Transportation in Sri Lanka
By air - The only international airport in
Sri Lanka is the Bandaranaike International Airport situated
at Katunayake, 30 kilometers from Colombo; it is reachable
by taxi or bus running regularly between the city and the airport
every 30 minutes. Train can be caught to the airport as well.
Airport facilities include bank counters for money exchange, bar,
restaurant, and tourist information. The national airline of Sri
Lanka is Sri Lankan Airlines. Air tickets can be bought at
several airline office and travel agency with different rate;
researching the current situation of the market is advised. The
departure tax is SLRs1000, to be paid at the airport on departure.
By sea - There are four international
ports in Sri Lanka including Colombo, Talaimannar,
Trincomalee, and Galle. Some cruise liners running
around India and Maldives, or on longer cruises from Singapore to
Dubai port in Colombo. Others start at Colombo and head for
Indonesia via Malaysia and Singapore. The cruising season is from
October through May and cruises take about 12 to 16 days. However,
due the enduring ethnic conflict, there is no longer ferry service
plying between Rameswaram in South India and Talaimannar
in Sri Lanka.
Plane: The major domestic
airport in Sri Lanka is Ratamalana at Colombo.
There are daily flights to other smaller airports at Batticaloa,
Gal Oya, Palali, and Trincomalee. However, flights to Jaffna are
not available. Departure tax for domestic airport is SLRs 50.
Train: On train, it
is a pleasant way to see Sri Lanka. You can get to all major
tourist towns by trains, but a few first-class carriages,
air-conditioning and dining cars are available. New fast services
are launched by the government to operate on the principal routes,
including an inter-city express service linking Colombo with Kandy.
However, train services to Jaffna have recently been closed due to
ethnic confrontation in the northern area.
Bus: Sri Lanka
possesses an extensive network of bus service to all parts of the
Island, offering a reasonable quality. There are two main types of
bus in Sri Lanka: Central Transport Board buses and private
buses; cost of both kinds of bus is very cheap, and services
are often crowded.
Taxi: Taxis are
available in most towns. It is recommended to discuss the price
before getting in. The metered-taxis are few and confine in the
big towns, agreement on fare before setting off is still needed
is called bajajs or auto-rickshaws are found everywhere in
Sri Lanka. It is common to agree on fare before you get in.
Three-wheelers are often found in front of hotels and tourist
Car rentals: There
are several car rental shops to choose from. But often, you will
rent a car with a driver for a day trip or a few days' tour. This
way is convenient because you do not have to compete with the
local people in public transport, and you can plan your trip on
your own while having a driver taking you to there and there.
Moreover, the cost is not expensive.