Back packing Sri Lanka

Backpacking Sri Lanka

Do you want a real guide book of Sri Lanka. A book that gives you honest reviews by insiders, not the paid promotional stuff, just good old straight forward information the good and the bad? Need to know the best beaches? Want to avoid getting ripped off? Want to hire a car or tour by tuk-tuk?

If you have ever thought about Backpacking Sri Lanka or planning your own independent tour of Sri Lanka then this guide book by our own resident author Gail Leach is the one for you. It’s the essential guide to Sri Lanka funny, frank and no holes barred, it invites the reader to explore the natural beauty of Sri Lanka whilst navigating the pitfalls of the usual tourist scams.

For our readers we are offering a 50% off coupon valid until 23 March so take advantage of this great offer now, just click the Link below which will take you to and enter coupon code CB77R


Backpacking Sri Lanka, Tips for Women.

To get the most out of backpacking Sri Lanka  and to stay safe on your tour of Sri Lanka read our top tips for keeping female backpacking travellers safe.

Tips for Backpacking Sri lankaBackpacking Sri Lanka

Many women wonder if it is safe to go backpacking alone in Sri Lanka. The truth is you do need to take care of yourself and follow our backpacking Tips for Women to avoid the dangers of backpacking Sri Lanka.


The number 1 danger for women are the SEX PREDATORS. Sex pests are everywhere in Sri Lanka, on the bus, on the train, in the tuk tuk, on the beach and the bars and at your hotel. Dealing with them is tiresome, annoying and can be downright dangerous, leading to minor sexual groping to the very serious rapes and gang rapes. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country but it’s important to follow our backpacking tips if you really want to stay safe and enjoy your tour of Sri Lanka.

Firstly understand the way Sri Lankan men think. A single female backpacking Sri Lanka is seen as a woman without money, who is desperate for sex with any Sri Lankan man. If you smoke or drink then you are nothing more than a prostitute. Sri Lankan men are huge porn fans and they assume every white woman and every woman backpacking Sri Lanka is basically a porn star ready to perform anywhere and everywhere.

From sexy beach boys to wrinkled old tuk tuk drivers they are all going to try and take advantage of you sexually if you are a female backpacking alone or with another female around Sri Lanka.

At first you will be charmed by the friendliness and apparent open hospitality of the men in Sri Lanka towards tourists and women backpacking Sri Lanka, but don’t let this fool you every scorpion has a sting in it’s tail and so do the men of Sri Lanka.

Best Tips for Backpacking Sri Lanka

  1. Get a wedding ring and wear it. It won’t put the men off but you can use it to show them that you are unavailable and tell them your husband will be joining you.
  2. Get 2 sims. Use one as an emergency contact number that you give to relatives/friends and use the other for registering at guesthouses, taxi or tuk tuk bookings. If you are staying in cheap budget hotels or guesthouses room boys looking for sex have been known to take the number of guests to call later for sex. It’s the same with tuk-tuk and taxi drivers. The number then gets passed around his circle of friends as they all try to meet you for sex. A single female backpacking Sri Lanka is vulnerable and the men know this and use this fact to prey on you.
  3. Drinking. Only drink in bars that have other tourists in. At all costs avoid local drinking dens, that’s just asking for trouble.
  4. Watch your drink. Watch your drink in the hotspots at Beach resorts down south particularly Unawatunna and Hikkaduwa. These are prime backpacking locations and there’s a huge expectation of sex in these areas.  The date rape drug has been used in these areas and has been used frequently in the Tangalle area. Tangalle is an area you should avoid.
  5. Bus and Train Travel. Where possible sit next to a female in the bus and try to sit next to the window. Buy an extra seat for your backpack and put it next to you on the aisle seat.  If the bus is full watch out for men standing next to you, they use it as an excuse to rub up against your shoulder and breast if you are sitting in the aisle seat, by putting your backpack on the aisle seat it reduces this possibility. If the guy in the seat behind starts messing with your hair or stroking your skin embarrass him and tell him to stop. Commuter trains, avoid these at all costs when backpacking Sri Lanka, they are hot, uncomfortable and you cannot move anywhere to escape being touched up. You can shout at one guy and push him away and another just takes his place. Book yourself a first class ticket and enjoy your tour of Sri Lanka in peace!
  6. Tourist Police. keep their number handy and if when you are backpacking Sri Lanka you find yourself alone at night in an unlit street being harassed always tell them you are calling the police. 9 out of 10 times they will disappear, if they dont – head for the nearest hotel and report him.
  7. Never Make Eye Contact. Sri lankans appear to be very friendly and will shout out hello or try to engage you in conversation – do not make eye contact or smile at them, it will be taken as a sign that you are interested in them and want sex.


Backpacking Sri Lanka Guide

Backpacking Sri Lanka can be fun, the country has a lot to offer in terms of landscape, nature and cultural sites, follow our safety tips to get the most out of your Sri Lanka tour. If you like the guys and want to have sex with them make sure you are safe first and never agree to having sex with more than 1 guy at a time.

We hope you have found our backpacking Sri Lanka guide useful for more information check out our Backpacking  Sri Lanka Guide

Backpacking Sri Lanka

Backpacking sri lankaSri Lanka has only recently emerged from a civil war which took place between the Tamils in the north and the Sri Lankans in the rest of the country. This means that Sri Lankas travel infra structure is still developing and remains largely the same as installed by the British more than 50 years ago with mostly single track roads and an antiquated train network. The Sri Lankan Railway has now added a couple of new routes allowing train travel to Jaffna and Mannar and added private first class carriages on many routes including Colombo to Jaffna, Trincomalee, Kandy, Batticaloa. Bus travel has been made easier with the new highways from Negombo (Colombo Airport) to Colombo City and Colombo to Galle both really cut down travel time and allow you to pack more into your Sri Lanka Tour.

Before backpacking Sri Lanka check out these important points first to help you plan your  Lanka travels by bus or rail. Our complete guide to backpacking Sri Lanka is now available – be in the first 100 to contact us here and get it for free!

Tips for Backpacking Sri Lanka

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  1. Airport Taxi/Tuk Tuk Service: It is easy to get a taxi or Tuk-tuk from the airport, however, arranging your own transport from Colombo Airport is not always the best option as quite often you can spend up to an hour driving around looking for your accommodation. It is more expensive if your host arranges the taxi pick up from Colombo airport, this is because any outside taxi has to pay parking fees, plus sign board fees, plus the driver has to pay an entrance fee into the airport. Yes that’s right, anyone wishing to enter the arrival airport lounge has to pay a fee of 300lkr. When backpacking Sri Lanka start your tour off right. It may be well worth spending the extra money on a taxi booked by your host if it means you will be taken directly to your accommodation and not spend hours looking for it!
  2. Money Change: Change some money at the airport, but keep your receipt so that you can change any surplus back when you leave.Sri Lanka Tour Tip; No receipt = no money change.Make sure you get some smaller notes like 20lkr, 100lkr and 500lkr larger notes of 1000 and 2000lkr are difficult to change and 5000 is sometimes impossible! Outside Colombo airport money exchange can be done in most jewellery shops and some Sri Lanka tour shops. Just ask!
  3. Buy a Local Sim: They are cheap and worth having. Sri Lanka Tour Tip ; Dialog provides the best coverage, stay away from Airtel it’s too patchy. When backpacking Sri Lanka the phone is a definite must have as you never know where or when you are going to get stranded. The Sri Lankan Railway doesnt operate 365 days a year and Sri Lanka buses can be cancelled if the owner feels like it!
  4. Travel times from Colombo Airport to Colombo City:  The short journey of 38 km From the airport to Colombo city centre takes more than 30 minutes by car/bus/tuk-tuk and hours by train. Sri lanka Tour tip; Unless travelling/ backpacking Sri Lanka in the early hours of the morning or on a Sunday allow for 1 to 1.30hrs  to get from Colombo airport to Colombo city by car or highway bus. If its raining add another hour. Normal red government buses or private buses (white with a blue stripe) and tuk-tuks do not use the highway and can take over 3 hours to get from Bandanarike airport to Colombo City. Travel on the Negombo to Colombo highway takes only 30minutes but you join a queue of traffic in Colombo which takes 30-60minutes to navigate through depending on your exact location.
  5. Take a Rest Day: Many people underestimate jet lag and it’s effects. They arrive in Sri Lanka after a 10 hour flight and expect to be able to function and get backpacking straight away.People wrongly assume that because Sri Lanka is a small island planning a tour around it will be easy and getting from Colombo airport to Jaffna the minute after they touch down will be easy. Wrong! Most people need to sleep for a full 8 hours or more after they arrive, jet lag, plus high heat and humidity of Sri Lanka can be completely exhausting. It’s better to rest first so that you can enjoy the rest of your holiday!  Sri Lanka Tour Tip; Coordinating your backpacking trip on the Sri lankan Railway or by bus is not easy, so make your first day a rest day and take time to understand the bus and train systems and their limitations.If you would like help with your Planning contact us here: Negombo is the closes city to Colombo airport, you can find accommodation close to the airport on  View all listings in Negombo
  6. Travel Time: Allow a whole day for travel to the next destination on your Sri Lanka tour itinerary. When backpacking Sri Lanka your next destination is always hours away not minutes. You can only reach a destination in less than 30 minutes if you are travelling by helicopter or Cinnamon air or travelling during the dead of night.Sri Lanka Tour Tip; Roads inland to the hill country are winding and difficult to drive, add to that slow moving tractors, cows, tuk tuks over laden lorries and congested towns with narrow streets and you quickly understand that you aren’t going anywhere fast.
  7. Dehydration: Traveling in the heat and high humidity makes you feel very tired especially when jammed into a hot bus or train with no airconditioning, so top up with plenty of water and allow enough time to rest between destinations. Sri Lanka Tour tip; If your urine is a dark yellow or you have a head ache you are dehydrated. Buy re-hydration salts from the pharmacy and drink King Coconut juice to rehydrate then spend time resting.
  8. Mosquito Repellent: Repellent is a must have for any tour of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka does have Dengue Fever which is spread by mosquito bites, minor cases mean sever headaches, vomiting and high fever, worst case scenario is death. Make sure you pack mosquito repellent and cover up. Sri Lanka Travel Tip; Sofitel, is pleasant smelling repellent and can be used on children, you can buy it in pharmacies and supermarkets. Alternatively you can buy the natural repellent of citronella oil at most tourist shops/supermarkets. It’s money well spent especially if you are travelling during the rainy season which is when the mosquitoes breed most.
  9. Return To Colombo Airport: It is safer to plan your itinerary so that you end your tour of Sri Lanka the day before your flight in Negombo city, which is very close to the airport. There is plenty of accommodation like this one  Negombo has everything you need, beach, restaurants, shops, a few attractions and money change. Sri Lanka Travel Tip; Negombo is close to the airport so you can be sure you wont miss your flight because of traffic/transport problems, it’s the perfect place to end your backpacking Sri Lanka tour and if you have lost your money exchange receipt issued at the airport you can find a number of  money changers to help you out.
  10. Planning your Tour of Sri Lanka: Travel by Train, bus, tuk tuk, taxi or rental car can be fun and challenging. Unless you are a luxury traveller using helicopters and small planes to see the country, then travel in Sri Lanka is not easy. There are more things to consider than just cost particularly if you are a single female traveller. Read more for female travellers here


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Pope Visits Sri Lanka

Pope visits sri LankaIt’s the NewYear and the people of Sri Lanka are positively bursting with happiness as Sri Lanka Gets Set For a Tourist Boom following the Elections and the forthcoming Popes Visit to Sri Lanka

The Pope is set to visit Sri Lanka between the 13th-15th January 2015.

January 8th 2015 was also big day on the Sri Lankan Calander as people headed off for the polls as president Mr Rajapaksa sought a record third term in power.

Popes first visit to Sri Lanka

Many were concerned that the elections would lead to riots and a tourist hotline was set up,  tourists were warned to take care and check all travel arrangements just in case things got out of hand.
In the end there was very little trouble following the election with only a few minor disturbances. Defeated in the narrowest of margins by Mr Sirisena, Mr Rajapksa conceeded defeat.
The sky was filled with fireworks and Sri lankans partied in their traditional manner with loud music dancing and Arrack the local drink.

Sri lanka now has another significant event on the horizon as His Holiness Pope Francis prepares to visit between the 13th and 15th January 2015 and they have even prepared a special welcome song for him.

Pope visits Sri Lanka you tube song.

Accommodation for Popes Visit

Galle face Green Colombo has been transformed in preparation for the Popes visit where he will perform a mass at 8.30am on Wednesday 14th January 2015. You can see the Pope at the locations below.
If you need accommodation then check out Airbnb and their listings like this one below:

Amazing view of Negombo Sri Lanka in Negombo

Apartment in Negombo, Sri Lanka. This is such a good location. It’s close to the airport which is only 30mins away and great for your first and last night stay in Sri Lanka. Negombo bus station and railway station are just a few kilometers away giving easy access to the rest of t… View all listings in Negombo

Pope’s Proposed Itinerary in Sri Lanka:

Monday, January 12, 2015
19:00 – Departure from the Airport of Rome/Fiumicino to Colombo
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
09:00 – Arrival at the Colombo International Airport, Katunayake
13:15 – Meeting with the Bishops of Sri Lanka at the Archbishop’s House, Colombo – 08
17:00 –Courtesy visit to the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka at the President’s House.
18:15 – Inter-religious meeting in the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) Colombo
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
08:30 – Celebration of Holy Eucharist and Canonization of Blessed Joseph Vaz in Galle Face Green, Colombo
14:00 – Departure to Madhu Shrine
15:30 –Marian Prayer the Shrine of our Lady of Rosary of Madhu
16:45 – Departure to Colombo
Thursday, January 15, 2015
08:15 – Visit to the Chapel of the “Benedict XVI Cultural Institute” at Bolawalana
08:45 – Farewell ceremony at the Colombo International Airport, Katunayake
09:00 – Departure from Colombo to Manila

Tourists Guide to Sex in Singapore

The flirt PlaybookFeeling lonely? Want an exotic fling or want to try cougar dating, date a toyboy, live life on the wild side with a ladyboy or just want to ramp up your sex life, where in Asia should you go to spice up your love life?

For decades now men have been heading off to Asia in search of an erotic or truly naughty fling maybe with a svelte like lady boy or toyboy or hot young exotic Asian lady. For some it’s more than a sex thing it’s a chance to buy a bride and potential happiness that fills the void of emptiness and provides a warm companion to share a Singapore Sling with.

Cougar dating, Toyboys, Ladyboys, more!

Sex tourism in Asia has long been big business, everyone knows about the attractions of Thailand, the good the bad and the ugly side of sex tourism are there for all to see. Gay toyboys, barely legal women and yes the despicable pedophiles, it’s all there in Thailand. But what about other Asian countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka?

Is Sex in Singapore big business? If so what for? Toyboys, hookers, gay sex, Cougar dating, Romance tours? For those of you who don’t know romance tours are holidays arranged normally for men who head off to countries to find a bride.

The truth is sex in Singapore is definitely alive and kicking but not for everyone and if you’re thinking of visiting Singapore for an exotic fling here’s the must have guide:

Good Looking Toyboys

Gay sex for men; despite the fact that it’s illegal, gay sex is definitely available in Singapore. Toyboys and Ladyboys are plentiful and one only has to visit Orchard road and Orchard Towers otherwise known as 4 floors of whores to get acquainted with a toyboy, ladyboy or other, across a Singapore Sling. Otherwise it’s a case of heading off to the east coast in areas like Gaylang and hanging out in the saunas and Karaoke bars.
Gay sex for women, yes your in luck! Singapore has lots of gay women, it’s a little more difficult to meet them, but there are hangouts in the popular bars around China Town.toyboys

Kings of Sex in Singapore

Heterosexual Men. Sex in Singapore for foreign Caucasian men is indeed paradise. Take a stroll down Orchard road and check out any of the restaurants, here you will see so many mixed couples, caucasian male with petite Asian lady sipping her Singapore Sling. As a Caucasian male you can go anywhere and you will soon be pounced upon by a bevvy of Asian ladies all seeking a better life. So whether you are looking for a wife or just a one night stand you are definitely going to find it.

Cougar dating

Heterosexual Women: Alas sex in Singapore for women, especially Caucasian women is not so hot. If you’re a cougar and like toyboys then you are in luck- sort of. The western world refers to mature women dating younger men as Cougar dating, with the younger guys being called cubs or toyboys. In Asia older women are called Aunty’s and sex with an aunty is sometimes referred to as Auntycourse. This is a very popular term especially in Sri lanka.
Not so easy to find, your best chance of finding a young Asian male to hook up with is to hang out at the local hawker centres. Don’t expect to be wined and dined, they haven’t got the money. If your lucky you might get a beer and they may pay for the hotel room – rented by the hour!

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Deadly Seduction

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Airbnb Goes Big In Singapore

airbnb singaporeGoing Airbnb in Asia is set to get even easier in 2015. Airbnb embarked on an aggressive recruiting spree in 2014 in order to capture the Asian market, their eye is now firmly fixed on the growing Chinese tourist market which is seen to have a huge potential. With over 600,000 listings in over 200 countries Airbnb is going big and Asia and is definitely the next big boom. In 2015 we can expect to see  a huge jump in listings for Singapore and surrounding countries. Singapore is a city state known for it’s business acumen and it’s huge tourism market, so it’s no surprise Airbnb have set up offices there. But what does this mean for the Airbnb travellers?

Hot Airbnb Hosts

Traditionally Singaporeans are very reserved by nature and aren’t known for their warmth or congeniality towards strangers or tourists. Tourism and hospitality is big business in Singapore that is generally left to the big players and big hotel chains, who charge top dollar for a clean efficient hospitality system. Don’t expect warm smiles and congenial chats from your Airbnb hosts, this is not in their nature. Unlike their Asian neighbours, the Sri Lankans who constantly smile and stop you to chat or practice the six words of English they might know. So how will Airbnb hosts fare in this uber expensive  luxury environment and what type of rooms will be on offer and at what cost?

Costs of Airbnb Rooms in Singapore

Singapore is very expensive city that is very limited on space, hence; most Singaporeans tend to live in high rise apartments. Many Apartment blocks are provided by the Government and are known as HDB blocks. HDB’s are practical but neither attractive nor spacious. However, the privately built condos tend to offer well planned apartments, sometimes a little more spacious with luxury facilities such as pools and gyms. Wealthy Singaporeans have the privilege of living in Landed properties such as large villas and bungalows, so it will be interesting to see exactly what types of property come onto the Airbnb Singapore market and whether they will be better value than the hotels.

Currently Airbnb advertises rooms in Singapore from around SGD$39.00. Having looked at some of the listings it is shocking to see that rooms that were previously rented for SGD$800-1000 a month to locals are now being rented out by the night to Airbnb travellers and yielding a very handsome profit to the hosts. If you are curious about jumping in as an Airbnb host, learn more about maximizing your income from this helpful Airbnb guide.

If you are already an Airbnb Host and you want to learn insider secrets to maximize your bookings  Click Here! to get yourself noticed and bring in the money.

Airbnb –v- Budget Hotel

There are a number of budget hotel chains in Singapore such as ‘Hotel 81’ that offer rooms for the same price or less than those being promoted on Airbnb. So consider your options carefully and don’t be fooled into thinking just because it’s on Airbnb it must be a better deal, this really doesn’t apply in Singapore where money is KIng. Check the small print on the listings as some hosts ask for a huge security deposit, this is not something you would necessarily have to pay when booking a hotel, so bear this in mind when considering costs of travel.

Budget Accommodation from $20 USD

Singapore Hotel
from USD $20
Singapore Hotel

Xiamen Singapore Hotel
  from $42 USD
Xiamen Singapore Hotel

Singapore Hostel
from $45 SGD per night
Singapore Hostel

Airbnb in Sri Lanka

Airbnb sri lankaAirbnb has exploded worldwide and Sri Lanka is no exception. But before you rush to book a place in Sri Lanka on, ask yourself why choose Airbnb for Sri Lanka over other sites such as Wego or TripAdvisor? Is it because you want to save money and you are looking for cheap accommodation? Or you don’t trust the reviews on other sites? Or is it because you want to get an insight into living with a local? Remember the primary function of Airbnb is to offer homestays. So before you go through with booking on  airbnb for Sri Lanka, consider your options carefully and decide whether a homestay really is the best option for you.

If you want to learn more about homestays and jump on the Airbnb Gold Rush  Click Here!


Airbnb Tips for Sri Lanka

If your sole reason for using Airbnb is to save money then think again before using Airbnb. Booking with Airbnb will not always save you money. Sri Lanka has many guest houses of varying standards offering rooms from as little as 1000Lkr per night, whilst typically on Airbnb in Sri Lanka rooms start from 2000lkr.

The advantage of using Airbnb is that it does give you some certainty and allows you to plan your trip and accommodation in advance. Whereas not all guesthouses are listed on sites like Airbnb, Trip Advisor or Hotels combined, so it’s often a case of turning up at your destination and finding one. The local Tuk Tuk drivers are more than willing to help as they will either get a commission or their friends/family will be running the guest house.


Airbnb Homestay Versus Guesthouse Stay


Guesthouses offer privacy, this is something you may not get when living with a local host. Think carefully about this before you book a place on Airbnb. Sri Lanka on the surface is a conservative place, whilst drink is no problem for a guest house if you book with a local host they may not like you turning up drunk or with a bottle in hand. Check what is allowed with the Airbnb host before you commit.

Amazing view of Negombo Sri Lanka in Negombo

Apartment in Negombo, Sri Lanka. This is such a good location. It’s close to the airport which is only 30mins away and great for your first and last night stay in Sri Lanka. Negombo bus station and railway station are just a few kilometers away giving easy access to the rest of t… View all listings in Negombo


Sex in Sri Lanka is a taboo subject. For those of you seeking exotic pleasures of the flesh, a guest house maybe a better option than a home stay with Airbnb. Some guest houses rent rooms by the hour to local couples, this is because sex before marriage is taboo and sex after marriage can be difficult especially if they are living with the whole family. Same couple sex is a definite no no in Sri Lanka.

Airbnb knows that some houses/apartments have been used for sex parties, this is a major concern for Airbnb and they are using their best efforts to stop misuse. If you rent the whole house/apartment and party, be warned too many people coming and going is likely to get you banned from airbnb. Nothing goes unnoticed in Sri Lanka and nosey neighbours will definitely report your behavior.

Local Knowledge

Airbnb travellers to Sri Lanka often like staying with local hosts because they are able to share local knowledge, where to eat, what to see and when to go, in that respect they become like personal tour guides.

Clean or not too CleanAirbnb Sri Lanka

Sri Lankans love cleaning their gardens but not their homes, their lawns are raked religiously and all leaves/rubbish burnt to produce beautifully manicured gardens. Inside the house floors will be swept and that’s about it for most folks. Dusting is virtually unheard of, as is removing cobwebs and ants unless you happen to be staying with an educated or higher class family with a servant. Airbnb is trying to deal with this issue by asking guests and hosts to rate cleanliness, so do check for comments about how clean the place is like this homestay Cleanliness is not a problem related solely to homestays on Aribnb, it can also be a problem in guesthouses too.


If you are a dog lover, check whether your Airbnb host keeps a dog. It is normal for Sri Lankans to keep their dogs in a small cage everyday. Some are kept 24hours a day. You can’t get a refund from Airbnb just because you don’t like this. So check before you go or be prepared for heartbreak and anger.

The Secrets Of Airbnb Booking Sri Lanka

Many people have deluded notions of what their stay will be like in a Sri Lankan home. In Sri Lanka a local host’s home and habits are likely to be very different to your own. If you are a pet lover how will you feel about staying with a Airbnb host that keeps his dog in a small cage 24 hours a day?

With Airbnb you can’t control the environment you are going into, this is an important fact many people forget. This article isn’t meant to be an encyclopedia for Airbnb booking, but more of a warning: Do your research carefully! Make sure you have a list of what you want from your airbnb booking, and make sure what’s on your list suits your needs. We hope that this small article on gives you the info you need to take the next step in your Airbnb booking.

Christmas with a Singapore Sling

singapore slingShopping for a Singapore Sling

Singapore,  home of the famous Singapore Sling cocktail. A drink best enjoyed in the Long Bar of the famous Raffles Hotel Singapore,  located only a short distance from Orchard road which is itself a major Singapore tourist attraction.

Stroll down the leafy boulevard of Orchard Road and take in the extravagant and exceptionally well orchestrated displays of Christmas Lights. Orchard road enjoys the well deserved reputation of being one of the most beautiful boulevards in the world. It’s a reputation that is enhanced even more at Christmas time.
Singapore is a city known for luxury and wealth so it’s not surprising to find that it’s 5* hotels are fully decked out and dripping in Christmas luxury. For those on a budget then it’s best to save on accommodation by booking through sites like where you will find great rooms that wont break the bank and leave you more cash to splash on a Singapore Sling.  If airbnb is something you would like to do, check out this useful article Click Here!

As you would expect from a well run country like Singapore everything looks perfect on the surface. Magnificent displays of Christmas lights sparkle enticingly along Orchard Road. Shops full of Christmas goodies, blasting out Christmas carols beckon to would be shoppers as they stroll by. As dusk falls and the heat of the day ebbs away to welcome a cooler evening breeze this is when Orchard Road comes into it’s own and takes on an air of enchantment. Somehow shoppers sense the excitement in the air, outdoor bars and cafes begin to fill up as shoppers stop for a rest and a drink, many opting to enjoy a Singapore Sling and watch the world hurry by.

Singapore Sling with Carolscarols at raffles

For those who seek the original  and best Singapore Sling then the only option is to travel a little further down the road from Orchard Road on foot, bus or MRT,  to the famous Raffles Singapore. What better way to enjoy Christmas than sipping an authentic Singapore Sling and soaking in the history of Singapore. Christmas at Raffles is a wonderful experience made even more enjoyable by the traditional carol services. Some of the services are for guests only whilst others are open to the public.

Carol Services in Singapore Sling Land.

22nd to 24th December 2014
Victoria Junior College: 12pm to 12.30pm (North Bridge Road)
1pm to 1.30pm (Hotel Lobby) – only for Residents
2pm to 2.30pm (Raffles Courtyard) – open to all

25th December 2014
Victoria Junior College: 12pm to 12.30pm (North Bridge Road)
1pm to 1.30pm (Bar & Billiard Room)
2pm to 2.30pm (Hotel Lobby)
3.30pm to 4pm (Hotel Lobby)

Singapore Slings aren’t cheap but then this is Singapore luxury capital city and you have to expect to pay a little bit for the prestige. Raffles is not the only hotel putting on a show at Christmas.

singapore sling

A short taxi ride will bring you to the iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel and the Gardens by the Bay. What an incredible feat of design in terms of hotel and gardens. Definitely a must see for both of these Singapore attractions. This year the Flower Dome has been transformed into a wintry wonderland – with cool temperatures to match! For some Photo Fun pose with winter friends like the snowmen and reindeer. Winter clothing – optional!
Whilst the Gardens are turning down the heat Marina Bay Sands is turning it up by putting on some stunning shows over the Christmas period. Ku de Ta will of course be a major attraction for those wanting to enjoy a Singapore Sling with a view over Singapore’s skyline, Michael Buble will be performing live and for good family fun take in Mamma Mia or Cats.

For more on Singapore check out the lonely planet guide
Singapore – Colonial District, Marina Bay & the Quays (Chapter) by Lonely Planet

Singapore - Colonial District, Marina Bay & the Quays (Chapter) by Lonely Planet

Our Guide to Budget Maldives Islands

Budget Maldives IslandsThe sun is shining, there’s not a cloud in the sky, the sea is clear and deliciously warm and laps gently against the white sandy beach. A soft breeze whispers “Welcome to the Budget Maldives Islands!”


Traditionally the Maldives Islands were the playground of the rich and famous. Popular Royals such as Prince William and Kate were frequent visitors, as were the fabulously wealthy Saudi Royals who took to renting out whole luxury resorts and often paying double or triple the price to have guests accommodated in different resorts. You wont get this type of guest on a Budget Maldives Island but you will get sun, sand and a clear blue sea.


Today the Maldives islands are undergoing a radical transformation and a new type of traveller is being tempted to soak up the rays, explore the oceans and have fun in the paradise Maldives Islands. The Government has now authorized the building of guest houses on islands previously inhabited solely by locals. This has lead to a rapid growth in cheaper more affordable accommodation on the Maldives Islands.


Top Tips for Budget Maldives Islands.


Budget Maldives Islands and Food.

Budget Maldives Islands are not a foodies paradise! Whilst the top Maldives resorts offer fine wines and haute cuisine, budget Maldives islands offer processed chicken sausages, sweet white processed bread and non-alcohol beer.

Every Maldives Island relies on food and water imports. Only fish, sea food and coco nuts are naturally in plentiful supply on the islands. Premium food and drink comes with a high price tag as it has to be imported. It’s not surprising then that the quality and variety of good food is distinctly lacking on Budget Maldives islands.

Budget Maldives islands

If you love food and you are faced with the choice of a continental breakfast or traditional Maldivian breakfast I recommend going for the local breakfast. A mix of desiccated coconut and tuna may not sound appetizing but it is in fact very tasty. Topped with a squeeze of lime and eaten with a soft roti it is quite delicious and infinitely more appetizing than processed chicken sausages served with egg and followed by sweet processed white bread and cheap jam.


Best Food Tip

Many of the cooking staff on Budget Maldives Islands come from Bangladesh. They are cheap labour and their knowledge of western style dishes is a little limited and they don’t always have the prime ingredients to work with. If in doubt order a curry. They are full of flavor with succulent chicken pieces served with rice and hot roti’s – Delicious. Definitely preferable to the spaghetti bolognaise which tastes like minced dog food.


Budget Maldives Islands and Alcohol.

There is an automatic ban on serving alcohol in any guest house or budget hotel constructed on an island also occupied by locals. The exception to this being hh which serves alcohol at the airport hotel.


Budget Maldives Islands and swimwear. Budget Maldives islands

The Maldives Islands are subject to Muslim laws and as such speedo’s and bikinis are prohibited on public beaches. Break this rule and you could get into serious trouble with the police. The Maldives resort islands are completely different. They are privately owned islands and as such skimpy bikinis are perfectly okay as there are supposedly no other Muslims around to take offence at your exposed flesh. Also note kissing in public is not allowed!


Budget Islands, Hidden charges

There are 2 very important taxes you need to know about – Bed Tax $8 per person per night and Government tax and service charge 10%. Be warned suddenly your budget room turns into a very expensive room!


Top 3 Budget Maldives Islands

K. Guraidhoo, South Male Atoll

Maffushi, South Male Atoll

Hulhumale Island (Airport Island)


Budget Maldives Island Guraidhoo

This Budget Maldives Island has a completely different feel to either Maffushi or Hulhumale. There are only 2 guest houses finished, others are under construction. We stayed at Dacha Maldives, which is a great little place. Despite being the epicenter for souvenir shops ranging from artworks, coral pieces and holiday clothing there is no holiday feel to this island, which remains very quiet and understated. There are a number of shops where you can stock up on little nik naks and of course food stuffs and soft drinks just in case you head off on an adventure to picnic island. This really is an island where living with the locals is 100% authentic so expect to hear the call to prayer everyday.

Getting there

Take the ferry to Male from the airport. Once at male take a short taxi ride to the ferry terminal on the opposite side of Male. Take either the Government ferry or a private ferry. The government ferry costs 22 MVR and the private one is around the same price. The private ferries take less time than the government ones. Takes a couple of hours on the ferry and it’s the last stop.


Limited rooms available on this Budget Maldives Island. Prices from $45USD depending on season


There is a “bikini beach” you also get a great view of the lush nearby resort Islands.

Things to do

Snorkel: If you’re brave take a walk over to the coral reef and check out the baby sharks – you definitely need good wet shoes for this otherwise your feet will be cut severely.

Diving: Hire a boat and head off diving in the crystal clear waters or try a bit of snorkeling and swimming with the turtles.

Budget Maldives Islands

Surfing: If you love to surf, take a board and head off in the boat and hit the waves. Surf boards come equipped with a “Go Pro” holder for all you enthusiastic photographers.

Island hopping: for a change of atmosphere take the cheap government ferry over to Maffushi, or pack a lunch and bikini and head off to a true desert island for a picnic. If your feeling rich take a trip to a resort for the day and indulge in one of their packages.

Boat hire/excursions start from $40USD


No Alcohol but it is very easy to get to a nearby private resort. Entrance fee to the resorts is obligatory and starts from $25 upto $100


With just 2 guest houses and one café dining out is not really an option. Having said that Peaches café did serve an awesome curry.

Guest Houses

We recommend Dacha Maldives. It’s a friendly atmosphere and all excursions can be arranged such as snorkeling, diving and surfing.



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Budget Maldives Island: Maffushi

This is a tiny island, you can literally stand in the middle of the island and see both shores. It was the first island to explode with guest houses and budget hotels and so has a number to choose from. It has a bit more of a holiday feel to it than the other two islands.

Getting There

Take the ferry to Male from the airport. Once at male take a short taxi ride to the ferry terminal on the opposite side of Male. Take either the Government ferry or a private ferry. The government ferry costs 22 MVR and the private one is around the same price. Takes a couple of hours on the ferry and then you’re there.


There are many budget hotels and guest houses to choose from you can get good deals with prices from $25 a night depending on season. Watch out for the additional taxes on low priced rooms!


It has a couple of small white sandy beaches where you can laze the day away wearing your best bikini or speedo’s. There are a few beach side guesthouses/budget hotels and these offer the use of sunbeds if you eat and drink at their restaurant.


There is no alcohol on the island. You cannot take duty free onto the island. It will be confiscated at the airport (you will be able to get it on your flight out). If you want to get a drink of beer it’s a case of taking a boat excursion to a nearby Maldives Resort. Excursions start from $40USD. You will be charged an entrance fee to the resort and allowed to use their facilities. Entrance fees start from $25 USD.


There are limited options for eating out, if your expecting romantic beachside cafes and cosy fine dining restaurants you will be sadly disappointed. Expect to eat out at another guest house or another hotel offering basically the same food choices as your own guest house.

Things to Do

Dive packages, snorkeling and water sports are the main attractions, some can be done on the island others require a boat excursion. You are assured of warm waters and generally very good visibility for snorkeling and diving. Take wet dive shoes as the sandy beach has many pockets of sharp coral which can cause painful cuts. Some guest houses and budget hotels include dive packages, if not included there are dive schools on the island who will readily supply them prices start from $25USD per trip.

Island Hopping: A government ferry runs from Maffushi to Guraidhoo timings are limited but the price is cheap. Take a speedboat to other islands if your feeling rich, or take an excusion on a slow boat to a nearby resort or picinic island.


Budget Maldives island: Hulhumale (Airport) Island.

Hulhumale Island is definitely more built up than the other budget Maldives islands. It’s home to many of the expats based in the Maldives Islands and it is the only Budget Maldives island with a hotel that is allowed to serve alcohol.

Getting There

The international airport is located on the island of hh so you don’t need to leave the island unless you want to. The taxi to your hotel is relatively inexpensive as it really is a short journey.


In terms of price it is the most expensive of the 3 islands. Owing to the presence of the airport the island has a captive market and so the guest houses/hotels can basically charge what they like for accommodation and food. Prices can be considerably more expensive than the other 2 budget Maldives islands.

BeachesBudget Maldives Islands

The island does have a public beach which is free to use.

BE WARNED, it is not a bikini beach! Whilst some tourists do go in swimwear strictly speaking it is not allowed and you should wear Tshirts and shorts in the sea. Remember you are in a Muslim country that expects women to cover up in public. It is a criminal offence to show off parts of your body so just be careful.

Food and Drink

The good news is the airport hotel does have a bar with real alcohol, it’s a bit on the pricey side but then that’s to be expected. They offer day packages where you can safely wear your bikini and use their pool and other facilities.

Things to do

Island Hopping; take a short ferry ride to Male and explore the capital for a couple of hours or take another ferry to explore Marfushi and Guraidhoo cost per ticket on the government ferry is 22.00MVR.

Dive or surfing excursions: Take the ferry across to Male and head off to surf or book dive packages.

 Your Budget Maldives Getaway Starts Here

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Sri Lanka Tours: Beach and Culture

Explore Sri Lanka Tour:

Sri Lanka images

Exotic Dancers Sri Lanka

City, culture, wildlife and beach

7 nights 8days

The Explore Sri Lanka Tour will take your breath away as you explore the highlights of Sri Lanka from city to ancient heritage sites through the hill country to the long sandy beaches of the south coast and the warm Indian Ocean travelling through  Colombo-Dambulla-Sigiriya-kandy-Nuwara Eliya-Kogalla

It includes a private guide. Travel in a luxury Car or mini van for groups and accommodation in 4/5*hotels

Price: Us $1210, Euro 955 £750 per person


Sri Lanka Visa Requirements:

You can obtain your Sri lanka visa online here or on arrival at Colombo (Bandanaraike international airport).

City to Nature

Day 1 : Arrive in Colombo, Sri Lanka your exotic Destination
Once through customs you’ll receive a warm Sri Lankan welcome from your friendly driver who will transfer you  to your luxury hotel. You’ll stay in one of Sri Lanka’s most historic and regal hotels the Galle Face Hotel right on the sea front, it’s a perfect spot for relaxing. Immaculately manicured lawns delicious cocktails like the famous Singapore Sling and a spectacular sun set over the warm Indian Ocean.

Overnight at Galle Face Hotel, Colombo (Standard Room – Regency Wing)

Day 2 : Colombo – Dambulla

Feast on a delicious  breakfast and then  head off on your voyage of discovery to unearth the secrets of the cultural triangle, stopping en-route to fall in love with nature at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.

At Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage you will see a huge gathering of elephants. It’s a truly beautiful sight, so many elephants in one place, some old, some newborn, some with battle scars. Over 95 ORPHANED elephants live together at Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in their “new family”. Orphaned from natural disasters in the dry zone jungles of Sri Lanka or injured in the civil war by mines and gun shots these amazing creatures are rehabilitated in Pinnawala, an area of incredible beauty, lush greenery and fertile soil brimming with herbs and spices. Every day the Pinnawala Elephants take a stroll down the main street to bath in the river. The orphaned elephants love the river and it is truly magical watching them play in the cool flowing waters.

Day 3 : Dambulla – Polonnaruwa – Sigiriya

After breakfast it’s time to  head off to Polonnaruwa. The ruined medieval city of the 12th century a World Heritage site and the second capital of Sri Lanka. Discover the ancient maze of ruins that were once the Kings Palace, see where he held his court and where he and his mistresses went to bath. Travel a little further and go back even further in time to the Thuparama, Lord Shiva Shrine, a strangely mathmatical quadrangle complex, bearing mystical inscriptions on gigantic rocks as high as a seven storey structure and the tooth relic chambers. Where the famous tooth relic of Lord Buddha was hidden.

Then it’s time to visit the Gal Vihara statues which are the best ancient rock cravings in Sri Lanka. It’s true history even till this day remains a mystery. Carved into an unforgiving granite rock face these three giant Buddha’s and an intriguing chapel

Sigiriya Rock is the next port of call, it’s regarded by many as an architectural wonder of the world, a 370 meter granite rock with the ruins of what would have been a most incredible palace. Built around 475 AD, it would have been an architectural masterpiece. Entrance to the palace gain only be gained by a steep climb up the rock side and a walk through the lions paws.

Start your journey in the delightful pleasure gardens of the King with it’s erotic fountains and manicured lawns. Then begin your climb as you reach the half way mark enter into the rock cavity and view the world famous frescoes of beautiful maidens drawn and painted in natural colors on to the rock-wall and still visible today. Journey further to the colossal Lions Paw through which you must pass to reach the palace, then its upwards along the incredible mirror wall to finally reach the summit to enjoy one of the most beautiful views on the island.The immediate area surrounding the rock has been declared a sanctuary to protect the wild elephants and all other wildlife in the area. Stay Overnight at Green Paradise, Dambulla (Deluxe Room)

Day 4 : Sigiriya – Kandy

After a relaxing breakfast  head off to Kandy. on arrival check into the hotel and enjoy the day sightseeing at Kandy. Kandy, is a city in the centre of Sri Lanka. surrounded by hills it’s lush and green, here you can find rare vegetable species and herbs and spices of many varieties. The Kandy Valley crosses an area of tropical plantations and natural lakes and is home to the botanical gardens. Kandy is also a very religious city as it is home to the mystical Tooth of Buddha which is kept safe at the Temple of the Tooth. Every year their is the great Kandy Esala Perahara (a Pageant of Elephants and Dancers that takes place at night), spread over ten days in the month of Esala. Take time to visit the temple of the tooth and the Peradeniya Botanical gardens and in the evening enjoy a cultural show of Kandian dancers.

Day 5 : Kandy – Nuwara Eliya

Today your off to the ‘Little England’ of Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka’s very own garden of tea. Set against a beautiful backdrop of Mountains, Valleys, high Waterfalls and Tea Plantations the journey to Nuwara Eliya is breathtaking. It is supposed to be one of the coldest places on the Island, but it is really just like an English spring day, although the temperature does drop at night. All around Nuwara Eliya you will see evidence of the British influence, houses like country cottages or Queen Ann style mansions. Seasons may be absent elsewhere in Sri Lanka, but here you can read them by the flowers, which bloom in the spring (march to May) and the fall (August and September). These are the “seasons” when low-country folk flock to Nuwara Eliya to escape the sea level heat and humidity.

From Culture to Beach

Day 6  7 and 8: Nuwara Eliya – Koggala

After enjoying breakfast and a delicious cup of Sri lanka’s fine tea from the hill country, it’s time to  head south to Koggala to take in the sun sea and sand on the beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka. Lie back and relax, get a massage soak up the sun, watch the sun go down and enjoy your favourite Singapore Sling at the beach. On day 8 it’s time to say farewell to this lovely exotic island and head off to the airport.


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Sri Lanka Tours: Discover Exotic Beaches

8 Day Exotic Beach Holiday

sri Lanka ToursExplore the exotic beaches of Sri Lanka they will take your breath away. Relax in luxury and basque in the warmth of the sun and begin to unwind from the stresses of everyday life. Discover some of the highlights of Sri Lanka from the fascinating bustling city of Colombo to the historic walled city of Galle Fort. Take a stroll through the narrow streets of the old fort and browse amongst the jewellery and artisan shops in search of that perfect something.  Dine in one of it’s many boutique restaurants and enjoy the sumptuous sea food. Relax in a luxury hotel where you can walk on pristine white sands and swim in the inviting warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Top it all with a sunset cruise on board a luxury catamaran let the wind caress your hair as you sip a glass of chilled wine and tuck into mouthwatering  nibbles as you sail into the sunset.

8 Days  7 night USD$1850 Euro 1458 £1140

Price includes a private guide. Catamaran sunset cruise Travel in a luxury Car or mini van for groups and accommodation in 4/5*hotels

Catamaran Sunset Cruise

Your Luxury Beach Holiday includes

2 nights BB at the  luxury Mount Lavina hotel.

5 nights BB at the luxury hotel Club Bentota

Luxury Catamaran sunset cruise from Beruwala

Historic Galle Fort excursion

Colombo City Tour

Club Bentota Hotel

Club Bentota  Hotel  has everything you need to make your holiday a perfect dream vacation. This hotel has its own spa  and water sport facilities. There is an outdoor pool, poolside bar, bar/pub, and all rooms have comfortable western style beds and facilities.  Club Bentota Hotel is an excellent place in which to simply relax and rejuvenate.


Sri Lanka Tours Sri Lanka Tours Sri Lanka Tours


Mount Lavinia Hotel

Mount Lavina Hotel is inextricably linked with romance and lovers, it’s an ideal place from which to explore the vibrant city of Colombo. It offers everything you would expect from a luxury hotel. Great food, comfortable rooms, outdoor pool and its just a stroll away from other restaurants and bars on Mount Lavinia beach.



Limited Rooms available book now to avoid disappointment

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Getting your Sri Lanka Travel Visa

Visas can be purchased online or on arrival at the airport.

Currency Exchange

You can change your currency at the airport. Retain your exchange slip as you will need this to exchange your rupees on your departure.


Where rooms are unavailable in the selected hotels alternatives of a similar standard will be offered.