Upon returning from Singapore, we packed and left for Sri Lanka mere hours later. The flight unfortunately leaves at 6am so we were up blurry eyed at 4am to leave for the airport.
Thankfully we have Airasia that flies daily to Colombo and it only costs RM 600 a ticket. MAS flies too but the price of a ticket is 3 times at least. Unfortunately, the staff in AA are painful to deal with.
I checked in online a day before and these days you can even print out your boarding pass. Easy right? Well not quite because unbeknown to us, even if you have your boarding pass, you still need a lousy stamp from the check in counter. So with one hour to the flight departure, we were faced with a grumpy crew staff who insisted on checking our tickets by typing furiously into a laptop and looking pensive. When we asked what was happening, he was reluctant with info. T started having a go and this guy just caved under pressure and told us to go away to another counter.
At this point, we had to run and when we got to the counter, it was empty. Clearly this guy wanted to sabotage our trip and just wanted us out of his face.
We bashed into another counter and yelled for a stamp. The lady there did it without question and we had to leg it back to the departure gate. Terrible start. I notified AA about our bad experience, hopefully it does not land on deaf ears.
Besides that, the trip was good. We met up with engineers, surveyors and local architects to discuss costs of building.
Along our drive down south, we dropped in on Dawn's 8 suite hotel, ERA Beach. It was still under construction in September but now is up and running. The hotel ERA Beach charges between USD 120-220 a night and every room has a seaview.
Hopefully she will give us a better rate if we come and stay during the off season.
The first night in SL, I went cheap and booked a guest house along the Tangalle beach. It was a real backpacker joint with no hot water and bad lighting. The staff were however very gracious and it was right on the beach so we fell asleep to the crashing waves.
The place was so low budget, we decided to treat outselves to a nice breakfast at the Amanwella, just 2 minutes drive farther south.
I had eggs benedict while the rest had the full English fry up. The meal alone cost more than the backpacker hotel stay. There are 30 rooms in the Amanwella and due to poor tourism numbers, they often sell their rooms at 50% discount. Even then, the room price was over USD200 a night.
The final two nights were spent in Colombo and one night, we went to the Cinnamon Grand hotel and had the best seafood dinner ever. We ate til bursting point and paid only USD 50 for the whole meal excluding drinks. It was Poya Day, or full moon and hotels cannot serve alcohol.
I will definitely go back there everytime we are in Colombo. It will be another 2 months before we head back there.