andaman islands or sri lanka?
We are planning on a 20 weeks-trip through Asia and for the moment we thought about going to Nepal, India, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
A couple of weeks ago, we read several negative post about Sri Lanka (mainly about being an overprized -compared to nearby countries- island with lots of people trying to rip you off).
Since then we’re asking ourselves whether it’s a good idea to go to Sri Lanka.
Instead of going to Sri Lanka (4 weeks) we’re considering now to go to the Andaman Islands (2 weeks) and also spending some more time (2 weeks) in South India. (For now we restricted ourselves to mainly Kerala, Hampi and Tamil Nadu in the South.)
Would you recommend going to Andaman Islands instead of Sri Lanka?
Thanks a lot !
While Sri Lanka is a facinating country, it is expensive. Hotels are very expensive considering the quality. The concept of service in the hotels really leaves a great deal to be desired. All hotels tack on a 15% service charge in addition to already high prices. Even in the mid-range hotels the rooms were not clean and anything less is downright filthy. The quality of the food was a mixed bag? I was not impressed. Yes everybody is trying to make money off of the tourist, but that is pretty much the norm no matter where you go. Taxi driver’s are not honest, but again many places are the same.
Colombo is an interesting city with a great waterfront which is great to look at, but the waterfront is dangerous and not swimable at all. Some of the beach town’s whicch are located not to far from the city are pretty nice, but dirty. The traffic and time it takes to get anywhere is crazy making. Public transport is not very user friendly and most buses are slow and no AC. Pollution is an issue!
The above being said, the people who are not in the tourist business are very friendly and welcoming. The sites in Sri Lanka are pretty amazing. The Temples are some of the most beautiful I have ever seen. There is much to explore, but I think it is a difficult country to navigate. There are some amazing places along the southern coast of the island if you just want to hang-out.
I live in Asia and have explored much in South and S.E. Asia and I think Sri Lanka is unique, but not a country I am in a hurry to return to. Burma is definitly a country to visit, but be prepared. Much is changing there, but it still lacks infrastructure. Transport is difficult or non existent to many parts of the country. There are still aread that are off limits even though much is opening up. Hotel prices are 4 times what they were 2 years ago. While in Yangon it is imperative that you book ahead. While this is a destination city now, it suffers from a lack of hotels. The hotels there are now expensive.
It is still a cash society, with no ATM’s at this time and the only places that accept credit cards are going to be the high end hotels. Cash is king! Bring plenty of crisp USD’s. Torn, stained, creased money will not be accepted. Things are changing fast, but when you are going from 0-100 it will take time. This is an amazing country with much history. Bagan, Yangon, Mandalay, and so much more. There are some dangers right now with the Muslims and Buddhist killing each other, so pay attention to the happenings so you don’t end up in danger.
I spent 4 months in Sri Lanka in 2010 (2 trips, 2 months each) and can nearly agree with the above. “Budget” has often been synonymous with “cheap”, and it`s safe to say that SL isn`t cheap any longer.
Afraid I can`t compare to the Andamans as I`ve never been, but I can nearly guarantee that I won`t see SL again.
Time and Pirate have it spot on mate and there isn’t much I can add. Having been to all of the destinations you are thinking of I can say that all are amazing places to visit in terms of destinations, but as the others said if budget is an issue I’d skip Myanmar and Sri Lanka.
India and Nepal are amazing places and can easily take up a good 2 – 3 months of your 5 month trip. From there I’d personally head on to SE Asia, but choose somewhere a little easier/cheaper if you have never been to the area before. Myanmar will be an option of course, but perhaps couple it with a trip to Thailand (links from Bangkok) maybe a month each to break up the cost.
Time and Pirate, are we the only three people answering on this forum? Apart from staff, that is?
In the 90s, when still building websites with a text editor, I`d ask customers how they were going to advertise their advertising.
Same holds true today. RG is on their own to get the word out.
Just left you a comment, btw…