Month: November 2023

The Ultimate Ceylon Cinnamon experience with kids in Sri Lanka

The Ultimate Ceylon Cinnamon experience with kids in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka being rather a small country has a huge variety of things to experience. We already did Tea Plantation tour and tasting, Snake Farm experience, Surfing experience but I always wanted to find out how the cinnamon of Ceylon is grown and cultivated – READ MORE

Using ATM cards (US cards) in Sri Lanka- which bank is best to withdraw cash?

Using ATM cards (US cards) in Sri Lanka- which bank is best to withdraw cash?

Sri Lanka has quite a few banks that you can use for cash withdrawals. ATMs are available vastly throughout the island. We used three different banks to withdraw money: Commercial Bank HSBC and Bank of Ceylon Here is our take on cashing out at these READ MORE

Prices in Sri Lanka

Prices in Sri Lanka

We heard a lot of opinions about the prices in Sri Lanka, but you never know until you are in the country of interest.

While prices vary by region and season, here is what we encountered during our month long visit (October- November)here in Sri Lanka price wise. For the record- I love shopping at the local markets and support local economy rather than spending money in a big supermarket. Local markets had lower prices than markets everywhere in Sri Lanka that we shopped. Local markets also had better selection of fruits and vegetables, at least for us.

1$US ~ 325 rupees

Food Prices:

Locally baked bread loaf – we bought some for 80 rupees and some for 140 and even 180 rupees.

In the store we saw sandwich bread for 180-300 rupees

Coconut Milk -330 ml – 220 rupees; 500 ml- 375 rupees (we bought Sera brand as the ingredients were only coconut milk and water). They also sell Coconut Milk powder, which we were not interested in buying because of the ingredients, but that powder definitely would be a lot cheaper for the amount you get.

Coconut oil , virgin and organic- 500 ml – 860 rupees.

Ghee butter- 230 ml – 1260 rupees, approximately 3.87 $ US .

Organic coconut flour – 500 gr- 399 rupees, around 1.23 $ US.

1 kg avocados- ~400-500 rupees

1 kg papaya – ~170-250 rupees.

1 kg cucumber – ~ 280-550 rupees (depends on the type)- around 0.86$US-1.69$US;

1 kg tomatos ~ 260-350 rupees.

1 kg onion ~ 200-300 rupees;

1 kg garlic ~ 2400 rupees;

1 kg pineapple ~ 200-300 rupees;

1 kg raw sugar ~ 450 rupees;

1 kg carrots ~220-280 rupees.

1 kg baby banana, or sour plantain ~ 200-300 rupees (0.62$- 0.92$ US );

1 kg passionfruit ~ 350-750 rupees (varies from 1.07$ US to 2.30$ US).

10 eggs ~ 380-600 rupees and depends on the size a lot;

1 roll of toilet paper ~200-300 rupees;

1 pc coconut, young- 80-300 rupees.

8 pc cinnamon sticks, 1st grade, about 10 cm long – 500 rupees.

5 l drinking water bottle – 360-600 rupees, varies where you buy it and by the brand as well.

1 kg of pompano fish at the local fish market – 1000 rupees;

1 kg of tuna – 1200 rupees.

Local coffee- 200 gr – 750 rupees.

Black tea, powder- 200 gr – ~600-1200 rupees (1.84$- 3.69$ US);

Other goods:

Baby wipes – 950-1260 rupees, the more expensive ones actually were water wipes and was pleasantly surprised that they had this selection.

Car rental – we paid 26 euros per day. Where else we looked, it was at 40$ US per day. If you get a car with a driver – we were offered at 55$ US per day.

Tuk tuk rides – in Negombo it was around 100 rupees per 1 km; touristy places had other rates- like 2 km for 500 rupees, or 3 km for 500 rupees. It varies by region and place for sure. You can definitely negotiate.

Tuk tuk rental 10-15$US per day plus around 2-3 $US insurance per day plus 150$ US deposit .

Scooter rental – starts at 2000 rupees per day.

Accommodation- room for 2 people with AC ~7-10 $US/ night. Family room with at least 2 king size beds and a kitchen- starts at around 15-17$US/ night- most of our rentals were around 25-35$US/ night and most of them had a pool. As we explored Sri Lanka around, the highest accommodation prices were near Hikkaduwa Beach as there was a cluster of foreign people owning properties and renting them.

Experiences:

Cinnamon experience ( around 1.5 hours including having coconuts, tea and biscuits)- FREE, but you are expected to support locals and buy some cinnamon from them. We also inquired at the official factory named Cinnamon Experience – a very touristy place – and it was 30$ US per person. Kids 6-12 – 15$ US.

Safari experience at Yala National Park (either 4 hour or 8 hour)- ~33$ US per adult and around ~17$ US for children 6-12. Under 6 – Free. Safari jeep -prices can vary 12000 rupees to 32500 rupees depending if it is a half day or full day safari and if you reserve it through the park or get it from a local driver. Obviously getting it through a park is around 20$ US more.

Snake Farm experience in Koggala (about 30-45 min)- while initially the owner asked 2500 rupees per adult and kids were free- we agreed on 3000 rupees for all of us (we were 3 adults and 3 kids)- so it is definitely negotiable.

Tea plantation experience (about 1-1.5 hours)- some tours are around 2000 rupees, but we chose to do a more local tour which was FREE. You are expected to tip the tour guide – asking around we were told around 1500-2000 rupees is sufficient.

Surf school in Weligama Beach – 1 hours for 2 kids – total 4000 rupees (around 12$US)- including board rental.

Snorkeling trip with glass bottom boat from Unawatuna beach – 1.5 hours – 7500 rupees (23$ US) including snorkeling gear.

Restaurant basic meal prices:

I snapped a picture of a restaurant menu at a very touristy street near Unawatuna beach-

Fried rice at the local restaurant -600-900 rupees (generous portion).

Chicken curry at local joint – 900-1500 rupees;

Juices vary 200-600 rupees

Pizza 1600-3200 rupees for a 12in pizza.

Veggie rotti 100-500 rupees.

Veggie samosa- 50-300 rupees.

Egg role – 100-300 rupees.

Hopper- 100-300 rupees.

Hopefully this gives you an insight of the prices in Sri Lanka. A lot of things you can negotiate like tuk tuk rides and taxi rides as well as accommodation prices especially if you are traveling off season. Some areas in Sri Lanka are catering strictly to the tourist and are a lot higher, and those areas we found to be near Unawatuna and Hikkaduwa Beaches and going north along the coast towards Colombo.

I hope this information is of value to you. Thank you for reading!

Safari in Sri Lanka with kids (Yala National Park)

Safari in Sri Lanka with kids (Yala National Park)

Sri Lanka is a very diverse and rich country. There are many ways to explore it and safari is one of the best ways to learn about country’s nature and animals. While there are a few national parks to choose from, like Udawalawe, Wilpattu, Minneriya, READ MORE

Best SIM card while traveling in Lithuania

Best SIM card while traveling in Lithuania

Since being full time travelers and digital nomads for more than two years, we have learned, that getting a SIM card that has data and calling features is a game changer. We did it in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and also Sri Lanka. we have been READ MORE

Renting a car in Lithuania

Renting a car in Lithuania

We are sharing our experience of renting a car in Lithuania since we will rent from the same people for the next one as well.

It is definitely a budget rental- and a very pleasant experience. We rented a ~Toyota Prius (we wanted an automatic and gas friendly vehicle since gas prices a bit jacked up in Lithuania). Originally the price was 14 euros per day, but since we got the car for more than 20 days – the rental agency gave a better deal of 13 euros per day. And as you know Toyota is a Toyota and Prius is fantastic on gas (consumes around 5-5.5l/100km or less if you do not drive like a maniac). You can find the selection of rental cars here on their website: CAR RENTAL – they have a few to choose from, depending on your preference, family size, budget etc. The rental is conveniently located in Vilnius, the owner can deliver the vehicle to you anywhere in Vilnius during the workweek, otherwise you can agree on the meeting spot, the owner is very flexible.

The deposit is 120 euros and it is returned the day you return the car. We had no problem, neither did my mother in law, getting back the deposit.

The car rental includes full coverage insurance and road side assistance (300 euros deductibles is subject for the accidents and damage to the car if it is your fault). The insurance is not valid if you are traveling outside the country – so be aware if you want to explore Latvia, Poland or travel within the EU, this may not be for you.

We rented a Prius and here is the review for our family of 5: we all fit. We even had enough space in the trunk to put the stroller and other belongings. For a price of 390 euros for a months rental I think it is a great bang for your buck and we will do it again this upcoming summer. The boys loved the car and it served us well. We only had a flat tire once, but opted out to fix ourselves (the kit to fix a flat tire with a small hole costs around 4 euros and you can fix anywhere- we learned about it in Mexico and we always have one with us).

I hope this is helpful information and please share with others. Thank you for reading!

Fascinating facts about Sri Lanka

Fascinating facts about Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has been blowing our minds since we got here- with a variety that it has to offer – thousands of waterfalls, tuk tuks, nation of the snakes, rice and curry, safaris, tea plantations, rice fields, elephants, kind and humble people, rich cultural heritage READ MORE