December 16, 2012

The Small Miracle : Sri Lanka

As much as I love the freedom of travelling solo, I can't deny that sometimes I wished my friends or loved ones are there to enjoy the experience together. My circle of friends from high school; Mas, Jam, Alisa and Farah, are still close to each other. We hang out, we shop, we eat, we travel together. 

But everybody's been busy, and the last time we traveled abroad together was almost four years ago to Bandung. So I was ecstatic when we managed to pull off another trip to yet another exciting destination. 

Mas did the tickets booking while I looked for the tour guides. I couldn't drag them to follow my gambling backpacking style, could I? :p  Plus I read on the Internet that it would be easier if we hire a car to travel around the country. 

I found a few potential tour guides from the Internet and started contacting them for the quotations. Mas also helped to find for more options. It was like M&M Travel was back together again. Oh.. that's what I named the imaginary travel agency owned by Mas and I, cos we like organizing trips for our friends. hahaha... 

Anyway, we were supposed to depart on Monday, at 6.20am and arrive in Colombo at 7.15am. But to our dismay, AirAsia rescheduled the flight time to 11am and our new arrival time would be 12pm. Darn!! All our plans went haywire and of course, we'd lose half a day! 

Unsatisfied, we lodged an appeal to AirAsia Customer Service, citing 'We have important occasion to attend on Monday morning'. Surprisingly, AirAsia was kind enough to move our bookings to a day earlier so we wouldn't miss that 'important occasion'. Hewhewhew... Thank you so much AirAsia!!

So, came departure day. It rained heavily at LCCT! I was afraid our flight would be delayed cos everything was chaotic.

But luckily we still departed on time.  

Flight from LCCT to Colombo's Bandaranaike International Airport took about three and a half hours. 

We were welcomed by this Buddha statue as we disembarked from the plane.

It's no surprise. Buddha is the largest religion in Sri Lanka, with about 70% of the country's population as followers.
And it is one of the most religious country in the world.

Anyway, Malaysians need a visa to enter Sri Lanka.
You can obtain the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) in advance, or get the Visa On Arrival (VOA).

The ETA costs USD20, while the VOA costs USD25. ETA is cheaper so better do it online la kan? I knew we had to apply the ETA but Jam referred to KLN website and it mentioned that visa is not required for Malaysians. Then I checked with my company's travel agent and she also said the same. We were cheated USD5. Pfftt.  

Malaysians NEED VISA to enter Sri Lanka. 

Click here for the ETA application to save USD5. You're welcome.

Anyway, the VOA application is very easy and quick. Just hand over your passport to the officer and pay USD25. The process takes less than 5 minutes.  

While we were waiting for our bags at the conveyer belts, I spotted this.

And we immediately bought the Sim pack at the Mobile Service Provider's booth at the arrival hall.
Us and the smartphones. We can never be disconnected. hahaha...

After settling everything, we went out from the airport and met our tour guide, Rammuni.  

Our adventure in Sri Lanka began...


HiDayah@GM said...

OMG tak sabar nak baca next entry!

rara said...

Hidayah: hehe sorry lambat sikit.. quite busy lately..