Welcome to a week full of posts to get you (and I) excited about my RTW. Today, we are talking about Sri Lanka but mostly about how I almost skipped Ceylon.
Colombo, Ceylon [Source: The National Archives]
In my original plans, I wanted to visit India. It wasn’t because I was particularly enamoured with India. It was because India is a staple of a modern RTW and I wanted to be hip (but not a hippy).
Later, I crossed India off the list because I was required to pay 161.56 ringgit in visa fees. Yucks.
Luckily, AirAsia started promoting its Kuala Lumpur-Colombo (Sri Lanka) route. [This route was later cancelled, I’ll talk more about it later.] I figured that Sri Lanka is a good beginner’s guide to South Asia. I booked a dirt cheap ticket to Sri Lanka and planned to stay there for two weeks.
I didn’t do much planning for Sri Lanka. My usual travel buddy D also bought tickets to Sri Lanka and I planned to steal her itinerary. D happily planned her trip while I happily not plan my trip.
Then, we received bad news.
AirAsia cancels KUL-CMB
In February, AirAsia cancelled the Kuala Lumpur-Colombo route. It was a total WTF moment because I’ve seen AirAsia promote Sri Lanka like crazy. Every time I got my hands on its in-flight magazine, I had seen Sri Lanka featured.
What am I supposed to do?
Unfortunately, by that time, I’ve already booked my tickets from Colombo to Dubai. It would be too expensive for me to get a flight direct to Dubai from Malaysia.
I did worry a lot about my flight. I tried searching for cheaper tickets but all full service carriers were too expensive. The best ticket I could get was Tiger Air flight from Singapore but the 10pm arrival time was horrid.
Even if I wanted to make a booking from mid-February to early-March, I didn’t because of Mercury retrograde. Yes, I am very superstitious and did not want to make any bookings during the “horoscopely bad” period.
Things worked out in the end. By the tail-end of the Mercury retrograde period, I found out that Tiger Air changed their timing for the Sri Lanka flight to morning. I booked the 10am flight to Colombo and will reach at 11am in the morning. That’s a great timing.
Things to do in Sri Lanka
I still haven’t done a lot of research on Sri Lanka. I’ve heard only good things about the place from people who have visited: tea, curry, relaxation.
I do have vague plans such as taking the train, visiting Buddha’s tooth and avoid getting bitten by mosquitos.
By the way, I will be in Sri Lanka during their new year. My Sri Lankan friend, M, said most shops are closed then but the temples are open. It would be fun seeing how they celebrate new year there and how it differs from my Malaysian Chinese New Year.
I wonder how much I can wing it. Maybe I will do more reading once I head home on Tuesday.
Sri Lanka, here I come!
Do you have any travel tips for Sri Lanka? Share them in the comments below.
(Tomorrow I will be talking about my 15-night cruise that only costs about S$1,700 with tips.)