This is a question that was posed to me by a Sri Lankan friend who now lives overseas. She was visiting Sri Lanka and was going to travel around the country. She was quite shocked by the prices that hotels and bungalows were quoting. Surely ordinary Sri Lankans could not afford to spend so much?
I have just spent the morning on the web and the telephone trying to track down a reasonable place but with almost no success. At one time a renting a bungalow and taking ones provisions along was a a cheap option. Although it is still affordable it is no longer cheap.
The rate for the Thotalagala bungalow that I stayed in about eleven years ago has jumped from Rs.8000 per night (for the whole bungalow) to Rs.30,000 a night. At that time Thotalagala was the most expensive bungalow by far, now if one can find one for Rs.10,000 a night one has to be very lucky. A cheap bungalow that I stayed in twelve years ago at Rs.2000 for the whole bungalow was being rented at Rs.8000 a couple of years back. It is now withdrawn from public bookings, reserved for the chairman of the JEDB.
The other consideration now is the cost of petrol which can add a good 10,000-15,000 to the total trip, per vehicle.
So where DO Sri Lankan go for on an affordable holiday?