I'm planning on going to Sri Lanka and Thailand next year.
The route I'm thinking for Sri Lanka is Nogombo - Pinnawola - Dambulla - Sigiriya - Kandy - Ella - Dikwella - Unawatuna - Galle - Colombo. Can anybody recommend good amounts of time to stay in each place? We will have 3 - 4 weeks in total to spend in Sri Lanka.
For Thailand aside from staying in Bangkok for around 3 days on arrival I really have no idea where to go so any suggestions on route/things to do would be great.
Also could anybody recommend a good lightweight waterproof jacket to buy? Most I've seen online are only showerproof and I'm guessing for tropical rain I'd need something more durable?
Thanks, Nicole x
"For Thailand aside from staying in Bangkok for around 3 days on arrival I really have no idea where to go so any suggestions on route/things to do would be great."
Can't go too wrong with Chiang Mai, beach area and a final night or two back in Bangkok if that is where you fly home from. Where you go and for how long depends on the amount of time you have and your budget. From Bangkok there are day tours available. The city has excellent rail service but not for every location. Many young tourists seem to like the Khao San Road area of Bangkok. Same for Chiang Mai there are day tours you can use to get to Chiang Rai and other locations. For a beach area depends on time of year, maybe your age too. Koh Phangan is popular with some young tourists so they can get wasted without parents looking on. (Full moon parties.)
Thailand has excellent rail and bus service. Thailand may be larger than you think. Chiang Mai on one end of Thailand and some of the beach areas on the other end. Phuket is popular with single women, same as Bali. But Phuket is the most expensive city in Thailand too. Overnight train to Chiang Mai is popular. Train and boat ride for Koh Phangan if you are interested. Do forum search for Koh Phangan.
See travel guides on this Travellerspoint website. See map of Thailand too.
"Also could anybody recommend a good lightweight waterproof jacket to buy?"
Once I got out of the military there wasn't too many compelling reasons to walk in the rain a lot. A fold up umbrella might be all you need. I have seen people in big garbage bags. The rain in Asia is usually not a cold rain. Most of the time you see it coming and just head for a mall, hit a bar or restaurant, wait it out somewhere. Many tourists park their packs or bags at their hotel and then just walk around with a smaller duffel bag hanging off their shoulder. (Have locks for your bags and packs.)
When you need info right away nothing wrong with a quick Google check. (A real computer will work better than a smart phone for this research.)
Thanks for your reply
Budget wise, after Sri Lanka, I can probably afford to stay in Thailand for around 3 months.
"...I can probably afford to stay in Thailand for around 3 months."
This most likely means a tourist visa you apply for and later extend. You just can't show up and stay as long as you want. Depends on the passport you use to travel with. Three months is a long time. Don't depend on a single debit or credit card for your spending money. That card can become lost or stolen by a trusted guest you allow into your hotel room. Make photo copies of your Visa Entry Page. Make photo copies of your info page in your passport. Put those copies in separate locations. This might come in handy in case your passport is lost or stolen.
Tell your banks that you will be using their credit or debit cards when overseas BEFORE you leave on your trip. Otherwise when you need money from an ATM that withdrawal may be blocked because the banks thinks the withdrawal is fraudulent.
You have to work out a budget to see how much per day you can allow for your hotel. Then find a hotel that fits that budget price. For three months maybe pick up a hot plate or at least a coffee pot for cooking something in your room. I have an electric coil I always travel with for hot coffee in the morning. NEVER unplug this item when out of the water because it will melt! No problem finding instant coffee and tea bags in Thai supermarkets. (Some cities cheaper to live in than others when you consider the cost of local transportation.)
Not easy to work legally in Thailand without a work permit if you intend to augment your spending money.
Up to you and good luck.