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Sore bums in Sri Lanka

Day one – Traffic jams, car horns and tuk-tuks.


After having our brief hopes of an upgrade on this flight brutally crushed (see And so it begins) we arrived in the hectic Colombo Airport. Alex did have a bit of a strange introduction to the respectfulness of Sri Lankans. A toilet attendant followed him into the toilet cubicle and before Alex could say a word the man had started to tear away at the tissue paper, layering the toilet seat to provide that cushiony softness so often sought after.

Outside the contrast to Dubai was stark and almost surreal. Sri Lanka is very obviously much poorer than the UAE but no less of a gem for it. The heat and the hubbub of taxi drivers vying for our trade made the first few steps on Sri Lankan soil quite exciting. Unluckily for them we had already booked a taxi through our hostel and so we got in for what we thought would be a quick twenty mile jaunt to the hostel before a day of discovery in the centre. However what we experienced was over two hours of bum breaking traffic jam hell. For something moving so slowly the driver seemed to manage an astonishing amount of hair-raising manoeuvres often steering using his knees (not cool to use hands over there!). The drivers of the tuk-tuks were manic, there were people everywhere, and the sounds of car horns blasting continuously was grating. It was a completely different experience to anything either of us has had before and was in itself pretty amazing aside from the amount of time we were stuck there.

We are now in our hostel room looking for stuff to do tomorrow as it’s too late for any sightseeing now. The search ain’t going great though; we’ve so far only found an elephant orphanage on Tripadvisor but it looks like a bit of a mission to get to. Off for some more research...

Rex’s Rules of the Road

  • Many places will use US dollars in place of the Sri Lankan rupees.
  • Pick a hostel with a taxi transfer, use the local knowledge and avoid getting lost on the backstreets. (Ask if the seats are comfy too! You’ll be in for a long ride)
  • Read a guide book. Google and Tripadvisor don’t give all that much help.

Posted by rexontheroad 16:39 Archived in Sri Lanka

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