The archaeology museum in Anuradhapura is closed
You have to buy a ticket for 3,500 rupee ($35) to visit 3 museums. The archaeology museum is supposed to be the biggest and the best but it is closed for renovations and is not opening again anytime soon. When we asked when it would reopen, they looked at us blankly and said “we don’t know when it will open again, a long time, maybe a year.” This means your 3,500 rupee ticket can only be used at the other smaller and less impressive museums. You can see plenty of great sites and ruins without going to the museums.
We decided those that could speak English well had discovered that this skill could be used to manipulate and scam tourists. This isn’t a rule of thumb but it’ll help in your choice of who to trust.
If you’re not a fan of using a hose to clean your butt hole like the locals do, then you better have a stash of toilet paper handy at all your hostels, home-stays and hotels.
If the Lonely Planet said something was 350 rupee it was actually 500 rupee. The guidebook was very inaccurate when it came to displaying the price of things. If it said a home-stay would be 1000 rupee, it was at least 1500.
On 5-hour bus trips the drivers are in a hurry. They scream down roads in the outback, overtaking 2-3 cars at a time with oncoming cars visible in the distance, in many cases oncoming traffic swerves onto the dirt in order to make way for the bus. It’s better to just enjoy the ride and not look out the front window at all the near death overtaking.
Avoid those awkward glares and sit at the back.
Came as a shock to me, a cold shock every morning.
Don’t stress if you wore your best khaki pants into that remote temple, but if you know you’re heading to Anuradhapura or The Temple of the Sacred Tooth, pack a white shawl or wear a white shirt.
This mainly applies to female travellers. By all means wear singlets and shorts but don’t be surprised by the amount of attention you get when you show a bit of skin. The only time when this is actually a problem is when you’re entering holy sites like temples. This is where you HAVE to cover up.
From stalls, markets and tuk tuk rides. Figure out your price with your driver before you get in the taxi, tuk tuk or bus.
At this time though the Southern beaches are packed. Then in reverse from May-October- eastern beaches packed, southern beaches empty. You get my drift.
Save some money and sit on the Galle fort walls. It’s more enjoyable and you get to hang with the locals.
If you dare. It’s pretty exciting eating like the locals. But remember eat with your right hand and drink with you left.
And by struggle I mean break down for an hour on the side of the road while you wait for the driver to dry out his engine.
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