed to serve alcohol. Not the best escape from the desert so far, LoL, but hopefully I'll walk away with a diving cert.

Image

My welcome drink:

Image



Thanks all for the great tips! Cool people here, but nothing like South East Asia. I get stared at all the fucking time, and smile back, assuming a conversation will happen, but no, they just keep on staring. WTF...

They talk really funny here. I went on a casual Tinder date (no chocolate, Satiated Parrot) which all went fine, but I couldn't help but think she sounded like she was walking me through the steps of activating Windows XP over the phone or something.

She brought a friend on the first half (after I said I wouldn't meet 4 of them, so she had to ditch 2 friends), and she worked for Google, LoL. Or so she says, who knows. Then dinner with only her to some cool place that was making brittle pancakes with eggs in them.

Image

Image

Paid a Tuk-Tuk driver $14 in Colombo to check out a shit load of massage joints over 3 hours, and they are all horrendous. The retirement age is clearly well about 60 here. :bad:

All the electrical sockets here look like pig noses plus another big hole that you're supposed to jam a pencil in to open. Fuck that shit. My survival instincts have told me NOT to go poking around electrical sockets in third world countries, so I got the owner to came do it for me. He was kind enough to leave a pencil with me, but I don't think I'll be trying it, as I have no desire to have my own topic on some Sri Lanka Expats Online discussion forum.

But these aren't complaints, I love the place, really!

Cigarettes are a whopping $8 a pack! Food and transportation are cheap. Accommodation seems ok. I paid about $37 for a private taxi, which was a little over 2 hours from Colombo to Uwantatuna through an Uber knockoff.

The Open Water Diver's course is costing $360 for everything, including the dives, equipment and all the PADI licensing stuff, so that seems ok.

And funny you mention Secret Flying...

I've been subscribed to that, which has amazing deals. I thought I saw flights to Sri Lanka for about $250, and even Sri Lankan Airways has promotions going now. However, I only found out I could take off this week as I was leaving work, and rushed home to book something. Their site seemed to not allow booking, so after calling them and being on hold for what seemed like days, I just gave up and booked a flight through Qatar instead. I also have a $100 flight credit through my credit card that I have to use before mid-December, so I just went ahead and booked a flight for $375 because I was running out of time.

Worked out anyways, as I ran into a Cambodia expat buddy who was in Doha, and we got to catch up in Qatar's lounge for a couple hours, so that made it all worth it.

Met a Chinese guy leaving the desert who said his name was "Ru." He said I was saying it wrong, even correcting me saying, "No, with an "R.""

After a few seconds of this back and forth, he says, "Not an an "R," an "R!" and then proceeds to draw an "L" in his palm.

His name is "Lu." :facepalm:
Interesting that you mention people staring at you. Reminds me of my stay a a fine hotel in Bangladesh.The restaurant had excellent food and appeared to be well run. Three young waiters stood at armlenth at our table and keept staring at us. It became so uncomfortable that we had to ask them to leave.We tried to explain that being stared at is not pleasant, which they did not really understand.
Sri Lankan and Bangladesh hotel staff will also rip the plate from under your spoon the moment you ate your last bite. They consider it good service. Countles times I came back from the buffet and my half finshed dish had dissapeared, replaced with new utensils and an empty plate. Again we had to ask them to keep our food on the table until stated otherwise. While cultural alike, in Pakistan this seems to be a lot better.
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Re: On my way to Sri Lanka right now, any last minute suggestions?

Post by jaynewcastle » Tue Nov 08, 2016 12:43 am

If you're staying in Unawatuna, then its just 10mins in a tuk tuk to Galle.

Hikkaduwa, a beach coastal town is a 25min bus ride from Galle, whilst Mirissa is about 30mins east of Galle.
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Re: On my way to Sri Lanka right now, any last minute suggestions?

Post by Bitte_Kein_Lexus » Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:58 am

Awesome overview and keep us posted. What does your hotel cost? How much time do you have and what's your final itinerary? Do give a final recap with thoughts and all after the trip. I've mostly heard good things about Sri Lanka, but you never know...

Unrelated, but I did my open water in the Philippines and it was definitely one of thr best things I've done in recent memory, so I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

And LoL @ the girl sounding like she's helping with Windows and the staring.
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Re: On my way to Sri Lanka right now, any last minute suggestions?

Post by Duncan » Tue Nov 08, 2016 8:23 am

Your casual Tinder date looks like a real '' egghead '' but probably better looking than some of those camels you had your eye on.

Image
Cambodia,,,, Don't fall in love with her.
Like the spoilt child she is, she will not be happy till she destroys herself from within and breaks your heart.
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Re: On my way to Sri Lanka right now, any last minute suggestions?

Post by Bertros » Tue Nov 08, 2016 9:24 am

Any word on Sri Lankan beer? Is there such a thing? how is it?
Have fun with the 'open water cert'. I've 'advanced open water' cert which let's you go deeper and gives a couple other skills.
it seems enough for me as the more advanced certs add more cost and time and I'm not so sure I'd ever use it.
you may want to look into getting the upgrade to advanced at a later date, it takes a bit more time but I've found it useful/fun.

cheers :beer3:

Bertros :hattip:
A taste of the bait is worth the pain of the hook.....
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Re: On my way to Sri Lanka right now, any last minute suggestions?

Post by Popeye » Tue Nov 08, 2016 10:46 am

I was in Sri Lanka in 1996 when everything was dirt cheap. Looking at web sites now, bloody expensive.
Never got to see the Budha's tooth as could never walk past the Queens pub !!!!
Hikaduwa was good to stay in.
Arriving at the airport, walk out the front to the main road, about 2 hundred meters, turn left and there is a local bus stop that takes you to Colombo bus/ train station. Cheaper than a rip off rickshaw or taxi.
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