Sri Lanka, places to go on a 24hr transit (stop over)

I booked a  ticket going to Kuala Lumpur few days before our flight going to Europe, Momondo.com is the website that gives us the cheapest ticket flight and hotels in most of our bookings. Some of those are RyanAir flight that there are hidden charges that is not clear until you get to the airports. Hotels that gives you option to sleep without bed cover or rent a bed sheet from the hostels and etc.



It is required by Sri Lankan immigration for tourist coming to Sri Lanka to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorisation prior to your arrival in their country, It cost around 30USD, but if you are just on a transit and will stay just in the airport there will be no charges. I applied for this ETA Transit.

From Rome Italy going to Kuala Lumpur I had a more than 20 hours stopover at the Bandaranaike International Airport. I arrived in the airport at around 5 o;clock in the morning and my schedule flight is 01 o;clock the next day. If you think that time is too long you can ask the airline desk if they have the soonest connecting flight going to your destination, In my case I decided to stay and go inside the city. The problem is I don't have visa because my ETA is allowed only for transit so I ask the transfer desk If I can go to the city, There was a bit of confusion at first one of the guy in the transfer desk ask me to speak to the immigration guy he explain that maybe I need to pay 35USD fro the visa, Then the immigration guy refer me to the transfer desk. They ask me to wait.

I waited and it's like there is no chance. I went to have my breakfast and then I went back to the transfer desk and in there is new lady that explain that maybe if I have a hotel booking to the city they will let me in. I went to the coffee shop, connect to the internet and booked a guest house in Negombo Beach. the guest house is very affordable for 1 night. I printed the guest house booking and take my passport and show it to the immigration officer and he let me in with a stamp of maximum two days stay in Sri Lanka. They didn't ask me any payment.

From the Airport I walk around 200 meter going to the bus station, along the way there are a lot of Army or police for safety and security. I took a bus going to Negombo bus station and it cost 20 Sri Lankan Rupee. Again I took another bus going to Negombo which I need to get down to the Beach Road where I booked the hostel, it cost 15 SriLankan Rupee. I found the guest house with the friendly staff. He explain things and gives some advices and tips about the place. I went to the beach which is amazing.

SriLankan people are naturally nice and friendly, most of them speak english so there will be no problem communicating with them. But the same like any other city, be careful that there are also some sort of taxi/van/tuktuk scam. Please observe the situation and don't be a victim.

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