|Habarana train station|
From Colombo, we made our way to Habarana which would be our base to get to Sigiriya, Dambulla, Polonnaruwa and Minneriya National Park. I found out that there are trains running from Colombo to Habarana from Sri Lanka Railways website though the options are not great. There are only 2 trains and we chose to take the ungodly 6:05 am train because we don't want to reach Habarana at 3:01 am. When I initially searched for the train, an indicative train fare was provided but it is not shown on the website anymore. We paid LKR 300 (~AUD 2.70) per person for a second class, unreserved. Yes, this is for the 5+ hours train ride.
If you are using Mobitel phone, you could also call number 365 for Mobitel Ticketing service code to pre-book your train ticket. They will bill you on your phone credit. We did try this to avoid making a trip to Colombo Fort the day before our commute but for some reason they were not able to purchase train ticket for this leg. So I think this was why there has been some stories on this train line is a bit of a myth.
|Colombo Fort before 6am|
|Bad random photo but spot the fans and the luggage space overhead :)|
I can't remember how I found this accommodation (Le Grand Meaulnes), maybe stumbled it on my rampage googling spree but it was pretty comfortable with reasonable price. There was some issue with our booking initially as they claimed they didn't receive our booking and kept on insisting that I ring the number I had on the booking sheet to speak to the person. I booked via their website directly (even though it re-directed to a 3rd party) but all information on my booking sheet is on this B&B, phone and email address. The B&B manager claimed that this had happened before so I was perplexed as to why they didn't fix it if it was a known issue. Anyway, it was sorted and our stay there was pretty good. I've rechecked the link as I write this post, it is now directed to agoda.com. We paid USD 150 for 3 nights (1 room, 2 pax) including breakfast and dinner.
|Chicken curry with array of vegetables curry|
Side note: About 8 weeks more to Christmas! @_@