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Polonnaruwa is an ancient city that is part of the Cultural Triangle route that forms most of the tourist itineraries. It has several ancient ruins but it is better to visit the place with a guide to better understand the stories behind the ruins.
With the new carpeted roads, it is possible to travel in 4-5 hours to Polonnaruwa from Colombo.
Using the public bus from Colombo's Pettah bus stand takes about 5-6 hours to reach Polonnaruwa. From Batticaloa, it is about 2-3 hours drive.
|Sudu Araliya||New Town Polonnaruwa Ancient City, Habarana / Pol||HOTEL||-|
|Giritale Hotel||Giritale, 51000||HOTEL||-|
Polonnaruwa Rest house: A Ceylon Hotels Corporation hotel that is on a nice location overlooking the Parakrama Samudra tank. The dining room is built over the waters and you can feel it moving at times, when dining there. The rest house is also a colonial heritage house and is worth the visit. The rooms that overlook the tank are better though and it is better to ask for them.
Hotel Giritale: A nice hotel with a great balcony that overlooks the Parakrama Samudra tank. The wing that overlooks the pools have better rooms that are better maintained, so it is better to ask for them as well.
The Village: A reasonably priced hotel with comfortable rooms and an ok restaurant.
Deer Park Hotel, Giritale: A luxury hotel that is adjacent to Hotel Giritale but at five times its cost.
Internet cafes are available in all the cities and these are cheap and easy to access. Most hotels have internet access as well but are relatively expensive. There are various internet service providers (Sri Lanka Telecom, Dialog, Mobitel etc.) providing different packages: ADSL broadband, dial-up, WiFi. Please contact a service provider to learn more about the packages and prices.
See also International Telephone Calls
The country code for Sri Lanka is 94. Remove the intercity prefix (0) before the area code when dialling internationally into the country (i.e., 0112 688 688 becomes +94 112 688 688) when dialling from abroad). The two next numbers after 94 represents the area code, they are different for every district.
The use of GSM cellphones is widespread and the coverage is good. Dialog and Mobitel are two operators that have sales offices at the airport inside the arrivals lounge. Dialog Mobile has the widest coverage in the country including rural areas and has the best quality GSM / 3G / HSPA +/4G network. Mobitel also has a 3G/HSPA+ network. All the mobile operators are having same call rates due to floor rate tariffs. Therefore it is advisable to go to the network which offers you the best quality. All Mobile Operators offers cheap IDD Call rates. If you want to surf internet, best way is to buy a HSPA dongle and a Mobile Broadband connection. Dialog Mobile, Mobitel, hutch, Etisalat and Airtel offers prepaid Mobile Broadband services which can be activated and used immediately. Dialog is the Vodafone Roaming Network in Sri Lanka and offers the best range of Value added services for Roamers and the rates are cheaper. Etisalat and Airtel also provide cheap roaming rates specially to India.
Sri Lankan Post is the national postal company. Each city/town has a main post office and the villages will have access to sub post offices, either at the village or nearby village. Local post, through normal mail, is cheap and fast. However, to ensure that the post has reached recipient, it is better to send by registered post which will allow you to have a reference number which you can later use to check with your post office that your mail has reached its destination. There are local courier services. Aramex and Pronto are some of the ones in Colombo and they deliver mail the same day or overnight. For better tracking and fast services companies like DHL, or TNT provide a good service but are more expensive.
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